Chad Michael Murray Had Agoraphobia at Height of “One Tree Hill ”Fame“: ”'I Couldn’t Leave My Hotel Room'

"I was walking around with a really pained heart,” the actor, 42, recalled

Cinematic Collection/Alamy Stock Photo, Steve Granitz/FilmMagic
Cinematic Collection/Alamy Stock Photo, Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Chad Michael Murray is sharing how fame took a toll on his mental health.

During an interview with The Cut, published May 21, the 42-year-old opened up about his struggle with agoraphobia — an anxiety disorder that involves the fear of going into crowded spaces, or sometimes leaving one's home.

The actor said his anxiety began following his success from One Tree Hill, admitting that everything seemed great on the outside but he was “far more fragile than I ever put on.”

“Everyone starts telling you ‘Yes,’” Murray told the outlet. “But I was walking around with a really pained heart.”

“I was around 23 and I had an event in Miami, but I couldn’t leave my hotel room,” he said. “The world felt like it was closing in; I was having anxiety attacks.”

Related: Zac Efron Gets Candid About His Agoraphobia: 'I Just Don't Go Out'

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty </p> Chad Michael Murray

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Chad Michael Murray

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Murray said things started to change for him after his 25th birthday.

“I woke up and felt unsettled. I didn’t like the direction that I was going in my life,” he recalled. “I went to church, and I got a tattoo of a cross on my left wrist, and I was like, I’m going to move myself in faith.”

The actor, who grew up Catholic and recommitted himself to Christianity at 25, explained that a combination of religion and therapy allowed him to see a lot of growth not only with his mental health but his career.

“I remember in my younger 20s, I’d wake up and say, ‘Oh, I’ve got to go to work.’ And that’s a very different place to even start your day,” he told the outlet. “It’s just a very different mind-set where I have gratitude. I get to go to work and I love that opportunity to just spread love, try to elevate energy, and respect the craft. Instead of coming at it as a disgruntled, tired 21-year-old.”

In addition to Murray, several other stars have shared their battle with agoraphobia, including Zac Efron, Kim Basinger, Linda Evangelista, and more.

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