Nick Grimshaw: “I suffer with anxiety – and when it’s bad, it’s bad”

"Most people don’t have the luxury of a spare Thursday afternoon to pop round and see their therapist"

Nick Grimshaw has spoken about his experience of anxiety, saying that he feels privileged to have access to therapy.

The BBC Radio 1 DJ opened up about the impact that a recent trek across the Namib desert for Sport Relief: The Heat Is On had on his mental health, after years of trying to manage his anxiety.

In a new interview with The Guardian the 35-year-old presenter explained that he became close to suffering organ failure whilst cycling in 44°C heat during the BBC challenge, which was broadcast in February.

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“I’m gonna be one of those annoying people who does a trek and is like: ‘I was changed in Africa,’” he told the publication. “When I got back to London, I wrote everything down – exactly how I was feeling – so I didn’t forget it. Because it felt really good, and I just want to feel like that forever.

“I’m quite lucky in that I’ve not been as severely affected as some people on the trip were.”

He continued: “I’ve had horrible anxiety that won’t go, and have been feeling down, with really horrible panic attacks. I’m not here being like: ‘I’ve got severe anxiety.’ But I suffer with anxiety, and when it’s bad, it’s bad.”

Grimshaw went on to explain that he first experienced anxiety at university and had bouts of it during his career when he has been working and partying too hard, particularly when he replaced Chris Moyles on the Radio 1 breakfast show in 2012.

Despite not having a panic attack in years, except for in Namibia, he said he continues to see a therapist. “Most people don’t have the luxury of a spare Thursday afternoon to pop round and see their therapist. I think it’s a real privilege that I do.”

Nick Grimshaw continues his journey during day 1 of the 'Sport Relief challenge: The Heat is On'.
Nick Grimshaw continues his journey during day 1 of the ‘Sport Relief challenge: The Heat is On’. CREDIT: Leo Francis/Comic Relief via Getty Images

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Elsewhere in the interview, Grimshaw addressed the death of his friend Caroline Flack.

“She was going through a tough time,” he said of the former Love Island and X-Factor host, who died by suicide earlier this year. Before her death, she was awaiting a trial for an alleged assault of her boyfriend.

“My experience of Caroline was nothing but joy and fun,” he added. “She was always one of those people who, if you were having a fine night out, would make it a brilliant night out.”

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