Anna Clendening’s Tryst with Anxiety and Depression
Anna Clendening (born March 12, 1993), an American singer, actor, and Internet personality, discovered she had severe anxiety and depression at the young age of 14. Even as she suffered from panic attacks due to anxiety, Anna was writing and performing songs in her bedroom. Clendening was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her parents are Michael Clendening and Vickie Moore Clendening.
At one time, she was one of the most followed people on the video sharing service Vine, which is now defunct. Later, she was a contestant on season 9 of America’s Got Talent 2014 auditions. When performing on it, she broke down and confessed about her severe anxiety and depression.
Anna Clendening Breaks Down Backstage and Confesses about Her Anxiety and Depression
At America’s Got Talent show in 2014, she was nervous performing for the audience and backstage she experienced extreme shaking and anxiety. Luckily, host Nick Cannon talked her through it and led her back to the stage so that the show could continue. Once she was out there, she stood in front of the whole world and addressed the judges. After speaking with Howie Mandel for a few moments, Clendening explained that she has serious anxiety and depression.
Clendening said at that talent show, “It felt like my mind had given up on me. I just uhh I didn’t see a future. I just uhh I didn’t want to be here anymore … Being here today is incredible. I remember I couldn’t step out of the bed. I didn’t want to face the world and now I am facing thousands of people.”
Understandably, it took a lot for Anna to find the confidence to get up on stage. What’s more, because of her mental illness, Clendening had been bedridden for several months. As she went on to explain, she often had trouble facing the world by leaving her room or even getting out of bed. She felt her very survival on Earth seemed in jeopardy. She even went through therapy before having another relapse into mental illness. “I felt so bad about myself. I did not like who I was. And … I didn’t know how to bring myself out of it.” Mandel heard all this with patience and empathy and then he had a message of his own to share.
Mandel Reassures Anna Clendening
Mandel explained that he also has an anxiety disorder, namely, obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. He felt that for her to even show up in front of the whole world takes tremendous courage. At that point, the crowd gave her a huge round of applause. Finally, Mandel said that everyone just wanted to hear her share her talent and that they are all there to support her.
With that encouragement and understanding, and after one final moment of hesitation, Clendening started her performance. The song she chose was “Hallelujah,” made famous by artists like Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley.
Anna Clendening Performs and How!
Although she was slightly shaky at the beginning, Clendening soon found her footing—and her voice was beautiful! Her voice even hit the high notes that soared through the crowd. At that point, Mandel stood up to support her. Clendening finished up the song and as the crowd applauded, she burst into tears.
Almost immediately, Mandel rushed onstage and gave Clendening a hug. The performance itself was incredible, but the story behind it all is even more incredible and so emotional that it touched everyone in the crowd.
Later, Mandel asked her how she managed to get the courage to get onstage. Clendening credited her parents with helping her through and the crowd cheered again. Clendening got four yeses from the judges and continued on the show and went on to the quarter-finals of the competition! The reception she received is truly touching, especially for those who understand what it is like living with anxiety and depression.
Anna Clendening Going Forward
Clendening is now concentrating on her music career. That way, Clendening is pretty successful. She has over 89 million views on her YouTube channel and over 50 million streams on Spotify as of March 2019. Now based in Los Angeles, she has a recent EP, this spring’s Waves. Her new single, “If I’m Being Honest,” a forthright breakup song directed at a deceptive ex-boyfriend. Thus, she has rebelled against being pigeonholed and has proved that she is not just an internet sensation.