CHRIS Hughes has revealed that he used to wake up in the middle night due to his “overpowering” anxiety and go out driving in an attempt to escape it.
The Love Island star launched the Don’t Bottle It Up campaign, a collaboration between Topman and charity CALM, and spoke candidly about his “horrible cycle” of anxiety that would leave him scared to leave work as he didn’t want to be alone with his thoughts.
He told The Sun Online: “My anxiety got to a stage where I was scared to come home from work.
“I was in a 9-5 job but I didn’t wanna leave work as I got into a routine where my anxiety would kick in at about 5.30 when I stepped in the house, and all I wanted to do was stay in work at 5pm.
“That was really hard to do, as I got into this horrible cycle.”
As the 24-year-old farmer’s obsession to be constantly occupied became more intense, even sleeping was impossible.
“I used to really struggle when I didn’t have a lot on my mind, everything used to overpower my mind that’s why I wanted to stay at work, I needed to be occupied.
“I used to wake up some nights in the middle of the night and not be able to sleep so I would just go for a drive because I needed to do something.”
Today Chris broke down in tears in front of a live audience today as he recalled his darkest moments and how his mum helped him through them.
He told The Sun Online that talking about everything had brought back some “tough” memories.
“Just talking about it in front of an audience [made me emotional],” he confessed.
“You get used to talking about it in front of individuals but in front of a group of people you don’t know, it brings back memories of when it was really tough.
“And then I mentioned my mum who helped me through loads of back then, it was tough yeah.”
He said: “[Olivia] understands it as well. About a week ago I was just laying in bed, I know how to cope with it now a lot better than I did, and my breathing went a bit funny and I did get a little anxiety and she’s there to support me.
“It’s always good to surround yourself with people and, if you can’t, just try to talk to people because it does put your mind in a better place.
“Dealing with stuff on your own… you can’t just overcome certain things on your own. Having people around you does make you feel a lot more relaxed and a lot better. It can calm you down and make terrible situations a bit better.”
Chris is part of the #DontBottleItUp campaign which aims to highlight how men across the UK often bottle up their emotions at the expense of their mental health.
It comes as new research by CALM shows that 84 per cent of men in the UK say they bottle up their emotions with nearly half saying they suppress their emotions often or at least once day. This even more stark for younger men, with almost two in three 18-24 year olds saying they regularly hide their true feelings.
Five bottles of water infused with Chris’s tears are being auctioned on Topman’s website with proceeds from the sales going to the charity.
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