- Ariana Grande shared a picture of a brain scan on her Instagram that she suggested showed her post-traumatic stress disorder.
- She wrote that the scan was “hilarious and terrifying” but “not a joke.”
- Grande has spoken about experiencing PTSD symptoms and anxiety following the bombing attack at her concert in Manchester, England, in 2017.
- “The processing part is going to take forever,” she told Time magazine last year, adding: “Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world. I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day.”
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Ariana Grande shared an Instagram Story on Thursday that she said was a scan of her brain.
The picture showed a scan of a “healthy brain” alongside a scan of the brain of a person with post-traumatic stress disorder. She said a scan below was of her brain, showing the same areas lit up as the brain of the person with PTSD.
She wrote that the scan was “hilarious and terrifying” but “not a joke.” It’s unclear whether she’s been formally diagnosed with PTSD.
The areas of the brain of a person with PTSD that usually show up on scans are the hippocampus and the amygdala – regions associated with memory and emotions, especially fear. The amygdala is highly active when someone is experiencing anxiety or stress, while the hippocampus commonly shrinks in the brain of a person with PTSD, which can help explain why they might experience flashbacks.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that people who have had a frightening or highly stressful experience can have. They often have nightmares and flashbacks and can have trouble sleeping.
One of the most common treatments for PTSD is cognitive behavioural therapy, where a therapist helps the person come to terms with the traumatic event.
Grande has spoken about struggling to cope after a terrorist bombing at her concert in Manchester, England, in May 2017 killed 23 people, many of whom were young. A couple of weeks after the attack, Grande pulled together a “One Love” concert, where she performed alongside artists like Justin Bieber and Coldplay to honour those who lost their lives.
Grande told Time magazine last year that it was hard to think about because so many people had “suffered such loss and pain,” adding that “the processing part is going to take forever.”
“Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world,” she said. “I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day.”
She also spoke about experiencing anxiety and PTSD symptoms, like dizziness, in an interview with British Vogue last year.
“My anxiety has anxiety,” she said, adding: “I’ve always had anxiety. I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it’s ever been.”
She said she didn’t think she would “ever know how to talk about it and not cry.”
Grande also lost her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, who died of a drug overdose last year. They dated on and off for two years before calling things off; Grande has said the relationship was “toxic.”But they seemed to remain close. Grande called off her engagement to the comedian Pete Davidson a month after Miller’s death.
Grande has since paid tribute to Miller many times on social media. In November, she shared an image of the previous Thanksgiving with the caption “you’re v missed,” and when she kicked off her world tour in March, she played his music before performing.
Grande has been very open with her fans about her mental health. Just a few days ago, she posted a video on Instagram encouraging them to look after themselves mentally.
“I just wanted to say hi and remind you guys to protect your peace and your energy and to not forget to take care of yourselves and protect your space,” she said.
She added: “I just want to make sure that you don’t run yourself to the ground, exhaust yourself – and remember to protect your energy and do things that are good for you.”
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