Jennifer Lopez Talks About Her Panic Attacks

Jennifer Lopez is celebrated for her talent, beauty, and confidence. She has fans all over the world, and to many people, she is unstoppable. Although it appears like nothing could ever rattle Lopez, she admits she has had episodes of panic attacks. Here’s what J. Lo once said about her experience with anxiety.

Jennifer Lopez is always on the go

Jennifer Lopez closes her eyes and holds a microphone
Jennifer Lopez | Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen

During a 2016 interview with W magazine, Lopez discussed her career. She spoke about how hectic her schedule is. However, Lopez says she likes to work, so she doesn’t really mind how busy things get. At the time, she was an American Idol co-host, she was doing a residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and she was starring in the police drama Shades of Blue. “When it comes to work, I never get tired,” Lopez tells the publication.

Jennifer Lopez’s panic attacks

Lopez tells W magazine she began having panic attacks after starring in the 1997 movie Selena. Lopez was overwhelmed by all the attention she received after appearing in the film. Lopez says people began approaching her in public, and it became unsettling. Now, she doesn’t go anywhere alone.

“I never thought about fame until [Selena],” Lopez told W. After that film, I would have panic attacks. I remember walking down the street, and someone yelled, ‘Jennifer!’ and I didn’t know who it was. I ran home. From that point forward, I realized I couldn’t be alone in public. I don’t think I’ve been alone on the street in over 20 years.”

This wasn’t the only time Lopez had a panic attack. In her book True Love, she recalled the time she realized she needed to divorce Marc Anthony. She says she had been ignoring the truth, but her body sent her a message she couldn’t ignore.

Lopez says she ignored her feelings about her marriage to Anthony for so long that she developed anxiety. She says she reached a turning point in 2011 during the time she had to do a photoshoot for L’Oreal.

“My heart was beating out of my chest, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” wrote Lopez. “I became consumed with fear and anxiety.” Lopez says she began to panic, and she told her mother and her manager how she was feeling. She told them she felt like something was happening to her body, and she felt like she was “going crazy.” Lopez says people often bury their feelings deep inside until they can’t hold them in any longer. At that moment, she reached her breaking point.

Jennifer Lopez would love to freely walk around the streets of New York

Lopez says one of the things she misses is being able to walk around the city alone. Now that she’s famous, she cannot travel without the presence of security. During an interview with the AOL Build series, an audience member asked Lopez what she would do if she could spend one day in New York without any paparazzi, and no one knew who she was. Lopez said she would just walk around New York.

“Honestly, I think I would just walk the streets,” says Lopez. “I would walk the streets all day long, just back and forth, window shopping, maybe sitting outside at a café. I truly miss the freedom of walking around the city.”

 How to get help: In the U.S. and Canada, text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to reach a crisis counselor for support.

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