Actress Daisy Edgar-Jones has opened up about her struggles with anxiety that manifested as the health anxiety disorder known as hypochondria. The Normal People star talked about her mental health struggles in a recent interview on Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail podcast.
While talking about the early days of her career and her efforts to achieve success amid multiple audition rejections, the 22-year-old Cold Feet actress said that the challenges she faced triggered anxiety that manifested in different ways, including hypochondria.
“I auditioned and I got close and I found that very anxiety making and I really struggled for a while… when I feel anxious it comes out in different ways from me,” Edgar-Jones said. “One of the ways is that I struggle with hypochondria. I had a lot more free time because my friends were away at university and I did think, ‘Gosh, am I missing out on life experience?’ and so I would get quite anxious.”
She also talked about her decision to put off going to university — despite doing well in her A-Level exams — and pursue her dream to become an actress instead.
When she encountered the challenges, she considered giving up her dream to become an actress and go to university instead. But she decided to continue trying for a year before quitting.
“… It’s heartbreaking (to lose out at an audition) and there’s the odd one that’s really hard to get over and sometimes when I didn’t get those parts I’d spiral into doubts about whether I should go to university.”
Edgar-Jones went on to achieve her dream of becoming a star
Edgar-Jones persevered and finally got a part as Kate on BBC One’s Outnumbered Christmas Special 2016. She was also cast as Olivia Marsden on ITV’s comedy series Cold Feet.
Edgar-Jones is also known for playing Jessica Timpson on BBC’s crime drama series Silent Witness and Emily Gresham in War of the Worlds.
She played the central role of Marianne Sheridan on BBC Three and Hulu’s Normal People.
What is hypochondria?
According to Mayo Clinic, hypochondria, also known as illness anxiety disorder or health anxiety, is characterized by excessive worrying about one’s health. Sufferers become excessively preoccupied with worrying that they have or may become seriously ill.
Some people become preoccupied with fears about their health, although they have no physical symptoms, while others may falsely believe they are experiencing symptoms indicative of a serious illness.
Individuals suffering from the condition may also misinterpret otherwise normal body functions or sensations as signs of severe illness. This could lead them to seek medical treatment, but repeated examinations don’t reveal any serious medical condition.