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Sarah Jessica Parker gets refreshingly real about coping with anxiety

Lizzy Hill is an internationally published writer, into writing about arts and entertainment, food and drink, feminism and her own misadventures. With a background in film and television production, journalism and visual arts, Lizzy's in...

Sarah Jessica Parker says managing her mental health starts with speaking up, and she's so right

Sarah Jessica Parker may be on top of the world right now with her brand-new series Divorce — an HBO show about a suburban mom at odds with the man she loves — but her much-awaited return to the spotlight has pushed her to confront her anxiety head-on.

Parker got refreshingly real about coping with anxiety and the stresses that come with being a woman who juggles it all — motherhood, marriage and a 24/7 career.

More: Your anxiety is actually a superpower

"My mental wellness is reliant on me figuring out how to cope," explained Parker in an interview with The Coveteur. Rather than have unrealistic expectations about getting rid of her anxiety altogether, the actress spoke of finding ways to manage it. "I just want to know that I can handle my nerves or my anxiousness, or disappointment or sadness about myself or friends and family members.”

Given that women are nearly twice as likely to have anxiety disorders as men are (according to researchers from the University of Cambridge), Parker's experience is hardly uncommon. Researchers across the board have thrown around several reasons women might be more anxious than men, ranging from hormonal changes to motherhood to income inequality. Whatever the reasons, sadly all we can say is we're not surprised.

Like many women, Parker's anxiety seems to stem from playing multiple roles at once when she's offscreen. "This new show, Divorce, that I’ve been working on for a long time — I’m producing it, and I’m playing the woman in it — it’s a lot," she explains. "And then there’s my kids and how my son feels about himself after a science test, my husband’s sense of himself and how it’s not my business, but I care."

More: 15 GIFs that show what growing up with anxiety is really like

Given the stigma that exists around mental health issues, it's great to see another A-list celeb opening up about her own struggles. Parker says she used to cope with her anxiety in silence but realized that wasn't healthy.

“I used to not ever tell anybody, because I thought that too many people were reliant on me to not be anxious, like they were all looking at me to make them feel better," she says. "Like anything, until the minute you talk about something, it feels like as if you are a balloon that’s been blown up and you have too much air in you. You just need somebody to let a little out."
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