Peter Andre says Robbie Williams helped him realise he was suffering from an anxiety illness and inspired him to get help
Peter Andre has spoken about his battle with social anxiety, saying he only realised his condition had a name when he heard Robbie Williams suffers from the same thing.
Peter said he has suffered up to 20 panic attacks a day, considered suicide and been treated in a psychiatric hospital, but believes his anxiety is curable.
The Mysterious Girl singer said Robbie inadvertently played a crucial part in his recovery after he saw the singer’s wife Ayda Field on Loose Women.
He told ITV’s This Morning: “Ayda was on talking about how Robbie suffers from social anxiety and my ears pricked up and I thought: ‘What is going on here?’
“She started explaining that when there are certain events coming up, it’s a red carpet event or if there is a party, he will cancel last minute or something will happen and he will freak out and go ‘I can’t do it’ and I went: ‘That’s what the label is, that’s what I’ve had all these years’.
“I would literally at the last minute ring up Claire my manager and say ‘I can’t go’, I would say anything to get out of it because it was a social anxiety.”
Peter said he can track the problem back to growing up in Australia, telling the show: “It was a very rough time, being Greek and having an English accent and going to a place in Australia where there were no ethnics, no Italians, no Greeks, and here I was, this outcast of a family. Yes, we were picked on.
“I don’t really have anything bad to say about that now because I understand that was the time, but I had a knife held at me in Sydney which really scared me and started the fear of going to nightclubs and things like that, anywhere there was people getting drunk and I didn’t know my surroundings.
“I guess I’m here to say: People tell you it’s not curable, but that’s not true, it’s curable.”
He added: “People have very weird views on medication, they have weird views about therapy, I can tell you both of them work for me.
“There are some people who can’t get therapy because they find maybe there is a long waiting list on the NHS and they can’t get it, not everyone has that access.
“However, I wanted to say that people who have medication and say, ‘yes I feel great’, it can make you feel better. But I think you’re just wiping the problem under the carpet, unless you talk to somebody about it, actually get to the bottom of the problem.”