Erin Napier Reveals the Cause of Her Panic Attacks

Erin Napier

YouTube/Build Series Erin Napier during a 2020 'Build Series' interview.

Erin Napier is getting real about her mental health. The HGTV star shared hospital photos from her 10-year battle with a perforated appendix on Instagram, revealing she now experiences panic attacks in its aftermath.

“This time of year, I feel the anniversary of illness so acutely,” the “Home Town host wrote” on January 19, 2022.

Napier first opened up about her battle with a then-mystery illness in the book she released with husband Ben, “Make Something Good Today.” In it, she recounts the bouts of pain, bloating and fever starting her sophomore year of college. Throughout the following years, she tried different remedies and went through various tests to figure out what was wrong.

As the 36-year-old revealed in her post, she thought she put that chapter of her life “to bed with that final surgery” in 2014.

“My appendix has been gone along with the physical suffering for 8 years now, but I’ve been learning through conversation with my friend who is a therapist that it left some deep ruts in my neuro pathways that have left me with an extreme fear and preoccupation with sickness, nausea in particular, ever since,” Napier wrote. “My brain, without my permission, sets off on a fight or flight mission to save my life, when my life is not in any danger at all. Panic attacks and spiraling thoughts come rushing in.”

The realization came to light during “the constant upheaval and dread that came with living in a pandemic,” though the mother-of-two wrote it also brought about some relief.


Naper Wrote ‘It’s Not Good or Bad’

Napier ended her caption with an encouraging message.

“This is something you don’t know about me, but I don’t mind if you do,” she told her followers. “It’s not bad or good, it’s just part of my weird brain and I’m trying to untangle it every day, even as you may see happy news and posts from me.”

Napier continued, “That’s everyone though, isn’t it? We’ve all got our personal struggles. But isn’t it so nice to have this place for editing the hard parts out? Like seeing the people you love most gathered around your hospital bed, there’s always a light in the darkness.”


Her Comments Were Full of Support & Similar Stories

The “Home Town Takeover” host’s comment section was flooded with messages of support and similar stories.

Rue Drummond, better known as the “Pioneer Woman,” commented, “Beautiful, generous post. Thank you so much for sharing this, Erin.”

Actress and talk show host Drew Barrymore added, “I love you @erinapier and THIS DOES HELP TO KNOW and I believe we are lucky to have a window into you that will also help others!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing. Ps rely on us right back. Everyone loves you!!!!”

Napier responded, “if it helps anyone, it was worth sharing.”

And it seems it has helped. As one follower wrote, “Beautiful post and gave me insight and awareness into my own health/mental health issues… ‘my brain, without my permission…’ made total sense to me.”

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