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Keira Knightley Reveals That She Used Hypnotherapy To Get Back On The Red Carpet After Suffering A Breakdown

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"It was big money to get pictures of women falling apart'

Keira Knightley has revealed that she suffered a mental breakdown at the age of 22, and used hypnotherapy as a way of dealing with PTSD.

Knightley came to the forefront of attention of the national tabloid press after her breakout role, aged 17, in Bend It Like Beckham.

After this, she says, she was harassed by an aggressive paparazzi determined to see her 'break down'.

Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, Knightley said: "It was big money to get pictures of women falling apart. Because you [consumers] wanted them to be sexy, but you wanted to punish them for that sexuality. If you [female stars] weren’t breaking down in front of them, then it was worth their while to make you break down in front of them."

She described leaving the house every day as a "battle", and added that the paparazzi let a "level of violence, it felt, in the air."

Knightley then went on to reveal that the paparazzi harassment led to her breakdown aged 22.

She continued: "I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all of that stuff.

"I went deep into therapy and all of that, and she [the therapist] said, 'It’s amazing—I normally come in here and have people that think people are talking about them and they think that they’re being followed, but actually they’re not. You’re the first person that actually that is happening to!'"

She went on to reveal that she used hypnotherapy before the 2008 BAFTAs. She said it enabled her to “stand on the red carpet at the BAFTAs and not have a panic attack.”