HOL­LYOAKS WIN­NER ROSS I thought I was dy­ing even though there was noth­ing wrong with me

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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.

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