Gisele Bündchen recalls suicidal thoughts during the height of her modeling career: 'I felt suffocated'

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(Getty Images) (Sean Zanni via Getty Images)

Gisele Buündchen has found inner peace. But it hasn't always been that way for the Brazilian supermodel.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning that airs on Sept. 24, Bündchen, 43, discussed the depth of the anxiety and panic she felt during some of her most successful years as a model, including several moments of suicidal ideation in which she fantasized about jumping out of a window from the ninth floor.

“You know, I was in tunnels. I couldn’t breathe. And then I started being in studios, and I felt like suffocated,” Bündchen told host Lee Cowan. “I lived on the ninth floor, and I had to go up the stairs because I was afraid I would be stuck on the elevator, and I’d be hyperventilating … You know when you can’t breathe even when the windows are open, you feel like, I don’t want to live like this, you know what I mean?”

When Cowan asked if she really considered jumping out of the window, Bündchen replied “Yeah. For, like, a second, because you’re like, I can’t."

This isn't the first time Bündchen has opened up about her history of suicidal thoughts and panic attacks. In her 2018 memoir, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, she discussed how anxiety and panic left her feeling "powerless."

“Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had,” she told People at the time about managing her anxiety. “I actually had the feeling of, ‘If I just jump off my roof, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in.'"

Earlier this month, Buündchen revealed on a panel for herbal supplement brand Gaia Herbs that giving up alcohol was extremely helpful for both her physical and mental health.

"I haven't drank alcohol in over two years and it's amazing how much more clear I feel," Bündchen shared, People reported. “I meditate everyday, I exercise every day."

It was a sharp contrast from her teens and 20s, when she "wasn't so good" at caring for herself. However, Bündchen sought out professional help, and her issues improved. Since then, things have changed significantly.

"I realized my body is my temple and I really want to enjoy it," she continued. "So for me, moving my body is huge.”

The runway star is certainly not the only supermodel who has spoken out about how their mental health suffered throughout their career. Legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell said she used drugs to deal with her emotional pain throughout her career.

“You think, ‘Oh, it’s gonna heal that wound.’ It doesn’t,” she shared in the new docuseries The Super Models, People reported. “It can cause such huge fear and anxiety. So I got really angry.”

She ultimately checked herself into rehab, calling it “one of the best and only things I could have done for myself at that time.”

Tyra Banks has also spoken about the pressures of being a big-time model. In 2016, she told People how she panicked at the thought of being unable to book jobs when her Italian agents gave her mother a list of designers who didn't want to work with her anymore because her "body was getting thicker."

Linda Evangelista, who was disfigured by a non-invasive body-contouring procedure with Zeltiq CoolSculpting in 2021, told British Vogue last year that she's "trying to love myself as I am" after attempting to maintain impossible beauty standards through beauty treatments.