Why Khloé Kardashian Uses Beta-Blockers For Anxiety

Khloé Kardashian has crippling anxiety & her mother Kris Jenner recommended she use beta blockers. In this video we see why celebs like Katy Perry & Shawn Mendes use beta blockers for anxiety & stage fright.

In episode 2 of ‘The Kardashians’ on Hulu, Khloé Kardashian opened up about her crippling anxiety issues, caused by being in the public eye and all of the social media scrutiny that surrounds the Kardashian family. Her mother & manager Kris Jenner recommends that Khloe Kardashian use beta blockers to help with her anxiety in that same episode. This opened up a lot of discussion online around the use of beta blockers for anxiety. Several other celebrities such as Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes and Whitney Cummings have also talked about how they use beta blockers like Propranolol, Metoprolol & Atenolol to help with their performance anxiety and stage fright.
In this video we investigate why so many celebrities are using beta blocker medications, typically prescribed for cardiac and heart conditions, to help with their anxiety and stage fright issues.

Full Video Transcript

Narrator (00:00):
During the first season of the Hulu reality TV show, The Kardashians, viewers got a peek into the anxiety struggles faced by the celebrity family. In episode two, Khloé Kardashian, a famous entrepreneur, media personality and socialite talked about how social media scrutiny and being in the public eye caused her to suffer from regular crippling anxiety. While preparing for an appearance on The Late Show With James Corden, Khloé's mother and manager, Kris Jenner, offers her daughter a beta blocker to help calm her nerves. Watching curiously, due to having some knowledge of beta blockers, we found it quite interesting to see how casually the prescription medications were being recommended for anxiety purposes. And it turns out that several other well-known celebrities are using beta blocker drugs to help with their anxiety.

(00:47):
If you have never heard of beta blockers, or if you have and want to learn more about how and if these drugs work and what the upsides and downsides are, then keep watching as we investigate why celebrities are apparently using these mysterious heart medication drugs.

(01:07):
What are beta blockers? Beta blockers were first made popular amongst performers around 1965, thanks to an article published in Lancet Magazine about their potential to help with stage fright and performance anxiety. Ever since, there have been actors, musicians, public speakers, surgeons, sales professionals, and others who have used beta blockers off script to try and help with their performance anxiety issues. As the late oboist and media personality, Blair Tindall, once wrote, "Beta blockers are not recreational drugs. They do not affect cognitive abilities, but instead block adrenaline-like chemicals in the human system. For a violinist, this means performances can feel like practice with no bouncing bow or slippery fingers."

(01:51):
More specifically, beta blockers or beta-adrenergic blocking agents in full are a class of pharmaceutical drugs that block the effects of the adrenaline hormone known as epinephrine. This hormone plays a vital role in triggering the fight or flight response whenever you're in a stressful situation. Beta blockers are supposed to be prescribed by doctors for treating heart related issues like abnormal heart rhythm, high blood pressure, angina, glaucoma, and other cardiac conditions.

(02:22):
How beta blockers work for anxiety. To fully grasp why beta blockers can help celebrities like Khloé Kardashian with their anxiety symptoms, let's dissect how beta blockers work within the body. Mostly beta blockers relax the load on your cardiovascular system by blocking the effects of adrenaline, a key stress hormone. Adrenaline binds to androgenic receptors in the heart called beta receptors. This causes the heart to pump blood with greater force, causing blood pressure and heart rate to go up. So beta blockers are actually blocking the effects of adrenaline by preventing the hormone from binding to receptors in the heart. This allows the heart to return to its regular workload, which typically stabilizes blood pressure. It makes sense then that beta blockers are prescribed for people with high blood pressure and hypertension, but too much adrenaline is also at the root of most performance anxiety and stage fright symptoms. So blocking adrenaline using beta blockers should lower anxiety following this logic.

(03:23):
It is safe to say that the experience of anxiety comes with a certain amount of stress. For most, you experience an adrenaline rush as a part of that stress response. In most cases, distress response is no big deal and some can even thrive with it. But for those who experience stage fright or performance anxiety, that stress response is essentially going too far. You experience more potent effects of the adrenaline hormone, which causes your heart rate to skyrocket and the performance anxiety symptoms to kick in. Since beta blockers block the effects of adrenaline, they also prevent you from experiencing the physical symptoms of that same anxiety. Remaining physically calm does have an overall calming effect, and this allows performers to successfully keep their stress response at bay.

(04:09):
Which is the best beta blocker for anxiety? There are numerous beta blockers available on the market, but propranolol brand name Inderal is the most prescribed beta blocker in the U.S. and the most popular out of the beta blocker variants used off script for anxiety purposes. Other beta blockers available in the U.S. include metoprolol sold as Lopressor, carvedilol sold as Coreg, and bisoprolol sold as Zebeta. It's important to note that everyone responds to medications and treatments differently. If you're considering using any of these beta blockers for anxiety or any other condition, make sure to consult a medical professional before you do.

(04:53):
Propranolol is reported to be best used for short-term relief from performance anxiety. It can efficiently help bring your heart rate back to normal and reduce sweating and trembling prior to a performance, and it's minimal side effects when used only occasionally are a big plus. Atenolol sold as to Tenormin is another popular beta blocker used for performance anxiety that's typically longer lasting than propranolol. So for a long day of performances or high anxiety situations, atenolol might be the preferred beta blocker for stage fright.

