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Kendra Wilkinson Says She 'Was Dying of Depression' -- And Prayed For The End

Kendra Wilkinson Says She 'Was Dying of Depression'

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Kendra Wilkinson is opening up and bravely telling the story of her struggles with mental health.

As we previously reported, the former Playboy model went to the emergency room after having a panic attack in September of 2023 — and eventually she revealed she went through “treatment” for her mental health following that. And now, in a new interview with People that dropped Tuesday, she’s talking about what really happened in those scary few months. She began:

“I was in a state of panic. I didn’t know what was going on in my head and my body or why I was crying. I had hit rock bottom. I was dying of depression. I was hitting the end of my life, and I went into psychosis. I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to live anymore.”

So heartbreaking…

She cites her early 20s as “demons” she had to face now that she’s older. At only 18 she rose to fame as one of Hugh Hefner‘s girlfriends on Girls Next Door — and now, at 38, she attributes a lot of her current struggles to that reckoning:

“It’s not easy to look back at my 20s. I’ve had to face my demons. Playboy really messed my whole life up.”

The reality TV star said she was eventually placed on the antipsychotic medication Abilify, and even went to UCLA for some outpatient therapy three times per week to try and come to terms with her past trauma. She thought back to her weeks leading up to her hospitalization, and revealed she wasn’t sleeping or eating, and she felt like her head was spinning:

“It was the lowest place I’ve ever been in my life. I felt like I had no future. I couldn’t see in front of my depression. I was giving up and I couldn’t find the light. I had no hope … How am I going to succeed? What am I doing wrong in my life? Do I give up?”

Kendra says she was trying her hardest to keep up with everything for the sake of her kids, Hank IV and Alijah Mary, but she felt so alone due to her split from her hubby and the father of her kids Hank Baskett. After the very public divorce, she recalls feeling like she couldn’t trust anyone, which led her to cutting a lot of people out of her life. The coup de grâce, though, was when her show Kendra Sells Hollywood, didn’t get renewed, leaving her feeling lost. She just wasn’t finding success in real estate like she wanted and that disappointment turned into despair:

“It was so scary for me to go through it. I wasn’t focusing on myself or my mental health. Here I was a single mom and I’ve been alone for years now.  But it’s also easy to feel like the world is caving in on you. I was trying to fight it on my own. I was trying to cure it on my own and you can’t do that. I was isolating, hiding, blaming myself, blaming the world. I was spiraling out of control and I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to survive.”

Everything just seemed to be going wrong! Recalling her September panic attack, the former Playmate said she knew the exact moment when she had to accept she needed help:

“There was a moment where I looked at my ex-husband and I said, ‘Take me to the hospital.’ To accept help that day and for Hank to drive me to the hospital was a huge day in both of our lives. It was a big day for my family and kids. I didn’t realize how bad I was suffering or what people were seeing of me until I got there. I had to really look in the mirror and be like, ‘I need help.'”

It got so bad, in fact, Kendra revealed she used to pray for God to end her life:

“I would never go out of my way to kill myself, but I was just like, ‘God, take me. God, take me.’ To accept medication was the hardest thing to do. It meant I had to accept that I have some mental illness, and I didn’t want to have to do that.”

Accepting that help is needed is one of the hardest, but most important, steps for healing. She’s so brave for pushing herself like she did.

Related: Living In The Playboy Mansion Gave Holly Madison ‘Body Dysmorphia’?!

Looking back at her infamous former boyfriend, who was 60 years her senior, she realized she’d actually struggled with her mental health long before he came into the picture:

“I was on drugs at age 15 and I had a lot of issues. I really got into deep regret [afterwards]… deep. I struggled with depression before and at the mansion. I drank a lot. I was there for the partying, okay, let’s just be real. I was not there for Hugh Hefner to be my boyfriend.”

Moving into the Playboy Mansion didn’t help, either. She says it ruined her already wavering self-esteem. And despite being just a kid back then, she still questions a lot of her choices:

“I hated my boobs, my body, my face. I got to that point where I started hating myself. Why did I have sex with Hugh Hefner at that age? … Why did I do that? Why did I go to the mansion in the first place? Why did I get big boobs? Why am I a sex symbol? Why did I bleach blonde my hair? Why did I do this to myself? Why did I?”

So, so sad. Obviously she isn’t the first Playboy model to look at her time at the Mansion with a much darker lens now.

But today, Kendra is looking up and hoping to leave that “vortex of horrible things” in the past as she pursues her future. And despite a ton of drama in the past which led to her and Hank’s rift, they’re actually doing much better now — as co-parents, not romantically:

“I want to let myself be. Hank driving me to the hospital that day was out of care. It wasn’t out of marriage. We’re co-parenting really well. That’s what divorce is about. We’re doing a really good job.”

She revealed she still very much loves and “will always love” her ex, even if their split worsened her depression:

“It crushed me because I loved him so much and I never really knew what marriage and love was. I never really grew up in a home of marriage and love. That’s why I haven’t been dating because I still am trying to shake off my divorce. That caused my depression too. I loved Hank and I still do. I will always love him. And honestly, he’s the most amazing father I could have ever asked for.”

Rekindling their romance isn’t in the cards for Kendra and Hank, though! She’s got her sights set on the celeb-exclusive dating app Raya:

“I need to get out there. I’ve been on Raya’s dating list now for two years now. That’s what the universe is saying to me? What the hell?”

The Kendra on Top star admits she would like to get married again — but she’s got all her focus on making sure her kids don’t go through what she did:

“I see loopholes in my life where I’m trying to correct now so my daughter doesn’t have to experience what I did at a young age. I don’t want my daughter sexualized like I was. As a mom I look back at what happened to where I felt like I had to date an older man at the age of 18. What brought me to that point? These are the things I’m trying to correct in my parenting for my daughter. What can I do to show her that she is more than that? And that’s what I am doing now in real estate. And that’s truly the gift I’m trying to give back to my children.”

For the first time in a long time, however, the model says she “felt like me again” after she sought treatment for her struggles:

“Depression is something that doesn’t just go away. It’s something that stays with you through life. You just have to learn to work with it and accept it. And it’s a part of me. What therapy did was that it built this tool system for me. So now I have the strength — I have the strength and the foundation I need to overcome my depression. Today was the first time in a long time that I felt like me again. Today I am aligned. The ocean feels so good jumping in. It’s a wakeup, like a refresh button. We’re capturing the new me.”

And that “new me” is someone Kendra is learning to love each and every day! She wrapped up her interview by leaving everyone with one thought:

“I’m living now. I was finally okay with my boobs today! A year ago, I was body-shaming. Now, I feel beautiful. I’m not wild as in taking my clothes off, partying, drinking tequila wild, but I really faced myself and my demons. I feel like I’m the best mom I can be. I’m giving my kids all I got. I’m giving myself all I got. I’m so proud of myself for battling this and finding the solution and getting the treatment I needed … It’s one step at a time. I survived.”

So powerful! We’re so proud of Kendra for taking care of herself, too. Mental health is never an easy thing to navigate, and she’s come such a long way.

Reactions, Perezcious readers?

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to

[Image via Kendra Wilkinson/Instagram]

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Jan 17, 2024 07:47am PDT