Camila Cabello discusses overcoming anxiety and how she coped with being ‘incredibly nervous’

Singer says she ‘never used to sing’ in public 

Katie O'Malley
Monday 22 July 2019 10:43 BST
Camila Cabello attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.
Camila Cabello attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.

Camilla Cabello has opened up about her struggles with anxiety, revealing she has been “incredibly nervous” and “socially anxious” since she was a child.

On Sunday, the singer – who just reached number one in the Official Chart for her single “Senorita” with Shawn Mendes – posted two Instagram posts in which she detailed her mental health issues.

Despite her successful singing career, the “Havana” singer revealed she would struggle to sing in front of her parents as a child and “get flustered” when asked to show off her vocal skills.

“I sang in my room when my parents left for Walmart and cried when one day I saw them filming me through the crack of the door, I got teary eyed when people sang happy birthday to me because people looking at me actually made me overwhelmed,” she captioned a photograph of herself lying down on a sofa.

“I was generally incredibly nervous and socially anxious when I was little; and people always have this look of disbelief when I tell them that,” she added.

The NHS states that anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe.

The condition’s symptoms vary from person to person but can include feeling restless, having trouble concentrating or sleeping, dizziness and heart palpitations.

On the subject of her success, Cabello continued, stating that she feels she has lived her life as “two Camilas”.

“There’s little Camila that is terrified of the unknown, is aware of all the ways everything can go wrong, (actually can picture them vividly lol), and thinks it’s safer to stay home than to play ball [sic],” she wrote.

“Then there’s the other Camila. And she knows what she wants out of life, is aware of how little time I have to let little Camila run the show while time passes by, and grabs young me by the hand and forces her out the door saying “Let’s go. You’ll survive, and I’m not gonna miss out on this. Let’s go.”

In a second post, the “Real Friends” singer urged her fans to not let their mental health struggles or insecurities stop them from being their authentic selves.

“The truth is you decide who you’re going to be,” she wrote. “Every day. I’m not talking about talent or success. I just mean the type of person you’re going to be. If you haven’t been very brave, or very social, or wild, or an adventure seeker, if you describe yourself as the opposite of those things... it doesn’t mean you can’t be.”

“The essence of me is the same, but I’ve changed so much as a person. You choose who you’re going to be. Force yourself to do what you’re afraid of, always- and go after what you want and who you want to be, because you’re worth that. You’re worth the fight. It’s the most worthwhile one there is.”

Several of the singer’s fans have commented on the posts to commend the star for her honesty.

“Beautiful words,” wrote singer Zara Larsson.

Another wrote: “Camilla words can’t explain how much his means you’re so inspirational I love you and thank you.”

“This is so exactly what I needed to hear today,” added another.

Last year, Cabello spoke openly about living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

“OCD is weird. I laugh about it now,” she told Cosmopolitan UK. “Everybody has different ways of handling stress.

Camila Cabello attends Camila Cabello and L'Oreal Paris Celebrate the launch of the HAVANA makeup collection in Pacific Palisades, California on July 24, 2018

“And, for me, if I get really stressed thinking about something, I’ll start to have the same thought over and over again, and no matter how many times I get to the resolution, I feel like something bad is about to happen if I don’t keep thinking about it.”

Cabello told the publication that she hasn’t always understood what triggered the condition but, following her diagnosis, she has learnt methods which help her to cope with it.

“I didn’t know what it was and when I found out, and [learned] how to step back from it, it made me feel so much better,” she revealed. “I feel so much more in control of it now. To the point where I’m just like, ‘Aha! OK, this is just my OCD. I’ll ask my mom a question for the fourth time, and she’ll be like, ‘That’s OCD. You’ve got to let it go.”​

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

OCD is a common mental health condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, the NHS explains.

Symptoms of the condition can include an unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters the mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease and a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.

The main treatments for the condition are psychological therapy and medication.

If you have been affected by any issues mentioned in this article, you can contact The Samaritans for free on 116 123 or any of the following mental health organisations:

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in