Gabrielle Union has “battled PTSD for 30 years” after being raped.
The 49-year-old star has detailed the way posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety impact her day-to-day life in the spotlight after the horrific incident when she was 19 years old.
In an emotional Instagram post alongside a clip of herself on the red carpet, she wrote: “As a rape survivor, I have battled PTSD for 30 years.
“Living with anxiety and panic attacks all these years has never been easy. There’s times the anxiety is so bad it shrinks my life.
“Leaving the house or making a left hand turn at an uncontrolled light can fill me with terror. Anxiety can turn my anticipation about a party or fun event I’ve been excited about attending (Met Ball) into pure agony.”
She urged people to “please believe” someone when they mention their struggles with anxiety, rather than dismissing it.
She continued: “When we tell y’all what we are experiencing, please believe us the 1st time we mention it.
“No, it’s not like being nervous and everyone experiences and deals with anxiety differently, and that’s OK. I don’t need you to try to ‘fix’ me.
“I share this as I hope everyone living with anxiety knows they aren’t alone or ‘being extra.’
“I see you, I FEEL you and there is so much love for you. Always. Love and light good people. Be good to each other out there.”
Gabrielle was attacked and raped when she was 19, and she previously admitted while she feels “anxious” about performing everyday tasks, she has adopted a strategic approach in a bid to ease her concerns.
Back in 2020, she said: “If I’m fearful about going into a store because I’m anxious about being robbed, I’ll make myself feel better by going to one where there will be witnesses to cut down those chances.
“It’s been this way since ’92. It’s just something I do; second nature.”