Oprah Confirms Rumors That She Nearly Had a Nervous Breakdown

The media mogul admitted to Access Hollywood that she suffered symptoms of a breakdown earlier this year

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Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage via Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey attends the 3rd annual Diane Von Furstenberg awards at the United Nations on March 9, 2012, in New York City

Media mogul and legendary multi-tasker Oprah Winfrey has confirmed rumors that she suffered from symptoms of a nervous breakdown earlier this year. In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, Winfrey explained that overseeing the struggling Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) while also filming Lee Daniels’ The Butler proved to be too much at once.

The 59-year-old said she realized she was suffering the symptoms of a nervous breakdown during an interview with Kony 2012 director Jason Russell. He’d suffered from a very public psychological breakdown last year, and as he told Winfrey about it, she said it all sounded rather familiar. She explained her own symptoms to Access Hollywood:

“In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down I’m gonna be in serious trouble.’ I was in the middle of doing voiceovers, you know? And I remember closing my eyes in between each page because looking at the page and the words at the same time was too much stimulation for my brain.”

In another interview a few weeks later — this time with Fergie — she realized she needed to slow down, and was able to regain control.

[Access Hollywood]

31 comments
WendyL.Schmidt
WendyL.Schmidt

I think once someone is in the public eye and has an abnormal amount of attention on them, it tends to cause a sort of need to keep that crazy level of activity up. The fear of losing their relevancy is true of anyone growing older, but especially in people who have this big of a celebrity life style. In my humble opinion this amount of attention towards any one individual is not normal in any sense of the word and tends to create a lot of stress on the psyche.

missc.l.peyton
missc.l.peyton

My dearest Ms. Winfrey, 

 I am sure that being the perfectionist that you are, starting OWN was difficult and finding interesting and relevant material to schedule is an added burden. But my dear, you are a "chosen one" of God and he already had it laid out, once you took the first step HE had your back. Not to think that it would take no work on your part, but NEVER stress, that once you are following HIS plan and HE will make sure you get all you need.Yes, it is true that to whom much is given, much is expected but even God rested after 6 days. So please don't forget WHOSE you are and how GREAT HE IS. Please Be Still and Know that all is well. So you can rest in knowing HE has your back. So take a much needed vacation and enjoy yourself. It will give you a "new lease on life" and a "fresh, relaxed" vision of what is next. Remember "Life needs Balance" in order to be worthwhile. Practice what you preach on Soul Sundays....Meditate, Relax, Reconnect and Enjoy the Life HE has given you.

Much Love, Respect and Concern,

Carrie L. Peyton

a fan for life

 

angel6019
angel6019

Oprah, you need to sit down and have some peace to yourself for a whole day. Turn off the phone. Tell everyone that you need some quiet time ALONE. I bet you will feel so much better. Try it. When was the last time you took a day off from everyone? Everyone need a break. Hope you feel better soon.

ruglady
ruglady

I think Oprah should go to a spa, be waited on hand and foot, indulge in massages and foot rubs,

and catered meals. Take Gail along for companionship. And talk to an expensive therapist while sipping

the best wine money can buy. She will be fine. It's the poor people having breakdowns I worry about in this economy.

ebonieyes58
ebonieyes58

Oprah has enough money.   It is time for her to relax and enjoy what she has. She has enough money to do anything she wants to do, I just don't understand why she does not do this. Enough is enough, stop Oprah and smell the roses.

SingingM
SingingM

Oprah did not have to say anything about it.  She told people to help others who may be facing discrimination because of mental health issues.  I am glad she is okay.

lindajo
lindajo

What the hell is the matter with you people? So what? She has a "gazillion" dollars? Does that make her invincible? She is a human being, who has done so much for people across this globe.  guess she can't do anything or say anything "normal" to all of you people who are sad and ungrateful for what you have. Be happy and grateful for the roof over your head. Obviously your not homeless or you wouldn't be posting. Come to think of it. I've never actually met a "miserable" homeless person. So shut the hell up. I love and appreciate you Oprah. I'm glad your okay!

TommyChris
TommyChris

Big Deal.  I've had numerous nervous breakdowns.  What, just because she's famous I'm going to worry about her.  I think not.

allies33
allies33

I commend Oprah and other celebrities who have openly discussed their own struggles with mental health. America's high-pressure culture is extremely unhealthy, and can trigger or exacerbate existing mental health issues. The stigma needs to end - we are killing people through silence.


heywood
heywood

her nervous had a breakdown?  tsk-tsk.

