Oprah Winfrey Nearly Had Nervous Breakdown Last Year, Mogul Says

Image: Oprah Winfrey Nearly Had Nervous Breakdown Last Year, Mogul Says

Monday, 23 Sep 2013 08:55 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Oprah Winfrey suffered symptoms of a nervous breakdown last year while struggling to keep her OWN television network afloat while filming "The Butler," the media mogul revealed in an interview airing on Access Hollywood this week.

Winfrey, 59, said she came to the realization that she was nearing her breaking point while interviewing Jason Russell last October. Russell, who directed the short documentary "Kony 2012" and spearheaded a social movement to capture the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, suffered a nervous breakdown in March 2012 and was diagnosed with "brief reactive psychosis, an acute state brought on by extreme exhaustion, stress, and dehydration," according to CNN.

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"I was sitting and listening to Jason Russell describe his symptoms, saying, 'Um, this sounds pretty familiar to me,'" Winfrey told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson in an interview scheduled to air Tuesday.

"I mean, I wasn't ready to go run naked in the streets. Let's make that very clear. But I had reached a point where I just couldn't take in any more stimulation. OK? That's what I meant by that," she said.

Winfrey said the symptoms were a result of just having too much on her plate — filming her part in Lee Daniels' "The Butler" while trying to run her TV network OWN.

"In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, 'All right, if I don't calm down I'm gonna be in serious trouble,'" she said. "I was in the middle of doing voiceovers, you know? And I remember closing my eyes in between each page because looking at the page and the words at the same time was too much stimulation for my brain."

The full Access Hollywood interview with Oprah will air Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

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