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2 May 2019, 16:22 | Updated: 2 May 2019, 16:27
Perrie Edwards has given an emotional and honest interview about the extent to which her anxiety battle has affected her life, revealing she would fear being left alone when her attacks became so bad.
Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards recently opened up on her crippling anxiety battle and how it took its toll on her life away from the spotlight, and in her first ever solo interview the 25 year old has shared the extent to which her panic attacks began to affect her.
Despite being in one of the world’s most successful girl groups with a string of smash hits, Perrie’s anxiety attacks became so bad she would travel into work with her mum by her side.
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I’d like to open up about something. Venting your feelings is healthy and I want to be honest with you all. Over the past few years I have suffered really badly with anxiety and panic attacks. When I first started to feel the effects of anxiety I thought I was losing my mind and it terrified me. I felt so alone and like I was the first person in the world to ever experience it. - The first panic attack was so intense and overwhelming I felt like I was having a heart attack, I was so scared and confused and had no idea what was happening to me. I’m not sure what triggered that first one but it soon spiralled & I found myself in a really dark place, feeling alone and scared. I had people around me but I couldn’t explain to them what was happening to me or why. It affected me so badly that I didn’t even want to leave the house. I would step foot out the door and feel the overwhelming need to go straight back inside. It completely took over my life. - I’m happy to say that the physical attacks have stopped but unfortunately the anxiety still lives on. The reality is it probably always will. - I’ve had a relationship with my mind for 25 years now, so to feel it working against me sometimes makes me feel like a prisoner in my own head. It feels like the most unnatural thing in the world but the thing that helped me the most was discovering I’m not alone. I’m not the only person going through this. There are people all over the world feeling the exact same way I do! As soon as I realised I wasn’t going insane I felt more eager to beat it. I had therapy and I surround myself with my loved ones. Talking to someone relieves you of SO MUCH STRESS. I worked out coping mechanism’s and learned what the triggers are so that I can fight the attacks before they take hold. I restricted my time on social media which often made me feel trapped and claustrophobic. I took control of my life and accepted what I couldn’t control. - I don’t want to hide it anymore. I suffer from anxiety and I want you to all know if you suffer from anxiety you’re not alone ♥️
In a candid interview with Glamour Perrie explained why she avoided talking about her mental health battles in the past, saying: “Every time someone said, ‘I’ve got a bit of anxiety,' it would trigger it and then it would happen. It was almost like speaking about it made it come out; this devil I was terrified of.”
After at first genuinely believing her panic attacks were signs she was having a heart attack, the ‘Woman Like Me’ singer realised what she was dealing with after celebrities such as Ellie Goulding opened up about her own issues, saying at one point she couldn’t even get a car to the studio.
Perrie continued: “It’s a thing everyone goes through now and it’s quite sad. I’ve had therapy and a lot of help. One of the main reasons for me coming out about it is because I have so many fans now who have anxiety and who have panic attacks.”
The pop star said things worsened when she was left alone, saying her own mum and boyfriend Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s mum were extremely supportive, but she struggled to get to see her footballer boyfriend now that he lives in Liverpool as she feared travelling by herself.
Perrie added: “I still can’t get the train on my own, it freaks me out and makes me feel really claustrophobic. I feel uneasy. My mum would even be like, ‘I’m going to the shop for a bottle of milk!’ I’d sweat and panic and be like, ‘please don’t leave me on my own because the second you leave that door, I’m going to have a panic attack and I’m on my own.’”
But after keeping her mind busy by painting dolls while her mum left the house, Perrie gradually got better.
She was also conscious of staying strong in order to do the best performances she could with bandmates Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall, saying if she didn’t have three other people to think about she wouldn’t have even been able to go to work.