Meghan Trainor has been to the ER twice for her panic disorder


I’m a fan of Meghan Trainor’s music. I have Lips Are Moving on my running loop and it always gives me an extra wiggle in my stride. But I don’t know that much about her. Like the fact that she had two vocal cord surgeries a few years back to repair hemorrhaging that forced her to cancel a bunch of planned tour dates. And I didn’t know that she suffers from debilitating anxiety, so much so that she’s been hospitalized during attacks. The good news is, since seeking medication and therapy, she’s been incident free for a long time, and that has made her feel pretty powerful.

Meghan Trainor is opening up about a debilitating battle with panic attacks.
As her stardom rose, Trainor faced setbacks, undergoing risky procedures to repair vocal cord hemorrhages in 2015 and again in 2017.

After her second surgery, she worried she might never sing again, and that stress spiraled into panic disorder. Panic disorder is a condition in which a person suffers recurrent, unexpected panic attacks — defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reaction when there is no real danger or apparent cause.”

“I was working really hard, and I kept having to cancel tours [to undergo vocal cord surgeries]. I was like, ‘This is all I have, this is my life — if I can’t sing, I can’t work,’ ” Trainor recalls.

“It turned into a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of scary panic. I went to the emergency room a couple of times because I thought my throat was closing from an allergic reaction, and the doctor was like, ‘This is a panic attack.’ “

Trainor knew she needed to get a handle on her mental health and sought help.

“My doctors diagnosed me with panic disorder. They were like, ‘Your chemicals are way imbalanced — we have to get you back to normal,’ ” the singer adds.

“I met a psychologist who gave me medicine; I had therapists; I worked out; I got acupuncture,” Trainor says. “Now it’s been a couple years, and I haven’t had a panic attack in so long I feel like I conquered it. I kicked some ass.”

“There’s still that stigma” about mental-health problems and treating them with drugs, she says. “The best thing my doctor ever told me was, ‘You use an inhaler for your lungs, right? Why can’t you use medicine to fix your brain?’ That’s what got my parents to understand what was happening with me.”

“My therapist blew my mind with this: If you go through a really hard patch of anxiety, and you get out of it, you should reward yourself. So my big thing that I’m working on in life right now is treating myself and being good to myself because it’s a very hard thing to do — including taking care of my health and even how I talk about myself,” says Trainor, who married Spy Kids actor Daryl Sabara, 27, in December 2018.

She continues, “My husband will catch me being like, ‘I’m huge today’ or ‘I feel so ugly,’ and he’ll be like, ‘Hey, tell yourself you’re pretty. You’re beautiful — remind yourself.’”

[From People]

Meghan’s take is important and will hopefully reach other anxiety sufferers. I especially like her therapist’s approach to medication. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age five after having a very hard time in his classrooms. When we first considered medication, a lot of people were pretty vocal in their disdain. The unspoken notion was that those who medicated for ADHD were either lazy or ineffective parents, it was a huge stigma. When I spoke to my son’s psychologist about the concerns that had been voiced to me, he said, “you know, your son doesn’t like getting in trouble either. Why not give him what he needs to work on that.” We medicated and it made all the difference in the world. So much, that when he turned 12, he had learned enough behavior cues and modification techniques, he pulled himself off all medication. I like the way Meghan’s therapist put it. We would do whatever we need to help our physical health, I wish we would look after our mental health in the same way.

Meghan’s next album is titled Treat Myself, so she really took that advice to heart. I love it applied to mental health survival. When I emerge from a depressed episode, I am just so f-cking relieved to be out of the cave that it’s never occurred to me I should acknowledge what it took for me to pull through. As for verbal affirmations, telling yourself something and believing it at that moment are two very different things. So it’s great that her husband looks out for her during those times.

Meghan appeared in a Nikkie de Jager tutorial and mentioned she’s taking a break after her next tour to try for a baby. She and husband, Daryl Sabara, have been married since 2018. Speaking of Daryl, I wonder what happened with his car vandalization case?




Photo credit: WENN/Avalon

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19 Responses to “Meghan Trainor has been to the ER twice for her panic disorder”

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  1. Snappyfish says:

    Panic attacks are no joke. I completely understand ER trips for severe cases

    • Lucy2 says:

      Unfortunately I know it too. Lyme disease gave me severe anxiety that has lessened greatly but occasionally flares up, and one time I convinced myself it was possibly a heart attack and went to the ER. It’s scary.

