Well-Being Mental Health

Carson Daly says he’s in a ‘much better place’ after talking about anxiety attacks

"Once you realize that other people have (GAD) – that it's an actual diagnosable thing, and there is a whole psychology and physiology behind it – you have context, and I think learning about all that, talking about it, exploring it has just ripped the veil," Daly told USA Today.
Carson Daly arrives at the 4th season premiere screening of “The Voice” at the TCL Theatre on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Story at a glance


  • Daly first opened up about his personal battle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show in 2018.

  •  Daly elaborated further in a new interview with USA Today, telling the outlet appearances are often deceiving. 

  • “You may know me from MTV or as a celebrity of whatever you think of me. You may think my life’s perfect. I’ve got kids. I always look happy on TV or when you watch me on ‘The Voice.’ But that’s just not how it works. It’s not like that,” Daly told the outlet.

Television personality Carson Daly recently revealed how talking about his lifelong struggle with anxiety led him to a “much better place.”  

The 48-year-old former host of MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL) first opened up about his personal battle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, in which Daly spoke of terrible anxiety, resulting in panic attacks on the set of TRL.  

Daly elaborated further in a new interview with USA Today, telling the outlet appearances are often deceiving.  

“You may know me from MTV or as a celebrity of whatever you think of me. You may think my life’s perfect. I’ve got kids. I always look happy on TV or when you watch me on ‘The Voice.’ But that’s just not how it works. It’s not like that,” Daly told USA Today. 

“On ‘The Voice,’ when I’m live on Monday nights, most of the time, my right hand is in my right pocket, and I’m literally gripping onto the flesh of my thigh because I’m waiting for a high-panic moment to pass,” he added.  

GAD is characterized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) as living in a constant state of fear, anxiety and dread, which interferes with a person’s daily activities. This treatable disorder can begin in one’s childhood but most commonly develops after the age of 30.  

The disorder can be treated with medication or therapy or a combination of both, according to the NIH. 


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Daly told the outlet he still fights symptoms of panic attacks, including hyperventilation, but now he is in a “much better place” after talking about it.  

“Once you realize that other people have (GAD) – that it’s an actual diagnosable thing, and there is a whole psychology and physiology behind it – you have context, and I think learning about all that, talking about it, exploring it has just ripped the veil,” Daly told USA Today.  

The host of “The Voice” is now engaged in a summer long series called “Mind Matters” where he seeks to shed light on the mental health crisis by people’s stories.  

“It’s just inspiring. I’ve never had an issue with clinical depression … but when doing ‘Mind Matters, I have a chance to talk to people who struggle differently than I do with suicidal ideation or depression, and I’m in such awe of the bravery of people,” Daly said.  

Daly concluded he believes the country is heading in the right direction, as celebrities, including professional athletes, have become increasingly vocal about their own mental health struggles.  

Data shows that GAD affects around 6.8 million people across the U.S., or around 3.1 percent of the population.  


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