ABC weatherman has panic attack live on air

A popular TV weatherman has opened up about his battle with anxiety, revealing he's suffered panic attacks on air that left him fearing for his job and mental health.

ABC weatherman Nate Byrne detailed his battle with anxiety, recounting the first time he suffered a panic attack on camera in 2018.

"I'd later find out that what I was experiencing was diagnosable and manageable, but in that moment I thought that my career was over," Mr Byrne wrote for ABC.

ABC weatherman Nate Byrne had his first panic attack live on air in 2018.
ABC weatherman Nate Byrne first suffered a panic attack live on air in 2018. Source: ABC

"Something was taking control of me without my permission or understanding, and it was preventing me from doing what made me, me."

Nate Byrne first suffered a panic attack in 2018

Mr Byrne recalled the first time he had a panic attack while he was presenting the weather for ABC Breakfast in 2018. Although viewers at home would have seen the weatherman presenting as usual, the reality for Mr Byrne was very different.

"I was gasping for breath and sweat was pouring out of every pore as my brain screamed "RUN!"," he said, saying he made it through the segment but had a second panic attack 15 minutes later.

"This time, it was much worse — I started shaking, my vision narrowed, my heart was pounding like I'd run a marathon, I couldn't breathe," he recounted.

"I needed to be anywhere else, and I had no idea why."


Mr Byrne was taken off air for the rest of the day with ABC News Breakfast host Michael Rowland filling in for the weather wrap.

After consulting with his doctor, Mr Byrne was placed on beta blockers to control his anxiety, which he weaned himself off two months later.

However, over the next few weeks, he still dealt with anxiety when standing near the weather wall, saying he learned to distract himself and saw a psychologist to confirm there weren't any other contributing factors.

"While his initial advice to remove myself from the situation wasn't exactly what I needed, we worked together to come up with alternative coping mechanisms," he explained.

ABC weatherman Nate Byrne has opened up about his battle with anxiety in an article for the ABC.
Nate Byrne is opening up about his battle with anxiety. Source: Twitter

He suffered another panic attack on air in 2020

A year later, Mr Byrne had another panic attack on air, with footage of the segment showing him stumbling over his words and repeatedly pausing to catch his breath.

"This time I had the tools to quickly recover, but I had neglected to tell our new co-host Lisa Millar about my anxiety issues," Mr Bryne said.

"It had been so long, I assumed it was no longer an issue."

The ABC host said when he had asked his co-worker what she thought was happening, she thought he was having a stroke.

Mr Byrne suffered a second panic attack on air in 2020. Source: ABC
Mr Byrne suffered a second panic attack on air in 2020. Source: ABC

My Byrne said although he has had more panic attacks since, it's changed his perspective on mental health.

"I appreciated that things like anxiety and depression are very much real, I had no idea about the complete lack of control you can sometimes have over your brain, nor the ways in which it can take over," he wrote, adding that seeking treatment and talking about it has made it more manageable.

"And it means I can keep doing the thing I love," he said.

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