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Simon Gregson health: Coronation Street star opens up about his ‘awful’ condition

Simon Gregson has been an ITV staple since 1989, when he first appeared on the cobbles in Coronation Street. What mental health condition has the star come clean about?

After tuning in to the BBC documentary, Nadiya: Anxiety and Me – starring The Great British Bake Off winner Nadia Hussain – Simon wanted to share his own experience with anxiety.

Taking to Twitter at the time, he posted: “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.


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“But treatable and manageable with the right help.”

What is anxiety?

The NHS states: “Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.”

Rethink Mental Illness certifies that it’s completely normal to feel anxious now and again.

Such anxiety-provoking situations can include going for a job interview, or paying a bill on time.

It’s when somebody feels anxious most of the time that an anxiety disorder may be present.

Some symptoms of anxiety, as pointed out by the charity, include a fast heartbeat and sweating.

Other mental symptoms of anxiety include the following:

  • Racing thoughts,
  • Uncontrollable over thinking,
  • Difficulties concentrating,
  • Feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’,
  • Feeling irritable,
  • Heightened alertness,
  • Problems with sleep,
  • Changes in appetite
  • Wanting to escape from the situation you are in, and dissociation

Physical sensations experienced because of anxiety include:

  • Sweating,
  • Heavy and fast breathing,
  • Hot flushes or blushing,
  • Dry mouth,
  • Shaking,
  • Hair loss,
  • Fast heartbeat,
  • Extreme tiredness or lack of energy
  • Dizziness and fainting, and
  • Stomach aches and sickness

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A combination of factors can influence whether someone develops an anxiety disorder.

Genetics are thought to play a part, as well as troubling life experiences.

Drugs, such as caffeine and alcohol, can also play a role, as can street drugs.

Sometimes, anxiety is circumstantial, so as soon as a problem disappears, so does the feeling of anxiety.


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Treating anxiety

A family man, sharing three children with his wife Emma Gleave, Simon found support to deal with his mental health condition.

“Mine worked with therapy,” he wrote on Twitter. Urging others to seek help, he added: “However, you need to find the right one for you.”

There are varied treatment options for anxiety, which Rethink Mental Illness go into detail about.

Non-facilitated self-help is available on the NHS website.

Cognitive behavioural therapy principles, as well as course materials, can be downloaded from the NHS website.

Psycho educational groups is another way to overcome feelings of anxiety.

These classes inform people about symptoms and how to manage them.

Typically, there will be six weekly sessions, each lasting two hours.

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