Simon Gregson is best known for playing the hapless Steve McDonald on Coronation Street, a portrayal that has earned the actor a string of accolades for his comedy and hard-hitting performances over the years. Simon imbues the character with a sense of humanism that can be painful to watch at times, with many storylines involving Steve getting into ill-fated situations.
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To deliver his emotionally fraught performances, the soap star may have drawn on difficult moments in his own life.
Simon revealed in a Twitter post a couple of years back that he has grappled with anxiety over the years.
The admission came off the back of watching BBC documentary Nadiya: Anxiety and Me, which starred The Great British Bake Off winner Nadia Hussain.
Taking to Twitter at the time, Simon said: “This is real and awful to live with.
“Please watch and understand it’s a hidden, awful emotion that affects far more than you’d think. But treatable and manageable with the right help.”
This is not the first time Simon has spoken about his mental health issues, revealing an episode of depression led to him signing off work for a period of time in 2015.
Two years ago, however, the soap star revealed he was the happiest he’s ever been and that his wife and kids are a reminder of what is important.
What is anxiety?
According to the NHS, anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.
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The health site explains: “Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.”
In response to specific circumstances, bouts of anxiety can be perfectly normal, however some people find it hard to control their worries, notes the health site.
Persistent feelings of anxiety can negatively impact your daily life, however, changing your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things.
This may result in symptoms such as:
- A sense of dread
- Feeling constantly “on edge”
- Difficulty concentrating
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The condition can also manifest itself physically, causing symptoms such as:
- A noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- Muscle aches and tension
- Trembling or shaking
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach ache
- Feeling sick
- Pins and needles
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
Your symptoms may also take its toll on your social life, as feelings of worry and dread can make people retreat from and friends and family.
How to treat anxiety
Simon found that the combination of therapy and medication helped to alleviate his symptoms.
According to the NHS, if you have been diagnosed with anxiety, you’ll usually be advised to try psychological treatment before you’re prescribed medication.
A course of cognitive behavioural therapy is usually recommended.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
As the NHS explained: “CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.”
CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts, notes the health site.
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