Peter Andre has spoken about his battle with social anxiety, saying he only realised his condition had a name when he heard Robbie Williams suffers from the same thing.
Peter said he has suffered up to 20 panic attacks a day, considered suicide and been treated in a psychiatric hospital, but believes his anxiety is curable.
The Mysterious Girl singer said Robbie inadvertently played a crucial part in his recovery after he saw the singer’s wife Ayda Field on Loose Women.
He told ITV’s This Morning: “Ayda was on talking about how Robbie suffers from social anxiety and my ears pricked up and I thought: ‘What is going on here?’.
“She started explaining that when there are certain events coming up, it’s a red carpet event or if there is a party, he will cancel last minute or something will happen and he will freak out and go ‘I can’t do it’ and I went: ‘That’s what the label is, that’s what I’ve had all these years’.
“I would literally at the last minute ring up Claire my manager and say ‘I can’t go’, I would say anything to get out of it because it was a social anxiety.”
Peter said he can track the problem back to growing up in Australia, telling the show: “It was a very rough time, being Greek and having an English accent and going to a place in Australia where there were no ethnics, no Italians, no Greeks, and here I was, this outcast of a family. Yes, we were picked on.
“I don’t really have anything bad to say about that now because I understand that was the time but I had a knife held at me in Sydney which really scared me and started the fear of going to nightclubs and things like that, anywhere there was people getting drunk and I didn’t know my surroundings.
“I guess I’m here to say: People tell you it’s not curable, but that’s not true, it’s curable.”
He added: “People have very weird views on medication, they have weird views about therapy, I can tell you both of them work for me.
“There are some people who can’t get therapy because they find maybe there is a long waiting list on the NHS and they can’t get it, not everyone has that access.
“However, I wanted to say that people who have medication and say, ‘yes I feel great’, it can make you feel better. But I think you’re just wiping the problem under the carpet, unless you talk to somebody about it, actually get to the bottom of the problem.”