Sports and entertainment
Kendra Wilkinson, the ex-wife of former NFL player Hank Baskett and former reality TV star, opened up about her mental health battle in a new interview with People magazine.
It was the first time Wilkinson had spoken publicly about the matter since she was hospitalized in September after suffering a panic attack.
“I was dying of depression,” Wilkinson said of the September incident. In the emotional interview. “I was nearing the end of my life, and I went into psychosis. I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to live anymore.”
Since then, Wilkinson has been working on her mental health and has begun to confront the damage that occurred during her stay at the Playboy Mansion.
Wilkinson became a household name when she was 18 and one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends on the E! Reality show “The Girls Next Door”.
The former reality TV star said she had difficulty looking back on her life during her 20s, and that she “had to face my demons”.
“Playboy has ruined my whole life,” said Wilkinson, who returned to the hospital a week after his Sept. 6 visit and was given antipsychotic medication.
Wilkinson began outpatient therapy three times a week at UCLA and began confronting unresolved issues from her time dating Hefner and her very public and painful divorce from Baskett in 2019.
The 38-year-old described the dark place she was in before she finally asked Baskett to take her to hospital for help.
Wilkinson said it was “the lowest place I've ever been in my life”, and she felt she had “no future”.
“It was very scary for me,” said Wilkinson, who shares son Hank IV, 14, and daughter Alijah Marie, 9, with Baskett. “I wasn't focusing on myself or my mental health. Here I was a single mom and I'd been alone for years. But it's also easy to feel like the world is giving up on you. I was trying to fight it on my own. I was trying to heal it on my own and you can't do that. I was isolating and hiding and blaming Myself and the world I blamed. I spiraled out of control and felt like I wasn't strong enough to survive.
The day Wilkinson sought help from Baskett, whom she divorced in 2018, she called it a “big day” for herself and her family.
“Accepting help that day and getting Hank Lee to the hospital was a big day in our lives,” she said. “It was a big day for my family and my children. I didn't realize how bad I was suffering or what people were seeing of me until I got there. I had to look in the mirror and say: 'I need help.'
Wilkinson told People magazine that she was in a better place, and on the day of the interview, it was “the first time in a long time that I felt like myself again.”
But she also acknowledged that there will be challenges ahead as he continues to work on her mental health.
“Depression is something that doesn't go away easily,” she said. “It's something that stays with you throughout life. You just have to learn how to work with it and accept it. That's a part of me. What therapy did was it built this system of tools for me. And now I have power — I have the strength and foundation that I need to overcome my depression.”
Wilkinson and Baskett were married for 10 years before they divorced in 2018.
Baskett spent five seasons in the NFL, playing for the Eagles, Colts, and Vikings.
He appeared in 67 NFL games, recording 77 catches for 1,098 yards and six touchdowns.
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