Chrissy Metz opened up about how therapy helped her process childhood trauma and change her relationship with food in a new interview with VeryWell Mind. The 41-year-old This Is Us actor revealed her 30th birthday marked a turning point in her mental health journey. On that day, she experienced a panic attack while watching a movie with friends and family, which eventually led her to a therapist’s office.
“I’m so grateful that I have access to healthcare—mental health and therapy—because I have a lot of conversations with my therapist,” Metz told VeryWell Mind. She shared that she’s thankful for the panic attack that led her to seek help, even though she experienced anxiety for years after the fact.
Therapy bettered Metz’s relationship with food, she said. “I needed to understand why I’ve been hurting my body with food and all the things that come with that, which means all the past trauma, all my parents’ unresolved issues, all of that came bubbling to the surface at 30 years old.” Metz added that she had a tendency to self-soothe with food—and that therapy helped her work past that. “Because for sure, it’s not about the food. Ever. The food is the symptom,” she said. “If you take the food away, all the feelings you’ve suppressed come up, and then you have to contend with them because you’ve never dealt with them.”
Metz said she experienced physical and emotional abuse as a child, explaining that therapy also helped her work through that trauma. Specifically, seeing a therapist helped her learn to practice gratitude, and equipped her with helpful tools like journaling and meditation. And therapy also provided an outlet in which Metz felt heard, something she said she didn’t have while growing up.
Beyond processing past traumas, seeing a mental health expert also helped Metz envision, then attain, the future she wanted for herself, she said. She credited therapy with changing the course of her life, which eventually led her to This Is Us: “I wasn’t doing what I knew I needed to do to get to that other place in my life.”
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