Perrie Edwards was left feeling ''terrified'' after experiencing anxiety and panic attacks.

The Little Mix star has opened up about her battle with anxiety and explained how she felt like she was ''having a heart attack'' the first time she had a physical anxiety attack.

She wrote in a lengthy Instagram post: ''Over the past few years I have suffered really badly with anxiety and panic attacks. When I first started to feel the effects of anxiety I thought I was losing my mind and it terrified me. I felt so alone and like I was the first person in the world to ever experience it ... The first panic attack was so intense and overwhelming I felt like I was having a heart attack, I was so scared and confused and had no idea what was happening to me. I'm not sure what triggered that first one but it soon spiralled & I found myself in a really dark place, feeling alone and scared. I had people around me but I couldn't explain to them what was happening to me or why. It affected me so badly that I didn't even want to leave the house. I would step foot out the door and feel the overwhelming need to go straight back inside. It completely took over my life.''

And the 'Secret Love Song' singer credits therapy and opening up to loved ones for helping her cope with her anxious feelings and she hopes that by talking about it, it will encourage and inspire other people suffering to open up too.

She added: ''I've had a relationship with my mind for 25 years now, so to feel it working against me sometimes makes me feel like a prisoner in my own head. It feels like the most unnatural thing in the world but the thing that helped me the most was discovering I'm not alone ... I had therapy and I surround myself with my loved ones.

''Talking to someone relieves you of SO MUCH STRESS. I worked out coping mechanism's and learned what the triggers are so that I can fight the attacks before they take hold. I restricted my time on social media which often made me feel trapped and claustrophobic. I took control of my life and accepted what I couldn't control.''