“I do have anxiety and it’s been an issue for many many years,” the 45-year-old actor and comedian said
Kumail Nanjiani is opening up about dealing with “untenable” anxiety over the years.
During a recent appearance on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, the 45-year-old detailed how his work as an actor and comedian resulted in a lot of stress and anxiety.
“I do have anxiety and it’s been an issue for many many years,” he shared. “It was a few years ago actually where I realized this is untenable, this is too much anxiety. I realized that I had associated work with stress and nerves and anxiety.”
Nanjiani explained that his anxiety started when he did stand up comedy, explaining that his heart would start racing before walking on stage.
“I sort of associated that body feeling with my work and it was really hard for [wife Emily V. Gordon] and it was really hard for me and my work suffered,” he admitted, noting that it pushed him to find a therapist.
“I started seeing a therapist and learned the ways to really let things go and I’ve realized that when I’m relaxed, I’m better at my job, I’m better at acting, I’m better at stand up, I’m a better husband, all that stuff,” he said.
Nanjiani said that although he meditates every day and goes to therapy every week, he still struggles with it and understands that he’ll always have to manage his mental health.
“Anxiety is a constant thing that you have to work on,” he said. “Anxiety comes back, you have to know how to see it, understand it and deal with it.”
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"The reviews were really bad," Nanjiani recalled. "I was too aware of it. I was reading every review. I was checking too much. This thing had become too much in my head. This was also right after the pandemic so we’re coming out after this crazy thing and I’m like okay this is going to be the coming out party. I worked hard for this.”
Despite loving the movie and being proud of how it came out, Nanjiani said the “trauma” from the bad reviews ultimately took a toll on him.
“It was really hard, and that was when I thought it was unfair to me and unfair to [my wife] Emily, and I can’t approach my work this way anymore. Some s--- has to change. So I started counseling. I still talk to my therapist about that. I do have trauma from it.”
"I realized I can't be so results based in my work anymore because I can't really control it," he said. "I can control my experience. I can control how I am to the people around me. I can control what I learn from it. I can control how I work. I can't control what people are gonna think of it."
If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
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