Women's Health (UK) - - STRENGTH IN NUMBERS -


‘Anx­i­ety no longer stops me from feel­ing good’

‘It was two years ago, when de­tails of my di­vorce were mak­ing the news, that my anx­i­ety be­came un­bear­able. My fists were per­ma­nently clenched, and hold­ing so much ten­sion in my body was ex­haust­ing.

I was shoot­ing gritty doc­u­men­taries for Ir­ish TV and I needed a sharp brain – but mine was slug­gish and for­get­ful.

When film­ing was over, I went on a fit­ness re­treat with the aim of giv­ing my body a re­set. But two days in, I was des­per­ate to get away. Un­able to per­form at work or find joy in fit­ness, I knew things had gone too far.

Back in Lon­don, my doc­tor di­ag­nosed anx­i­ety and pre­scribed beta block­ers. I didn’t want to take them. But she re­as­sured me, ex­plain­ing that the small pink pills wouldn’t change my mood, only ease the phys­i­cal symp­toms like my stom­ach cramps, grind­ing teeth and rac­ing heart­beat. And for the six months I took them, they did the job.

Now, I man­age with­out, but I visit or call my ther­a­pist fort­nightly. And when I do wake up with that fa­mil­iar sense of dread,

I go for a run with my dog, Win­ston, which helps to pre­vent my anx­i­ety spi­ralling out of con­trol. My boyfriend, Spencer [Matthews, 28, of Made In Chelsea] knows I strug­gle, but rather than mak­ing a big deal out of it, he’ll make me laugh.

Work­ing out what keeps me men­tally healthy is a work in progress. But anx­i­ety no longer stops me from do­ing the things that make me happy.’ Ev­ery­thing: Beauty. Style. Fit­ness. Life by Vogue Wil­liams (£19.99, Ha­chette Ire­land)

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