Chad Michael Murray Recalls Battling Anxiety Disorder Amid ‘One Tree Hill’ Fame

Chad Michael Murray is opening up about battling anxiety amid his rapid rise to fame in the early 2000s.

In a recent interview with The Cut, the actor detailed struggling with agoraphobia, a type of anxiety disorder, during the height of his iconic role in the CW teen drama series “One Tree Hill.”

Murray starred as Lucas Scott in the coming-of-age drama series from 2003 until 2012. He also starred opposite Lindsay Lohan in 2003’s “Freaky Friday” and alongside Hilary Duff in 2004’s “A Cinderella Story.”

The former model said despite becoming one of Hollywood’s dreamiest heartthrobs at the time, he felt “far more fragile than I ever put on.”

“Everyone starts telling you ‘Yes,’” he explained of his fast-hitting success. “But I was walking around with a really pained heart.”

Murray recalled the time his anxiety had him in such a chokehold that he felt trapped in his hotel room.

“I was around 23 and I had an event in Miami, but I couldn’t leave my hotel room,” Murray told the outlet in the interview published Tuesday. “The world felt like it was closing in; I was having anxiety attacks.”

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that causes people to avoid public or crowded places or situations that might cause panic and feelings of being trapped, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Murray, now 42, said growing closer to his faith after turning 25 helped him overcome his agoraphobia.

“I woke up and felt unsettled. I didn’t like the direction that I was going in my life,” he recalled. “I went to church, and I got a tattoo of a cross on my left wrist, and I was like, I’m going to move myself in faith.”

The “Dawson’s Creek” actor then shared that going to therapy and tapping into hobbies like reading and painting helped him overcome his anxiety.

“I always told myself, ‘I’m doing this for my future wife and kids,’ and now here they are,” he said of switching up his lifestyle. “It’s been the greatest chapter of my life.”

Murray split from his ex-wife and “One Tree Hill” co-star Sophia Bush in 2005 after just five months of marriage. He later married actress Sarah Roemer in 2015. The pair share three young children.