  2. AmyB says:

    I always applaud celebrities who come out and use their platform to speak about mental health issues – like Taylor Swift (eating disorders) or Lady Gaga (depression and anxiety) lately. These things do have a stigma attached and so many people do not fully understand or grasp what it truly takes to recover or get help. And I really dislike when people get up on their high horse and start dismissing or criticizing the choice for medication. I have suffered from depression since 22, and I am 51 now. As my long term therapist said, it is a chemical imbalance in my brain (that is no fault of my own) and I need medication to survive and live. Without it I would literally be suicidal and not able to function. Of course, I participate in therapy, exercise and do many other things to support my recovery as well. But you would not tell a cancer or diabetes patient to not take medication correct??

    So good for Meghan Trainor and I hope she continues in her recovery!!

  3. Cel2495 says:

    I am glad she is speaking out… there is such a stigma around mental health and is time for people to be more vocal. I was so ashamed of my mental health problems that refused to take medication for a long time and end up in the ER many many times. My anxiety is related to my hyperthyroidism for the most part , or so I thought but in retrospect I always suffered from anxiety and OCD, it was just more manageable and masked as perfectionism. Anyhow I started with Benzodiazepines as it was more occasional but then had to move to antidepressants 3 months ago ( took me a month to finally accept that I needed daily medication). I found a great therapist, I participate in a CBT group weekly and now even started walking and exercising to shed the extra kilos. I was hiding the fact that I take antidepressants even from my family as they don’t understand my crippling anxiety, but now I feel super proud of myself for taking care of my mental health and I am ready to take care of my physical health as well. Mental disorders are hell and it takes a lot of work, support and commitment.

  4. manda says:

    The example I’ve always used is, you would use insulin if you were diabetic, right?

    That being said, it is very hard to find a therapist, and if you have depression, that makes it even harder. I’ve asked my gyno for a referral (you would think OB’s would have a bunch that they could possibly refer patients to, right?) and my PCP. I’ve called people I’ve googled only for them not to call back or not be taking patients. It’s hard

    • Cg2495 says:

      @Manda, I had the same issues … called like 20 therapists and mental health offices and was told “ we don’t accept new patients at this time” that I was chocked when I finally got a yes, the therapist sucked and was so terrible I almost gave up but I continued my quest and landed a really good one and she has been treating me the past 6 months…please don’t give up, it will be worth it once you find the right one. I just attended my first CBT group and it was helpful to meet others that are struggling like me. If you are in NY I can give you a few contacts that can help.

      Sending you a virtual hug

      • BeanieBean says:

        I had the same difficulties finding a therapist–asked friends how they found theirs; looked at psychology today’s list (which is also what I got from my PCP); started making phone calls only to find people don’t answer their phones, or emails, or aren’t accepting new patients; found one & saw her maybe a half-dozen times–talk therapy only, and no amount of meditation, exercise, yoga, talking about my childhood was working; so I found another one, who could prescribe meds & whose approach was more focused on practical applications, and this has been working for me for the last six months. And yes, when you’re really depressed, it’s hard to even think about reaching out for help, but for me, I finally realized I just couldn’t do this on my own.

    • AmyB says:

      @Manda – I am coming to say the same thing as Cg2495. Finding a good therapist is not easy FOR SURE!! And even if you find one that is accepting patients, some of them are simply not good!!!! It is really is a very deep personal relationship you have with your therapist and you have to find that right match. The one I finally found was a referral from my PCP, but again that was many years ago. I would definitely get names/contacts/referrals from people you know rather than just Google. But I know it is so hard!!!

      Hang in there!! xoxo

  5. Slowsnow says:

    I’m starting to think that people without mental health issues are the minority. Life is damn hard and not everyone is born with the right chemical balance. We need all the help we can get, even medication if needed. There is absolutely no harm in that. I had an allergic serious respiratory problem as a kid that was triggered by stress amongst the more physical tangible things. Our mind is a powerful tool, and it sometimes helps and sometimes doesn’t.

    • Kate says:

      Yeah, seriously. And especially in very successful people it seems like anxiety can be prevalent. It reminds me of a funny meme that was something like if your teacher ever said you were a pleasure to have in class you probably have anxiety now.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Absolutely. The very first time my body shocked me, I was around 26ish? I had been studying and feverishly typing a very long thesis for an important grade. I’d been at it for a day-and-a-half, and a friend came over with some wine to chill lol. About five minutes after I stopped, both forearms and hands started turning black and blue and pain erupted. I swear I wasn’t extremely stressed, I was just really focused on finishing, which I did. But damn. It was obviously a blood thing? I don’t know, but instead of rushing somewhere, my glorious friend grabbed some muscle ointment and began massaging my arms (she was freaking out!), and roughly 20-30 minutes later, color returned. It never happened again. Wtf?

