Jazz Jennings opens up about 'severe' mental health struggles and 100-pound weight gain

·3-min read

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Photo via @jazzjennings_
Photo via @jazzjennings_

Jazz Jennings is getting real with her fans about her struggles with mental health.

In a recently-released trailer for the upcoming season of "I Am Jazz," the transgender activist and reality television star opened up about her "substantial" weight gain and its connection to her mental health. 

The 21-year-old began by revealing that her plans to attend Harvard were derailed due to her mental health and since the previous season of the show, she has gained 100 lbs. 

"Two years ago, I was on my way to one of the greatest institutions in the world [Harvard], but I was actually struggling severely with mental health issues," Jennings said. “I started binge-eating and I gained weight and more weight and more weight. And now, almost 100 pounds heavier, here I am today.”

In the following scene, Jennings explains that carrying extra weight has made it difficult for her to participate in certain activities and sports.

“I’m out of shape. Be easy on me,” she said, adding, “Having all this extra weight, I can’t do so many things with my body that I used to be able to do.”

She revealed that a typical breakfast for her may include, “fast food, maybe a doughnut or two and then maybe two bagels.”

Jennings' mother, Jeanette, showed some concern for her daughter's health.

“Even when we think we’re doing something right, she falls off the wagon,” she said, adding that Jennings has been “making empty promises” to work on herself.

“You’re like, ‘I got this. I can do this. I’m gonna change,’” Jeanette added, to which Jennings replied, “I can tell you that it’s different now because it’s now or never. It’s now or never at this point.”

Fans have responded to the trailer with supportive messages for Jennings, encouraging her to prioritize her mental health above all else.

"Jazz, you can do this," one Instagram user wrote.

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"Instead of focusing on all those surgeries at such a young age, people should have been looking out for what was going on with her mental health," said another. "This poor girl has suffered trying to sort out her identity in the public eye, putting her physical image above everything else, and now she's gonna have to do double the amount of work to get back on her feet. Love yourself, baby girl. Focus on you and your health and nothing else."

"Poor Jazz. I feel for her. She needs help all around — mentally and physically," added another.

"Instead of getting a boob job before the age of 21, her family should have been checking in on her mentally. Y'all really did not prioritize properly and now this poor girl is paying the price. We love you, Jazz! Keep your head up!" someone else wrote.

Another person pointed out that while it might be a long road to recovery, it's not too late.

"This trailer really makes it seem like it's too late for Jazz to turn her life around. She's literally 21, her life is just beginning. If she puts her mind to it, she can get the help she needs and be living her best life a year from now."

“I Am Jazz” Season 7 premieres Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.

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