Singer Ellie Goulding says she struggled to cope with the intensity of her rise to fame and suffered intense panic attacks during her twenties.
The 34-year-old star makes the revelation in her new memoir Fitter. Calmer. Stronger. as reported via The Sun.
She confessed she felt like she had been "strapped to a space shuttle" after her debut album Lights went straight to the top of the album charts in 2010 and she won a Brit Award.
Goulding wrote that her schedule of TV appearances, awards ceremonies and "sometimes flying to three countries in a day" caused her severe strain.
"It was a dream come true, but brilliant things can also be detrimental, and by my mid-20s I was suffering debilitating panic attacks," she said.
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The star added: “They began to build slowly. I remember experiencing one on an early photoshoot.
"It happened again shortly afterwards, when I was about to take part in a live TV show. I did the show. I was acting the part of the pop star, but inside none of it felt real or deserved.
“To this day, I have never watched that show back. I’m scared I will spot the terror in my eyes.”
Goulding said one particular panicking episode — on a train ride to a friend's dad's funeral — was so horrific that she believed she was having a heart attack.
She admitted the incidents "became kind of routine" and that it was a while before she made the "life changing" decision to pursue CBT — cognitive behavioural therapy.
Goulding wrote that her love for exercise and working out has helped her to conquer some of her problems with anxiety.
She said: "I get social anxiety when I walk into a room and everyone looks at me. But when I work out, it gives me confidence that helps with my anxiety."
Goulding has previously confessed that she has become increasingly introverted during the COVID-19 lockdowns and will have to pluck up her courage to return to the stage.
She told BBC Breakfast: "There is always a misconception that if you are a performer and you can perform to all those people, that you must be a very confident extrovert person. But actually I am the complete opposite. I think also this time has made me even more so."
Ellie Goulding's book Fitter. Calmer. Stronger. will be released on 2 September.
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