Kathy Griffin Says She Has 'Extreme Case' of Complex PTSD After 2017 Trump Controversy

Comedian Kathy Griffin details how her diagnosed PTSD impacts her daily life in a series of TikToks and says she's been seeking help from Sia in dealing with it.

It’s been just about five years since Kathy Griffin’s career took a sudden and unexpected nosedive after she made a political commentary post that had incredible blowback on her.

In a new TikTok released earlier this week, the 62-year-old comedian is opening up for the first time about the mental health fallout from that period in her life. After sharing a bloodied picture of her holding a fake Donald Trump head in 2017 as a form of political protest, her career imploded and she faced a shocking amount of vitriol.

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She was subjected to a Secret Service investigation, saw job opportunities disappear and even lost her annual gig co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve special with Anderson Cooper, who’s since gone on to host it alongside Andy Cohen.

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In 2021, Griffin was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer, which she says didn’t help things. “Let’s talk about PTSD,” she said in the new video, “Never talked about it publicly.”

“You can laugh or whatever, but I’ve been diagnosed with complex PTSD and it’s called an extreme case,” the comic continued. She went on to say that she would love to hear from her fans about coping mechanisms they know for dealing with depression and anxiety.

“If any of you know my story, you’ll understand that this really started for me about five-and-a-half years ago. Wink,” she concluded, saying that she was looking forward to the comments.

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One fan suggested EMDR therapy combined with medication, to which Griffin replied that she was going to be trying that, and was getting help from her “good pal Sia” on that front. “She recommended a really great doctor,” Griffin replied.

She also talked about the stigma that PTSD diagnoses still face, with “a lot of people still think[ing] it’s a condition that only applies to veterans.” This was in response to a fan saying she couldn’t talk to a doctor about her own PTSD because they would think she was lying to get disability.

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On Saturday morning, Griffin dropped a new video to thank her fans for their support and comments. After proclaiming that today she’s “okay,” Griffin detailed that her PTSD normally “attacks” her in the mornings.”

“So every single morning, I wake up terrified, to see if I’m gonna be okay or not,” she said. “It’s the weirdest thing. It hits me in my chest first, like my chest starts to tingle. Then it goes right to my stomach and then it’s like, Okay, am I gonna start vomiting today from anxiety or not?”

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She captioned the video with additional thanks for the response to her first video, noting that “this is all new to me.” She also wrote that even though her life changed in 2017, “this last year and a half has been plagued with the PTSD stuff.”

She went on to explain, “It’s funny. I don’t have anxiety about performing, but I have anxiety about life.”

This video came on the heels of another TikTok with Griffin opening up about an eight-hour attack “writhing in pain” she had endured and how she was using an outdoor walk “mid-anxiety attack” to try and stave off another.

“I just keep telling myself it won’t last forever,” she said, before teasing that she was heading off to do some voice recording for “Futurama.”

“So it’s all good,” she said. “I just need to calm the f down.”

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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