Ariana Grande Opens Up About PTSD, Anxiety

By David Konow 06/13/18

The pop singer describes how the suicide bombing that occurred at her Manchester concert in May 2017 affected her.

Ariana Grande

In May 2017, Ariana Grande had just finished performing at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England when a suicide bomb attack occurred in the foyer of the arena, taking the lives of 22 people and injuring many more.

It was an event that she says fueled her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a subject she has a difficult time discussing today.

As the singer told Vogue, “It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, it’s a real thing. I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well. Time is the biggest thing. I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience—like I shouldn’t even say anything.”

Grande added that looking back on the event, “I don’t think I’ll ever know how to talk about it and not cry.”

Grande told Time, “The processing part” of her grief “is going to take forever.” She was reluctant to talk about the bombing because, “I don’t want to give it that much power.

“Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world. I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day. I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful.”

Grande admits she’s also been struggling with anxiety before the release of her new album, Sweetener. “I think a lot of people have anxiety, especially right now,” she says. “My anxiety has anxiety…”

Grande then admitted, “I’ve always had anxiety. I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it.” She told Time, “I never opened up about it, because I thought that was how life was supposed to feel,” but she added, “when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it’s ever been.”

Like a lot of artists, Grande threw her emotions into her music, saying that after going into therapy, “I felt more inclined to tap into my feelings because I was spending more time with them. I was talking about them more. I was in therapy more… When I started to take care of myself more, then came balance, and freedom, and joy. It poured out into the music.” 

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.