Southern Charm star Kathryn Dennis recently confirmed her struggles with a number of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and CPTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and during a recent interview, she’s explaining why she attempted to keep her personal battles to herself.
As she continues to suffer with her mental health on the currently airing fifth season of the Bravo hit show, Kathryn is opening up about the stigma surrounding mental illness and explaining why she went missing during a recent episode.
“There is so much stigma around mental health and specifically depression, and there shouldn’t be. However, at the time, I needed to be alone with my thoughts and I didn’t know exactly how to broach that subject with my friends. I didn’t want them to judge me. I had been judged so much already,” she explained to the Inquisitr.
Before heading to Hilton Head with her co-stars, Kathryn was in a great place as she began to spend more time with her kids, including daughter Kensington and son Saint Julien, and landed a job at a department store in Mt. Pleasant.
“I was feeling good and doing well, and due to stigma, I didn’t want to be on anti-depressants, and so I made a mistake and stopped, and got hit by an emotional tidal wave. I needed to regroup and be alone and not talk to anyone, and so that’s what I did,” she explained.
During her trip to Hilton Head, Kathryn was berated as an unfit and neglectful parent by Thomas Ravenel‘s girlfriend, Ashley Jacobs, who made it clear that she felt that she was a better mom to the former couple’s children.
“I certainly didn’t want anyone to worry and felt that if I told them I was even struggling in the slightest, I would just be a burden on my friends, but that’s the illness talking. I didn’t think anyone would care,” Kathryn said of her decision to disappear after returning home to Charleston from their group trip.
“In that moment, I didn’t want to open the door and acknowledge such a sensitive topic in front of a camera. I wanted to emotionally prepare myself to talk to my friends one on one so that I could carefully explain something I had never spoken to them about before. But I’m glad I did and I hope to show the people watching the show that anyone can struggle with depression or whatever it may be, and not be ashamed,” she revealed.
Following the latest episode of Southern Charm, which featured Kathryn’s disappearance, a number of her co-stars reacted to her depression.
“Normally when she goes MIA or goes into hiding, she’ll respond to me. This was a circumstance where she didn’t and it just kind of freaked me out a little bit,” Danni explained during the Southern Charm: After Show. “It was different than every other time.”
“When she disappeared, that was really disheartening because a lot of people that had gone to bat for her and had really been on side couldn’t find her,” Shep Rose added. “I don’t know much about depression, I just don’t know much about it thank God, because I don’t have it, but to ignore those who love you, it’s hard to comprehend on the other side.”
“We didn’t want for it to become this big thing where everyone was looking for Kathryn because that just adds to her stress but after two or three days not hearing from someone and you know that they are going through a really hard time, you start to worry. It’s a natural reaction. We were just worried sick,” Naomi recalled. “Just text us and tell us that you are okay and just want to be left alone. That’s all we wanted. Thankfully she was fine. She just, of course, went to a deep, dark place because there was a lot of bad stuff going on around her and Ashley definitely did not help.”
According to Danni, Kathryn’s disappearance was prompted by the realization of all that was said by Ashley during their trip to Hilton Head.
“Once we got back from Hilton Head and had given Kathryn enough time alone to really process what had been said… When somebody says that stuff to you it’s terrible and I just think it made her really, really said and she had just had enough,” Danni suspected.
During a scene from last week’s show, Kathryn admitted that she often found herself questioning her value before seeking help at a treatment center.
“For a long time, I didn’t feel very deserving of friendships. I didn’t feel like I had value to bring anything other than a burden,” she admitted to Danni.
In response, Danni assured Kathryn that she was happy to have her in her life.
“I gained so much from my friendship with you. There was a moment where I was so scared that you weren’t responding to me, I was like, ‘What if she’s not… What if she’s…’ I love you so much,” she told her co-star.
A new episode of Southern Charm airs tonight on Bravo at 9/8c.
Photo Credit: Bravo TV