The Big Bang Theory's Kunal Nayyar reveals crippling battle with panic attacks that sparked five years in therapy

THE Big Bang Theory's Kunal Nayyar has revealed his crippling battle with panic attacks sparked five years in therapy.

The 39-year-old actor played Raj Koothrappali in the hit CBS sitcom, which came to an end after 12 seasons in May 2019.

Kunal recently reunited with his former co-star Mayim Bialik on her Breakdown podcast to talk about his mental health.

He admitted: "When I began to struggle mentally, when I began to have those dark episodes, that was very shocking to me."

Kunal also recalled his first ever panic attack when he was 30, and how it happened while driving on a motorway.

He said: "I didn't know what that was. Ever since then I've had to fight some kind of battle with panic or anxiety."

Mayim – who played Amy Farrah Fowler on the show – replied: "That's actually a great way to define a panic attack – you don't know what it is."

Kunal added that he had a passenger with him at the time of his panic attack, and said: "I just went, 'Oh there's lots of traffic ahead', because I was just embarrassed.

"I'm having this full-blown panic attack inside, now I'm getting embarrassed so I'm pulling off [the highway] and joking.

"It got so bad I couldn't even look at my car keys without feeling panic, and then I knew something was wrong."

Kunal decided to see a hypnotherapist which helped deal with the panic around driving, but he soon found the attacks transferred to lifts.

He said: "Then, it became like the highway again, and that's when I said, 'Something's wrong', that was five years into therapy."

He continued: "You can have a beautiful, spiritual life and at some point still feel anxious, still at some point feel sad and depressed and panicky.

"There's no shame in that, there's no shame in feeling anxious, there's no shame in feeling stress, there's no shame at feeling panic."

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