HOLLYOAKS WINNER ROSS I thought I was dying even though there was nothing wrong with me
November and continues to have combined sessions of hypnotherapy, timeline therapy and neuro linguistic programming. He said: “I’ve got the tools to control it now. I’ve learned that while I’m healthy and happy, it’s good to live in the now rather than worrying what’s ahead.” Hollyoaks, which has a mental health campaign #Dontfilterfeelings, was also hugely supportive. Ross said: “Luckily my health anxiety didn’t affect me doing my job. But whenever I got a minute of downtime that was the thing I was focusing on. My fears were consuming a lot of my day.” Now he wants to raise awareness of the condition to help others. He said: “There is a lot of guilt with health anxiety because there are other people have genuine illnesses like cancer.
“It’s embarrassing. You don’t want to talk about it and instead you google symptoms and it escalates. When you’re in the grip of it you can’t think about anything else. It seems like the worst thing in the world.”
Ross thinks his anxiety began at a young age when his grandad died of cancer.
His Hollyoaks storyline has highlighted the question of depression and suicide among young men. He said: “I was overwhelmed with the number of people who contacted me to say, ‘I’ve been through that.’”
Now he is helping himself and added: “I’m finally back in control of my life and I couldn’t feel happier.”
For help with any kind of anxiety, go to www.anxietyuk.org.uk.