Gillian Anderson reveals long struggle with mental health issues

"X-Files" alum reveals she sometimes struggled to even leave the house.

ByABC News
March 13, 2017, 11:53 AM

— -- Gillian Anderson is opening up about her longtime struggles with mental health and how she's worked to overcome them.

The 48-year-old actress has written a book, "We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere," which she describes as advice to her younger self.

Speaking to The Guardian about the book, the "X-Files" star revealed that she sometimes struggled to even "leave the house."

"There were times when it was really bad. There have been times in my life where I haven’t wanted to leave the house," she said without going into further detail or offering a diagnosis.

Having been in therapy since she was 14, Anderson shares techniques in the book that she has found helpful, including writing affirmations, expressing gratitude and meditating.

The latter has helped her overcome her self-esteem and body image issues.

"All I know is that when I meditate, one goes beyond the physical, and it is possible to tap into a sense of absolute contentment and joy in that place. So if that’s where you’re starting, then actually none of this," she said, gesturing to her body, "means anything, really."

She added, "The only thing that really matters in terms of our peace of mind is our peace of mind itself, and how we react to things."

That said, Anderson isn't too worried about getting older in a business that elevates youth.

"There will be a certain point where I’ll make the decision to go gray, you know. There might be a certain point where I decide that it’s silly for me to continue being blond when I’m in my 60s," she said.

"I’ve also always wanted to direct, I’ve also always wanted to be an artist," the mother of three continued. "Maybe when the kids are out of college, I can decide to downsize and go gray and get less work."