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Meet Chris Hughes

CALM’s newest Ambassador, Love Island star and face of the #DontBottleItUp campaign,  reveals how he deals with anxiety issues.

When did you first recognise you suffered from anxiety?
I remember it being on a Sunday because it was just such a chilled day at home. But then I started struggling to breathe. Then it went on every day for a couple of weeks. I thought, ‘this is a bit odd.’ I went to the doctors and it was quite easy to diagnose, but it lasted months and months. I eventually saw a hypnotherapist and after three or four sessions with him it really helped me. I worked on turning my problems into shapes and concentrating on my breathing, all kinds of things. It made things a lot easier.

I worked on turning my problems into shapes and concentrating on my breathing, all kinds of things. It made things a lot easier.

How important is it to share how you’re feeling with friends and family?
Massively important. Whether it’s friends, family, work colleagues or anyone. With any troubles in life, like anxiety, you keep it to yourself. But it’s like halving an issue straight away when you share it with someone. And you never know who’s going through the same thing as you, because people can suggest ways they dealt with it. So you need to be open about it.

Is anxiety something you’ve gotten rid of completely or manage?
Manage. I got rid of it for a while, but it’s something that does reoccur. For me it does play on my mind, I’ve always found ways to deal with it when it comes. Just knowing that you have overcome it before and that you can be happy means that, when it does hit you again, you know it’s something you can solve.

It’s good to know there are people on hand at CALM who help anyone through a situations and give advice, and have someone you can speak to when you need it.

What advice would you give to someone suffering from anxiety?
Speak to your family and friends. Don’t be afraid to speak up about it, it’s such a common issue now. I don’t know if that’s because more people are speaking about it now. Just share your feelings. The more people that know about it, the more you can be yourself and not put on a face wherever you go.

I personally think it’s never a weakness to show emotion or cry.

I think guys speak out less than girls do, they keep their emotions locked up. Guys need to stop that and speak up more about depression, anxiety and mental health. I personally think it’s never a weakness to show emotion or cry.

It’s good to know there are people on hand at CALM who help anyone through a situations and give advice, and have someone you can speak to when you need it. That automatically makes your anxiety easier to cope with.

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