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Gabrielle Union Describes “Agony” of Anxiety and PTSD After Being Raped at 19

Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault.

Thirty years later, Gabrielle Union is continuing to navigate life after a traumatic event.

The Cheaper by the Dozen actress offered a glimpse into some of her personal struggles in an Instagram post on June 7, explaining how posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety affect her day-to-day life in the spotlight after she was raped at age 19. 

“As a rape survivor, I have battled PTSD for 30 years,” she began in her post. “Living with anxiety and panic attacks all these years has never been easy. There’s times the anxiety is so bad it shrinks my life.” 

Union said that leaving her house or even making an unprotected left turn at a traffic signal can “fill me with terror.” Her anxiety can also turn her excitement about going to a party, such as the Met Gala, into “pure agony.” 

“When we tell y’all what we are experiencing, please believe us the 1st time we mention it,” she wrote. “No, it’s not like being nervous and everyone experiences and deals with anxiety differently, and that’s OK.”

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