Opening up online to followers about her years’-long battle with anxiety, actress Gabrielle Union shared of how, at times, the anxiety “is so bad it shrinks my life.”
The “Being Mary Jane” star, who hasn’t shied from speaking about the source behind her anxiety — her firsthand experience with rape at age 19 — uploaded a video on Instagram on Tuesday, June 7, that shows her posing on the red carpet at the 2022 Met Gala in New York City. In the video, she created an analogy, labeling her husband, retired professional basketball player Dwyane Wade, as “my anxiety” and a male individual fixing her dress as “my triggers.”
Her caption started off with her expressing, “As a rape survivor, I have battled PTSD for 30 years.” She continued, “Living with anxiety and panic attacks all these years has never been easy.” The actress noted why she shared the post: “I hope everyone living with anxiety knows they aren’t alone.” She ended with, “I see you, I FEEL you and there is so much love for you. Always. Love and light good people. Be good to each other out there [black heart emoji].”
Actors such as Quinta Brunson and Uzo Aduba along with others showed their love and support toward the actress by commenting with hearts underneath the post.
Fans of Union also commented to let the actress know how much she continued to inspire them and that she wasn’t alone. “Thank you for sharing this, anxiety is no joke,” one person wrote. “Sending all my love to those who struggle.”
Other comments included “Never stop inspiring us” and “Deeply felt and needed this.”
Union has written candidly about her experience in her book of essays, “We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True.” The New York Times bestseller originally was published in 2017.
Glamour uploaded a snippet from Union’s book, in which she shared how she worked at a Payless shoe store in California when it happened. A robber had come inside the store, robbed the store, taken Union and a co-worker to a bathroom stall, held a gun up to Union’s head and then raped her.
The “Deliver Us From Eva” actress has spoken about her experience on many platforms such as ABC’s “The View” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”
She told Noah in 2018, “My parents were like, ‘This is bigger than us, you need professional help.’ Literally as my face was still battered, I was unrecognizable, I went to my first therapy session.”
Union recalled feelings of anxiety as a “by-product of her rape” in a 2020 interview on “The View.” She credited therapy as a tool that helped her cope with the long-lasting effects she faced, such as PTSD and anxiety. She also expressed during the interview that there is “no shame asking for help.”
Union’s vulnerability in her Instagram post resulted in more than 400,000 likes.