Jewel opens up about suffering from panic attacks

Jewel revealed Monday that she suffered panic attacks when she competed on the sixth season of The Masked Singer.

Appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the “Intuition” singer explained that she’s experienced panic attacks since age 15, adding she “didn’t know what they were” at the time.  “And then, when I was homeless, they hit a whole new level,” she shared. “So I started inventing tools and techniques to help me with them.”

Those exercises worked and Jewel said that for “a while,” she didn’t have panic attacks, until she competed on and won The Masked Singer.  “I had my first panic attack in ages,” she shared, adding she felt “a little claustrophobic” in the intricate costume she had to wear to shield her identity.

Jewel said she turned to social media to “help kids with anxiety disorders” by “posting more about it just to help people understand what they are and the things they can do to help.”

Kelly Clarkson then revealed she had her first panic attack when she “was pregnant and I had one while driving.”  She recalled feeling “terrified,” and says she “froze” because she didn’t know what was happening.

“Your brain literally goes offline,” Jewel added.  “It’s not rational… the reasoning part of your brain literally goes offline.”  Jewel also explained that a person can bring their mind back “online” by touching, tasting and smelling things, so that the brain has “to deal with the information.”

The Mayo Clinic defines panic attacks as a “sudden episode of intense fear” when there is no danger or trigger to cause it.  Symptoms include pounding heart rate, chills, nausea, cramping, shaking and chest pain. A person can feel like they’re having a heart attack or dying, it adds.  The cause is largely unknown.

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