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Ryan Guzman, ‘9-1-1’ star, recalls mental health crisis

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — Ryan Guzman’s character on the drama series “9-1-1-” has struggled with mental health challenges. The actor can relate.

Guzman, who plays firefighter Eddie Diaz, was a recent guest on the podcast “I’ve Never Said This Before With Tommy DiDario,” where he got personal about his own mental health.

He was asked about Season 5 in which his character, who suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome, has a break down. Guzman said it was “cathartic.”

“I’ve gone through my own mental health issues as far as like my own depression and anxiety,” he said. “I was raised in an age when men aren’t vulnerable and aren’t allowed to show feelings.”

Guzman said he found it therapeutic to be able incorporate some of his own experiences into his performance.

“About six and a half, seven years ago…I had my own mental health crisis and I tried at one point in time to take my own life,” Guzman said. “And luckily it didn’t work. Luckily I got a second chance. By the grace of God.”

Since then, the actor said he’s worked to “erase what got me there and build on what allowed me to live forward.” That moment and the death of his friend Stephen “tWitch” Boss, whom he greatly admired, were “probably the two biggest fundamental moments of my entire life and have allowed me to have a deeper sense of mercy and empathy towards every individual,” Guzman said.

“I would implore that all men renounce this fact that you’re a tough man, you have to hold all of this in,” he said. “Lean on your brother.”

Guzman, who starred the dance movies “Step Up Revolution” in 2012 and “Step Up All In” in 2014,” recently paid tribute to Boss with a dance video on social media.

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