Former EastEnders actress Hetti Bywater has opened up about her struggle with anxiety. Taking to her Instagram page this week, the 24-year-old - who played Lucy Beale in the popular BBC soap - shared a make-up free selfie and explained how mindfulness has been a huge help during her battle. "Just like most people, I suffer with anxiety," she explained in the caption. "Mainly social, and I always need to catch my breath when I'm in London. It occasionally gets a bit much.
"Especially with all the people. So I take myself back home and spend time outside and listen to what my body and mind need." Detailing her struggle with mental health, Hetti elaborated: "I get stuck in my own thoughts and feel overwhelmed, needing to re-assess where I am at. Nature and being still helps me do that and become more mindful. It's my escapism. I feel much calmer and far more in touch with my emotions. I have definitely needed this recently."
MORE: Lacey Turner shares the most adorable picture of baby Dusty
Many of the TV star's followers rushed to post messages, with many sharing their own sufferings with anxiety. One fan wrote: "I get the same in London. I can take a few hours but come evening, I get super irritable and just want quiet and to be alone. People think I'm being an old woman but inside I'm screaming to just get home xx." Another remarked: "I suffer from anxiety too that’s why I look up to you to calm me down x you’re beautiful." [sic]
MORE: Holly Willoughby says goodbye to Portugal with precious photo of her eldest children
Hetti became famous for her portrayal of Lucy in EastEnders from 2012. She was the fourth actress to take on the role and played the part of the scheming character for two years before being killed off in 2014. In February, the actress posted a photo of herself wearing a bikini, and many of her online followers commented on her body, accusing her of being too skinny. However, she wasn't having any of it as she slammed "negative" people on social media, saying: "To the people saying my hips are photoshopped... I've always had wide hips. It runs in my family. I will from now on be deleting any comments that are negative or rude. Purely because a girl doesn't have time for that. Thanks, bye."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.