Ellie Goulding reveals she suffered 'debilitating' panic attacks


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Ellie Goulding has revealed she suffered 'debilitating' panic attacks, addiction to exercise and feelings of not being good enough at the height of her fame.

The singer-songwriter, 34, said during her 20s her 'lowest days were ridiculously low' and she often felt 'complete euphoria and utter terror' within the same week. 

Ellie - who had her first child Arthur in April with husband Caspar Jopling - discusses her mental health candidly in her new book Fitter. Calmer. Stronger. released on September 2.  

Candid: Ellie Goulding has revealed she suffered 'debilitating' panic attacks, addiction to exercise and feelings of not being good enough at the height of her fame

In an extract from her book, reported by The Sun, she wrote: 'My low days used to be ridiculously low. I just couldn't find a way out of them. I often felt as if I was failing because when I felt down I wasn't being productive.

'My voice, my music and writing will always be my mysterious, unpredictable, fiery friend for life.

'But even if I write something I love, I can't always rely on it to make me feel good. I often write my best songs when I'm feeling miserable.'

Ellie struggled with being thrust into the spotlight at just 24 after leaving university to make music.

Sad: The singer-songwriter, 34, said during her 20s her 'lowest days were ridiculously low' and she often felt 'complete euphoria and utter terror' within the same week (pictured in 2021)

She said it was like being 'strapped to a space shuttle' with TV appearances, awards ceremonies and travelling to 'three different countries in one day' - which was a 'dream come true' but left her suffering 'debilitating panic attacks' in her 20s. 

She said that the attacks 'began to build slowly' and that she experienced one on a photoshoot and just ahead of a live TV show which she admits she has never watched back, convinced she would be able to see the 'terror in her eyes'.   

In the book Ellie recalls how she ended up in hospital after one panic attack after a close friend's father passed away.  

Discussion: Ellie - who had her first child Arthur in April with husband Caspar Jopling (pictured at their wedding) - discusses her mental health candidly in her new book Fitter. Calmer. Stronger. released on September 2

Fame: Ellie struggled with being thrust into the spotlight at just 24 after leaving university to make music (pictured at the Brit Awards in 2020)

Despite being treated by doctors she began to normalise the attacks saying they became 'routine'  - sometimes feeling like a 'quiet, sickly feeling' or a 'frightening physical manifestation.' 

Ellie then decided to get therapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) after delaying speaking to a professional due to 'shame and confusion'. 

She said the help was 'life changing' and as she began to recover from her panic attacks, fitness became her 'sanctuary'. 

But what started out as 30 minutes of exercise a day turned into her 'prison', with her using it as a way to control things and 'distract herself from how she felt'.

It also lead to her eating poorly as she had the mindset she could just burn off any extra calories.   

All good: In the book she pens how she is now in a much happier place after facing up to her demons and using exercise as a way to ground herself and deal with anxiety

In therapy Ellie learned that factors from her childhood - including her parents divorce and her mum struggling for money while living in a council house  - may have contributed to her struggles later in life. 

She also revealed that she 'clashed massively with her stepfather' and that 'there was a lot of tension, stress and anxiety' in the home.    

In the book she pens how she is now in a much happier place after facing up to her demons and using exercise as a way to ground herself and deal with anxiety. 

For confidential help and support call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org. 

Adjustment: Ellie said her early fame was like being 'strapped to a space shuttle' with TV appearances, awards ceremonies and travelling to 'three different countries in one day'