Gloria Estefan Reveals She Once Had Suicidal Thoughts in 'Red Table Talk: The Estefans'
The singer recalled a dark time in her life on a new episode of her Facebook Watch show.
Gloria Estefan and her daughter Emily Estefan openly discussed their mental health struggles on the latest episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans. Gloria, 63, said she battled depression as a teen when she had to take care of her ill father, a veteran of the Vietnam War. "He would soil himself, I would have to bathe him," she recalled. "He would be crying, embarrassed, and trying to make me feel better. I didn't want to tell my mother that I was starting to feel cracks in my armor."
At 15, she even had suicidal thoughts. "My father had left a gun in my house when he went to war, for supposed protection for my mother. I knew where that gun was, and I started having desperation thoughts," she said. "I remember going to the place, thinking, 'OK, the gun is there, but what if instead I hang myself, because that might be bloody.' And I had even picked out the tree that I might do it on, and then I thought, 'Hold on, my mom is going to find me, my sister, I'm not going to be there for her.' And what got me through that moment was thinking of others."
Gloria said she focused on school and was able to get out of that dark period. "I found a lot of self-help and your dad came along," she told her daughter, Emily. She also said studying psychology helped.
Lili Estefan also cried remembering her mother, who suffered from depression and delusional thoughts. Lili's mother died by suicide when the TV host was 10 years old. "I grew up very fast," Lili said. "I never talked about it out of respect for everyone involved. Every time I would try to talk about it, I couldn't, I would just cry. That was my depression. I would go back and think, 'We could have done something.' When you go through something so dark in your life, you learn the best mechanisms to keep on going."
Emily Estefan, 25, talked about her struggle with anxiety. "I suffer from extreme anxiety, it has creeped up on me throughout the years," Emily said. "There were moments when I couldn't handle myself." Emily added that taking prescribed medication helped. "I was really worried that you would go too far into that hole," Gloria said to her daughter. "You have thoughts that don't feel like your own, you start feeling like everything is dark, I wanted to take my life and I didn't understand why," Emily recalled. "Talking about your struggles is also a catharsis."
Venezuelan YouTuber and singer Lele Pons and Mexican actress Karla Souza also talked about their mental health breakdowns and what helped them heal in the episode. "Millions of people are suffering in silence. We are in a worldwide mental health crisis," Gloria concluded. "You are not alone."