Carrie Underwood: 'American Idol' Helped Me Overcome Panic Attacks

Before appearing on (and eventually winning) American Idol, country superstar and newlywed Carrie Underwood suffered from something that affects more than 6 million people in the United States: having a panic disorder.

In an interview with WebMD the magazine, Underwood, 27, recalls how her panic attacks began in high school and found herself feeling debilitated by close proximity to others. The Oklahoma native admits that Christmas shopping, (which, let's face it, can test anyone's nerves!), "seemed to be my worst nightmare." She admits, "Whenever I'd be in stores and there would be people touching me and kids running around, I couldn't take it and I'd have to leave."

"I'm a big personal space person," Underwood explains, adding, "You know, if you go to the restroom, you use the stall that's not near anybody. Or if you're in the gym, you go to the treadmill where there's space in between you. And it seemed like in crowded situations like that, people would just completely violate your personal space." 

But, that all seemed to change when Underwood took part in the fourth season of American Idol, particularly when it came to interacting with fans. "(Fans) feel like they know you and they love you and that's wonderful – they're excited to meet you," says the Grammy winner. "It just took me a minute to be able to figure that out and to be able to allow people into my space."

Can you relate to Carrie Underwood's struggle with a panic disorder? Chime in below!

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