Carson Daly Opens Up About Struggle With Anxiety, Panic Attacks

The former MTV VJ has dealt with anxiety his entire life.

On Friday, March 9, 2018, Carson Daly opened up about his struggle with anxiety on the Today show, revealing that he had suffered his first panic attack just minutes before going on-air while hosting MTV's Total Request Live.

"I had a hard time breathing. I was terrified for no apparent reason," he began, explaining that he was later diagnosed with general anxiety disorder (GAD). According to Mayo Clinic, GAD is "characterized as persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events."

"I was a worrywart kid. I was always worrying," the 44-year-old continued. "My father died when I was 5. I had an ulcer when I was in high school. I've been nervous my whole life." However, Daly added that his condition worsened after moving to New York City to work for MTV, saying, "My life changed overnight."

He went on, "At times I feel like there's a saber-tooth tiger right here and it's going to kill me, attack me and bite my head off. I'm scared as if that's really happening. You feel like you're dying."

However, Daly maintained that his career on television isn't why he has anxiety. "It has nothing to do with that," the Today show correspondent, who sadly lost both his mother and stepfather last year, insisted. "I've had heightened anxiety and mild panic attacks at the playground with my own children and wife there."

While the host of The Voice explained that there's no easy fix for anxiety disorder, he has developed certain techniques to cope with it. "I opted for a cognitive therapist, somebody who teaches you about anxiety, the model of it, and offers you tools on how to kind of work through it," Daly said, noting that exercise, yoga, and muscle retention relaxation also help.

He hopes that by speaking openly about his anxiety, he will be able to raise awareness about mental health and help others. "This is the way I was born. This is the way I was hardwired," Daly said, adding, "I really wear the way I am like a badge of honor. This is who I am and I'm proud of it."

"People are so afraid about what other people think of you," he concluded. "I wish people could break down that wall, too. I guarantee you, everybody has got something."