Gina Rodriguez, Miss Bala Premiere

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Gina Rodriguez is not shying away from her mental health struggles. 

The Jane the Virgin star first got candid about her battle with anxiety in a 2017 Instagram post. And now, during a sit-down with NBC's Kate Snow at the Kennedy Forum, she's sharing more about her journey.

"I think I started dealing with depression around sixteen," the actress, 34, said "I started dealing with the idea of…everything is going to be better when I'm gone. Life will be easier. All the woes will be away, all the problems. Then I wouldn't have to fail or succeed, right? Then all this surmounting pressure would go away."

While recently filming the final season of her CW telenovela, the Emmy winner found herself suffering from debilitating panic attacks.

"There was a point where I couldn't, I couldn't push through every single time anymore," she shared. "And I'm one of those human beings, and I know either you're it or you know who they are, where I'm just like, ‘I'll handle it later. I'll deal with it later. I'll figure it out later. I just have to do this now.' All the while dealing with this, you know, your silent little dragon in your head."

"This season was the first season where I had to stop production," continued Rodriguez. "I had a really tumultuous season and I was unafraid for the first time to be like, 'I can't.'"

Today, she's speaking up to show other women and young girls they can too. After all, growing up, mental health was a taboo subject in her household.

"It has to be a part of the conversations I have with these young girls," Rodriguez, wed to Joe LoCicero, explained. "I can't just tell them to go out and make their dreams come true and then to ignore everything else."

Anxiety and depression are often symptoms her Hashimoto's disease, she said in a 2018 interview with Self, noting she would not let it defeat her: "I just have never allowed anything to stop me in my tracks, ever."

The Carmen Sandiego star also revealed she was taking too much thyroid medication, which was causing heart palpitations that spiraled into anxiety attacks. She lowered her dose and noticed a change in her life. 

"It's really important for us to be super self-aware," she told the publication. "I wasn't banking on that. I wasn't like, 'Hey, yea, let me get a disease that makes me have to be super aware.' I don't want to be super aware of myself all of the time."

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