Ellie Goulding reveals she suffered 'debilitating panic attacks' during rise to fame

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·3-min read
Ellie Goulding says she suffered from panic attacks during her twenties. (John Phillips/Getty Images)
Ellie Goulding says she suffered from panic attacks during her twenties. (John Phillips/Getty Images)

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.

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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.”

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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.

Ellie Goulding has admitted to becoming an introvert during lockdown and will have to build up the courage to return to the stage. (Jennifer McCord via Getty Images)
Ellie Goulding has admitted to becoming an introvert during lockdown and will have to build up the courage to return to the stage. (Jennifer McCord via Getty Images)

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."

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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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