12 Celebrities Talk About Their Struggle With Anxiety

'It’s OK to say how you feel.'
By Braelyn Wood and Samantha Swantek
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1. "Everyone deals with hard times in their lives differently. I'm generally not a nervous person but I get anxious. I also get nauseated; I feel like I can't eat when it is really bad, but I force myself to stay healthy. Still, when my anxiety is extreme, it feels like my body is constantly burning calories all day long. On these kind of days, I try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and too much sugar—basically anything that could make it worse. One thing I've found that really helps is working out. Of course, when I'm having an anxious day, my workout is so much harder. But that's when it feels good to power through it!” —Kourtney Kardashian on her blog Sincerely Kourt

2. "I'm scared of audiences. I get shitty scared. One show in Amsterdam, I was so nervous I escaped out the fire exit. I've thrown up a couple of times. Once in Brussels, I projectile-vomited on someone. I just gotta bear it. But I don't like touring. I have anxiety attacks a lot." —Adele in Rolling Stone

3. "I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip [of myself going makeup-free in Los Angeles] I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself. I wanted to protect her and tell her it's ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety, and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina" —Gina Rodriguez on Instagram


4. "There's millions of people out there who suffer from crippling anxiety, whether it be from fainting or from sweating or so many [other] different ailments from anxiety. There's so many people that have it and suffer from it, so you're not alone. It gets so much better once you're able to learn the tools to cope with it." —Colton Haynes for the #MyYoungerSelf Campaign

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5.  "School was a big source of anxiety for me. I hated school. I have social anxiety, and it developed when I was a kid. I had trouble going to birthday parties. It was always there. I begged my mom to let me be home-schooled at one point for a semester because I was so miserable at school. I wasn’t being bullied—there was no particular reason—but depression runs in my family. That’s something that can be hard to come to terms with. There wasn’t a particular reason why I was feeling this way, but you don’t need a reason—it’s depression." —Lili Reinhart to Glamour

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6. "Tours are a really lonely place for me. My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it — which, I think, was a complete distortion. What I wanted to say is that life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it. But I wasn’t figuring my own stuff out, so I felt I had no wisdom to share" —Selena Gomez to Vogue


7.  " I started having panic attacks, and the scariest part was it could be triggered by anything. I used to cover my face with a pillow whenever I had to walk outside from the car to the studio. My new life as a pop star certainly wasn’t as glamorous as all my friends from home thought. Secretly, I was really struggling physically and emotionally. I think part of what sparked my panic attacks was not feeling confident enough to believe in myself—I was scared I wasn’t as good of a singer as everyone thought I was. And as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down." —Ellie Goulding in a personal essay for Well + Good

8. "When I was about seven, I was convinced the house was burning down. I could sense it. Not a hallucination, just a tightening in my chest, feeling I couldn't breathe, like the world was going to end. There were some flare-ups like that, but my anxiety was constant. I would ask my mom a hundred times how the day was gonna lay out. I wrote this book called I Am Bigger Than My Anxiety that I still have: I drew a little green monster on my shoulder that speaks to me in my ear and tells me all these things that aren't true. And every time I listen to it, it grows bigger. If I listen to it enough, it crushes me. But if I turn my head and keep doing what I'm doing—let it speak to me, but don't give it the credit it needs—then it shrinks down and fades away." —Emma Stone to Rolling Stone

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 9.  "I would have anxiety attacks [as a child star]. I'd get hot flashes, feel like I was about to pass up or throw up. It would happen a lot before shows, and I'd have to cancel. Then the anxiety started coming from anxiety. I would be with my friends, thinking, I should be having so much fun. You get in this hole that seems like you're never going to be able to get out of." —Miley Cyrus to Marie Claire

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10. I’ve actually had anxiety to the point where I’ve felt drugged. I actually ended up having problems with my thyroid because I was so stressed out and so anxious at times in my life. I remember one time I actually went to the hospital because I physically felt like I had been drugged; I was having an anxiety attack. On a day-to-day basis if I get anxiety, I just need to take a couple deep breaths because sometimes I feel like I can’t catch my breath. Sometimes I’ll get very shaky and very scattered. You know restless leg syndrome? It’s like restless body syndrome." —Demi Lovato to the Huffington Post

11. "People use ‘panic attack’ very casually out here in Los Angeles, but I don’t think most of them really know what it is. Every breath is labored. You are dying. You are going to die. It’s terrifying. And then when the attack is over, the depression is still there." —Sarah Silverman to Glamour

12. "If you grow up in the industry, it forces you to be agreeable at all times. When it came to saying, ‘I’m tired and I want to figure out how to balance my life better,’ ‘I feel lonely,' ‘I’m afraid of my stardom’—those things I could not say. It’s OK to say how you feel. It feels good to be there for you." —Keke Palmer to Cosmopolitan


Follow Braelyn on Twitter and Cosmo Celeb on Facebook

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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