This traditional Irish cottage tucked away in Cashel, Co. Galway is on the market for €250,000
This traditional Irish cottage tucked away in Cashel, Co. Galway is on the market for...

Sarah Gill

First date deal-breakers: The seven absolute worst things to do on a first date
First date deal-breakers: The seven absolute worst things to do on a first date

Geraldine Carton

Your reaction to the childcare crisis: ‘To avoid childcare costs, I work at night. I can’t afford to work full time’
Your reaction to the childcare crisis: ‘To avoid childcare costs, I work at night. I...

Dominique McMullan

How to pack just hand luggage for a two week holiday
How to pack just hand luggage for a two week holiday

Louise Slyth

Irish women in film: Annie Atkins, graphic designer for film
Irish women in film: Annie Atkins, graphic designer for film

Meg Walker

Lunchtime Fashion Fix: Inject some fun into your wardrobe with a splash of green
Lunchtime Fashion Fix: Inject some fun into your wardrobe with a splash of green

Sarah Finnan

Saturn, a meteor shower, and the last supermoon of 2022 will share the celestial stage this weekend
Saturn, a meteor shower, and the last supermoon of 2022 will share the celestial stage...

Sarah Gill

Supper Club: Mussels and bucatini pasta
Supper Club: Mussels and bucatini pasta

Meg Walker

This traditional thatched cottage in in Co Mayo is on sale for €179,000
This traditional thatched cottage in in Co Mayo is on sale for €179,000

Megan Burns

11 summer-proof foundations to see you through a heat wave
11 summer-proof foundations to see you through a heat wave

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

Actress Ashley Benson Reveals She Suffers From “Intense Anxiety”


By Jennifer McShane
10th Feb 2016

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 31: Actress Ashley Benson attends the 'Pretty Little Liars' 100th episode celebration at W Hollywood on May 31, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Actress Ashley Benson Reveals She Suffers From “Intense Anxiety”

Earlier this year, Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson reaffirmed just how grim the entertainment industry can be, when she revealed that she had been called “too fat” for a role. ?She had no qualms about speaking out about the issue, saying the whole thing was “ridiculous,” yet it had an affect on her, and she explained she “cried for 30 minutes” upon being told this this. However, the actress has bounced back, and in a new no-holds-barred interview in Health magazine, Benson said she dismissed such ludicrous comments. “I feel good. I don’t want to lose 20 pounds, because I don’t need to.” Hear, hear.

However, it took a while for Benson to feel as ease with herself in such a pressurised industry. She revealed that she has been struggling from “intense anxiety” for the last number of years and is still trying to manage it.

“I try to take an hour nap. If I don’t get sleep, I found that I get really bad anxiety,” she said. “I started getting panic attacks for two years straight. I think it was 2011 to 2013. I could barely go to work. It would get so bad that I would have to leave set. Or I’d be driving, and I would have a panic attack.”

She described one particularly frightening moment. “I had a crazy incident on set: I had heart palpitations, and I thought I was having a heart attack, so I fainted on set and turned blue. The paramedics were there. Once that happened, I was like, ‘That’s going to happen to me every single day,’ and it was just that constant fear. So anytime I felt some sort of weird thing, I’d be like, ‘Here it goes ?'”

ashley-benson-health-zoom-03-14146127-916a-47a9-8ac8-1e11ac5f06b9

The star was unafraid to say that she is still trying to get a handle on her anxiety, and shared some of her coping mechanisms, citing a regular fitness routine as a successful one. “That’s part of why I work out, too, because it has canceled out the anxiety. I was on Xanax for a long time. It helped, but I decided I was going to be able to self-medicate through meditation, working out, sleeping, eating healthy and drinking more water,” she revealed.

“I have this meditation app on my phone. I use it at least three times a week. There will be times where I will get [anxiety], but it’s not a full-blown panic attack. It’s just for a couple hours I feel as if I’m going to die. I had a friend who was like that for, like, seven years. She wouldn’t leave her house, and then she finally dealt with it. Anxiety is horrible.”

While it’s worrying that so many stars in the same industry have revealed they have dealt with similar mental health issues, what’s encouraging is that, like Benson, they are speaking out to raise awareness, end stigma and encourage others to seek help.

While it can’t have been easy for the 26-year-old to talk publicly about such a personal issue, we applaud her for having the courage to do so.

Via US Weekly