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Oprah Winfrey Reveals Near Nervous Breakdown

Rob Kim/Getty Images for Hearst(LOS ANGELES) -- For nearly three decades, media mogul Oprah Winfrey was the queen of daytime television.  But Winfrey -- one of the richest, most powerful women in the world -- is now revealing that she suffered a near nervous breakdown last year.

Speaking in an interview with Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson, Winfrey described the symptoms she experienced.

“It was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing,” she said, adding, “I thought … 'if I don’t calm down I’m going be in serious trouble.’  I was in the middle of doing voiceovers, you know?  And I remember closing my eyes in between each page because looking at the page and the words at the same time was too much stimulation for my brain.”

Winfrey said her epiphany about what was happening to her came in October 2012 when she was doing an interview with Kony 2012 director Jason Russell.  Ten days after Russell’s video was released in March of last year, a naked and screaming Russell was held down near a San Diego intersection until police arrived.  No charges were filed.

As Russell described his very public breakdown, Winfrey says she realized she could relate.

“I was sitting and listening to Jason Russell describe his symptoms...saying, ‘Um, this sounds pretty familiar to me,’” she said.

At the time, Winfrey was struggling to save OWN, her failing TV network.  In addition, she was flying across the country to interview celebrities for her show, all while filming her lead role in Lee Daniels’ film, The Butler.

Winfrey told Robinson that it wasn’t until her interview for OWN with Black Eyed Peas’ singer Fergie, whose father was battling cancer at the time, that she decided to slow down and take better care of herself.  That interview aired just days after Winfrey’s sit-down with Russell.

“I had reached a point where I just couldn’t take in anymore stimulation,” she said.

Winfrey’s full interview with Access Hollywood will air over several evenings this week.

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