‘Pain Is Real But So Is Hope’- Lalla Hirayama Opens Up About Suffering With Panic Disorder & Depression

Lalla Hirayama has battled with Anxiety, Panic Disorder as well as Depression. The media personality opened up about battling with the mental illness on her Twitter account, revealing that at some point, “suicide was a serious thought.”

As part of Mandela Day, she  volunteered her time helping out at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.  The Lalla in Lalaland presenter shared some of her experiences with her followers, urging those who struggle with the mental disorder to move beyond the steep of social stigma and seek professional help.


“Even if you don’t have money, (SADAG) is there to help”, she tweeted. “Pain is real but so is hope. No one is alone.”

Speaking against the stigma that keeps anxiety disorder suppressed in codes of shame and secrecy, which force those who are suffer from the mental illness to secretly suffer alone, Lalla says there’s no shame in seeking professional help to improve one’s mental health.

While anxiety disorder has standard symptoms, which we discuss below, different people are affected differently by the illness. Before being diagnosed, Lalla felt like she was ‘possessed’, and considered suicide.


However, she revealed that she has been seeking professional help. She says that calling in to the SADAG has helped her deal with disorder on so many occasions.


The Anxiety and Depression Association of America describes a panic attack as ‘the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealisation (feelings of unreality) or depersonalisation (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

Because these symptoms are very similar to those of heart related diseases, such as heart attacks, thyroid problems etc., they can easily be mistaken for them. That only makes the attacks that much more scary.


Everyone gets anxious about stuff from time. But people who suffer with generalised anxiety disorder worry unstoppably about common situations. People with this condition worry so much that feelings of stress and restlessness, while overwhelming, and sometimes paralysing, cannot be easily managed even when the person is aware that these thoughts are irrational. This uncontrollable and incessant worrying can affect someone’s wellbeing, personal relationships and professional life.

Healthline.com lists these symptoms


  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Muscle tension
  • Repeated stomachaches or diarrhea
  • Wweaty palms
  • Shaking
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Neurological symptoms, such as numbness or tingling in different parts of the body

For more information, visit the SADAG website here .  As Lalla says, you are not aloneSeek professional help straight away.

Featured Image Credit: Lalla Hirayama via Instagram




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