Ellie Goulding: I had therapy after panic attacks

Ellie Goulding went through a period of experiencing regular panic attacks, to the point where she thought she was going to die and found it hard to face people, she reveals in next month’s Cosmopolitan.


The singer, who topped the charts this summer with her hit single Burn, says that a period of therapy helped her manage her panic attacks, and made her see that she was “haunted by her past”, according to Metro.


“One day after a shoot I was on a train going to a funeral and my heart was pounding; I thought I was having a heart attack,” she said, as reported by the commuter tabloid.


“When I got to Cardiff, the next train was cancelled, so I had to get in a cab with strangers to Hereford. I was so scared I reached over to this woman and said, “I think I’m dying.” I called a friend to take me to hospital, where they told me it was just a panic attack. From that day, I kept having them. It was the weirdest time of my life. Sick, horrible things would go through my mind but I didn’t want to draw attention to myself… It got to the point when I couldn’t even get into the car and go to the studio.”


Ellie’s father left when she was five, and she never got to know him. Her recent Children in Need song, ‘I know you care’, was about her father, and Ellie has said that through developing the song she has managed to get some closure about his departure. The singer has also spoken out about bad relationships had affected her self-confidence. There was a time when she saw herself as fat and unattractive, and she says that her “her demons and insecurities still regularly try and drag her down” (Metro).


At various times in our lives we may find ourselves in relationships that have a negative impact on us, and sometimes we may wonder how we managed to end up in such a situation – relationships can quickly mutate from seemingly happy and secure to negative and anxiety-inducing. Like Ellie Goulding, you may find that you have changed yourself to fit in with a partner, and that you have lost a part of yourself in the relationship.


“You should never change for anyone,” Goulding told Cosmopolitan. “And I say that because I’ve done it before; I’ve changed for a man… I was so, so in love with him that I’d have done anything. I look back now and think, ‘What an idiot!’ You only realise when you’re out of it how someone can have a hold over you. He treated me horrendously…my confidence has grown in the past year, as a woman…I feel strong in more ways than one at the moment…I feel very independent and feminist right now – I think maybe it’s being single.”


Ellie Goulding, who is still only 26, has had a lot to deal with in her life. Her father leaving, her low self-confidence and bad relationships may all have contributed to her spate of panic attacks. But through therapy Goulding has been able to work through her past, and subsequently the symptoms of her panic attacks have eased.


Panic attacks can be very frightening, and it is common for people experiencing them to end up in A & E because they think they are having a heart attack or dying, as Ellie Goulding – and also Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills – have experienced. The counsellors and therapists at The Grove understand that when working with panic attacks it is important to explore the reasons behind the heightened anxiety, as well as tackling the attacks themselves, which are actually presenting as a symptom of a deeper issues. We will work with you to help you understand where the attacks are coming from and why they are coming about, as well as to develop techniques to help manage the physical symptoms.


If you have been struggling with panic attacks, or perhaps a more general, pervasive anxiety that is starting to interfere with your daily life, let’s talk. Get in touch now for a free 30-minute consultation, to see how we can help you manage the anxiety while at the same time getting to grips with what is going on underneath.