Ever felt so stressed about something you feel like you can’t even breath? You’re not alone, here are five celebs who suffer with anxiety and panic attacks
Everyone has felt those familiar pangs of unease, worry, and fear from time to time. Anxiety reaches its long fingers out to us all, but it’s not always clear what causes it. It could be a hospital visit, sitting an exam, or starting a new job, but when you feel that tightness in your chest, or tense jaw clenching, it could be a sign that anxiety has grasped you.
almost one in five people feel anxious all of the time
When a person suffers from anxiety, they may also be vulnerable to panic attacks. This is the sudden acceleration of an overwhelming physical response to fear, stress or excitement. Sensations felt during a panic attack could include a pounding heartbeat, feeling faint, nausea, and feeling unable to breathe.
A YouGov survey of 2,300 adults in Britain carried out for Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 reveals that ‘almost one in five people feel anxious all of the time or a lot of the time’. As part of the annual Health Survey for England, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) announced today that research shows almost half of adults have struggled with emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression, and women are more likely to suffer.
It is clear that anxiety is a common emotion that nobody is immune from, and celebrities are no exception. So here are five of the most influential women in the public eye who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.
she described herself as a weirdo
It’s hard to believe that the jesting Jennifer Lawrence is a victim of an emotional disorder, but in an interview with Vogue magazine, the loveable blonde admitted to suffering from anxiety as a child.
When speaking with French magazine, Madame Figaro, Lawrence stated that before starting school her mother used to tell her that there was a ‘light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly’, but then goes on to say that when she started school ‘the light went out’. Thinking back to her school days, she described herself as ‘a weirdo’. Lawrence assumes that it was ‘a kind of social anxiety’, as her fears seemed to stem from parties and field trips.
Lawrence believes that the true cure for her anxiety was when she started acting. She stated that she had been to see a shrink, but it had not worked. However, the first time she found herself on stage her mother had said she ‘saw the change that was taking place in me. She saw my anxieties disappear’. Lawrence said that acting made her happy and made her feel capable, ‘whereas before I felt worthless’.
she constantly harboured fears that the relationship would not last
Taylor Swift oozes confidence in every aspect of her career. Seeing her strutting down the runway at the Victoria Secret fashion show you can’t help but wish you could be her. This bold blonde could fool anyone as she swans across a stage, but even she has admitted to having battled with anxiety.
During a performance at the Grammy Museum, Swift revealed to the audience that she had developed anxiety whilst in a relationship with an unnamed ex-boyfriend. Although fans have theorised that she is referring to former boyfriend Harry Styles, Swift has not confirmed these speculations.
When introducing the song ‘Out of the Woods’, (see video here), she candidly states that ‘it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative’. She also expresses that she constantly harboured fears that the relationship would not last, and would worry about what would be the next thing that might ‘deter this’. She implied that she lacked confidence regarding the stability of the relationship, saying ‘how long do we have before this turns into just and awful mess and we break up? Is it a month? Is it three days?’
I have panic attacks where I feel like everyone is breathing my air
Madonna is a veteran of the music world. In her 30-year career she has performed in front of millions of people all over the world. However, even this seasoned performer has revealed that she regularly suffers with panic attacks. In an interview with Dazed & Confused in 2008 she remarks that there are times on stage when she feels ‘invincible’, but she goes on to say that there are other times when she feels like she ‘might just die on stage’. She states, ‘I have panic attacks where I feel like everyone is breathing my air and I cannot live up to everybody’s expectations’.
Madge explained that it’s difficult to describe the reasons for the attacks, but highlights that she knows that it is not a fear of performing that sparks them, but thinks they are triggered by a feeling of claustrophobia. When an attack occurs she deals with them by turning her back to the audience, taking a deep breath, and telling herself that it is only temporary. You GO girl.
I just needed to know that no one was going to die
Emma Stone is most known for her charm and great sense of humour. However, when talking about her childhood, she admitted to Vogue in 2012 that she has had experience with anxiety and panic attacks. She recalled that, ‘the first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mum and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop’.
She explained that she used to go to the school nurse at lunch time wringing her hands, and would continuously beg her mum to tell her exactly how the day was going to be. Stating that, ‘I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change’.
Stone says that when she discovered acting the ‘immediacy’ of it helped her to prevent the anxiety from effecting her thoughts. ‘You can’t afford to think about a million other things,’ she states, ‘you have to think about the task at hand’.
The downs were outweighing the ups
In 2014 Leona Lewis tweeted a handwritten letter to her fans opening up about her battle with depression. In an attempt to reach out to other people who may understand her feelings. The letter highlights the ‘downs’ she felt before leaving Simon Cowell’s record company, Syco. ‘The downs were outweighing the ups. So I’m writing this letter for anyone who has ever felt the same way’.
In 2015, during an interview with The Telegraph, she spoke out again about her emotional battles, explaining that she now denies the claim of ‘depression’ originally stated in her open letter, and now says that she thinks she was suffering from anxiety.
Lewis admits that she worries a lot about family and the future, but she has now taught herself how to prevent negative thoughts.
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