Jodie Sweetin knows that she has been lucky during the COVID-19 pandemic — she's been able to stay home with her kids and no one in her immediate family even contracted the virus. But as someone with a history of severe anxiety and depression, the Full House star struggled.
Sweetin, 39, "was a mess" for most the pandemic, and it affected her weight, she told host Allison Kugel on the Allison Interviews podcast.
"I was not a fully functioning person," the actress said. "I lost like 37 lbs. during [quarantine], because I'm a stress starver, and not in a good way. I just stopped eating. I couldn't keep food down."
Sweetin said that the pandemic challenged her mental health.
"I have severe anxiety and depression anyway, so it really didn't do any favors for my mental health," she said. "I really struggled with it, and for me it was a time of feeling really out of control."
The mom of two said that she's worried about how the pandemic will continue to affect everyone's mental health for years to come.
"I can only imagine, as semi-smooth sailing it was for us, what other people went through," she said. "I think that collective trauma and pain has really affected us, and is really going to affect everyone's mental health in ways that we haven't seen yet."
"I can't imagine how it affected people who were working on the front lines," she added. "People who were nurses, people who were losing family members to COVID. I fell apart and I was managing to do okay but I was terrified for my kids and the world and all of it."
Sweetin has been working on managing her mental health ever since she went sober in 2008 after 15 years of abusing drugs and alcohol. During those days, she said, her anxiety was even worse, and she felt as though her brain was constantly filled with voices telling her negative and "awful" things about herself.
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These days, Sweetin is "thankful" that mental health is widely discussed and de-stigmatized.
"I'm always very honest that, for me, medication has been key. Otherwise my struggle was so bad I wasn't getting out of bed," she said. "Now that I know when I need to speak up for myself, even into my thirties, feeling like I needed some therapy and I probably need a psychiatrist for some meds, and all of these things to start taking care of myself."