The actress, who plays Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap, and husband Theo Silveston became parents to Jaimee and Maiya in April 2006. Speaking to OK magazine, she revealed that she had sought medical treatment to prevent further attacks.
Simons recalled: "When Theo and I went for our first night out after the kids were born, we were having a subdued dinner with friends and suddenly I couldn't breathe.
"My heart was in my mouth and I was sweating and shaking. I didn't tell anyone because you feel stupid and weak, like you are going insane."
Simons further explained: "I was having attacks almost every day and living in fear of having them the rest of the time. I walked off set a couple of times and had to have a strict word with myself.
"I felt sick all the time and had the shakes all the time. And then I'd go back into full-on panic. When it happened again and again I realised I had a problem and I had to get help."
Simons said that she still wears earphones when shopping so that she can "block everything out".
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Watch a classic clip of Rita Simons as Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders below: