oprah winfrey kimmel

*There was a period of time last year when Oprah Winfrey became completely overwhelmed. She was dealing with her then-“struggling network,” as she calls it, and at the same time, she was shooting, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

The juggle proved too intense for Winfrey, she admits in a new Access Hollywood interview. Those reports that she endured signs of a nervous breakdown as a result? “That is true,” she says.

The emotional epiphany came to her last fall, when she was interviewing Kony 2012 director Jason Russell, whose own running-naked-in-the-streets-of-San-Diego meltdown went viral earlier that year.

“I was sitting and listening to Jason Russell describe his symptoms. … Saying, ‘Um, this sounds pretty familiar to me.'”

What were the symptoms?

“In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down I’m gonna 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.”

A couple of weeks later, while interviewing Fergie, Oprah realized she was ready to regain control of her life.

“I mean, I wasn’t ready to go run naked in the streets. Let’s make that very clear. But I had reached a point where I just couldn’t take in any more stimulation. OK? That’s what I meant by that.”

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