Vlogger Zoella Reveals The True Extent Of Her Mental Health Issues: ‘Severe Anxiety Can Be Incredibly Isolating’

From the outside looking in, her life is practically perfect in every way.

She has the house by the seaside, the loving boyfriend – not to mention the three million YouTube subscribers hanging on her every word.

But in reality, vlogger Zoella suffers from crippling anxiety that at times can leave her struggling to leave the house.

Speaking to Glamour UK in aid of Mental Health Awareness Week (11-17 May), the YouTuber – real name Zoe Sugg - admits that some mornings she’s scared to wake up for fear of having a panic attack.

"I go through phases where my anxiety isn't as bad and when it's pretty awful,” said Zoe, who’s a Digital Ambassador for mental health charity, Mind.

“When it's bad, I can't even leave my bed or I'll start my day off by opening my eyes and having a panic attack.”

And despite coming on leaps and bounds since suffering from anxiety issues at the age of 14, the 25-year-old admits that her symptoms can be just as frightening as they were when she was younger.

“The symptoms are the same as they were 11 years ago - heart racing, the feeling of claustrophobia, nauseous and shortness of breath,” she said.

But despite suffering from this crippling mental illness, the beauty blogger has found techniques to help her overcome her issues.

She knows that getting enough sleep, doing gentle exercise and listening to relaxing music are some of the ways that help her to beat her anxiety – although it’s different for every sufferer.

Zoe has also found that looking ahead and planning things, such as what she’s going to have for dinner, help her to move on from the negativity.

And to all the people that tell her, and other mental health sufferers to ‘snap out of it,’ she says it’s not as easy as that – otherwise she would.

“If it were as simple as just getting on with things, that's definitely what we would be doing and nobody would have this issue,” she explained.

“Anxiety isn't something that people get rid of, it's something that you learn to manage and control.”

Zoe has been receiving professional help for her issues since the age of 17, but she admits it’s not always been easy finding a GP that understands how she feels.

"It was frustrating when doctors didn't seem to understand the severity of my anxiety, one told me to 'buy a pair of trainers and go for a brisk walk',” she said.

“You feel a huge sense of defeat when you leave a doctor's surgery feeling like the world doesn't understand.

"Another difficult aspect is when people who don't understand, don't TRY to understand or have no empathy. It can feel very isolating and disheartening."

But by speaking out, Zoe – who’s currently dating fellow YouTuber, Alfie Deyes – hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and OCD.

“We need to stamp out the stigma surrounding mental health, and the first thing we need to do is talk about it more in order to do that,” she said.

Zoe spoke to Glamour in aid of Mental Health Awareness Week, more info of which can be found here.

[Zoella Celebrates Eight MILLION YouTube Subscribers: Her Biggest Achievements To Date!]

[Zoella exclusive interview]


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