Sarah Jessica Parker health: Sex and the City star felt pressure to hide health condition

Sex and the City: Sarah Jessica Parker teases revival series

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Talking to Vogue, the 56-year-old US actress addressed negativity that she has been victim of across social media. The majority of this negativity concerned the older appearance of Jessica Parker’s character in the show. Within the interview, the star discussed at length her disappointment towards this “b* response” who were comparing the cast of the show to the Golden Girls. Pressure and negativity from the public is something the actress has had to deal with her whole career, which has had a negative impact on her mental health.

In the interview with Vogue Jessica Parker said: “When we announced And Just Like That…, there were a lot of positive reactions, but one b* response online was people sharing pictures of the Golden Girls.

“And I was like, ‘Wow, so it’s either you’re 35, or you’re retired and living in Florida. There’s a missing chapter here.

“There’s so much misogynist chatter in response to us that would never. Happen. About. A. Man.”

The actress went on to describe one particular incident when she was sitting opposite friend Andy Cohen, both were seen with grey hair, but it was only Jessica Parker who fell victim to social media trolling.

The actress passionately continued: “‘Gray hair gray hair gray hair. Does she have gray hair?’ I’m sitting with Andy Cohen,” Parker goes on, “and he has a full head of gray hair, and he’s exquisite. Why is it okay for him? I don’t know what to tell you people!

“Especially on social media. Everyone has something to say. ‘She has too many wrinkles, she doesn’t have enough wrinkles.’ It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly okay with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better.

“I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?”

Speaking so publicly and passionately about massive societal injustices and important topics is something that Jessica Parker learned to do over the years. Another topic that she learned to speak out about was her mental health.

Talking to The Huffington Post about her feelings of anxiety the actress said: “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.

“Like anything, until the minute you talk about something it feels 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.”

Jessica Parker has certainly practised what she preached, and most recently provided a voice over for a mental-health focused short film which focused on the mental health challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the effects of the pandemic, and the effects it has had on the creative industries and people’s mental health Jessica Parker added: “There had been and continues to be a lot of loneliness.

“Most of us aren’t prepared for that kind of solitude and time by ourselves, and it made me feel sad. I continue to be in real despair about the number of people who are not able to do the work that they love.

“The thoughts are overwhelming. I think the situation became worse and worse for so many so quickly. Lives were lost. Jobs were lost. Homes were lost. Businesses closing. Not feeling safe. There’s just been so much uncertainty.”

The star concluded by saying that she hoped the film sparks up a conversation about mental health, as she realises the importance of the subject.

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that can begin to affect your everyday life. Rethink Mental Illness – a mental health charity – explains that anxiety can make people feel worried or scared, as well as cause physical symptoms such as a fast heartbeat and sweating.

Although we might all experience a varying degree of anxiety within our lives, some individuals experience these feelings of fear and danger even after the threat has gone. If this happens, the individual usually has an anxiety disorder.

The most common types of anxiety disorder include the following:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Skin picking
  • Hair pulling
  • Health anxiety
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Although symptoms of anxiety will differ according to which condition the individual has, common anxiety signs and symptoms include feeling nervous, hyperventilation, feeling weak or tired, trouble sleeping and having trouble concentrating.

It is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing symptoms similar to those above, or feel that your anxiety could be linked to a physical problem. Examples of medical problems that can be linked to anxiety include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism
  • Respiratory disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma
  • Drug misuse or withdrawal
  • Withdrawal from alcohol, anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines) or other medications
  • Chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Rare tumors that produce certain fight-or-flight hormones.

If you or someone you know needs support with their mental health, call Samaritans on 116 123 24 hours a day, or text SHOUT on 85258 for further support.

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