Kim Basinger Explains Her Agoraphobia: “Something Shuts Down Completely Inside You”


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Kim Basinger and her daughter Ireland Baldwin come to terms with their experiences with anxiety.

Ireland and Basinger appeared on Wednesday’s episode of “Red Table Talk,” where they both discussed their struggles with anxiety in Basinger’s first public interview in years.

Basinger began by talking about his experience with agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is a “type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that could cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

“I wouldn’t leave the house,” she explained. “I wouldn’t go to dinner anymore. I couldn’t even have people over for dinner. We tried that.”

Ireland Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Red Table Talk
(Jordan Fisher and Huy Doan via Red Table Talk/Facebook Watch)

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“It’s like something completely shuts down inside you and you have to relearn everything,” Basinger said, noting that she spent six months in a treatment center at the time. “I had to learn to drive again. And for many years I didn’t drive through the tunnels of Malibu. Everything made me nervous.”

The ‘LA Confidential’ actress suffered from anxiety from an early age as she watched her mother struggle mentally as a child.

Watching Ireland struggle with anxiety hurt Basinger ‘more than anything’.

“We’ve been through a very heavy load, out loud, when you’re going through a public divorce. And she’s had to go through this very difficult time.”

Ireland is the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Basinger. The couple married in 1993 and divorced in 2000. Ireland was born in 1995 and was a toddler at the height of a custody battle.

Basinger and Ireland discussed Baldwin’s inability to sympathize with the model’s experience with anxiety.

“Alec is funny. You know, we’re all fine. We get along regardless. But it’s a challenge. We’ve had our challenges and I don’t think Alec was emotionally or mentally available for that kind of conversation. .,” Basinger explained. “Alec, you know, operates in a very different way in his life.”

Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger at the 63rd Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States.

Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger at the 63rd Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States.
(Ke.Mazur/WireImage)

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Ireland further explained that she believes Baldwin learned to suppress his anxiety at a young age.

“He handles anxiety really well,” Ireland said. “But he’s someone who grew up in a family who would also repress that or tell him he’s weak to feel that. There are things I would go to my dad about, but if I ever tried even having this conversation in any way with him, I don’t think he would really be able to absorb anything or understand anything. He can’t really sympathize with it that much.

“But it’s not his fault,” she continued. “And he’s gotten better, much better about it. I think he’s really suppressed his anxiety until fairly recently. He’s really dealt with things that were sort of thrown at him. He finally been forced to deal with these things.”

Ireland also opened up about her own experience with anxiety in a separate interview with Willow Smith.

“I think I’ve had it my whole life, since I was a kid. I just don’t think I was comfortable calling it that,” Ireland told Willow. “I was so ashamed of it. And I didn’t understand what was happening to me.”

Kim Basinger and Ireland Baldwin are seen at Los Angeles International Airport on December 10, 2012.

Kim Basinger and Ireland Baldwin are seen at Los Angeles International Airport on December 10, 2012.
(GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Ireland noted that her anxiety started when her parents divorced.

“I remember playing with friends. I have dates to play, I’m at school. I stay with friends. I’m like hidden from the realities of it all, but when you get older and you have access to the Internet, when you have friends at school – older kids – who come up to you and say, ‘Well, is that true?’ It’s starting to show up.”

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As an adult, Ireland struggled with eating disorders, alcoholism and drug addiction as she dealt with anxiety.

“I had one night where I went overboard drinking and taking pills because I couldn’t even go to bed at night. I was so scared of this relationship and when I went to this treatment center From drug addiction and alcoholism, I learned that I didn’t have a substance addiction but I have an addiction to wanting to fix people. That’s my addiction.”

Kim Basinger and Ireland Baldwin on July 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Kim Basinger and Ireland Baldwin on July 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
(starzfly/Bauer-Griffin/GC images)

Meanwhile, Ireland claimed she hadn’t spoken to her parents for a year. Ultimately. Ireland’s cousin Alaia Baldwin came to LA because she noticed something was wrong.

“She saved my life,” Ireland said. “I think I would have killed myself or been dead. I was so close. Like, I was so close, I could feel it getting to this point. And she saved my life. She saved me. got out of there.”


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