Skip to main contentSkip to footer

GMA's Ginger Zee reveals crippling health battle - and it's heartbreaking

ginger zee green
Hannah Hargrave
Hannah HargraveUS Deputy Editor
Share this:

Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee is the picture of health and yet she's battling a crippling sleep condition. 

The meteorologist suffers from narcolepsy and it took three major accidents to get a diagnosis. 

READ: Ginger Zee leaves fans concerned with worrying storm footage 

Ginger opened up about the condition and the difficult journey leading up to her health discovery in an honest interview on Narcolepsy 360 earlier this year. 

WATCH: Ginger Zee used to be an aerobics instructor 

When she was asked about her first symptoms she revealed: "I probably had them from mid-teens on. I remember in high school falling asleep in class which was not my MO. I was an over-achieving perfectionist."

Ginger said she couldn't understand why it kept happening and even when she fell asleep making love to her high school boyfriend it didn't twig.

MORE: GMA's Ginger Zee shares heartbreaking message with her followers

"I fell asleep in every movie I went to. Any time it was dark I would fall asleep. I went to college and it was another boyfriend who got to see my sleep first hand at night and noticed that was not normal."

MORE: Ginger Zee's controversial fashion statement divides fans 

ginger zee bikini© Photo: Instagram

Ginger was diagnosed when she was 21 

The much-loved TV star - who has been open about her battle with depression too - began having sleep paralysis and even toppled over teaching aerobics. 

She said: "In my mind I thought, 'I've had a heart attack'. That's the only thing that makes sense. I went and got a full body work-up."

But when they couldn't find anything wrong with her heart she continued with life until something terrible happened. 

MORE: Ginger Zee surprises husband with change to appearance - and his reaction is priceless

ginger zee kids© Photo: Instagram

Ginger with her two boys 

"I still didn't know that [I was falling asleep] until I got into three different car accidents. I began closet smoking. I was doing everything in my power to stay awake while driving because I was so afraid of hurting myself and other people in the car. 

"I couldn't explain why I was falling asleep and it wasn't until the third crash when I crossed the medium and almost went onto the other side of the highway that I got help. 

A sleep study at the age of 21 revealed she was narcoleptic and she said that diagnosis was just the start of her journey. 

READ: Ginger Zee shares exciting news with gorgeous photo - 'I can't wait' 

ginger zee legs© Photo: Getty Images

Ginger has been open about her battle with depression too 

Ginger began taking medication to stop her falling asleep but it worsened her depression. 

"I remember having down days," Ginger told The Saline Courier. "Which I didn’t understand were the beginning of depression, but the medication amplified it."

Ginger is now a happily married mother-of-two but knows her battle with depression is lifelong. 

She added: "I really do live my life committed to therapy. I treat it just like sit-ups and push-ups, just for the brain."

Read more HELLO! US stories here

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More Celebrity News

See more