"There's times the anxiety is so bad it shrinks my life."
Gabrielle Union is opening up about her mental health.
On Wednesday, the actress got candid with her Instagram followers about her 30-year battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as her struggles with anxiety and panic attacks, which began after she was sexually assaulted as a teenager.
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Union, 49, shared a video in which she demonstrated how her anxiety and “triggers” manifest. The clip showed the “Bring It On” star being filmed from behind as she posed for photographers ahead of her appearance at the Met Gala.
Union added arrows and text on top of the video, with the first arrow being pointed at herself. Alongside the arrow, she wrote, “Me.” She marked her husband, Dwyane Wade, who joined her in front of the photographers, as “my anxiety.” The clip also featured a person who fixed Union’s white dress for photos, whom she said represented “my triggers.”
In the post’s caption, the “L.A.’s Finest” star began, “As a rape survivor, I have battled PTSD for 30 years. Living with anxiety and panic attacks all these years has never been easy. There’s times the anxiety is so bad it shrinks my life.”
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“Leaving the house or making a left hand turn at an uncontrolled light can fill me with terror,” she shared. “Anxiety can turn my anticipation about a party or fun event I’ve been excited about attending (Met Ball) into pure agony.”
Union added, “When we tell y’all what we are experiencing, please believe us the 1st time we mention it. No, it’s not like being nervous and everyone experiences and deals with anxiety differently, and that’s OK. I don’t need you to try to ‘fix’ me.”
The “Cheaper By the Dozen” actress — who was raped at gunpoint by a robber in the backroom of a Payless shoe store when she was 19 — concluded her post by explaining what inspired her to open up to her followers.
“I share this as I hope everyone living with anxiety knows they aren’t alone or ‘being extra,'” Union said. “I see you, I FEEL you and there is so much love for you. Always. Love and light good people. Be good to each other out there 🖤.”
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Celebrities and fans alike took to the comments section of Union’s post to share their love and support, with many also applauding the star for her candor.
“Thanks for this!!!,” actress Octavia Spencer commented, while “Power” star La La Anthony similarly wrote, “Thank you for this. Love you so much ❤️.” “Charmed” alum Alyssa Milano also chimed in, writing, Love you.”
New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “Wow 💞 your voice and story just created so much space for others. Your courage heals! Thank you for your bravery, strength, grace, and voice 🤲🏽.”
Model Melinda Berry shared similar sentiments, writing, “Wow! This is so brave of you 👏👏👏 you’re forever strong 💪🏾.”
Meanwhile, “Abbot Elementary’s” Quinta Brunson and “In Treatment” star Uzo Aduba commented with heart emojis.
If you or someone you know needs help with mental health text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
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