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Alyssa Milano shares secret struggle with anxiety

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Alyssa Milano said she was diagnosed with anxiety disorder following the birth of her son. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
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By Annie Martin, UPI

Alyssa Milano is going public with her secret struggle with anxiety.

The 45-year-old actress said in an essay for Time published Thursday that she was diagnosed with anxiety disorder following the birth of her son.

"My Generalized Anxiety Disorder was most likely triggered by my postpartum depression, and my journey with mental illness began with my journey into motherhood," she wrote.

Milano gave birth to son Milo in 2011, two years after having a miscarriage. She was left in "excruciating pain" after delivering via C-section and felt she had failed as a mother when she wasn't able to immediately breastfeed.

"That first night, after we returned from the hospital, I suffered my first anxiety attack. I felt like I had already disappointed my child," the star recalled. "My heart raced. My stomach seized up. I felt like I was dying."

Milano said her anxiety worsened following her return to work. She developed "irrational and obsessive fears," including about Milo's safety, but found others didn't take her pain seriously.

The former Charmed star ultimately checked herself into a psychiatric ward for three days. She found a psychiatrist and therapist who helped her find "the bravery to face [her] illness, the value to seek help and the strength to recover."

"Let's rededicate ourselves to talking about mental health," the actress urged. "Let's demand that our lawmakers pass policies that open -- not restrict our access to mental health services. Let's remind each other that no one should have to face these challenges by themselves."

Milano said in an Instagram post Thursday that she shared her story to connect with others experiencing mental illness.

"I have a secret. I hope my story helps those that suffer from a mental illness feel less alone. I hope my story helps erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. #ThisIsMe," she wrote.

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Entertainment - U.S. Daily News: Alyssa Milano shares secret struggle with anxiety
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Entertainment - U.S. Daily News
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