Television presenter opens up about anxiety and panic attacks

A television presenter has opened up about her experiences with anxiety in a bid to raise awareness.

Anna Williamson, 35, has written a self-help book, entitled Breaking Mad: The Insider’s Guide to Conquering Anxiety, which she hopes will go on to inspire others.

The former face of Disney Channel’s Toonatik says that she first started to experience anxiety, nerves, insomnia and panic attacks around ten years ago.

“Being in a bad relationship was causing me a lot of emotional stress and I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be the best at my job,” she says.

“I was caring so much about my job that all I worried about was getting fired”.

Speaking of the crippling anxiety attacks she would experience around six or seven times a day, she said: “I had a fog of fear every morning. When it got really bad I would take sleeping tablets for my insomnia. I would drink coffee to keep me up during the day, which made it worse.

“Before I got help I would call my mum every morning and she would give me a pep talk in the taxi to work … I would look at myself in the mirror and will myself to get through the day”.

The courageous presenter, who now regularly appears on talkRADIO and is a member of the Celebrity Big Brother Bit On The Side ‘psych’ team, says that seeking professional support helped to spring her back into action.

“Getting a diagnosis was life changing and I didn’t feel like a freak. The psychiatrist put me on short-term medication, which helped me recharge, then I could build myself up again,” she said.

“The overall message is to step back and give yourself enough time to do every task.

“If you can’t, then drop one. If you don’t feel rushed, you won’t stress,” she added.