Fame Stirs Anxiety, Panic Attacks for Amanda Seyfriend

By Courtney Hutchison, ABC News Medical Unit

Oct 5, 2011 11:03am

The constant glare of fame’s spotlight has apparently gotten to Amanda Seyfriend.

In a recent interview with British Glamour magazine, the 25-year-old actress reported that she’d been having panic attacks, and is seeing a therapist to treat them.

“[Therapy] has been such a great tool. … I still do get terribly nervous, and that’s partly due to the fact [that] I think too much and overanalyze things,” she told the magazine. “I’ll start worrying about my parents or my dog, and I’ll picture him opening the window of my apartment and falling out, even though I can’t get that thing open myself.”

Ordinary panic becomes a disorder when the attacks are recurring and severe.

Seyfried cited the increased attention she garnered while dating actor Ryan Phillippe as contributing to her anxiety.

Of course, Seyfriend isn’t the only celeb to become panic-stricken in the face of celebrity — ABC News has reported on a number of stars who have admitted to experiencing  obsessive compulsive disorder, another form of anxiety.

Charlize Theron, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Alba and Leonardo DiCaprio have all admitted to having OCD or OCD tendencies.

Stephen Whiteside, a psychologist at the Mayo Clinc in Rochester, Minn.,   specializes in anxiety disorders, including OCD, and told ABC News in 2009 that there’s no research to support  the idea that celebrities might be  particularly predisposed to OCD, but that it makes sense that those with the disorder would be high achievers.

“It would make sense that people with these types of traits can be highly successful,” he told ABCNews.com. “And celebrities are highly successful people.”

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