Carson Daly reveals anxiety battle

The 44-year-old television host has revealed he has battled with anxiety since he was a young child.

Television host Carson Daly attends the NBC Mid-Season Press Day at the Four Seasons Hotel on 8 March 2018 in New York. Picture: AFP.

LOS ANGELES - Carson Daly has opened up about his battle with anxiety, likening his panic attacks to a "saber-tooth tiger" that wants to "kill" him.

The 44-year-old television host has revealed he has battled with anxiety since he was a young child as he always used to "worry", and has admitted his panic attacks can sometimes be so bad he "feels like [he's] dying".

He said: "I was a worrywart kid. I was always worrying. My father died when I was five. I had an ulcer when I was in high school. I've been nervous my whole life.

"At times I feel like there's a saber-tooth tiger right here and it's going to kill me, attack me and bite my head off. I'm scared as if that's really happening. You feel like you're dying."

The _Voice _host - who has children Jackson, eight, Etta, five, and London, three, with his wife Siri Pinter - was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), which is characterised as "persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events".

But the star insists his battle with GAD wasn't brought on by his "high pressure" career choice.

He said: "People think, 'Oh, he has anxiety. High pressure life. You know, you're on television.' It has nothing to do with that. I've had heightened anxiety and mild panic attacks at the playground with my own children and wife there. The feeling was so gripping and so terrifying that literally I had to leave and excuse myself."

Daly now sees a therapist to help him deal with his condition, and says he's been greatly helped by "muscle retention relaxation".

Speaking during Friday's episode of the Today show, he said: "I opted for a cognitive therapist, somebody who teaches you about anxiety, the model of it, and offers you tools on how to kind of work through it. Muscle retention relaxation really helps me."