During a chaotic period at work in 2013, Oprah Winfrey had a panic attack. She was filming Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” as well as doing a number of celebrity interviews.
“In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing,” she told Access Hollywood. “I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down I’m gonna be in serious trouble.’ I was in the middle of doing voice overs, you know? And I remember closing my eyes in between each page because looking at the page and the words at the same time was too much stimulation for my brain.”
Emma Stone recently told The Wall Street Journal that before getting involved with acting, she suffered from intense panic attacks.
“It was really bad,” she said. “The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down.
I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop. I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands. I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later.
I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change.”
In a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, singer/songwriter John Mayer admitted to suffering from panic attacks set off by his fear of ending up in a mental institution.
“Growing up, that was the big fear,” he said, while his friend Joe Beleznay added, “I would get anxiety attacks too, and we would talk each other down. It was heart palpitations, shortness of breath, coldness and shivers, strange stuff, and we’d be like, ‘You’re totally fine. You’re not having a heart attack.’ His mind works at such speed that I think he would sort of second-guess his sanity at times.”
Johnny Depp may be one of the most popular actors in the world, but that hasn’t stopped him from suffering from panic attacks for years. The actor doesn’t speak about them very often, but his struggles with panic disorder are well known.
The most famous singer in the world in 2011 and 2012 appears to have suffered from not only panic attacks, but also social phobia and severe stage fright. Performing in front of crowds of thousands can give anyone stage fright, but there is a strong likelihood that her anxiety attacks were an issue long before she ever stepped on stage.