My family helped me beat anxiety and addiction, says Clara McGregor
London-born actress Clara, 25, said she started taking Xanax to ease her panic attacks but that four years ago her addiction spiralled out of control. In an interview, she said she would “never consider” taking Xanax again thanks to the support from her family and partner, director Jimmy Giannopoulos.
She said: “I would have panic attacks and had problems sleeping. I would burst out crying and it was intense, and I didn’t know what it meant. I had separation anxiety from my parents, I had general anxieties and fears, usually little kid things like being scared of the dark but mine were more extreme.”
She added: “Around four years ago my family and my partner Jimmy spotted that things were getting out of hand. They told me ‘you’re just not yourself anymore’. When I was on Xanax I had no energy and I would start forgetting things.
“That’s the scary thing, I would forget whole chunks of days. It was incredibly hard for me to get off them but I didn’t want to be in that space anymore and would never consider taking one again.
“Anxiety is suffocating. I’m 25 now and I’ve spent a lot of time working on it with therapy but it’s only in the last three to four years that I feel less constricted by it. My sister Esther and my mum are a great help.”
Despite being the daughter of a Hollywood actor, she said she was kept out of the spotlight until she made the choice to chase it herself. She said: “My dad sheltered us very much from the public eye; this was his world, his career and we didn’t have anything to do with that, and rightfully so.
“I wasn’t thrown into the public eye before I had my own decision to put myself there. It was a pretty normal childhood and it wasn’t all Hollywood and red carpets.”
McGregor now campaigns for the right to have an abortion in the United States. It follows the recent tightening of laws in Texas surrounding terminations after six weeks of pregnancy. Having spoken of an abortion she had in her early twenties, it is an issue which she feels strongly about.
She added: “It’s really scary that in 2021, we seem to be taking these leaps backwards in certain states in terms of abortion — it’s getting to look like a scene out of The Handmaid’s Tale.
“You get more time in jail now for assisting an abortion than you do for raping a woman in Texas, it feels like it’s a war on women and a war on women’s bodies. It’s control.”