James Arthur Opens Up About His Struggle With Anxiety & Panic Attacks

"I just pressed the self-destruct button because I put a lot of pressure on myself."

By Sarah Carroll

James Arthur may be an up-and-coming artist here in the United States, but he became one of the most recognizable faces in Great Britain after winning The X Factor (UK) back in 2012.

The “Say You Let Go” singer wasn’t prepared for overnight fame that came along with reality television.

Related: Booker Talks To James Arthur

“Everything happened so quick. It was never in my plans to be famous. I didn’t deal very well with it,” he told Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP Radio. “I just pressed the self-destruct button because I put a lot of pressure on myself.”

After a string of controversies, Arthur eventually lost his record deal with Simon Cowell’s label and he had to start over from scratch.

“I started making music for myself again and thankfully it connected with people.”

“Say You Won’t Let Go” marked the beginning of Arthur’s comeback. It’s currently #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has spent a whopping 25 weeks on the chart. Just this past September, he resigned with Syco Entertainment.

“It brought me back from the dead, this song,” he admitted. “It definitely feels a bit kind of like a miracle that it’s all kind of come together.”

The 29-year-old singer is determined not to repeat the mistakes he made the first time around. Arthur revealed he’s attended therapy to treat his struggles with anxiety and depression.

“I have panic attacks, actually. I think, obviously, it always stems from something in your past, your childhood, and there’s triggers.”

Arthur is currently writing a self-help-inspired memoir called About A Boy.

“I didn’t want to write the typical autobiography, you know, the tell-all, because I wanted to do something that people will still maybe read in a few years’ time. I want to intertwine my struggle with mental health issues as well in there.”

“I feel much better equipped, yeah. I’m just kind of taking every day as it comes,” he continued. “What I try to do is not think about the future too much because that can only induce anxiety. I try and just stay in the moment.”

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