'Stuck in Grief' | 

Erin McGregor says she had panic attacks after son's diagnosis with sensory condition

The panto star admitted that she has only just come to terms with Harry’s diagnosis
Erin McGregor

Erin McGregor

Neasa Cumiskey

Erin McGregor has opened up about suffering from panic attacks after her son Harry was diagnosed with a sensory condition.

Speaking on Ireland AM, the panto star admitted that she has only just come to terms with 5-year-old Harry’s diagnosis.

“I’ve never actually said what it was out loud, for the word that it is. But I have started opening a little bit more on Instagram,” she said.

“It was a very lonely time, it was a very dark time when you’re stuck in grief and you don’t really know what’s happening around you.”

Tearing up, Erin continued: “Sorry, I wasn’t expecting to talk about all of that. For me to open up on Instagram, it was a place for people to know that they weren’t alone in their grief.

“Or they weren’t alone on issues and maybe to make other people aware at home that there are parents out there that do find things a little bit different and difficult around Christmas, around pantos.

“Things are a little bit different in my family life so that’s why I started opening up. You don’t have to be scared to talk about things that are hurting.

“Panic attacks were happening quite a lot and I think it can be grief for a life you thought you might have had and then you don’t have.”

Erin said that Covid actually benefitted Harry in a way because he was able to watch his mum in the pantomime at his UFC star uncle Conor’s house instead of the overwhelming environment of a theatre.

“Last year it was online and that was much better for me because I don’t actually think I’ve said it on TV because Harry would have a lot of sensory issues,” she explained.

“The first two years that Harry came to see me, he wasn’t really able to cope in the theatre so Terry [her partner] kept having to go outside.

“It was a little bit difficult for us but last year was a very special panto for me online because I got to be there in the comfort of my brother’s home and I got to watch it with the kids.

"Harry was nice and safe and calm. He loved it.”

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