Ariana Grande has kept her experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety after the 2017 Manchester bombing pretty private. But in a new interview accompanying her August 2018 cover story for Elle, which dropped on Wednesday, Grande described some of the mental health issues she has dealt with in the wake of the terrorist attack during her May 2017 concert in Manchester, England.
"When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn't breathe,” Grande told the magazine.
"I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere. I've always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down," she described. Grande also made sure to clarify in the interview that, while it's completely understandable for her to have been impacted by the attack, she doesn't want her experiences to overshadow those of concertgoers who were physically injured or killed by the bombing.
Grande also noted that the final track on her upcoming album, titled "Get Well Soon," was influenced by the state of her mental health after Manchester and is basically "all the voices in my head talking to one another." The lyrics, which she sampled for Elle, reportedly include, "They say my system is overloaded / Girl, what's wrong with you? Come back down."
She described her anxiety symptoms in a similar way in a tweet earlier this year and again cited them as part of the inspiration for the song. "Felt like i was floating for like 3 months last year & not in a nice way. like i outside my body?" she wrote at the time. "Was v scary and i couldn't breathe well. so it's ab that. & lots of voices in my head singin."
It's not unusual to experience ongoing worry or panic, or physical symptoms like dizziness or shortness of breath, after a trauma or in relation to anxiety.
Sometimes these symptoms are related to panic attacks (although Grande didn't specifically refer to her symptoms as panic attacks). As SELF wrote previously, panic attacks are episodes of intense fear or panic that come on suddenly, usually with physical symptoms such as a racing heart or shortness of breath.
Although they aren't harmful on their own, they can make you feel like you're hallucinating or even having a heart attack. They're associated with several mental illnesses including PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders, but you don't need to have an underlying illness to have a panic attack.
Although Manchester had an understandably enormous impact on Grande's mental health, this isn't the first time she's experienced issues related to anxiety. Grande has been in therapy for more than a decade, according to the new interview, and started seeing a mental health professional shortly after her parents divorced. "It's work," she told Elle of the ongoing process. "I'm a 25-year-old woman. But I've also spent the past handful of years growing up under very extraordinary circumstances. And I know how that story goes."