Oprah Admits Near Breakdown After Nasty Stress Spiral

Did you know that Oprah nearly had a nervous breakdown last year?

While Oprah has been at the top of the media food chain for what seems like forever, even the seemingly Teflon talk queen has bad years — and apparently for the Big O, 2012 was one of them.

There was a time when it seemed like Oprah could do no wrong, and even her endorsement of something as simple as a pair of socks or a book sent retailers into a frenzy trying to keep up with demand. Oprah was on all her own covers for O Magazine and left TV at the top of her game to start her own network.

But sometimes being in charge can wear you down — and even Oprah admits it’s not all easy all the time. The star was confronted with a question about rumors of a nervous breakdown last year, and she confessed.

It seemed that Winfrey was a bit overwhelmed by the change in her long-time routine, and all the new projects on which she was working jumbled up into a constant stream of confusion. She recalls trying to read lines, and a slow dawning that her work had become a bit too much.

Oprah says:

“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.’ 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.”

But like Oprah might say, that wasn’t even her “lightbulb moment” — and as many of us could probably understand, it wasn’t until she observed someone else in a similar state that awareness about her episode dawned.

The star was interviewing the guy behind Kony 2012, and he’d suffered a similar stress breakdown. She explains:

“I was sitting and listening to Jason Russell describe his symptoms…. Saying, ‘Um, this sounds pretty familiar to me.'”

Oprah says her near nervous breakdown luckily didn’t inspire her to go streaking — but also says that she took it as a warning to slow down.