Normal People 's Daisy Edgar-Jones Opens Up About Her Struggles with Hypochondria

Gabrielle Chung

Daisy Edgar-Jones is speaking out about her mental health.

The Normal People star, 22, opened up about her struggles with anxiety — particularly her experiences with hypochondria — during a recent appearance on the How to Fail podcast, telling journalist and host Elizabeth Day that the disorder manifested itself when she began doubting her decision to put off attending university to focus on acting.

"It's heartbreaking [to lose out at an audition] and there's the odd one that's really hard to get over. And sometimes, when I didn't get those parts, I'd spiral into doubts about whether I should go to university," she said.

"I didn't get work. I auditioned and I got close, and I found that very anxiety-making and I really struggled for a while," Edgar-Jones explained. "When I feel anxious, it sort of comes out in different ways for me. One of the ways is I kind of struggle a bit with hypochondria. I had a lot more free time because my friends were away at [university] living their best life ... and I was thinking, 'Gosh, am I missing out on life experience?' and so I would get quite anxious." Daisy Edgar-Jones

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"It sort of comes in waves. I've sort of had it for a while, and I just think it's my way kind of way of dealing with anxiety," the actress continued.

Hypochondria, also know as hypochondriasis or health anxiety, is described as "worrying excessively that you are or may become seriously ill" by the Mayo Clinic.

According to the institution, those who suffer from the disorder "may experience extreme anxiety that body sensations, such as muscle twitching or fatigue, are associated with a specific, serious illness. This excessive anxiety — rather than the physical symptom itself — results in severe distress that can disrupt your life."

In her interview, Edgar-Jones said her hypochondria "comes out in a sort of need to control" her life.

Enda Bowe/Hulu Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People

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"If I see a rash for example, I'm like, 'Okay. If I really need to overthink that and Google the heck out of that, then I'm controlling it in some way. If I find out that it's something really sinister, I've caught it before it could potentially become something worse,' " she explained, adding she "would kind of get a little bit obsessive over certain things" as a result.

However, Edgar-Jones isn't letting anxiety hold her back these days.

"I can laugh about it now, and I have found ways to deal with it, which is really good," she said. "More than anything, [it's] not letting myself Google stuff. ... If I believe that it's irrational thought, then I'll panic myself. But if I make sure I realize it isn't, then it's fine."