The Unusual Way Normal People's Daisy Edgar-Jones Deals With Anxiety
Depending on how severely you suffer from it, anxiety can cause a whole range of symptoms – from sweaty palms to nausea to a debilitating sense of impending doom. For Daisy Edgar-Jones (who you probs know as Marianne in Normal People,) it manifests as hypochondria that “comes in waves” – especially when she’s idle.
Speaking on the podcast How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, the 22-year-old opened up about a particularly dark time she went through early on in her acting career when all her friends were heading off to uni.
“I did apply to a few places and got in, but I’d had an agent since I was 16, so I thought I’d give it a year to see if I could maybe get something,” she said. “I didn’t get work. I auditioned and I got close and I didn’t get anything. I really struggled for a while.”
All this “free time” caused her mental health to spiral.
“I did think, ‘Gosh, am I missing out on life experience?’ and so I would get quite anxious,” she explained, adding that while she’s had the disorder “for a while” it still shows up in many “different ways.”
“One of the ways is that I struggle with hypochondria. It comes out in a sort of need to control. If I see a rash for example, if I really overthink that and Google the heck out of it then I’m controlling it in some way.”
“If I find out that it’s something really sinister, I’ve caught it before it could potentially become something worse.”
Daisy admitted that she often gets “obsessive” about her health concerns and once “fully convinced” herself she had super-hydration after drinking a large bottle of water.
“It is just that placebo effect where if you imagine stuff enough you start to feel it,” she said.
According to HealthDirect, Hypochondria is often triggered by major stress, illness or a death in the family. Some sufferers can become so distressed that they are no longer capable of functioning day-to-day. Exercise, regular sleep and a healthy diet are often prescribed to help reduce symptoms, as is regular therapy and – in extreme cases – medication.
For Daisy, on the other hand, her boyfriend (actor Tom Varey) has been “the best thing” for her healing.
“I can laugh about it now, and I have found ways to deal with it, which is really good,” she said. “More than anything, [it’s] not letting myself Google stuff. … If I believe that it’s an irrational thought, then I’ll panic myself. But if I make sure I realise it isn’t, then it’s fine.”
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