Panic attacks happen to the best of us, it can come when we least expect them and it is terrible that celebrities do suffer from panic attacks such is the case of Malaysian actress Maya Karin Roelcke recently.
The Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam actress went through the harrowing experience while presenting an award onstage during the 32nd Malaysian Film Festival (FFM32) at Encore Melaka last Friday (December 2).
Judging from her body language and voice, Maya Karin appeared to be uncomfortable as she was reading out the nominees for the Best Actor category with fellow artist Faizal Hussein.
She held on to his shoulder for support and also took off her high heels to stay calm. Many were puzzled about what happened onstage and the actress took to social media the next day to explain what happened.
In a social media post the next day, Maya wrote, “Maybe there’s an award soon for barefoot award presenter FFM. I had to take off my high heels or else I would’ve collapsed. Needed to feel my feet on the ground. I was dying inside but Faizal got me through it.”
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Sharing in an interview with Harian Metro, Maya revealed that she also refused to follow through the role of co-presenter because she had experienced a ‘panic attack’ before even going on stage.
Prior to going onstage, she had asked Faizal to appear alone to announce the two main categories which are Best Male Actor and Best Female Actor.
Maya Karin on the panic attacks
“Before going on stage, I already talked to Faizal about whether he could announce the two main categories alone. However, he persuaded and convinced me that I could do it and asked me to stay calm. So I talked to myself and tried to be strong.
“However, as soon as I was on stage my mind started to get distracted looking at the audience and the camera,” she said.
“I don’t know how it happened. These panic attacks happen suddenly and quite frequently whenever a stressful situation is about to happen,” added Maya.
Maya Karin presented the awards the best that she can despite the panic attack. Netizens rallied to support the actress on social media.
“You did so well kak maya. That fight or flight response, that you vs. yourself moment are so familiar to me. Had tears in my eyes watching you handled it like a champ. Apapun Kak Maya time anxiety pun so very cantik!” wrote eatyourbananas.
“You did great Maya ! Show must go on!” said Nami.
Public Health Malaysia, which is an online platform established to discuss issues related to health praised the actress for handling her panic attack well.
“Taking off your shoes is one way of grounding. Grounding is an effective way to calm anxiety during panic attacks as it helps you recognise where you are. It creates a sense of comfort.”
“You did very well, Maya! You did such a great job on the big stage,” it said in a statement on Facebook.
Maya Karin Roelcke was born on 29 October 1979 in Bayreuth, Bavaria, West Germany. She is of German, Malay, Chinese and Indian Muslim descent. Maya Karin is a Malaysian film actress, TV host and singer. She is known for Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam, Anak Halal, Ombak Rindu and Munafik.
She holds the Malaysia Film Festival record for the actress with most nominations in the category of Best Actress Award (11), and is among the few actresses who have won the award twice. She is also the first of only two Malaysian actresses to have won the prestigious Best Actress Award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.
Maya Karin’s father is from Germany while her mother is from Penang, Malaysia. She spent most of her teenage years in parts of Indonesia before settling down in Kuala Lumpur when she was 17.
She graduated from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology Kuala Lumpur in Media and Marketing studies before starting her acting career.