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Jennifer Lopez reveals panic attacks left her "physically paralysed"

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Jennifer Lopez has opened up about her mental health, revealing that overworking herself to the point of exhaustion during her twenties triggered panic attacks that left her "physically paralysed".

Writing in her newsletter, On the JLo, the 51-year-old admitted to feeling "invincible" towards the start of her career, recalling how she gave herself little time to rest which ultimately had a big impact on her mental health. "There was a time in my life where I used to sleep 3 to 5 hours a night. I'd be on set all day and in the studio all night and doing junkets and filming videos on the weekends. I was in my late 20s, and I thought I was invincible," she told her fans.

"Until one day, I was sitting in a trailer, and all the work and the stress it brought with it, coupled with not enough sleep to recuperate mentally, caught up with me," JLo continued. "I found myself feeling physically paralysed. I couldn't see clearly and then the physical symptoms I was having started to scare me, and the fear compounded itself. Now I know it was a classic panic attack brought on by exhaustion, but I had never even heard the term at the time."

Photo credit: Theo Wargo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Theo Wargo - Getty Images

The mum-of-two went on to recall how her security guard took her to a doctor, who tried to reassure her that she wasn't "crazy". It was then that she discovered she'd suffered a panic attack that had been brought on by exhaustion, with the doctor advising her that she needed to have "7 to 9 hours of sleep per night". JLo also revealed that her doctor told her to cut out caffeine and "make sure you get your workouts in if you're going to do this much work".

Reflecting on how her mental health suffered as a result of her busy schedule, the singer said: "I realised how serious the consequences could be of ignoring what my body and mind needed to be healthy."

Since then, JLo has transformed her work/life balance, and in 2020 she pointed out the importance of prioritising self-care. "It's more important on the days that you feel bad that you get up and do something," she told Entertainment Tonight. "Do a little workout at home, do something that's going to make you feel good, cook something you like. Lift yourself up - keep going."

For information, support and advice about mental health and where to get support, visit Mind’s website at www.mind.org.uk or call Mind’s Infoline on 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 6.00pm).


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