Sarah Hyland Bravely Opens Up About Thoughts of Suicide

Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland has been honest about her lifelong chronic illness (kidney dysplasia), as well as the support she's gotten from her family, friends, and boyfriend Wells Adams. Hyland says she was very close to not making it through the toughest time in her life.

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Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland has been refreshingly candid about her lifelong chronic illness (kidney dysplasia), as well as the support she's gotten from her family, friends, and boyfriend Wells Adams. Her bravery and transparency, in turn, have inspired others who are suffering. But on The Ellen DeGeneres ShowHyland says she was very close to not making it through the toughest time in her life.

She was "very, very, very close" to suicide, Hyland told DeGeneres. "After 26/27 years of just always being sick and being in chronic pain every single day and you don’t know when you’re going to have the next good day, it’s really, really hard,” she said. She even wrote mental letters to her loved ones, explaining "why I did it and my reasoning behind it, how it was nobody’s fault."

But saying it out loud to a close friend really helped after she'd "kept it to myself for months and months at a time," she said. "Saying it out loud really, really makes it sound almost ridiculous and it puts it into perspective."

"It ended up being myself that got me out of that,” she added. "I had to do it on my own. I told myself I had to do it on my own." Hyland made sure to say she doesn't speak for everyone harboring such thoughts, and that everyone is different.

It's not the first time Hyland has bravely spoken out about her mental health struggles. In an interview with Self late last year, she explained:

When a family member gives you a second chance at life, and it fails, it almost feels like it's your fault. It's not. But it does...For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn't want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad.

She added: ""For anybody that wants to reach out to somebody but doesn't really know how because they're too proud or they think that they'll be looked upon as weak, it's not a shameful thing to say. It's not a shameful thing to share."

These days, Hyland is feeling better physically, particularly after her second kidney transplant. Judging by Adams' Instagram, her life is also looking much better these days...and so is his.

Once you see what he's really talking about, it's adorable.

If you or anyone you know is struggling or having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

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Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.