Gisele Bündchen Photo: Facebook

Gisele Bundchen has revealed how crippling panic attacks made her consider trying to end her life.

The 38-year-old supermodel developed a fear of tunnels, elevators and other enclosed spaces after a bad experience with a bumpy flight on a small plane in 2003 and she was left feeling so "powerless", she considered ending her life when she even found herself gripped by panic attacks even in her own home.

She said: "I had a wonderful position in my career, I was very close to my family, and I always considered myself a positive person, so I was really beating myself up. Like, 'Why should I be feeling this?' I felt like I wasn't allowed to feel bad.

"But I felt powerless. Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can't breathe, which is the worst feeling I've ever had. 

"I actually had the feeling of, 'If I just jump off my roof, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in.' "

Gisele eventually saw a specialist who prescribed Xanax but she didn't want to rely on medication.

She explained to People magazine: "The thought of being dependent on something felt, in my mind, even worse, because I was like, 'What if I lose that [pill]? Then what? Am I going to die?' The only thing I knew was, I needed help."

Instead, the brunette beauty - who has children Benjamin, eight, and five-year-old Vivian with husband Tom Brady - opted to overhaul her lifestyle, including cutting out sugar and taking up yoga and meditation.

She said: "I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking a bottle of wine and three mocha frappacinos every day, and I gave up everything in one day.

"I thought, if this stuff is in any way the cause of this pain in my life, it's gotta go."

And, after feeling she was "alone" in her soul-searching, she ended her relationship with then-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio but she has no regrets about their romance.

She said: "Everyone who crosses our path is a teacher, they come into our lives to show us something about ourselves.

"And I think that's what he was. What is good versus bad? I honour him for what he was."

* Contact South Africa's trusted helplines: Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567, SADAG Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837 and Lifeline’s Counselling Number: 0861 322 322