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Kendra Wilkinson is opening up about the panic attack that led her to go to the emergency room in September and, a week later, check herself into the hospital to treat her depression. That treatment ended up including medication and therapy to address the root of her mental health struggles, a process Wilkinson called “extremely awakening” in a new interview with People. Now, over five months later, she’s sharing her experience to encourage others to get help too.
“I was struggling with depression and anxiety for so long but I was trying to fight it on my own,” the Kendra on Top star said in the interview. “You can’t do that. I hit rock bottom.”
Wilkinson’s panic attack was brought on by feeling overwhelmed with balancing her job in real estate with the rest of her life and co-parenting duties with her two children, shared with ex-husband Hank Baskett, as People reported in November 2023. “I was isolating, hiding, blaming myself, blaming the world,” Wilkinson remembered. “There was a moment where I looked at my ex-husband and I said, ‘Take me to the hospital.’”
After her second hospital visit, Wilkinson started taking an antipsychotic medication and going to therapy three times a week. “I spent two months focusing on treatment and my mental health… really getting down to the issues of my depression,” she explained. It wasn’t easy, especially when Wilkinson decided to start medication. “To accept medication was the hardest thing to do,” she recalled. “It meant I had to accept that I have some mental illness, and I didn’t want to have to do that.”
For Wilkinson, the root of her struggles dates, in part, to her time in the Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner on the reality series Girls Next Door. Wilkinson was just 18 when she began the show, which ran from 2005 to 2010. “Playboy really messed my whole life up,” Wilkinson said, adding that she was “on drugs at age 15” and “had a lot of issues,” including struggling with depression both before and during the show.
“I really got into deep regret [after Girls Next Door],” she continued, explaining that she’d gone to the mansion “for the partying” rather than a relationship with Hefner. Being sexualized at a young age and on the show made Wilkinson “hate” her body and question her choices. “Why did I have sex with Hugh Hefner at that age? Why did I do that?” she asked. “Why did I go to the mansion in the first place? Why did I get big boobs? … Why did I do this to myself?”
Wilkinson’s struggles started to add up, as she dealt with her past, her 2019 divorce from Baskett following their marriage of almost ten years, and the difficulty of starting a new career. “It’s not easy to transition from what I was [to] who I am now,” she explained, and in the process, “I completely forgot about me… my mental health.”
Once convinced she could manage her anxiety and depression on her own, Wilkinson said she’s proud now that she finally reached out for help. “I’m so happy I got the treatment and the help that I needed,” she said. “I finally accepted it and it changed my life.”
At the same time, she accepts that depression doesn’t just go away. “It’s something that stays with you through life. You just have to learn to work with it and accept it,” said Wilkinson, who noted that her work in therapy has given her the tools to do that. “Now I have the strength and the foundation I need to overcome my depression.”
As for her list of regrets, Wilkinson has decided to celebrate the good from all the past eras of her life and leave the rest behind. “I’m done being mean to myself. I’m done being my own worst critic. I’m done being at the mercy of what I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve done,” she said. “I’m done with all of it. I forgive myself, period.”
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