Zinnson4
Zinnson4

really? a billionaire who almost has breakdown...and we need to know this - why?

educateyourself
educateyourself

"Nervous breakdown" is an antiquated, derogatory term and does not describe ANY medical condition.  Ask any doctor.  Depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia (just to name a few) are all legitimate diagnoses.

Oprah should know better than to use prejudicial terms, which only continue the stigma against mental illness.


CaliforniaDreamer74
CaliforniaDreamer74

Wow! What a bunch of calloused people, making statements like the ones I just read here! Why is it easier for some people to feel sorry for or have empathy for a "less fortunate person" than it is to feel the same for someone like Oprah? This is exactly why there is still such a stigma attached to mental issues/illnesses! Would you care more if Oprah was a poor woman from the ghetto? Some of the statements made here are just sickening. Why is it so hard to have a little compassion for a person just because they are wealthy? Sorry Oprah, I feel your pain and I'm sorry that you're going through this and I don't care how much money or status you have! Mental problems are not color blind or something that just happens to the rich OR the poor.  It's a very indiscriminating disorder or illness! Who would have thought we'd still be so judgmental on this issue in the year 2013?!? Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves!

ellak365
ellak365

Can't say I feel bad for her, she's got, like, more money than god, but everyone goes through hard times...I guess even the super rich!

JonathanMartin
JonathanMartin

Hopefully this will encourage her to remember to keep the Sabbath day holy which she learned about on one of her shows

wjm457
wjm457

Difficult to have sympathy for someone who can't handle self imposed stress. 

KrondarGemstone
KrondarGemstone

As one who suffers from anxiety and panic disorder, I feel really really bad for her. I feel bad for anyone who experiences true anxiety. It's not something you can get over or throw money at, it's an adrenaline disorder that takes years just to learn to cope with, and once you have it, it's there forever. It's exactly like Johnny Cash said: "The wealthiest person is a pauper at times, compared to the man with a satisfied mind."
I'd rather be homeless with no anxiety than have Oprah's money and this condition any day of the week

JessePinkman
JessePinkman

So....um.......Who cares about this exactly?

Openminded1
Openminded1

Who cares everyone has issues,not everyone has her bank account. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@SingingM you are Glad the racist is ok, I nice and white of you,you dummy women fall for her smile and bs. She is smart i will give her that she has 985 of America fooled. It is all about ratings dummys and staying in the lime light. 

TommyChris
TommyChris

@CaliforniaDreamer74  

Yes, I would care more if she was poor and from the ghetto, and so should you.  Oprah has plenty of money and a support system and she will be just fine.  I'm more concerned about your culture of doting over the rich and famous.

SharonHunt
SharonHunt

@CaliforniaDreamer74 I agree. I think people think Oprah can buy herself out of any situation. Having money is nice, but it isn't everything. 

CaliforniaDreamer74
CaliforniaDreamer74

@JessePinkman - Well let's see now. Maybe YOU! After all you did take time out of your precious day to read and comment on this article. If you don't care about it they why are you reading it AND commenting on it? Just sayin'....

SharonHunt
SharonHunt

@Openminded1 how does having money take care of her issues? Does spending money help you? You can't take it with you. She is human like you are. 

CaliforniaDreamer74
CaliforniaDreamer74

@Openminded1 - And the same goes for you Openminded.  Your moniker certainly doesn't "fit" your comment here! ppffftttt!! (Just read my comment above to JessePinkman - ditto for you!)  


Openminded1
Openminded1

@SharonHunt @Openminded1 She is human, but most problems for people today is economic which causes a lot of stress. stress she does not have to worry about. Your admiration for her is typical of dummys that have fallen into her spell and smile. she is a racist who has fooled her viewing public for years. Smart women i will give her that credit. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@CaliforniaDreamer74 @Openminded1 I do not know about jessie, but i am retired and have all day to do what i like. Moniker is meant to be sarcastic moron. You are either black, a lesbian, or ableeding heart liberal that is so dumb to think that the beloved by idiots Oprah is a racist hiding behind her money and forum. she is smart and knows how to play to an audience and how to play white people. She is very good at what she does. but she has slipped up a couple of times in her career. you just have to be astute enough to have caught it and you are not.