Eric McCormack paid a visit to Sean Hayes’ “Hypochondriactor” podcast, and opened up about a bizarre habit he’d developed.
As the Canadian actor told his “Will & Grace” co-star, he believes he has a “psychosomatic” reliance on using nasal spray.
As People reported, McCormack said he could trace his fixation back to his childhood.
“My father had a lot of allergies. He was allergic to everything. Dogs and cats and pretty much anything he didn’t want us to have, suddenly he had an allergy to. And he would always use nasal spray. And I think I inherited this from him,” McCormack said, joking, “Not the actual bottle. It would have run out some time ago.”
Eventually, McCormack felt he needed to have nasal spray with him constantly.
“I couldn’t get on a plane without knowing that I had the nasal spray in my pocket. I couldn’t even go on stage. I don’t think I did an episode of ‘Will & Grace’ where I didn’t [have it]. And I didn’t need it. It wasn’t like I was stuffed up. I just thought the only way I’m going to be able to really breathe is if I give myself a little squirt in each nostril,” he continued.
“It feels like it’s almost like something you touch on the way out, like an OCD thing, like a ritual,” he added. “The difference is in a plane I would become claustrophobic if I thought, ‘Oh my god, I don’t have it on me. What if I can’t breathe?’ ”
In fact, he came to use the stuff so much that it actually made him become more stuffed-up. “I got to the point where I wasn’t sure if it was the over-usage of the product that was bizarrely stuffing me up and making more of it,” he said.
Hayes’ podcast co-host, Dr. Priyanka Wali concurred, telling McCormack that “if you actually use them too much, it can actually cause a rebound nasal congestion. So the nasal congestion is just going to come back and it might even come back worse. You’re kind of creating your own way of meditating by doing these rituals. But you were literally getting more air into your lungs which is very similar when people smoke, sometimes it’s just the act of the inhalation that has more of a kind of calming effect on the nervous system than the actual nicotine itself.”
McCormack admitted that he’s “wanted to stop” using the spray for some time, but it wasn’t until the last year, when the pandemic resulted in less travel than he’d been doing, he came to realize he did “not have a need for it.”
Added McCormack: “I haven’t thought of it in a while,” he said. “It’s almost out of sight out of mind.”