Pink opens up about 'awful panic attacks' she experienced in her early 20s: 'It was terrifying'

·4 min read
Musician Pink attends a red carpet gala event honoring Dolly Parton as the MusiCares Person of the Year, ahead of the Grammy Awards, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. February 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Pink opens up about her personal mental health struggles and how she found help. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Pink is opening up about her mental health struggles to remind young people dealing with similar issues that "it does get better."

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the singer partnered up with the Child Mind Institute for its new Dare to Share campaign, an effort to encourage kids to talk about their own mental health struggles.

In a candid video shared on her Instagram account, Pink got candid about suffering debilitating panic attacks in her early twenties, how she found help and why it's important for young people to build a supportive community.

"I used to get pretty awful panic attacks and I didn't know what was happening. I didn't have anybody to talk to about it and I didn't know what to do," the singer began. "I would feel like I was having strokes, like, stroke symptoms, it was terrifying."

During that time, she explained, she would go to the hospital and sit in her car in the emergency room parking lot until she felt better or would go into the emergency room.

"I had a number of EKGs that always led back to 'You're fine, you're fine, there's nothing wrong, you're imagining it all, it’s all in your head,’” she explained. "Then I started seeing a therapist, and then I started doing all these things. I started learning all these steps on how to take care of myself, I'd never been taught how to take care of myself."

The singer said she began to compile a "spiritual toolbox," comprised of things like "candles and incense." She also partook in "full moon ceremonies for women only" and practiced various forms of meditation to "take care of me and my heart and my head."

"Writing songs is the probably the thing that has saved my life," she said. "Writing in a journal, writing poetry, reading other people's stories, being inspired. Exercise. Eating healthy. Cooking is like a meditation.

“So now I know in my life, when I’m getting lost, I reach under my bed and I grab out my spiritual toolbox," she said. "I light my incense and I take a bath and I breathe and I do my gratitudes. I also have surrounded myself with a village of people that know when I've forgotten that I have a spiritual toolbox, they remind me. And so I encourage all of you to write, journal, talk to someone and start building your own spiritual toolbox and put people around you that remind you that you have it under the bed."

The singer concluded, "I will tell you from being a very, very afraid 7, 8, 13, 23, 31, and now 42-year-old woman, it does get better and there are beautiful moments waiting for you and there are beautiful people waiting to love you, and one of those people is yourself."

In response to her honesty, fans praised her for being open about her mental health journey.

"This is so beautiful!" a commenter wrote. "Thanks so much for sharing this message! Self love for the win."

"You writing songs saved your life and mine too," another added. "Thank you for everything that you do for us."

Mental health is an issue near and dear to the singer’s heart. In 2019, she opened up to Carson Daly about her personal struggles and why she chooses to routinely speak out about them.

"For my generation, I feel like it was depression and suicide and suicide is super prevalent still, but now it's like it comes from a place of anxiety," the singer told Daly in an interview on the Today show. "And I get that, I fully understand that, and I've been depressed; I have anxiety. I overthink everything."

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