People who have anxiety know that dealing with it can be a 24/7 struggle, from managing the constant feeling that something is wrong, to navigating triggers, to knowing when to slow down and take a breather. And Broadway actor Patti Murin, who's currently playing Anna in Frozen, posted a moving statement about cutting yourself a break after calling out of the April 17 performance following an anxiety attack.
"It had been building up for a while, and while the past month has been incredible, all of the ups and downs and stress and excitement really takes a toll on my mental health," Murin said in her Instagram post from April 18. "I've learned that these situations aren't something to 'deal with' or 'push through.' Anxiety and depression are real diseases that affect so many of us. It requires a lot of rest and self care to heal every time it becomes more than I can handle in my daily life."
Murin added, "Just remember that you’re not alone, your feelings are real, and this is not your fault. Even Disney princesses are terrified sometimes."
This isn't the first time Murin has opened up about having anxiety. In a March 2018 interview with PEOPLE about her real-life friendship with her costar Caissie Levy, who plays her fictional sister Elsa onstage, Murin explained that she'd had a severe panic attack, and Levy had been there to help her through it.
"She took me into her apartment, she had her son next door with the nanny, she made me soup, she let me sleep in her bed, she ran me a bath, and she got me through," Murin explained. "[H]er incredible maternal instinct just took over. She took care of me. She got me through that."
In her Instagram post, Murin added that Disney has been "nothing but supportive of me as I navigate my life and work."
Murin's frank discussion of her struggle with anxiety is of course important for adults, but her note about Disney princess getting terrified, too, is especially important for kids who may be struggling with anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one in eight children is affected by an anxiety disorder, and 80 percent of kids who have a diagnosable anxiety disorder are not getting the treatment they need. Someone like Murin, who's becoming the face of a beloved character, speaking openly about mental health and taking care of yourself is vitally important, especially for those who may not be getting enough help.
Of course, we can't leave out the fact that Kristen Bell, who voiced Anna in the original Frozen film, has also been candid about the fact that she has both anxiety and depression, saying in a 2016 interview for Off Camera that she "certainly feel[s] no shame" about it.
In response to Murin's Instagram post about the April 17 show, Josh Gad, who voiced Olaf in the original Frozen, tweeted, "I am so proud @PattiMurin for your candor and bravery in being so open about this. I have dealt with anxiety for years and navigated it through very similar moments. You will get through this and we will all be waiting with open arms and love once your [sic] ready to return home."
"Thanks Josh," Murin tweeted back. "You’re a truly excellent human."
Frozen opened in March, and according to E! News is expected to receive nods at the upcoming 2018 Tony Awards. Murin is eligible for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (as is Levy), but even if she's not nommed, she's already won the award for being a pretty excellent human herself.