Health & Fitness Big Bang star opens up to co-star about mental health and "dark episodes"

11:51  24 february  2021
11:51  24 february  2021 Source:   digitalspy.com

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The Big Bang Theory duo Kunal Nayyar and Mayim Bialik recently reunited for the latter's Breakdown podcast.

Kunal Nayyar wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Big Bang Theory's Kunal Nayyar joined co-star Mayim Bialik on her podcast to discuss mental health recently. © Andrew Toth - Getty Images Big Bang Theory's Kunal Nayyar joined co-star Mayim Bialik on her podcast to discuss mental health recently.

Nayyar, who played Raj Koothrappali on the show, opened up to Bialik about his experiences with panic attacks, and "dark episodes" for his mental health.

"When I began to struggle mentally, when I began to have those dark episodes, that was very shocking to me," he noted.

Nayyar also spoke about his first ever panic attack, which happened when he was 30 years old and driving on a highway.

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Kunal Nayyar standing posing for the camera: Kunal Nayyar at a red carpet event © Andrew Toth - Getty Images Kunal Nayyar at a red carpet event

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"I didn't know what that was," he recalled. "Ever since then I've had to fight some kind of battle with panic or anxiety."

Bialik, who played Amy Farrah Fowler on the show, replied: "That's actually a great way to define a panic attack – you don't know what it is."

"I just went, 'Oh there's lots of traffic ahead', because I was just embarrassed," Nayyar, who had a passenger in the vehicle at the time, went on to recall.

"I'm having this full-blown panic attack inside, now I'm getting embarrassed so I'm pulling off [the highway] and joking.

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"It got so bad I couldn't even look at my car keys without feeling panic, and then I knew something was wrong."

Nayyar decided to see a hypnotherapist, which he found helpful when it came to driving. However, he soon found his feelings of panic transferred over to being in a lift.

"Then, it became like the highway again, and that's when I said, 'Something's wrong'," he recalled. "That was five years into therapy."

"You can have a beautiful, spiritual life and at some point still feel anxious, still at some point feel sad and depressed and panicky," Nayyar added towards the close of the podcast.

"There's no shame in that, there's no shame in feeling anxious, there's no shame in feeling stress, there's no shame at feeling panic."

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.

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