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Sanaa Lathan talks about her decision to give up alcohol

Sanaa Lathan at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego. (307571)
Sanaa Lathan at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego. Credit: Gage Skidmore

Sanaa Lathan recently revealed that she quit drinking alcohol three years ago as part of a plan to improve her overall mental and physical health, according to PEOPLE magazine.

“I stopped drinking about three years ago,” said Lathan in an early August edition of the magazine. “Alcohol was not going well with me physically. Just, it was not working anymore. It affects everything, and that’s part of the reason why I stopped, because even if you’re going out a couple of times a week and you’re drinking, it was starting to affect me throughout the week. It wouldn’t be necessarily a hangover, but it definitely dimmed my energy. I didn’t feel as good. It was affecting anxiety.”

“You don’t realize how over time it gets your brain out of balance as well,” she adds. “And the more I educated myself on really what it does to you … I have a mother who has never drank, and she’s probably the funnest person, the happiest person, because there’s this whole belief that you can only have fun with alcohol. I had to really reprogram that aspect, because it’s just all over in our culture. So, I haven’t missed it. My life has definitely become more of a morning life, but I can still go out and have fun.”

“I grew up with a mother who taught me about meditation so, I did it on and off,” she says. “The reason why I came to this practice was several years ago, I went through a lot of trauma. I had a best friend who died suddenly. She was not sick. It was completely unexpected. I didn’t process it. I was in a shock type of situation.”

Lathan said dealing with a lot of trauma all at once  also led to panic attacks  as well.

“I didn’t process it and just kept on being the strong girl, being a strong woman,” she says. “And then several months later, I started having panic attacks. I didn’t know what a panic attack was. Little did I know that it’s a real thing, and I would get three to five a day, even if I was happy.”

“I went to the doctor and he was like, ‘This is a result of trauma that you did not process correctly. It’s when your body. It’s handling it.’ And he was like, ‘There’s medications, but you can try holistic things first.’ And I always tend to do the holistic thing first, before I go a traditional route. So I started [meditating], and as soon as I started, they went away. There’s so many benefits. And so, I’m a huge believer, a huge advocate.”