Date: 3 September 2022
Originally published in: Daily Express (UK)
Written by: Adam Chapman
KIM WILDE, 61, rocketed to fame during the 80s, with her debut single “Kids in America”. During that whirlwind period, Wilde faced a “tricky” health battle. Fortunately, the singer found a unique approach to alleviating it.
Kim Wilde’s professional music career got off to a stonking start. Her debut single went straight in at two in the UK charts. From that point on Wilde was on the heady rollercoaster they call fame and success. However, it came at a cost to her mental health.
In a recent interview with Cornwall Mind, the regional mental health charity, the pop icon spoke candidly about that period.
She revealed it was “quite tricky” balancing being Kim Smith – as she was known before she got married and became famous – and Kim Wilde. Fortunately, she found a novel way to soothe her mind: gardening. “It did save me a fortune on therapists I am sure,” Wilde said.
When the tension between her former self and now famous self started to “grate” on each other, the garden created a sense of harmony, she revealed. “I seemed to find myself in the garden. It appeared to be calling me. It’s the one place where I could feel close to myself.”
She went on to reveal that, like so many Britons, the pandemic put her mental health test, but the garden once again proved a “powerful tool” during this time. This is not the first time Wilde has opened up about her mental health difficulties and the benefits of gardening. In 2015, she revealed: “When I was 30 I was enjoying a successful music career, with platinum records and a European tour with Michael Jackson under my belt. To the outside world all seemed wonderful, but I was always plagued with anxiety and it badly affected my mental health. One in four of us will experience issues with our mental health and gardening really can help. It has been great therapy for me and can help people get back on top of things and restore balance when it feels like life is veering out of control.”
At the time she was hosting April’s BBC Lifeline Appeal on behalf of the charity Thrive. It uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health, or those who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.
“I really believe in the benefits of being outdoors in a living, breathing garden,” said Wilde at the time, “that’s why I think the work of Thrive is so important”.
Anxiety – symptoms to spot
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.
However, “some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives”, notes the NHS. Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including:
- Panic disorder
- Phobias, such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
“Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, see a GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress,” advises the NHS.