Kym Marsh health: Coronation Street’s Michelle Connor – ‘I used to think I’m going to die’

Kym Marsh, 43, has portrayed the character Michelle Connor on ITV’s Coronation Street since 2006. During her time in the spotlight, the star has used her prominent position in the soap world to raise awareness of different health conditions she’s experienced. Just last year, as part of Mental Health Awareness week, she opened up about her battle with anxiety, and revealed how her panic attacks made her feel like she was going to die.

I used to suffer from panic attacks but I don’t any more as I manage my symptoms now

Kym Marsh

Taking to OK! Magazine she divulged she used to suffer from bad panic attacks, but has since learned how to cope with the symptoms.

She said: “It’s great that more people in the public eye are talking about their experiences of dealing with mental health issues as it makes people realise they’re not on their own.

“I used to suffer from panic attacks but I don’t any more as I manage my symptoms now.

“It’s taken a long time to get to this point – I still get the occasional feeling of anxiety, which is a totally normal feeling to experience, but now I treat it like an old friend.”

The star went on to discuss her symptoms and how she best dealt with them.

She added: “I used to panic and think I can’t breathe, I’m going to die, whereas now I tell myself that I’ll be alright and I sit with the feelings and I’m able to talk myself around.

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is a feeling of sudden and intense anxiety, according to the NHS.

Alongside the emotional symptoms, panic attacks can also have physical symptoms.

These can include:

  • Shaking
  • Feeling disorientated
  • Nausea
  • Rapid, irregular heartbeats
  • Dry mouth
  • Breathless
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness

The health body adds: “The symptoms of a panic attack are not dangerous, but can be very frightening.

“They can make you feel as though you are having a heart attack, or that you are going to collapse or even die.

“Most panic attacks last somewhere from five minutes to half an hour.”

How to prevent a panic attack

If a person’s panic attack is triggered by a particular situation, then the situation should be avoided.

But depending on what you are avoiding, this is not always possible or good for, explains Bupa.

The health organisation advises: “Another way to prevent future panic attacks could be to have cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which can help you to manage anxiety.

“Finding ways to feel more relaxed and less anxious in everyday life could help to prevent panic attacks. Some people find that breathing exercises and complementary therapies, such as yoga, meditation or massage, are good ways to feel more calm.”

Another Coronation Street star who’s spoken about their mental health in the past is Tina O’Brien.

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