You might not think that celebrities deal with panic disorders, but there are plenty of famous people who suffer from panic attacks. These attacks strike without warning; rapid breathing, hot and cold flashes, numbness in the hands and feet, or other symptoms take over your body and make you feel completely out of control.
Approximately 1 in 10 will experience a panic attack at some point in life, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Most have them at home or when they are alone, but it makes you wonder what happens when a celebrity has an attack at or before a major event.
The first famous attack that you should know about helped create the painting The Scream. Edvard Munch suffered a panic attack and expressed his feelings on canvas. This painting is now worth millions, not too shabby for a 20-minute anxiety attack.
In 2012, Posh Spice, known more formally as Victoria Beckham, had a panic attack before the Olympics that nearly caused The Spice Girls return debut to be completely disrupted. If you've ever seen The Spice Girls perform, Beckham is one of the last people you'd expect to suffer from this problem. Her lack of presence could have caused the group to forfeit its chance to perform. Fortunately for her and the rest of the girls, Emma Bunton talked her through the attack, and Beckham went on stage.
One X Factor show was nearly cancelled when Britney Spears suffered multiple panic attacks that made it hard to film anything. She was also battling her rival Christina Aguilera for the best TV spots and airtime, so panic attacks were just the icing on the cake. Britney overcame her problems, though, and managed to perform on the show. This helped save the series and made it fairly popular compared to recent seasons.
Donny Osmond, a famous personality and singer, performed in front of a camera for years while dealing with panic attacks. Once, when he was performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he fought through a panic attack, barely making it through the show. Those who recognized panic symptoms may have caught on to the problem, but to mostin general, he pulled it off. Later that day, the same attack put him in the hospital, and he has since had to go through therapy to help control his panic disorder.
In the UK, the show Daybreak has become very popular and films regularly. One of the celebrity stars on the show, Anna Williamson, nearly lost her job due to panic attacks that were disruptive to filming. Before heading to the GMTV studio, she had dinner with a friend and realized she was having a panic attack while she was eating. By the time she arrived at the studio later that day, the panic attack was full-blown, and she had to be sent home in a taxi. Fortunately, the TV producers were understanding and supported her while she recovered. She is working again on that show and others and has been able to overcome her stage fright and panic disorder.
Jon Knight, former member of the group New Kids on the Block, also copes with debilitating panic attacks. His were so bad while he was in the band that he eventually stopped performing all together. His attacks often caused him to pass out, sometimes even on stage. He did not accept a music award with his band at an awards show in the '90s because he couldn't stand to be in front of the audience.
He discussed his problem on Oprah, and the show allowed viewers to watch him having a live panic attack. He came on the show to promote help for those suffering from the condition, and he spoke about how some people assume that performers are fine because they act well on stage, but in reality, performing can be a huge struggle. He was also quoted as saying that interviews are the hardest part for him.
If you or someone you care about needs help with panic attacks and disorders, we can help to find out what services are available on our toll-free helpline at 1-800-928-9139.