LA's Finest star opens up about "living with anxiety and panic attacks"

·2-min read
Photo credit: Leon Bennett - Getty Images
Photo credit: Leon Bennett - Getty Images

Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct that some readers may find upsetting.

Gabrielle Union has opened up about her personal experience with anxiety and panic attacks in an emotional post that she hopes will help others to not feel like they are alone.

The LA's Finest star has spoken candidly about how post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety influence her everyday life after being raped aged 19.

"As a rape survivor, I have battled PTSD for 30 years," she began her Instagram post alongside a video of her on the red carpet.

"Living with anxiety and panic attacks all these years has never been easy. There's times the anxiety is so bad it shrinks my life. Leaving the house or making a left hand turn at an uncontrolled light can fill me with terror. Anxiety can turn my anticipation about a party or fun event I've been excited about attending (Met Ball) into pure agony.

"When we tell y'all what we are experiencing, please believe us the 1st time we mention it. No, it's not like being nervous and everyone experiences and deals with anxiety differently, and that's OK.

Photo credit: Leon Bennett - Getty Images
Photo credit: Leon Bennett - Getty Images

Related: Ex-America's Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union claims Simon Cowell doesn’t believe the "rules apply to him"

"I don't need you to try to 'fix' me. I share this as I hope everyone living with anxiety knows they aren't alone or 'being extra'. I see you, I FEEL you and there is so much love for you. Always. Love and light good people. Be good to each other out there."

In her book We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True,
Union explained how the sexual assault made her afraid to leave the house for a year, and the fear "spiralled" into avoiding any places where cash could be exchanged, over a fear of being mugged.

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov, contact RAINN.

You can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

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