You may know him as one of Made In Chelsea’s likely lads, or for pulling shapes on strictly, but behind closed doors tv personality, Jamie Laing, has bad days just like the rest of us. Calm caught up with Jamie about how he manages his anxiety and why he’s learning to open up to his mum without treating her like his therapist.
Jamie is a busy guy – he’s even on the move while we talk on the phone, admitting his brain goes 100 miles an hour, 100 percent of the time. But after struggling with anxiety for ten years, he’s finally starting to slow things down a bit, making his emotional health a priority. For Jamie, recognising and accepting he was experiencing anxiety was half the battle:
“My anxiety started when I was about 21. I had my first panic attack and I didn’t know what the hell it was. You think you’re dying or having a heart attack. I didn’t speak about it for six months because I thought I was different, or that nobody would understand what I was going through, because I didn’t understand it myself.”
For many, Jamie’s experience will feel relatable. The racing heartbeat, or sense of impending doom that often comes with a panic attack can make it pretty hard to rationalise what’s going on. Anxiety can feel alienating sometimes, but it’s important to realise that you’re not alone. When Jamie realised these feelings weren’t going away on their own, he turned to the person he trusted most:
“The problem with anxiety is that if you let it simmer it tends to get worse. I was so used to instant relief that I thought my anxiety would just disappear. Then when I was about 27 I went through depersonalisation, where you go into a dream-like state because of stress or anxiety. Eventually I told my mum and she suggested we talk to someone about it. That was the beginning of my journey into understanding what I was going through.”