Savannah Chrisley Opens Up About Mental Health and Past Suicide Attempt

The reality TV star got candid about her issues with depression in a new episode of her podcast.

Savannah Chrisley is getting candid about her struggle with mental health issues, and how being the star of a reality TV show impacted her health journey.

Savannah recently sat down with mental health advocate Patrick Custer for a new episode of her Unlocked podcast, and she reflected on the toll her role on Chrisley Knows Best took on her and her family due to their sudden fame.

"It really was, in a way, an acting gig. We knew we had to show up, we had to be funny, that's what we did," Savannah, 25, explained. "When we started... it was pitched to us that it would be a reality show. And then it quickly changed. I think people, production companies, networks, took advantage of my dad's ability to approach a situation with humor."

"They took advantage of that to the point to where he always had to be funny. Every situation had to be approached with humor," she said of her father, Todd Chrisley. "He's used his humor to cope with a lot of things throughout his life."

Savannah said her dad has undergone "a lot of therapy" in recent years to learn how to openly discuss things instead of deflect with jokes and humor, and that she's had to seek help for her own issues -- largely to do self-image problems.

"Growing up the way that I grew up and how everything was this picture-perfect image and I had an older brother who struggled with mental illness, addiction, all of those things, and then I was on TV at 16 and I was being told what I needed to look like, what I needed to be," she recalled. "It was like it created two [versions] of me. There was someone I wanted to be and then there was someone I was being forced to be."

"We want people to see what we want them to see, especially in the south, I feel like it's just a known thing -- you keep your dirty laundry inside. No one else is to know about it, no one else is to know about your issues," she continued. "Having a level of pride and not wanting anyone to think you're anything other than perfect creates this standard of you can't screw up, you can't make a mistake, everything has to be perfect."

Savannah explained that she still deals with mental health issues in her day-to-day life, sharing, "I definitely suffer from high-functioning depression."

It's something she's dealt with since her teenage years, when she attempted suicide at age "15 or 16," right before filming the first season of Chrisley Knows Best "was about to start."

"I didn't really have a life or death experience, but I did try committing suicide. So that potentially was maybe my life or death experience," Savannah shared. "But for me, it was more of a cry for help."

Savannah explained that memories of the experience are still blurry, but she knew that she didn't want to admit to what really happened, and when she woke up in the hospital she 

"Even at that time, I remember lying to the doctors because I didn’t want to be held at the hospital,” she said. “I just kind of remember masking over."

Ultimately, Savannah said she wanted people listening to her story to understand that "it's OK to ask the tough questions, and it's OK to take medication, and it's OK to not take it. It's whatever works best for you."

"Just ask yourself, 'Am I doing everything in my power to live the healthiest life I can possibly live?'" She added.

For more on Savannah, see the video below.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).