Riverdale's Madelaine Petsch Gets Candid About 'Really Bad' Panic Attacks and Social Anxiety

The actress said that she worked through her struggles with mental health in therapy

Madelaine Petsch is opening up about her mental health.

During an interview for the August cover of Nylon, the actress — who stars as Cheryl Blossom on Riverdale — shared that she’s dealt with “really bad” panic attacks and social anxiety throughout her life and spoke out against the “stigma” around going to therapy.

“Talk about stigma, dude,” Petsch, 24, told the outlet. “I mean, I didn’t even know what it was, but I used to get really bad panic attacks right before I booked Riverdale. Then, I started getting really bad social anxiety, and I only was able to [hone] in on what those things are and work through them [with therapy].”

Though she says she hasn’t “even made a dent in all the work I need to do,” she explained that going to therapy was a crucial first step in addressing her mental health struggles.

“Just being able to [hone] in on what it is and identify it is the first step,” Petsch said. “I only could have done that with therapy. So I understand that maybe people think that there is some kind of stigma around therapy, but, like, you talk to your mom, you talk to your friends — it’s the same thing.”

FOX's Teen Choice Awards 2018 - Arrivals
Frazer Harrison/Getty
Madelaine Petsch and Camila Mendes
Madelaine Petsch and Camila Mendes. Katie Jones/WWD/Shutterstock

The Riverdale star also shared that she’s able to lean on her cast members during bad days when her “anxiety is through the roof.”

“Mental health is incredibly important to me, and I’m so happy that I’m part of a group of women with the [Riverdale] cast that all speak so vocally about it,” Petsch said.

She continued: “If I’m having a bad day and I’m feeling like my anxiety is through the roof, I will call [costar] Cami[la Mendes], and I will go to her place, and we’ll eat dried apricots and talk about all of my problems until I have vented it out.”

Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con Celebration - Arrivals
Araya Diaz/WireImage

In the interview, Petsch also shared a message to her fans and followers, reminding them that nobody is perfect.

“I don’t think perfectionism and art can even be in the same sentence, but I wasn’t aware of that when I first started … Not even necessarily with Cheryl, but more with Madelaine as a person — like, my life had to be perfect,” the actress explained.

“But I realized that no one’s life is perfect,” she continued. “My life is certainly nowhere near it. There’s no such thing as perfect art and artist.”

Related Articles