• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Rachel Riley says competing on Strictly Come Dancing left her with ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’

·1-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Rachel Riley has said that Strictly Come Dancing left her with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Countdown star said that she no longer watches the series after competing in 2013.

Riley, 35, was paired with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev, and was voted off in the fifth week.

The series was eventually won by Abbey Clancy, who danced with Aljaž Škorjanec.

When asked if she’s enjoying the current series, Riley told The Mirror: “No, I needed cognitive behavioural therapy after competing in 2013 and developed post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Riley continued: “If I heard the theme music, I’d start reliving the experience. It was scary and unnerving, so my way of dealing with it is to avoid watching.”

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.

Symptoms can include flashbacks or nightmares, emotional numbing, sleeping problems, angry outbursts and other mental health problems such as depression. Find more information on the condition here.

Rachel Riley says she can’t even listen to the ‘Strictly’ theme music anymore (Getty Images)
Rachel Riley says she can’t even listen to the ‘Strictly’ theme music anymore (Getty Images)

Riley did acknowledge one positive consequence of signing up to the show, stating: “Mind you, if I hadn’t competed I wouldn’t have met Pasha! He’s just brilliant.”

Riley married Kovalev, 41, in 2019 and the couple have two children.

The current series of BBC’s long-running entertainment show features presenter AJ Odudu, McFly singer Tom Fletcher and EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis, who is the show’s first-ever deaf contestant.

Find The Independent’s talking points from the latest episode, which aired on Saturday (6 November), here.

If you are struggling with your mental health and would like to speak to someone about how you’re feeling, you can contact the Samaritans by calling them for free on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch

Read More

Countdown’s Rachel Riley says she’s ‘not done much team bonding’ with Anne Robinson

General Hospital drops actor Ingo Rademacher after 25 years

Strictly star Tilly Ramsay shares throwback photo with chef father Gordon

General Hospital drops actor Ingo Rademacher after 25 years

Strictly star Tilly Ramsay shares throwback photo with chef father Gordon

Hilary Duff says she’s ready for online hate after piercing younger daughter’s ears

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting