The Truth About Vinny Guadagnino's Struggle With Anxiety

Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino is a pioneer in many ways, but the Staten Island native takes the most pride in being one of the first TV personalities to openly discuss their struggles with anxiety. "I had anxiety on TV, before it was cool, okay? I had anxiety on TV before it was, like, a thing," Vinny joked while discussing his struggles with mental health on the Dec. 17, 2020 episode of the Click Bait podcast. "I used to scream out that I was having anxiety, and everyone would kind of look at me funny, like, 'What's wrong with this kid?' But now it's a lot more awareness behind it and a lot of people are talking about it," Vinny said.

Although talking about anxiety used to be taboo, Vinny sees that today a lot more people can understand and relate to his struggles that played out in the early days of Jersey Shore. Referring to one particular episode when he actually left the Shore House to deal with his mental health, he said, "People are like, 'Oh s–t, I get it now,'" when revisiting the clip. "Someone tweeted the other day, like, 'I totally watched that differently when I was a teenager.' And you're watching Jersey Shore just for the partying aspect of it to watching now as an adult and being like, 'I get the going through some stuff.'" Keep scrolling for more details about that moment and how Vinny deals with his anxiety today.

Filming Jersey Shore used to trigger Vinny's anxiety

Since fans saw Vinny Guadagnino's struggle with anxiety in the early years of Jersey Shore, the reality star has "developed a toolkit" of sorts to manage his triggers, he said on the Click Bait podcast. However, Vinny revealed that the previous parameters on the show used to make monitoring his anxiety more difficult.

"And as you guys know, being on a reality show, it's someone with anxiety's worst nightmare if you're locked up, you can't read a book, you can't turn on a TV. Back in the day, we were totally guerilla-style. We were totally closed off from the world," Vinny explained. "For the most part, I did pretty good at it, but sometimes — at that particular time when we were filming, we had filmed for three months straight — my body and my brain just couldn't take it anymore."

Sharing more details about his early departure from the show, he said a lot of his anxiety manifested physically, and in that instance, he hadn't slept in days. "And if I don't sleep I become like, manic, I'm just not myself anymore — and I was like, 'Guys, I've got to get out of here and just sleep.' And that's what made me end up leaving."

Dealing with anxiety is nothing new for Vinny

While Vinny Guadagnino has a better handle on his mental health today, he said on Click Bait that he's struggled with anxiety for most of his life. "Basically, I have a brain that — I'm an overthinker and I've had it since I was a little kid," he said, but with age, "you start to recognize and see the anxiety for what it is, instead of letting it totally consume you, like I used to do in the past."

As for how he advises his fans on how to manage mental health, he said, "I always tell everybody now, my biggest message is to never seek perfection with it and never seek to be cured of it, because you're never going to be perfect and that's never going to happen." He continued to explain, "It's really just about managing the stresses that happen that come to you on a day-to-day basis. Because you will face those stresses and it's just about managing them, handling them, and getting through to the next day."