Fans of British award-winning singer-songwriter Laura Mvula will likely be intimately familiar with her anxiety disorder, which she’s talked openly and publicly about on numerous occasions, hoping to shed light on and “shatter taboos” about a mental health issue that the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says affects tens-of-millions of people around the world (40 million alone here in the USA); and it’s not just a “white people problem,” as you may have some in the black community refer to matters of mental health.
— LAURA MVULA (@lauramvula) April 11, 2017
Mvula has used her social media accounts to talk about her anxiety disorder, something that her fans appreciate – especially those who are also afflicted. A year ago, she gave an interview to The Guardian (UK), which was widely shared and quoted, in which she spoke intimately about how panic attacks negatively affected her life, including destroying her marriage, and almost ruining her music career.
An ailment she says she fully discovered she had in her mid-20s, when she learned that her parents were getting a divorce, Mvula called that period of her life “a turning upside down,” adding, “It felt like 25 years of being lied to. My way of dealing with it was not dealing with it.”
It was soon after, that she began to exhibit symptoms of acute anxiety, experiencing panic attacks. “At first it was the shortness of breath… Dizziness.. Why do I want to run out of the house naked right now?” Things got progressively worse, as the attacks “began to manifest in different ways,” she said; “My body starts spasming, I think I’m going to collapse… Difficulty swallowing sometimes… A feeling of struggling to stay in your skin.”
You can read the full piece here; and/or you can watch the below short film that Mvula stars in, and shared this afternoon on Twitter.
“Woman’s Hour” is a BBC program broadcast that consist of reports, interviews and debates on health, education, cultural and political topics aimed at women and mothers specifically. In the below affecting and inspiring documentary for the series, titled “Laura Mvula: Generation Anxiety,” the singer examines anxiety disorders and looks at why those who are 35 and under are more prone to experiencing it.
Watch the 15-minute documentary below: