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Actress Elizabeth Olsen Recalls Getting Panic Attacks Every Hour at 21


Anxiety and panic attacks were never an issue for Elizabeth Olsen until she hit her 20s and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

In a new interview with Variety, the WandaVision star, 33, opened up about her mental health struggles, which she only experienced when she was living in New York at age 21. The actress explains that prior to turning 21, she didn’t even understand what anxiety or a panic attack was.

“I remember I would get [panic attacks] on the hour every hour,” Olsen recalled to the outlet. “I used to live on 13th Street between 6th and 7th. I was crossing 6th Avenue at 14th Street, and I realized I couldn’t cross the street — I stood up against the wall, and I just thought I was going to drop dead at any moment.”

Elizabeth Olsen

“If I went from cold to hot, hot to cold, full to hungry, hungry to full — any kind of shift in my body, my whole body thought, ‘Uh oh, something’s wrong!’ And I just started spiraling. It was so weird,” she continued. “A ENT doctor said that it could be vertigo-related because it was all about truly spinning. So it was an interesting six months.”

Elizabeth Olsen said it wasn’t until she turned to a friend and medical expert that she was able to find ways to cope with her anxiety and the constant “spinning” feeling.

Elizabeth Olsen previously discussed her mental health issues and how she rediscovered a love of exercise after struggling with panic attacks.

“I love training even when I’m not working on the Marvel movies. I grew up doing ballet and playing pretty competitive volleyball. In college, fitness is suddenly not part of your curriculum, so I stopped doing anything,” she told the New York Times before noting the beginning of her panic attacks.


The actress said she getting through them included “taking the attention off yourself” and working out.

“It was then that I found yoga to be really helpful and when fitness became a big part of my life again,” Olsen said. “I found that after a hard workout, I could sit by myself.”


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