Anxiety can affect anyone – it’s a crippling disorder that can make suffers feel paralysed trying to do even the simplest tasks.
And there’s still a massive stigma about talking about it- which is why Zayn Malik should be commended for his honesty after pulling out of his performance at the Capital Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium following an anxiety attack.
The 23-year-old former One Direction star posted a long apology on his Instagram explaining his decision to cancel.
He said: “Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me … with the magnitude of the event,I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career. I cannot apologise enough but I want to be honest with everyone who has patiently waited to see me, I promise I will do my best to make this up to everybody I’ve let down today.
“I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathise with my situation.”
And Zayn isn’t the only celebrity who suffers from the condition. A number of celebrities have opened up about their own battles with anxiety.
Amanda Seyfried: “I’ve been struggling with anxiety my whole life”
The actress might be famous for playing carefree characters but in real life, she regularly sees a therapist to cope with panic attacks.
She explains: “I have a lot of anxiety that I’ve been struggling with my whole life. So I’ve been working through it. I’m terrified, but this is exactly what I wanted.”
Amanda admits she endless worries about things that could go wrong particularly something happening to her dog, Finn.
She says: “I still do get terribly nervous and that’s partly due to the fact I think too much and overanalyse things. I’ll start worrying about my parents or my dog and I’ll picture him opening the window of my apartment and falling out, even though I cant get that thing open myself.”
The 30-year-old regularly sees a therapist to cope with her anxiety disorder.
She adds: “Therapy has been such a tool, and my therapist told me that I passed with flying colours but we’ll see how things go.”
Lena Dunham: “It’s why I don’t sleep at night”
The Girls actress has always been open about her struggle with her mental health saying she has “kind of worn anxiety grooves into my brain. It just doesn’t always sound good there.”
Speaing previously about her condition, she said: “I thought, in two and a half years, I’ll be 30, then 10 years from that I’ll be 40, then 10 years from that I’ll be 50. It’s why I don’t sleep at night.”
Lena has shared her experiences with mental health with her fans by making her character, Hannah in Girls have OCD.
As well as seeing a therapist and taking medication, the 30-year-old finds exercise has really helped her mindset and also stabilises her moods.
Posting a picture of herself on Instagram, she says: “To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.”
Ruby Wax: “I was too terrified to get up”
The commedienne has never shied away from talking about her lifetime struggle with depression. Things came to a head seven years ago when she had an episode so severe it left her “sat on a chair for months, too terrified to get up”.
Ruby decided she needed to do something to calm her mind. She studied a Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford – something which allowed her to delve into the hard science behind her condition.
She explains: “Mindfulness is the only thing I know to do that can dig me out of despair and give me even a few seconds of time out from me. I do it every morning. I’ll sit for 20 minutes.”
Emma Stone: “It just would not stop”
Emma Stone has had to deal wtih panic attacks since she was a child. Her anxiety is triggered by the fear of change and she felt unable to cope unless she was reassured that things were going to stay the same and that she would be safe.
She says: “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 mom and she brought me home, and for the the next three years, it just would not stop.”
The 27-year-old found acting was actually the perfect remedy to her attacks as it helped focus her mind.
She explains: “There’s something about the immediacy of acting. You can’t afford to think about the task at hand. Acting forces me to sort of be like a Zen master: What is happening right at the moment?”
Ellie Goulding: “Sick, horrible things would go through my mind”
The first time, the singer had a panic attack, she thought she was dying the pain was so bad.
As they became more frequent, the 29-year-old knew she had to get help for her crippling anxiety when it threatened to hinder her career.
She explains: “I was on a train going to a funeral and my heart was pounding; I thought I was having a heart attack. I was so scared I reached over to this woman and said, ‘I think I’m dying.’ I called a friend to take me to hospital, where they told me it was just a panic attack. From that day, I kept having them.
It was the weirdest time of my life.
Sick, horrible things would go through my mind but I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.. It got to the point when I couldn’t even get into the car and go to the studio.”
The singer, whose father left home when she was five, had therapy and discovered the attacks were linked to the past.
She adds: “I was skeptical at first because I’d never had therapy, but not being able to leave the house was so debilitating.
And this was when my career was really taking off.
“My surroundings would trigger a panic attack. I went to see an amazing woman to have CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), and she flushed everything out. It took a lot of going back to my childhood. With the help of things like Diazepam in small doses to relax me at certain times, the attacks slowly stopped and now I’m through it.”