Chad Michael Murray Opens Up About Anxiety: 'Felt the World Closing In'

Chad Michael Murray shares candid insights on personal struggles.

by Nouman Rasool
Chad Michael Murray Opens Up About Anxiety: 'Felt the World Closing In'
© Rich Polk/Getty Images

Chad Michael Murray has revealed he's been fighting anxiety since the early twenties when he rose to fame with the hit show "One Tree Hill." In a very candid chat with The Cut, Murray opens up about his battles with agoraphobia.

He was last pictured in the Netflix movie "Mother of the Bride" and shared one particularly disturbing incident that occurred at an event in Miami. "I was around 23 and I had an event in Miami, but I couldn’t leave my hotel room," Murray shared.

"The world felt like it was closing in; I was having anxiety attacks." He said that the illness developed during his starring role in the beloved CW show—a time when professional success could hardly be more different from personal challenges.

By definition from Mayo Clinic, Agoraphobia is characterized by the fear of being in situations from which escape might be difficult or that help would not be available and avoidance from those places or experiences.

Rise Amidst Isolation

Reflecting on his years starring on "One Tree Hill," which ran from 2003 to 2012, Murray told Watters he felt very personally fragile despite external signs of success.

"All my friends in the business were going away on trips and doing things that at no point had I been invited to do. It didn't matter how many hits I had on the TV show, I had never been. His role as Lucas Scott brought him immense popularity, but it was a rise that came with significant emotional costs.

The turning point for Murray came on his 25th birthday when he decided to seek a new direction for his life. "I woke up and felt unsettled. I didn't like the path that I was going in my life," he said. His journey towards healing involved faith, therapy, and creative outlets like reading and painting.

"I went to church, got a tattoo of a cross on my left wrist, and moved myself in faith," he explained. Today, Murray finds joy in his family life with his wife, Sarah Roemer, and their three children. "That has probably been since getting married the best chapter of my life," Murray said looking back at all the positive influences on his mental well-being, emotional development, and family.

Murray's openness about his mental health struggles highlights the importance of seeking help and finding personal coping strategies, showcasing a journey from vulnerability towards strength and fulfillment.