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Former Teen Star Remembers "Crazy Incident on Set": "I Fainted and Turned Blue"

Pretty Little Liars actor Ashley Benson dealt with debilitating panic attacks.

Actor Ashley Benson has been open about her anxiety over the years, including in a recent TikTok post in which she shows some of the extreme physical symptoms she experiences. In a post over Thanksgiving weekend, the 32-year-old shared a video of her neck, chest, and shoulders covered in a rash. "My anxiety takes over my whole body…," she captioned the clip.

Many followers have commented on the former teen show star's TikTok because they can relate to her condition. And it's wasn't the first time Benson has spoken out about the debilitating effects of her anxiety. In 2016, the Pretty Little Liars actor opened up about a "crazy incident" she had on set, which caused her to faint, have heart palpitations, and turn blue. Read on to see what she had to say.

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Benson had frequent panic attacks for about two years.

Ashley Benson at the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" premiere in 2011
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In a 2016 interview with Health, Benson shared that there was a time in her life when she had serious panic attacks regularly.

"I started getting panic attacks for two years straight," she explained (via Yahoo!). "I think it was 2011 to 2013. I could barely go to work. It would get so bad that I would have to leave set. Or I'd be driving, and I would have a panic attack."

She fainted on set.

Ashley Benson at the Monika Chiang Store One Year Anniversary Party in 2012
Ga Fullner / Shutterstock

Benson went on to say that she fainted on set, which led her to worry it was going to happen again and again.

"I had a crazy incident on set: I had heart palpitations, and I thought I was having a heart attack, so I fainted on set and turned blue," Benson said. "The paramedics were there. Once that happened, I was like, 'That's going to happen to me every single day,' and it was just that constant fear. So anytime I felt some sort of weird thing, I'd be like, 'Here it goes …'"

Benson did not specify what she was filming when she passed out on set, but the actor starred in Pretty Little Liars from 2010 to 2017. She's also known for the 2012 movie Spring Breakers.

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She shared her tips for dealing with anxiety.

Ashley Benson at amfAR Gala Los Angeles 2021
DFree / Shutterstock

"I try to take an hour nap. If I don't get sleep, I found that I get really bad anxiety," Benson told Health. She also explained that part of the reason she works out is because "it has canceled out the anxiety."

"I was on Xanax for a long time," she continued. "It helped, but I decided I was going to be able to self-medicate through meditation, working out, sleeping, eating healthy and drinking more water. I have this meditation app on my phone. I use it at least three times a week. There will be times where I will get [anxiety], but it's not a full-blown panic attack. It's just, like, for a couple hours I feel as if I'm going to die. I had a friend who was like that for, like, seven years. She wouldn't leave her house, and then she finally dealt with it. Anxiety is horrible."

Her pets have also helped.

Ashley Benson at the 2019 TrevorLIVE New York Gala
lev radin / Shutterstock

In 2018, Benson told Today that her dogs help with her "severe anxiety."

"I sometimes suffer with severe anxiety and having my dogs by my side has made that so much better," the Her Smell actor said. "I feel like they know when I'm upset or feeling anxious. And they just come right up to me, and they get in my arms, and they just, like, kiss me and play with me."

Her TikTok was relatable to many followers.

In response to Benson's TikTok post about her anxiety-induced rash, a number of people posted comments about experiencing the same thing.

"FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE WITH STRESS HIVES YES," wrote one TikTok user. Another said, "I thought I was the ONLY ONE." Someone else added, "this is real. makes me feel less alone." Another commenter posted, "My skin looks identical to this and has done on/off for the last 6 months and I suffer with anxiety. This makes more sense, thank you."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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