Perrie Edwards: Speaking Out About Anxiety

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Perrie Edwards - also known as 1/4 of quite possibly the worlds biggest girl band, Little Mix - has recently opened up about her struggles with mental health. In the candid interview with Glamour, Perrie follows up her Instagram post from last month where she first opened up about suffering with extreme anxiety and panic attacks.

"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." 

I really wanted to share Perrie's post and interview (above), as it's one of the first times i've seen a celebrity be truly candid about their mental health experience. While she recites emotional examples of when she's suffered that are heartbreaking to watch, Perrie is sure to turn a positive spin on her experiences and explains how she is no longer afraid to talk about her struggles, and encourages others to do the same.

Talking of how her dog really helps her feel less alone, she also says that she's no longer embarrassed about going to therapy which she felt initially. Perrie speaks of being scared to get on a train alone, or even to be left in the house without anybody by her side, afraid of having no one to reassure her through a panic attack - something I can heavily relate to myself. Turning to painting, Perrie's mum has guided her through the process and been a huge support.

In a world of social media it's very easy to get blinded by what you believe to be perfection, so it is super important for public figures to be honest and open with their fans. Perrie is a prime example of someone who leads a visually lavish lifestyle but has unfortunately very common inner demons that she has to battle on a day to day basis. I've always been a fan of Little Mix but I have a new found respect for Perrie and her willingness to be open and honest about something so close to a lot of our hearts.

Has anyones mental health story really helped you? Please feel free to share in the comments!

© Image Source: Perrie Edwards for Glamour

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