Ever since her first Jenner-inspired TikTok in 2020, Ashley Benson has brought numerous funny moments to the video-sharing social media platform. The Private Property star hasn’t shied away from more vulnerable posts, either. In perhaps her rawest TikTok yet, she showed one of the ways anxiety affects her physically: stress rashes.
Benson shared the video during Thanksgiving weekend, captioning it simply with three woozy-face emojis. She appeared in a bath towel, showing the camera the rash on her arms, chest, neck, and chin. “My anxiety takes over my whole body…” she added as text. Fittingly, her chosen soundtrack was the song “Overwhelmed” by Royal & the Serpent — specifically the lyrics, “I get overwhelmed so easily / My anxiety creeps inside of me / Makes it hard to breathe.”
By sharing, Benson ended up making some of her followers feel better, especially those who also experience anxiety rashes. Several noted that they thought they were “the only one” dealing with the same issue. One commented, “this is real. makes me feel less alone.” Still others thanked her for sharing, let her know it was “relatable,” and opened up about their own struggles. “I’m glad I’m not alone,” yet another fan wrote.
The video even made others wonder if their own rashes may be tied to anxiety. “I have had this for two years know even though my anxiety has been longer. I never knew what it was,” one wrote. Another added, “I used to get this all the time!!!! And couldn’t figure out what was causing it!! You’ve made me feel like I’m not crazy.”
Stress or anxiety rashes are indeed very real, and they tend to appear as hives (aka urticaria), according to Verywell Mind. They’re most common in women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Stress factors in by triggering a sympathetic nervous system response that releases histamine, creating the same type of rash a person might get due to allergies, injury, or inflammatory reactions. Because of the overlap in symptoms, it can be helpful to discuss such rashes with a doctor or mental health professional. Healthline notes that you should talk to a doctor if you’re not sure of the cause or suspect it could stem from an underlying medical condition or an allergy.
On top of her stress rashes, Benson has dealt with some scary anxiety-induced symptoms over the years. Her March 2016 Health magazine cover story revealed that she once had a panic attack that led her to faint on set, per Us Weekly. “I had heart palpitations, and I thought I was having a heart attack,” she said. In the years afterward, she said, she turned to “meditation, working out, sleeping, eating healthy and drinking more water” to cope. “There will be times where I will get [anxiety], but it’s not a full-blown panic attack,” she noted.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). In an emergency, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or call 911.