The clouds are finally lifting for Kendra Wilkinson. Since being hospitalized for a panic attack in September, the single mom (she shares Hank Jr., 14, and Alijah, 9, with ex-husband Hank Baskett) has been on antipsychotic medication and in therapy working through years of depression and trauma stemming partly from her time living in the Playboy Mansion as one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends on Girls Next Door.

Now, says the 38-year-old, “I’m having more fun. I’m enjoying life again.” Here, the Kendra Sells Hollywood star, who recently attended the Children Uniting Nations 24th Annual Academy Awards Celebration & Viewing Dinner, exclusively talks to In Touch’s Lindsay Hoffman about her struggle — and the “new” Kendra.

IT: How are you feeling?

KW: It’s a healing process. It’s going to be a long time, but I’m finding happiness and joy again, which is very exciting.

IT: Why did you decide to share your story?

KW: I’ve been honest for a long time in the public eye, and it’s important for me to be honest [about this] as well. I’ve connected with so many people over it, who are like, “I never in a million years would have guessed you had that kind of thing going on” or “Oh, I relate to that.” Sharing stories is how we’re all going to get better.

IT: Tell us more about your issues.

KW: I love entertaining. I love making people laugh. It was awesome that I was able to give that kind of energy to people who need it. You fill up like a balloon like, “This is amazing.” But then you forget about yourself. Underneath that, there’s something else going on.

IT: And you ignored the problem?

KW: Yeah. I was ignoring all the signs and covering it up with humor. With all the work I’ve done, I’m able to find balance and understand it all more.

IT: How has this journey changed you?

KW: The new Kendra is about finding who I am in real life and not going over the top. Just not losing touch with my authentic self.

IT: How is coparenting with Hank?

KW: We’re doing a great job. He’s very supportive, I’m very supportive, and we just keep things really healthy. It’s as simple as working together and putting your issues aside to make the kids’ lives great.

IT: What if your kids wanted to follow your footsteps in the entertainment world?

KW: Well, [Hank’s] a basketball player, and [Alijah] is on a stage doing The Lion King, so both are involved in some form of entertainment. It’s my job to make sure they have a good childhood and real memories.

IT: Any advice for your younger self?

KW: My younger self is giving me advice now! I survived a lot in my younger years, and it rolled off my [back]. I was so strong and confident. Why was it so easy for me to not care so much what people were thinking? Now I’m like, “Come on, old Kendra. Come back.”

IT: You’ve done two seasons of Kendra Sells Hollywood. Would you ever do a show like Selling Sunset?

KW: I’ve just battled some pretty heavy mental challenges, so it would be fun to explore something like that. I’m up for anything.

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