Ariana Grande has revealed that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following last May’s Manchester bomb attack, but said she feels uncomfortable talking about her own struggles out of respect for the 22 people who were killed and the many more who were injured.
The singer was talking in a new interview with British Vogue, in which she also said she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to talk about the Manchester Arena attack without crying.
The singer had just finished her concert on May 22, 2017, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device.
Speaking of her PTSD, Grande said, “It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, it’s a real thing.”
She adds: “I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well. Time is the biggest thing. I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience—like I shouldn’t even say anything. I don’t think I’ll ever know how to talk about it and not cry.”
Grande says that she suffered acute anxiety after completing her 2017 tour, but went straight into the studio to record her new album.
“Everybody thought I was crazy when I got home and wanted to hit the ground running,” she says, adding, “My anxiety has anxiety… I’ve always had anxiety. I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it’s ever been.”
Grande was widely praised for returning to the scene of the attack shortly after the bombing to participate in a fundraising concert for the victims, at which she performed a haunting rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” her voice breaking with emotion as she was accompanied only by a piano.
Grande has had a worker bee—the emblem of the City of Manchester that salutes its industrial past—tattooed on her back to mark her solidarity with the city.