'Vanderpump Rules' Star Tom Sandoval Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles and Sobriety on Podcast
In a candid revelation on the inaugural episode of his Everybody Loves Tom podcast, Vanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval shared the depths of his mental health struggles, including contemplating suicide amidst backlash over his affair with Raquel Leviss. Sandoval recounted a chance encounter with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington just days before the musician's tragic suicide in July 2017. He expressed that he now understands the dark thoughts Bennington faced, revealing, "There were some times where I felt very, very close [to suicide]."
The reality star described entering a troubling "headspace" where his thoughts became a "domino effect," causing his world to collapse and leaving him unable to see beyond his overwhelming emotions. Sandoval emphasized the isolating nature of such moments, where peripheral vision fades and the ability to envision a future dissipates. Reflecting on a particularly difficult day, Sandoval disclosed that his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Madix, was filming a commercial for Duracell batteries that mocked his previous criticism of her battery choices. This compounded the emotional turmoil he was already experiencing.
Despite the dark times, Sandoval expressed gratitude for the friends who supported him during these struggles. He acknowledged the importance of their presence during his darkest moments. In a positive turn, Sandoval shared that he has been living a sober lifestyle since April 4th or 5th, opting to quit drinking and smoking cigarettes. He admitted that he hadn't widely publicized this decision during the process, believing that it helped him maintain focus. Sandoval credited his commitment to sobriety and a healthier lifestyle as potentially life-saving, especially during the tumultuous period of backlash.
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The reality star disclosed that during the peak of the controversy, he would either be working out or drinking, creating a destructive pattern. Notably, Sandoval linked his decision to quit drinking with his band, Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras, going on tour last spring. He believes this change in lifestyle may have played a crucial role in turning his life around. The revelations about Sandoval's struggles coincide with Raquel Leviss' own challenges. Around the time Sandoval embraced sobriety, Leviss sought treatment for her mental health at the Meadows Trauma Center. She has since returned to social media and addressed the backlash on Bethenny Frankel's podcast, confirming her departure from Vanderpump Rules.
Tom Sandoval's openness about his mental health journey adds a new dimension to the often glamorized reality TV world. By sharing his struggles and triumphs, he hopes to foster understanding and support for those facing similar challenges. As both Sandoval and Leviss navigate their paths to healing, their stories shed light on the importance of mental health awareness in the public eye.
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