Carson Daly Recalls Having Panic Attacks on 'The Voice', Says He's in 'Better Place' Now with His Anxiety

Carson Daly will discuss mental health issues in a new segment on the Today show called "Mind Matters"

carson daly
Carson Daly. Photo: Maarten De Boer/Getty

Carson Daly is detailing the "high-panic moments" he experiences while hosting The Voice.

The 48-year-old television personality recently spoke to USA Today about being diagnosed with general anxiety disorder (GAD) and said that being open about his struggles has put him in a "much better place."

"You may know me from MTV or as a celebrity of whatever you think of me. You may think my life's perfect. I've got kids. I always look happy on TV or when you watch me on The Voice. But that's just not how it works," Daly told the outlet. "It's not like that."

"On The Voice, when I'm live on Monday nights, most of the time, my right hand is in my right pocket, and I'm literally gripping onto the flesh of my thigh because I'm waiting for a high-panic moment to pass," he added.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The Voice - Season 12
Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Although his panic attacks and hyperventilation can come and go, Daly said he's "on a really good path," and that sharing his story and learning more about anxiety has really helped him.

"Once you realize that other people have [GAD] – that it's an actual diagnosable thing, and there is a whole psychology and physiology behind it – you have context, and I think learning about all that, talking about it, exploring it has just ripped the veil," he said.

Daly will continue sharing his personal experience with anxiety through a new summer segment on the Today show called "Mind Matters," launching Tuesday. He told USA that the show will allow him to destigmatize issues around mental health.

"I shared my story haphazardly one day, and now this mental health area has become kind of my place at NBC News and within the show and the creation of 'Mind Matters' to find other stories of people like me, whether they're famous or not," he said.

"It's just inspiring," Daly continued. "I've never had an issue with clinical depression … but when doing 'Mind Matters,' I have a chance to talk to people who struggle differently than I do with suicidal ideation or depression, and I'm in such awe of the bravery of people."

Daly first opened up about his anxiety in 2018 after hearing NBA player Kevin Love share his own experience.

"I've suffered for over 20 years with, at times, debilitating anxiety and panic, and never knew it. I never knew how to define it," he revealed at the time. "After finally opening up to friends, one of them had a history of anxiety, and looked at me and was like, 'You have anxiety.' "

The father of four underwent a 14-week cognitive therapy course and began to educate himself about his mental illness, eventually learning how to manage it.

"It felt so good to get that diagnosis, because for so long I would be driving in my car and start to get nervous and wonder if I should pull over. And now I know, 'Oh, this is happening, and wait 10 seconds and it will go away.' Being diagnosed and then talking about it just feels good," Daly added.

"It bothers me that anybody could feel that they're less than normal if they also have something about them that they're unsure about as it pertains to their mental health. It doesn't have to be anxiety. It can be depression, it could be PTSD, or any number of things. I want to hold their hand and go, 'It's okay to not be okay.' "

Related Articles