Hannah Ferrier normalized the topic of mental health and working in yachting while starring on Below Deck Mediterranean for five seasons. She was fired in Season 5 after she failed to report her prescription Valium and CBD pen in official documentation. Captain Sandy Yawn cited maritime law as the reason for terminating the face of the series, but some fans never accepted that explanation.
The industry is specific in the isolation factor, and lack of privacy while working on charter. It’s not possible to discreetly deal with much while on board. But, the reality TV star managed to hide her struggles while filming the debut season in 2016.
Hannah had to “hide” her panic attacks during Season 1
Hannah shared a moving post to her Instagram Stories on December 3. There, she recalled the days that she was struggling alone with her mental health. Alongside a picture of herself in uniform from Season 1, Hannah wrote, “Filming season 1 of Below Deck Med — I was so embarrassed at the time to admit I was struggling with anxiety that I ended up losing 22 pounds in 6 weeks during filming.”
“I would actually hide in the bathroom while covering my microphone and having panic attacks. I’m glad we have moved on as a society and can now talk openly about mental illness,” she added.
It was when Season 3 filmed that Hannah’s panic attacks became apparent. After struggling with demanding charter guests, and a fledgling romance with bosun Conrad Empson, Hannah was unable to hide one of her flare ups. She was filmed in a vulnerable moment, hyperventilating and crying.
As a result of that incident, Hannah started to speak publicly about her mental health. In an interview with Decider in 2018, she revealed the impact that her on-camera panic had on viewers.
“A lot of people reached out and said, ‘I didn’t know that anyone else got the physical symptoms that I got.’ Because people don’t talk about it. There are obviously a lot of people in the world that feel really alone in terms of getting that sort of anxiety,” the Below Deck Mediterranean alum said. “People who don’t suffer anxiety or aren’t close to somebody [who does] get stress and anxiety confused, and they are two very different things. So, I think it was good to see people’s response that they felt less alone.”
Now, revisiting the conversation, Hannah got a similar outpouring of thanks and support for taking the stigma out of suffering with panic attacks.
Catch Below Deck Mediterranean, Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF HANNAH’S ANXIETY STRUGGLES WHILE FILMING? DID YOU REALIZE IN SEASON 1 THAT SHE WAS SUFFERING WITH PANIC ATTACKS? WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT HER BRINGING AWARENESS TO THE SUBJECT?