JAMES ARTHUR EXCLUSIVE: “When I first started having panic attacks I thought I was dying”

James Arthur

by Carl Smith |

Speaking for our mental health campaign Where's Your Head At?, musician James Arthur opened up about his experience with mental health.

"From a young age I've suffered with anxiety - it can be really severe. When I first started having panic attacks, I thought I was dying. I was convinced that I was just dying and that led to me making some bad decisions and bad choices in my life and career," revealed James.

"On top of the depression and the anxiety, I lost my purpose. Being in the public eye can definitely heighten anxiety because you put pressure on yourself to be what you think people want you to be at times. A lot of people want to get at you and knock you down if you’re in the public eye. When I was really, really low, I had to do some soul searching and figure out what was going with my mental health.

"I internalised a lot of my problems for a long time and I suffered in silence and was going nowhere in my life, until I plucked up the courage to just unload all of this stuff that I was feeling. I was really surprised to find how common it was and how many people had the same feelings as me."

WATCH James Arthur open up about his mental health:

James added that "I’ve learnt how important it is to be aware of yourself, how you react to things and how you approach things. I know what makes me feel good and what makes me feel bad - if something makes me feel bad, I don’t do it. I need to be around positive energy."

"Encouraging people to talk and being a listener [is important]. If there’s people that you haven’t heard from in a while or they’ve gone a bit quiet - like a friend or a family member that you haven’t heard - drop them a text and ask them how they’re doing.

"I think we can just be a bit more caring and communicative. You just don’t know who’s going through some kind of mental health issue."

LISTEN to our Where's Your Head At? podcast series below:

To get help on mental health issues and find out how you can support our campaign so that mental and physical health are given equal treatment in the workplace please go to www.wheresyourheadat.org.

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