Kerry Washington Details Panic Attacks She Suffered at Age 7 in New Memoir: 'Dizzied with Terror'
10.08.2023 - 13:23
Kerry Washington is opening up about her mental health.
On Wednesday (August 9), Oprah Daily excerpted a section of the 46-year-old actresses upcoming memoir Thicker Than Water in which she revealed that she suffered from debilitating panic attacks at the age of seven.
Keep reading to find out what she wrote…
Kerry explained that she began experiencing the panic attacks after overhearing her parents’ arguments when she had fallen asleep.
“They manifested first as a rhythm of anxiety that encircled my brain, then evolved into a rapid pulsing, a whirling frenzy of metallic thumps, like those nauseating old spinning rides at a county fair,” she shared.
The Scandal star wrote that “the sound of terror, wholly unnatural and unconnected to the rhythms of my heart.”
“I was dizzied with terror, no ground beneath me; it was crazy-making, endless. And sad,” she recalled. “There was something so sad about the rhythm. And I couldn’t make it stop. I couldn’t sleep. It was as though the alarms within me had been triggered and there was no turning them off.”
Kerry went on to say that while she didn’t have a panic attack “every single night”, she “trembled at the possibility of it.”
“Lying in bed, I would race to fall asleep before the sounds would leak from my bones. I would force myself to try to have ‘good’ thoughts,” she wrote.
“I hated that the rhythm came from within me,” she continued. “I hated that my own brain was not to be trusted. If I lost the race to sleep and got caught by the rhythm, I had no tools to escape it, no way of controlling my own brain as it conspired against me.”
Kerry noted that she had “tried everything to avoid it”, including singing and reciting poetry. She added that no matter what she did, “it would