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Kathy Griffin is getting real with her fans, opening up about her everyday experience with post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety attacks.
The 62-year-old comedian shared for the first time publicly in a video last week that she had been diagnosed with “an extreme case” of complex PTSD, asking fellow TikTok users to share how they cope with similar conditions.
“If any of you know my story, you’ll understand that this really started for me about five and a half years ago, wink, you know, the cancer didn’t help,” she said, maintaining a smile throughout.
TODAY.com has reached out to representatives for Griffin.
In 2021, Griffin shared that she would be undergoing major lung surgery amid her battle with cancer.
The “My Life on the D-List” funny woman elaborated upon her health issues further on Instagram at the time and said that she had attempted suicide the year before.
“The last time I was in a hospital was in June 2020 when I tried to take my life and overdose on prescription pills,” Griffin said. “With over a year clean and drug free, I now know I can do this and anything I want without those devil pills.”
In May 2017, CNN ended its deal with Griffin to appear on their New Year's Eve program, which she had hosted with Anderson Cooper for nearly a decade, following a controversial tweet.
At the time, Griffin had posted a brief video clip on Twitter of herself holding a bloodied head that appeared to be that of former President Donald Trump. In a follow-up tweet, she clarified that she does not condone violence and that her video was “merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.” The tweets have since been deleted.
According to the National Center for PTSD, complex PTSD stems from experiencing “chronic trauma” that repeats for months or years at a time.
In the comedian's TikTok videos, she explains how her symptoms manifest and the things that have helped her manage them.
On April 14, she posted a video where she shared that she had an "eight-hour attack" of anxiety the day before.
"Today I felt like one might be coming on, I started to feel like a little iffy, so I'm on my walk now, and I'm outside and looking at the ocean, which is helpful," she said in the video. "I'm sort of, almost mid an anxiety attack right now, but it feels good to be walking my way through it, and I just keep telling myself it won't last forever."
The next day she shared that the attacks start with a tingling in her chest, then "it goes right to my stomach."
"But so far today I'm OK, and that's how it is, I just kind of never know, it's day by day," she said.
In the caption, she wrote that the "last year and a half has been plagued with PTSD stuff."
"It’s funny. I don’t have anxiety about performing, but I have anxiety about life," she said in the caption.
She then took to TikTok April 16 to share a post documenting how she was getting ready for a trip to the farmers market and explained that putting on makeup "for almost no reason" helps her manage symptoms related to PTSD and anxiety.
"So, we're going to a farmers market today and, you know, I like to sort of be overdressed sometimes for stuff because getting ready gives me something to do. I don't have to wallow in weird thoughts or stuff like that."
“I also like being overdressed. It just gives me something to do to get dressed up,” she continued. “So I have to show you this outfit because it’s ridiculous.”
She poked some fun at herself in the caption, writing, "Hahaha. Yes, I will put on makeup and get dressed up to go to the farmers market if it takes my mind off my #PanicAttacks #PTSD #Anxiety #AnxietyAttacks."
In the comment section, fans loved her candid approach to talking about mental health.
"Kathy I've absolutely LOVED you since I was a little kid! Thank you for sharing & normalizing your struggles," one person wrote. "You're incredible."
"Hey, you're doing it, doing something. That in itself is amazing," another wrote, adding the medal, clapping and heart emojis.
One TikTok user commented, "It's fantastic that you're taking care of you! Those that suffer from this knows most don't have the energy to do it. You're inspiring others."