Joshua Bassett suffered heart failure amid the scrutiny he faced when Olivia Rodrigo released ‘Drivers License’.
The 21-year-old singer-and-actor found his personal life in the Headlines when his ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ co-star released her viral hit – which is widely believed to be about their break-up , although they have never confirmed they dated – in January 2021 and he released ‘Lie Lie Lie’ a week later, and the situation took its toll on his health.
He recalled, “I felt my heart literally failing. I was like, ‘This isn’t just anxiety. This is bad.'”
In the week leading up to his hospitalization, Joshua admitted that he “felt Worse and Worse” every day.
He added: “I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day. I couldn’t even stand up for more than 30 seconds.”
The producer on his TV show eventually took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with septic shock and told waiting any longer for the illness – which could have been brought on by stress – may have proven Fatal.
Joshua told People Magazine: “The Doctors were like, ‘If you hadn’t checked in within 12 hours, you would have died in your apartment.’
“It’s wild that I was this close to taking another day.”
Nine days later, the actor left the hospital having physically recovered, but his mental health had been hit hard.
He said: “I was even more depressed and stressed. I had a Panic attack every single day.”
Joshua turned to music, writing three songs, ‘Crisis’, ‘Secret’ and ‘Set Me Free’, but he found the process ‘stressful and hard’ rather than Therapeutic.
He said, “People had this mentality like, ‘Oh, you were going through so much, so what you were making must have been so great.’
“While, yes, I was able to make something out of my pain, a lot of times it was just me grieving and going through all these different feelings.”
The ‘Better Nate Than Ever’ actor deliberately held off releasing the songs until December to avoid creating new speculation.
However, after the release, he admitted: “That week was Worse than the year combined.
“I got what I had to say off of my chest, but it brought all that stuff back up, and the Healing isn’t very linear.”
Joshua – who has spoken in the past about being sexually abused as a child – credited his therapist, as well as yoga and meditation for helping him get his life back on track.
He said, “My therapist, she loves the song ‘Set Me Free,’ but every time she hears it, she goes, ‘Only you can set yourself free.’
“I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. I get it.’ But I do understand now that it really is me who can give myself permission to move on. Ultimately, I was the one who had to set myself free.
“What I realized recently is that the reason why I haven’t been able to process so much of it is because I went into pure shock.
“I’m still very much in the middle of the whole process, and I think it’s a Lifelong thing, but I’m learning to peel back the layers.”