Carson Daly battled with anxiety attacks while at MTV
A generation of music fans grew up watching Carson Daly on MTV’s “TRL,” but behind the scenes, he was fighting — and still is fighting — a lifelong battle with anxiety.
“It’s something I can’t change about myself,” he said on NBC’s “TODAY,” where he opened up about his longtime struggle with generalized anxiety disorder on Friday. But, he added, “I’ve learned to embrace it.”
Daly had “been nervous my whole life,” including throughout his childhood and teen years. When he took his job at MTV and his “life changed overnight,” his symptoms became worse.
“My very first panic attack happened — and by the way I didn’t know that at the time — happened when I was a host at MTV,” he said. “You feel like you’re dying.”
He only learned his feelings had a label later in life after talking with a friend.
“I’m like, ‘It’s a thing? Anxiety is a thing?'” he said. “I thought it was like stress, like not really a thing.”
Daly, who also hosts “The Voice,” now manages his anxiety with cognitive therapies and has learned to recognize and deal with his symptoms.
“To this day even when I’m on television — if you ever watch ‘The Voice’ live on NBC…I’m never still,” he said. “Some days I’m just a little anxious.”
Daly added: “I really wear the way I am like a badge of honor. This is who I am and I’m proud of it. I may be a little anxious, but I know I’m going to be okay.”