  6. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I remember the first few times we called 911 for my attacks. One of them, I’ll acquiesce and say it was needed because a multiple of things erupted. But later on, I finally have up going in because a) money and b) I knew what was going on. I’ve been on and off medication since mid 30s, and I continue to get panic attacks. There’s only one question the hubs still asks that gets a pillow flung at his face, “What brought it on?” OMG. I can be blissfully asleep and awake with an attack. Once an attack erupted as I was getting into my bubble bath. They’re scary. You never know how long they’ll last. For anyone suffering from these, and using whatever is available to them, needs praising for addressing.

    And I agree with taking care of your mind and body the way we take care of cars, homes, etc. My oldest was told he needed ADHD meds in the second grade, and I struggled with it and the stigma for years. I even refused to give him the meds during summers when not at school and on weekends during school years. Sure enough, his grades improved and he actually graduated NOT by the skin of his teeth lol. He eventually decided he was done and quit taking them.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      So true about how nothing has to happen to bring them on! Mine just come out of nowhere sometimes. It’s very scary.

  7. Charfromdarock says:

    I started having panic attacks related to motion after developing vestibular disease.

    I thought I was dying the first time. I was driving in a hilly area on the highway and I honestly don’t remember how I managed to safely exit and park the car.

    I see taking a pill to help balance my brain no different from taking a pill to balance my thyroid.

    I’m glad Meghan got help and us talking about it. I’ve noticed a huge change in the way we treat/talk about mental illness from 20 years ago but there is still so much stigma.

  8. BendyWindy says:

    I’ve been in the ER for a panic attack as well. I legit thought I was having a heart attack.

    I’m glad she’s doing better, but I wish she wouldn’t say things like “it’s been a few years, I kicked it’s ass.” You can go years without an attack and then they come back again for seemingly no reason.

  9. Jen says:

    The scary thing about panic attacks is that there is physical manifestation, so it is not only just in your head. Racing heart, chest pain and tightness, back pain, trouble breathing, dizziness, numbness and tingling in limbs, a feeling of your throat closing, troubles with vision – these are all symptoms I have had during panic attacks. I went to the hospital 5 times in a year thinking I was dying of a heart attack. Each time, the nurses told me I was having an anxiety attack (after running tests and ruling everything out), and that I had a panic disorder and needed to talk to a therapist and potentially get on medication. I was in denial at first but after going to the hospital so many times over and over, I couldn’t deny it any longer and I had to get help. The medication has helped a lot but I still struggle. 5 years of therapy, medication, working out 5x a week, eating healthy, meditation…I still struggle. I feel for anyone that has ever dealt with this. It is the worst thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. I would take my massive depression 10x over before re-living what I went through with my anxiety disorder.

  10. Suz says:

    Oh yep. Anyone who has panic disorder has seen the ER, ambulances and urgent care multiple times. You want someone to tell you something is wrong with you so they can treat you for it. You are 110% convinced you are dying. For a while I thought I was having a heart attack. Went to the ER and urgent care and they told me to follow up with a cardiologist. The 2nd time I was there he wouldn’t even see me: there was nothing wrong with me. I was like 29 years old and healthy with no history of heart disease in my family. Through therapy and moving out of a city that I hated, I now haven’t had a panic attack in almost three years. Much comfort to Meghan and any of you going through this hell.

  11. StrawberryBlonde says:

    I’m happy to read what she said about medication for mental health. My son is 11 months old and after he was born the baby blues never went away. Around 7 weeks post partum I was sobbing on the couch for no reason and knew that I probably had PPD. I saw my doctor that day and he prescribed some medication. It took a couple weeks but then I started to feel like myself. I just needed a serotonin boost! In the depths of the PPD I could not see any good in my day, I did not want anything to do with my baby (still struggle with guilt over that), and I could see no light on the horizon. The human brain is so complicated. I think looking back I had some prenatal depression too. Pregnancy and the newborn stage really threw my brain chemistry into whack. Sometimes I felt a bit ashamed to admit I had PPD and needed medication. But then I just told more people and was amazed to find out how many of my friends had dealt with similar stuff. I got the ok to wean off my meds in January. The first 5 days were hell (flu like symptoms and painful almost burning tingly skin – it hurt so much for my son to touch me, which is a problem when you have a baby that wants to crawl all over you). But after that I started to feel good, and like myself. I am grateful to the meds for helping me with some wacky brain chemistry during a tough time. It also helped me to finally bond with my baby.