An NCIS star opened up exclusively to The American Sun about the harrowing battle for sanity that left him feeling like the “living dead” despite his rise to fame.
Blake Webb, 37, spoke about his years-long struggle to overcome obstacles and join the roughly two percent of artists in Los Angeles who make a living from acting.
Webb is best known for starring in hit shows such as 13 Reasons Why, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and American Horror Story.
Although he didn’t break into the industry until he was 28 years old, his determination, work ethic and talent allowed him to earn around $100,000 a year.
While on the surface he was living the dream and fulfilling an ambition he had since childhood, Blake, from Arizona, said his mental health was “eating him alive from the inside out”.
Blake told the US Sun: “The breaking point was waking up every day and hating life.
“I had no pleasure and no confidence. Things got so bad that I considered anything to find relief outside of drugs.
“I really started to feel like life had no meaning. I was always looking in the mirror, judging myself and watching old audition tapes. I was a mess.
“When you’re extremely depressed, you’re really unmotivated, you can’t just say to yourself, ‘I bet if I ate better and went back to the gym every day, I’d feel a lot better.’
“I kept going around in circles. I was walking around feeling like people were judging me and wasting my time in LA and not being attractive anymore.
“I thought if things continued like this and never changed, being dead wouldn’t be much different.”
Around this time, he became increasingly reclusive and lost weight, causing concern among his close friends.
A friend then put him in touch with their advisor in early 2018.
After some gentle persuasion, Blake arranged a meeting in March of this year that he now admits would change the course of his life.
She taught him how his depression and anxiety were destroying his life, prompting Blake to get to work addressing his mental health issues with the same vigor he approached as an actor.
I thought if things continued like this and never changed, being dead wouldn’t be much different.
Within a year, he saw results, mostly by living in the present – allowing his worries about the past and the future to gradually evaporate.
“She set small, achievable goals and gave me simple assignments to uncover the error in my thought patterns,” he explained.
“I learned that my mind was most often the problem, not my situation.
“She had worked with many clients in the entertainment industry, we often talked about how many of the decisions made were completely out of my control and often made no sense.”
Blake used these techniques to create his own life playbook, taking what worked from his strict Mormon upbringing and dropping what didn’t.
MIND OVER MATTER
As with many things, being consistent with your habits, being balanced, exercising daily and attending regular therapy sessions were key to overcoming and then managing your mental health, he said.
“It took me years to get rid of most of my anxiety, but I’ve come so far and I can say with confidence that I feel so much more peaceful today,” he said. added.
“I’m happy a lot more often than before, even when things don’t seem to be going my way.”
Since coming to terms with his own mental health issues, Blake now openly pleads for others in difficulty to seek help.
He also said it helped him stop putting all his self-esteem on achieving goals like starring in a blockbuster Hollywood movie.
“I wouldn’t change my career for the world, but now I have the tools and the know-how to stay afloat through good times and bad,” he explained.
“It’s true, life is suffering, but we don’t have to suffer so much. I don’t have to be anxious and depressed to be a deep actor, it was a false narrative that the ‘old me’ believed.
“I am eternally grateful for the therapy and recommend it to anyone who feels like life is no longer joyful.
“Ask a friend, search online and find a therapist. Give it a shot. I like to live in the present, instead of the past or the future.
“I don’t know where my career will go, but it seems to go better when I’m positive and happy. I work often and learn to count my blessings rather than counting the roles I haven’t had.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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