Melissa Villaseñor left ‘SNL’ for mental health reasons after having panic attacks
Melissa Villaseñor left “Saturday Night Live” to begin therapy after suffering from panic attacks that left her unable to work.
Villaseñor had panic attacks at age 16 that left her unable to work and struggling to breathe. At the time, Villaseñor said she felt like her body was constantly going into a fight or flight mode and was unable to relax.
Villaseñor said she felt as if her panic attacks were a part of a much bigger anxiety problem that she had to deal with.
In July 2017, Villaseñor, who lives in New York, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), which left her unable to work.
She was in therapy and taking medication for anxiety when she received a call from “SNL’s” casting department, telling her she was still available to do the show. Villaseñor accepted the offer to return.
She did an extensive audition before “SNL” producers found her “in the moment” and decided to give her the job.
“When I started working at the show, I did it because I knew I had a really hard time at first. And then I just got in the way of that. I was really nervous, I had a lot of anxiety issues, and I couldn’t do what I needed to do. I was struggling a lot and I hadn’t had to deal with the anxiety in a long time,” Villaseñor told “Today” on Monday. “Before, I had to do all of my own stuff, and I did not like the way that felt.”
“I kept thinking about the anxiety. I kept thinking, ‘This is what is going on with me right now. This is what my body has been telling me for a really long time. I wish I could stop it and I wish I could do it, not