Christy Carlson Romano is opening up about her “private breakdown.”
In a new essay for Teen Vogue, the former Disney Channel star talks about her silent struggles with depression and binge-drinking.
“I am not a victim, but I have never been perfect or pulled together as my reputation or the successes of my young adulthood might suggest,” Romano writes. “During a period of time in my life, I grappled with depression, drinking, and more, desperate to find fixes for how I felt.”
The 35-year-old actress, best known for starring opposite Shia LaBeouf in “Even Stevens”, says in the essay, “Nothing could have prepared me for fame and the responsibilities that came with being on television screens everywhere.”
Romano describes feeling “out of place” when she went to an Ivy League college after “Even Stevens” ended, eventually causing her to leave school and pursue work on Broadway.
“What I didn’t realize was that starring in a Broadway show was very hard work for a 19-year-old,” she writes. “I was highly criticized for my youth, which fuelled my desire to prove everybody wrong. I became a bit harder-edged, binge-drank more at loud nightclubs, and started to accept the transient natures of love, sex, and friendship.”
The depression eventually led Romano to self-harm, she says, recalling, “I tried to scratch my skin with my fingernail because I was too scared to use a knife.”
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I am always surprised at how much motherhood has changed me. I went from an adult child to a grown woman almost overnight! The second the doctor put Izzy in my arms I felt as though I was baptized and had become a new person. I felt that twice over when I held Sophia. I am so blessed and though I make a lot of jokes about being tired and put out, I would never give this feeling up in a million years. So here’s to great moms. May we know them, celebrate them, or be them! 👩👦#happymothersday
In the time since her low point, Romano went back to school, met her husband, Brendan Rooney, and has two children, Isabella, 2, and Sophia, 3 months.
“I haven’t had a drink since before my first pregnancy and am going to continue to abstain from alcohol so that I can continue to make clear-headed decisions that keep me on the right path,” Romano says. “All that matters now is my amazing family.”