Jennifer Lopez On Panic Attack That Forced Her to Change Her Life: “I Thought I Was Losing My Mind”

Jennifer Lopez is opening up about the “classic panic attack” that forced her to change her life in her latest “On the JLo” newsletter.

“There was a time in my life where I used to sleep [three] to [five] hours a night. I’d be on set all day and in the studio all night and doing junkets and filming videos on the weekends. I was in my late 20s and I thought I was invincible,” she writes. “Until one day, I was sitting in a trailer, and all the work and the stress it brought with it, coupled with not enough sleep to recuperate mentally, caught up with me.

“I went from feeling totally normal, to thinking about what I needed to do that day and all of a sudden I felt as if I couldn’t move … I was completely frozen,” she recalls. “I had made my work such an all-consuming priority and let my own self-care needs go completely (even as simple as sleeping or taking ten minutes to just relax). I found myself feeling physically paralyzed, I couldn’t see clearly and then the physical symptoms I was having started to scare me and the fear compounded itself.

“Now I know it was a classic panic attack brought on by exhaustion, but I had never even heard the term at the time. My security guard on set came in and picked me up and drove me to the doctor,” Lopez continues. “By the time I got there, I could at least speak again and I was so terrified I thought I was losing my mind. I asked the doctor if I was going crazy. He said, ‘No, you’re not crazy. You need sleep … get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, don’t drink caffeine, and make sure you get your workouts in if you’re going to do this much work.’ I realized how serious the consequences could be of ignoring what my body and mind needed to be healthy — and that’s where my journey to wellness began.”

Lopez’s whirlwind schedule is featured in the Netflix documentary Halftime.

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