‘Shazam’ Star Zachary Levi Reveals He Had a ‘Total Mental Breakdown’

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Zachary Levi talks about his own journey to improving his mental health — and the bumps in the road along the way. Levi recently published his book Radical love: learning to accept yourself and others, which is a memoir focusing on the tools Levi has developed to improve his “mental and emotional health” over the years. On Monday, he spoke about this book in an interview with Ryan Seacrest.

Levi appeared on Seacrest’s radio show, On air with Ryan, where he said he went through “a lot of hardship” before deciding to proactively focus on his mental health. He said: “I went through a severe depression five years ago and got to the point where I didn’t want to live anymore.” Levi didn’t go into much more detail about his own situation, instead focusing on the skills he learned to overcome this “breakdown” and how he thinks others can learn them as well.

Through therapy and other methods of self-reflection, Levi said he “learned so many things” – mainly that he “didn’t understand what it meant to love himself”. He continued, “I think we really have to come to love each other radically… We think we’re doing a good job, but I don’t think we’re doing it.”

Levi doesn’t have a well-documented public history of mental illness, but he has a habit of helping others deal with their trauma even before his new book was published. In 2019, he became an ambassador for the non-profit organization Active Minds – a group dedicated to promoting proactive mental health practices with a particular focus on suicide prevention.

Levi has also been candid about his religion and its impact on his mental health over the years. In a 2002 interview with Relevant magazine, he indicated that he was a practicing Christian and that his faith was integral to his mental health and his interactions with others. However, in a 2018 interview on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast, he seemed to have a more generalized view.

“I’m very spiritual, but not particularly religious,” he said at the time. “[Religion] is, in my opinion, very destructive of what I believe to be the true heart and mind the essence of who God is.”

The Book of Levi Radical love: learning to accept yourself and others is now available in print, digital and audiobook formats. Levi will be back in theaters on December 16, 2022 in Shazam! Fury of the gods.

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