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The Symptoms of the Condition That Made Kim Basinger Forget How to Drive

"Everything used to make me nervous," the actor explained.

Kim Basinger was one of the biggest celebrities of the '80s and '90s, so it may be hard to believe that she ever struggled with not wanting to leave her home. After all, she was often on glamorous red carpets and appearing in leading roles on the big screen. But, anxiety can affect anyone, and as Basinger has spoken out about over the years, she struggled with an anxiety disorder that led to her having a hard time being in public places. Recently, in a new interview on Red Table Talk, the 68-year-old actor opened up further about the symptoms she experienced. She explained that she had to "relearn everything," even how to drive. Read on to find out more.

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Basinger talked about her battle with agoraphobia.

Kim Basinger and Ireland Baldwin with the "Red Table Talk" hosts
Courtesy of Red Table Talk/Facebook Watch, Credit: Jordan Fisher and Huy Doan

In the Red Table Talk interview (via People), Basinger explained that she suffered from agoraphobia, which left her not wanting to leave her home.

"I wouldn't leave the house," the L.A Confidential star said. "I would no longer go to dinner. And it's really horrible to feel that it… as really fiercely as I did during those years and not know what it was."

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder.

Kim Basinger at the "Fifty Shades Darker" premiere in February 2017
DFree / Shutterstock

According to Mayo Clinic, agoraphobia is "a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed." People with agoraphobia tend to fear situations such as "using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd." For some, the fear of public places is so strong that they are unable to leave their home.

"The anxiety is caused by fear that there's no easy way to escape or get help if the anxiety intensifies," Mayo Clinic explains. Many people with agoraphobia develop it after having panic attacks, leading them to fear that a panic attack could happen again in public.

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Basinger had to relearn basic skills.

Kim Basinger at the Last Chance for Animals 35th Anniversary Gala in 2019
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Basinger said in the interview that she had to relearn parts of everyday life due to having agoraphobia, including how to drive.

"It's like something just completely shuts down within you and you have to relearn everything," she told Red Table Talk. "I had to relearn to drive, and for many years I would not go through the tunnels in Malibu." She added, "Everything used to make me nervous," and explained that this included things like, "where do I step to open the door."

"Everything became a big job to figure out how to do it," she said. "You live with a dry mouth all the time, you're very shaky, you're just so exhausted all the time."

She used to be medicated for the condition.

Kim Basinger at the premiere of "The Nice Guys" in 2016
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

This is not the first time Basinger has talked about experiencing agoraphobia. As reported by the New York Post, in 2001 she was featured in the documentary Panic: A Film About Coping and said, "Fear has been something I've lived with my entire life, the fear of being in public places—which led to anxiety or panic attacks. I stayed in my house and literally cried every day."

Then, in 2013, she talked to People about overcoming agoraphobia after previously being treated with medication. "Now I wake up and enjoy life," she said (via the Daily Mail). I didn't want to live on drugs. I wanted to face everything I was afraid of."

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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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