Before she became the fourth American Idol, a country superstar and new bride to hockey hunk Mike Fisher, Carrie Underwood used to freak out in elevators, malls, and other crowded situations.
Underwood, 27, reveals to WebMD the Magazine that she suffered panic attacks as a high schooler in Checotah, Okla.
"I'm a big personal space person," the star admits. "You know, if you go to the restroom, you use the stall that's not near anybody. Or if you're in the gym, you go to the treadmill where there's space in between you."
The worst possible scenario? Christmas shopping at the mall was "my worst nightmare," she tells the magazine.
"And it seemed like in crowded situations like that, people would just completely violate your personal space," she says.
Although she's now gotten a handle on her panic attacks, she confides that she still struggles. A day before her Web MD interview, she had to control her fears while in an elevator.
"Every floor we stopped on, we'd cram more people in, and by the time we were done, there was just a ton of people," the singer related. "So I start thinking about all the bad things that can happen, and I'm like, 'I've got to get off the elevator, I need to get off the elevator.'" She laughs. "I was just like, 'No more stops, please, no more stops!'"
Underwood still has to collect herself when meeting fans. "They feel like they know you and they love you and that's wonderful — they're excited to meet you," she explains. "It just took me a minute to be able to figure that out and to be able to allow people into my space."
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