BEST-SELLING author Ian Rankin has revealed he still suffers from panic attacks and says his wife helped him “find a way through.”
The Rebus writer said he would experience intense moments of anxiety when he felt his life was going no-where.
Rankin explained his wife, Miranda Harvey, helped him get through tough times when he was younger and how to deal with the attacks.
He also argued the need for education around the effects of social media to help encourage children to switch off based on his experience with negative abuse.
Rankin, from Edinburgh, made the revelations as a guest for a community mental health radio show yesterday afternoon (Thurs).
The crime writer was on Radio Stafford to raise awareness around mental health and to discuss other aspects of his life.
Rankin detailed how at one point “life didn’t seem to be going right” for him.
He said: “My wife was a huge help in helping me understand what I was going through and coming out the other side.
“Even now I get the occasional panic attack but I know what to do. When you have your first one you’re terrified and you think you’re dying. Now I know, oh that’s, what that is and this is how I deal with it.
“I had panic attacks at the time in my life, in my mid twenties when I was living in London and I was suffering from panic attacks because life didn’t seem to be going right for me.
“I just had to find a way through that and find a way of dealing with it which took time and the help of my wife.”
Rankin argued it was important for schools to teach children about social media after experiencing negativity from trolls and the impact it has.
He said: “Schools should be teaching this stuff. Parents should be put onto their kids about it.
“We are getting to a stage now where people are just giving away all of themselves away online and their posting photographs their posting up information on themselves and they have to keep feeding it.
“Once you’ve started feeding that beast you’ve got to keep feeding it. More photographs, more information, more about yourself, more about your life and where’s your private life gone?
“And where does that hidden part of yourself go that’s actually quite important to us? That core of ourselves that only we should know about.
“There’s a lot of nastiness online obviously and you can’t take it to heart you just walk away from it.
“A lot of people get involved and they have arguments with these trolls. I don’t, I just don’t respond so they don’t get fed.”
Rankin wrote his first novel about detective Rebus in 1986 with The Flood but his career only took in 1997 when his eight novel Black and Blue won the Crime Writer’s Association’s Golden Dagger Award.
The author has admitted he is worried bit like the famous Scottish detective who does not use social media saying he is “analogue guy in a digital world and I’m afraid I’m a bit like that myself.”
On top of this the star explained how writing helped him deal with his mental health problems.
He said: “I used to keep a page a day diary when I was young and I wrote everyday and it was just things that were happening to me it was just experiences, thoughts, problems I was having.
“It was like cheap psychotherapy. It was that kind of conversation I was having with myself.
“And just that sense of your not alone. You’re not the only person going through these issues, it all helps. But you know as a society Scotland was never very good at talking about that and individual’s kind of shy or you were embarrassed to say you had a problem.
“Once you’ve written something down you’ve almost dealt with it, it’s a means of dealing with it and I’ve always done it.”
Support in Mind Scotland provides services and support to 1,300 people each week across the country. Radio Stafford 103 is the charity’s community mental health radio station, run entirely by people who access their Edinburgh service at 103 Broughton Road, The Stafford Centre.