Cheryl health: The songstress had a ‘massive problem’ with anxiety – symptoms

Babylon Health: Tips for coping with anxiety and mental health

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Nearly 20 years of Cheryl’s life has been documented and shared to the wider public. No wonder the 37-year-old has experienced anxiety in her past. At one point, she described it as a “massive problem”. In a candid interview on BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks, Cheryl admitted she felt like she “was dying” inside when smiling for the paparazzi. Online trolling – when users make disparaging comments about a person – is rife, and Cheryl has experienced the abuse for herself.

“They’re not OK,” she said. “These people don’t know you. They have no idea about you as a person or what’s really going on.”

Cheryl opened up: “I struggled for so many years with anxiety… I would talk to myself so nastily: ‘You silly cow. You stupid b***h.’

“No one could make me feel worse about myself than I did, and that was a massive problem.”

Fortunately, the former X Factor judge recognised that she needed support to change her unhelpful thinking patterns.

Before giving birth to her son, Bear, Cheryl had cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

How does CBT work?

The mental health charity Mind explained CBT “is a type of talking treatment”.

The therapy session focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect feelings and behaviours.

People are then taught healthy coping skills for dealing with different everyday problems.

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CBT is a common treatment for a range of mental health issues, including anxiety.

Working with a therapist, unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours are challenged in a safe space.

This can help to break negative thinking cycles, and can be the catalyst for positive change.

“You and your therapist might focus on what is going on in your life right now, but you might also look at your past,” said Mind.

CBT is accessible on the NHS if you speak with your GP about the service.

Private practitioners are also available for a fee, but make sure they are a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Do I have anxiety?

The NHS stated that an anxiety disorder can cause uncontrollable worrying, about various things, that causes distress.

This worrying can affect your daily life, and you may struggle to let them go.

Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Being irritable
  • Getting tired easily
  • Having difficulty concentrating or feeling your mind goes blank
  • Having difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
  • Having tense muscles

If anxiety is interrupting your daily life, do seek support from your GP or mental health charities, such as Mind.

Cheryl took action to help herself, and has since been a surprise celebrity supporter for Billy Monger – a professional racing driver (and double-leg amputee) – who is raising money for Red Nose Day.

He has battled the elements as he walked, kayaked and cycled 140 miles across the UK.

Billy Monger’s Big Red Nose Day Challenge will air on BBC One tonight at 9pm.

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