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The Crown actor Claire Foy reveals her battle with anxiety

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Anna Brech
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Emmy-winning actor Claire Foy joins over eight million people who suffer from anxiety in the UK, as she talks about her long battle with the condition for the first time

Netflix star Claire Foy has opened up about her lifelong struggle with anxiety, in a candid interview with the Guardian this weekend.

Foy says she’s battled the condition since childhood but it got worse as she grew older and developed her acting career.

“When you have anxiety, you have anxiety about – I don’t know – crossing the road,” she says. “The thing about it is, it’s not related to anything that would seem logical. 

“It’s purely about that feeling in the pit of your stomach, and the feeling that you can’t, because you’re ‘this’ or you’re ‘that’. It’s my mind working at a thousand beats a second, and running away with a thought.”

The actor, who has just won an Emmy for her portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, says that often, these thoughts revolve around “how s*** I am”.

Claire Foy in acclaimed Netflix drama The Crown

Foy’s anxiety started to build up after her parents split when she was eight years old. Her response, she says, was to “make everybody happy. Never be angry. Be really sweet and well-behaved. I didn’t want to upset people”.

The pressure of playing this role inevitably took its toll and as an adult, she ended up second-guessing herself at every turn. This anxiety tic then “exploded” as her career in acting took off.

Foy eventually went to see a therapist about her feelings: “It got to a point where everyone I knew said go. I’m glad I did.”

Foy winning an Emmy earlier this month, for her portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth II

The actor says her anxiety will never go away but becoming a mum in 2015 meant she had less time to dwell on her thoughts, and, “I don’t believe it so much any more”.

“I used to think that this was my lot in life, to be anxious,” she says. “And that I would struggle and struggle and struggle with it, and that it would make me quite miserable, and that I’d always be restricted. But now I’m able to disassociate myself from it more.”

Do you suffer from anxiety? You’re not alone; seek confidential support with the NHS or Mind

Images: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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