(05:28):
Other celebrities using beta blockers for anxiety. Recently, several celebrities have talked openly about their use of beta blockers for anxiety purposes. A few of the more popular examples are number one, Katy Perry. Katy Perry is a singer, songwriter and TV personality who's a regular host on the massively popular American Idol show. Katy Perry has performed in front of millions of adoring fans and is known for her mesmerizing electric performances. During an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine, Katy Perry talked about her use of beta blockers to help with some anxiety and stage fright issues that she suffers from.

(06:07):
In the interview, she says she has a crippling fear that she would let everyone down, and so she used beta blockers to overcome performance anxiety. She makes it very clear that her stage fright does not come from a lack of preparation, but from her fear that, "fans will rush the stage or that I'll vomit on stage during a performance." Katy Perry said, and I quote, "I have to take beta blockers before each show. I get so nervous. I think they have to get through this. I can't let these people down, but mostly I can't let myself down. I've been given a great opportunity and there are 500 (beep) behind me who will snatch my weave off my head if I don't kick-ball-change through this two-hour show."

(06:47):
Number two, Shawn Mendes. When he was just 20 years old and partway through a global tour, Shawn Mendes stated that he was finding his continuous performances difficult while speaking on a Capital FM interview. The Canadian singer admitted to getting so nervous for his live shows that he needed medication to calm him for over a year. He continued to open up about his struggles with anxiety and pre-show nerves telling fans that, "As a performer, you get very nervous. Sometimes you freak out and things can become a lot for you, and there's medicine and things you can do to help and I meditate and I do a lot of things. There's a medicine called beta blockers, and basically it's a very calm medicine, but what it does is it slows your heart rate down so you can be less stressed out and calm down and breathe, but nevertheless, it's medicine and I want you guys to know that for the last year I've been taking the medicine that's been slowing down my heart rate so that I can be calm on stage."

(07:43):
Here's a now popular clip of Shawn Mendes publicly speaking about his beta blocker and anxiety struggles during a performance.

Shawn Mendes (07:51):
So as a performer, when somebody gets on stage, obviously you get very nervous and you freak out and sometimes things become a lot for you. And so there's medicine, there's things you can do to help and I meditate and I do a lot of things to try and calm down, but there's this type of medicine that's called beta blockers. Basically, it's a very calm medicine, but what it does is it slows your heart rate down so that you can be less stressed out and so that you can calm down and breathe. But nevertheless, it's medicine and I want you guys to know that for the last year, basically every single show that I've played, I've been taking a medicine that's been slowing down my heart rate so that I can be calm on stage. And I want you guys to know, because I think it's important that you know that today's my very first show back without that medicine.

Narrator (08:45):
Number three, Whitney Cummings. Whitney Cummings is a comedian, actress and screenwriter who's been recognized for her prolific output and sharp comedic timing. During an interview, Whitney Cummings talked about her chronic migraine issues and how it led to her discovering beta blockers that helped manage both her migraines and her anxiety.

(09:04):
She said, "The migraine attack started when I was a kid. I remember going to Disneyland and being the person who ruined the trip because Whitney has to go to the car and put a pillow over her head. A trip to Six Flags amusement park had to be cut short because Whitney has a migraine. I feel like I was always the bummer in my childhood. A big one of my migraine triggers is an increase in adrenaline and cortisol, which comes from stress, which we all have. It's a neurological imbalance. Sometimes the stress leading up to something can trigger the migraine and even the stress of anticipating a migraine can bring one on. I take beta blockers now, which help hugely. I didn't find out about them until about three years ago. I know if I have a big meeting or a big audition or a big performance or anything where I know I'm going to be nervous, I just take one preemptively so that I'm not blasting my brain with adrenaline."

(09:57):
Risks and downsides of beta blockers. Occasional use of beta blockers is considered reasonably safe for the majority of people. For people with certain health conditions, there is a risk of some side effects, including bradycardia, which means slow heart rates, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, dry mouth, and abdominal discomfort. There's also the risk of dependency or addiction, which can be particularly worrisome if one relies on beta blocker drugs to help with their profession. Those who develop a dependence on beta blockers may end up with issues like high blood pressure or more severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug.

(10:37):
If you find yourself using beta blockers as a sort of crutch, it might be smart to incorporate some natural alternatives into your routine. On that note, we have some upcoming videos about natural alternatives to beta blockers in the works, and our supplement PerformZen is designed exclusively to be a natural alternative to beta blockers. It's an all-natural supplement that helps you perform better under pressure or maintaining your focus and creativity. Check us out at www.PerformZen.com

(11:08):
Summary. So in summary, we know that beta blockers are a class of pharmaceutical drugs that block the effects of the adrenaline hormone. When facing stress-inducing scenarios, adrenaline is released into the body and binds to adrenergic receptors in the heart called beta receptors. This process causes the heart to pump blood with greater force, causing blood pressure and heart rate to go up alongside all the other performance anxiety symptoms. So beta blockers block adrenaline from binding to receptors in the heart, allowing the heart to return to its regular workload, which typically stabilizes blood pressure. As it is too much adrenaline that is at the root of most performance anxiety symptoms, it makes sense that blocking adrenaline using beta blockers should, you guessed it, lower anxiety levels, and that's why so many celebs use beta blockers to help with their anxiety.

(12:02):
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(12:14):
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