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RuPaul’s Drag Race star Katya to take a break from drag after opening up about mental health

Isla Russell January 16, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova visits the Build Series to discuss the "Trixie & Katya Show" at Build Studio on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Katya Zamolodchikova has opened up about her mental health in an Instagram live stream.

The drag queen star, who is known for being outrageously outspoken, took to Instagram to reveal to her fans yesterday that she is taking a break from drag in the name of self-care.

The video was originally recorded in French, however, Reddit user Designerine managed to translate the message into English.

Katya, real name Brian McCook, admitted in her video: “I’m tired, I’m exhausted, my brain doesn’t work anymore, because of the drugs, because of all the gigs, I need to take vacations, like a normal person.”

Katya rose to fame in season seven of the World of Wonder reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag race when she placed fourth on the show, only just missing out on a place in the top three.

Katya auditioned four times before being accepted onto RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2015 (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

However, mother of drag RuPaul saw something special in her and asked her back to compete in season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars where she was a runner-up to winner Alaska.

In her Instagram Katya also breached the subject of her drug addiction so as not to worry her dedicated fans: “I’m not dying, I want to live. I’m a drug addict, but I’m sober. Today, and yesterday. And before. But I need to take a vacation, because I want to survive, like Gloria Gaynor.”

In the past, Katya has admitted her struggle with mental health and drug addiction. Whilst participating in RuPaul’s podcast ‘What’s the T? With Michelle Visage’ in 2016, she revealed that after suffering a nervous breakdown during her sophomore year she used drugs to pull her through her depression.

Season seven best friends Katya and Trixie now have a TV show and YouTube show together (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Throughout her stint on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race Katya was not shy about admitting her anxiety. She was one year sober and was finding the process a struggle.

However, it wasn’t until episode 11 and the Hello Kitty challenge that her anxiety really came to head and she suffered an onset panic attack that was never aired.

Despite returning for All-Stars two as the same loud, brash, Russian drag queen that we saw and loved in season seven her confidence had drastically improved and thus she made it to the final.

Katya and Ginger were both season seven contestants and had only been out of the work room for a year before competing in All Stars two (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

In regard to why she chose to broadcast her message in French Katya cleared that up: “In French, because it’s the language of knowledge. All languages are languages of knowledge, but I speak in French because I need to speak slowly to speak correctly.”

Her message was obviously a calculated one and something that she felt she needed to say and explain properly.

Since leaving Drag Race Katya has only grown both as a drag queen and in confidence. She now hosts has her own YouTube show UNHhhh with fellow season seven comedy queen Trixie Mattel where they discuss varying topics from love to children in 15-minute episodes.

Additionally, she tours the world, attends drag conventions globally, and stars in her own TV show on Viceland, The Trixie and Katya Show. It’s no wonder this queen needs a break.

Katya is an incredibly intelligent queen- she is bilingual and a gymnast (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)

Luckily it seems that her fans are more than willing to give her the support and time off that she needs. People commenting on the Reddit translation of her Instagram video were showing incredible support with comments such as: “Honestly, I’m happy that she’s dealing with her issues and trying to be happier. Her health should come before our entertainment.”

Hopefully, Katya books herself a holiday soon and gives herself some time to relax. Get well soon Katya.

More: drag queen, Instagram live, LGBT, mental health, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, US

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