Simon Gregson health: Coronation Street star reflects on ‘real and awful’ anxiety battle

Babylon Health: Tips for coping with anxiety and mental health

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Simon Gregson has received 17 awards for his portrayal of Steve McDonald in Coronation Street. Simon brings an emotional depth to his performance and it’s possible that Simon has tapped into his own experiences to bring the role to life. The Coronation Street star has battled anxiety over the years and a documentary that aired a couple of years back prompted him to share his own experiences.

Simon took to Twitter after watching Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain’s affecting documentary Anxiety and Me, which was about her own mental health struggles.

Acknowledging that he was promoting a channel that he is not on, Simon tweeted: “Anxiety and me, BBC1. Apologies ITV. This is real and awful to live with.

“Please watch and understand it’s a hidden, awful emotion that affects far more than you’d think. BUT treatable and manageable with the right help.”

He added: “Tablets work different for different people, mine worked with therapy. However you need to find the right one for you.”

The star struck a positive note of resolve, telling his followers to accept that “life is complicated” and that we should enjoy every moment and be kind to others.

Simon previously spoke about battling depression.

How do I know if I have anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

“Anxiety can become a mental health problem if it impacts your ability to live your life as fully as you want to,” explains mental health charity Mind.

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For example, it may be a problem if:

  • Your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time
  • Your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation
  • You avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious
  • Your worries feel very distressing or are hard to control
  • You regularly experience symptoms of anxiety, which could include panic attacks
  • You find it hard to go about your everyday life or do things you enjoy.

“If your symptoms fit a particular set of medical criteria then you might be diagnosed with a particular anxiety disorder,” explains Mind.

For example, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.

According to the NHS, people with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed.

“As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue,” says the health body.

How to treat anxiety

There are a range of talking therapies and medications used to treat anxiety symptoms.

According to Mind, a self-help resource might be the first treatment option your GP offers you.

“This is because it’s available quite quickly, and there’s a chance it could help you to feel better without needing to try other options,” the charity explains.

According to the health body, if self-help resources aren’t likely to help with the anxiety problems you’re experiencing, or you’ve already tried them and they haven’t helped, your doctor should offer you a talking treatment.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a popular talking therapy.

CBT focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour, and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.

“Some people find it helpful to try talking therapies and medication at the same time, but medication shouldn’t be the only thing you’re offered,” adds Mind.

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