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Jennie Garth talks 30-lb weight loss, drugs & anxiety in shocking '90210' memoir

Jenny Garth talks weight loss, drugs and diet in new book Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde.
NAL Hardcover

Actress Jennie Garth suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks at the height of her "90210" fame.

Garth, 41, said early fame was overwhelming, to the point where she felt paralyzed and didn't want to leave the house.

"I'd find myself getting anxious when strangers approached me," Jennie recounted in her just-released memoir, Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde.

"And simple tasks, like going to the grocery store, or the mall, or to get gas, became overwhelming exercises in having to be ‘on' when my natural inclination was to shut down and not interact with anyone. I began to suffer a level of anxiety that as, at times, nearly paralyzing."

Jennie said she often waited until after dark to run errands to avoid crowds, which came with the territory of being a famous young actress on a hot TV show. Looking back, she's glad her anxiety disorder never got too extreme.

"I wouldn't say that I ever stepped over the line into full-blown agoraphobia, but I would say I definitely came close," she said.

Garth also said it was easy to get her hands on drugs as a young celebrity, saying the personal assistants on the set of "90210" happily catered to her and her co-stars' every whim. Jennie insists she never took drugs, but said it would have been easy for her to go down that road. Garth's co-star, Shannon Doherty, often made tabloid headlines for her rumored drug addiction.

"They wouldn't have batted an eye if I asked for a bagel and a bump of coke," she said. "But I usually just had coffee." Garth revealed these on-set secrets, rivalries and her relationships with co-stars Jason Priestley, Shannon Doherty, Luke Perry, Brian Austin Greene, and Tori Spelling in Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde.

In her book, Jennie also detailed her depression and shock when her 11-year marriage to "Twilight" star Peter Facinelli abruptly ended in 2012. The couple has three daughters. Shortly after their split, Garth lost 30 pounds in six months after overhauling her diet and working out regularly.

Jennie credits regular exercise for helping her overcome her post-divorce depression and for improving her mental and physical health. Garth's workouts now include plyometrics, kickboxing and hiking. While she was thrilled with how her weight loss transformed her appearance, she's more impressed with how it made her feel.

"Now I feel stronger and more confident in my body," she said. "Every day, I just renew my healthy choices. I feel really good about myself now, and I don't want to do anything to change that."

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