LOS ANGELES-Guardians of the Galaxy actress Zoe Saldana has said she was bullied at school for being an English speaker and has visited a therapist in the past.

The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ star moved to the Dominican Republic when she was nine following the death of her father, Aridio, and she was bullied because she used English words rather than talk in Spanish.

Zoe - whose mother Asalia Nazario is Puerto Rican - told Balance magazine: ‘’It was a very traumatising time for me because I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I was never equipped, trained or taught to defend myself. My mother never raised me believing that I was different, so the moment me and my sisters started getting attacked, shock was the first reaction.

‘’Bullies can reach a depth within you that may cause irreparable damage. There were years that I felt ashamed of myself, thinking, ‘I should have known better, I should have always stood up for myself.’ ‘’

Zoe returned to New York City when she was 15 but that childhood experience has had a long-lasting impact on her.

The 38-year-old actress has never shied away from her problems and has therapy to deal with any problems in her life.

She said: ‘’Therapy? yes. Whenever I’ve found myself in a rut, and tried bouncing ideas off people close to me and nobody gave me a good reference for what I should be doing, the best thing was to call my therapist. Seeking someone that is a professional is much better than venting with a friend who’s probably going to misguide you, or a mother who’ll always be biased because she loves you. Besides, in life if we’re not growing, we’re dying.’’

Zoe now has her own family; two-year-old twin sons Cy and Bowie and two-month-old son Zen with her 38-year-old husband, Italian artist Marco Perego-Saldana.

And she has revealed that the couple decided on the unusual name Zen for their youngest child while brushing their teeth as they try to live a life in a ‘’zen state’’.