The Amazing Spider-man actress Emma Stone has revealed to the Wall Street Journal that despite her rise to stardom over recent years, she struggled with anxiety and debilitating panic attacks for many years as a child. Stone, recognized as a confident and collected young woman, seems poles apart from her former self as she describes the difficulties she went through and how acting helped her become the person she is today.
Emma discussed her fist ever panic attack, detailing how that one occurrence would lead to years of struggle before she was able to conquer her anxiety.
"It was really bad," Stone described, "The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend's house, and I thought the house was burning down." Emma's mother brought her home from and was able to help Stone quell her attack, however she explained how "for the next three years it just would not stop."
"I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands. I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later. I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change."
While Stone's parents did all they could to help her during these troubling times, Emma remembers being taken to therapy, although these sessions paled in comparison to the comfort she felt through acting. As a hobby during her childhood, Stone found solace in acting.
"There's something about the immediacy of acting," Emma explained. "You can't afford to think about a million other things. You have to think about the task at hand. Acting forces me to sort of be like a zen master: What is happening right in this moment?"
During the same interview, Emma addressed speculations regarding her relationship with ex-boyfriend Andrew Garfield. Rumours of the pair's relationship have been fervent for months, although Stone regards the on-again-off-again gossip to be a waste of time.
"I never talk about this stuff for this exact reason—because it's all so speculative and baseless," Emma explained.
"It's so special to me that it never feels good to talk about, so I just continually don't talk about it."
Anxiety disorders and panic attacks just like Emma's effect almost 18 million Americans, making it one of the most common mental health concerns in the country. Emma Stone's revelations of struggling with the illness during her childhood are a stark and powerful message to those coping with similar conditions - that anxiety can be overcome.
[Image credit: Stefania D'Alessandro via Getty Images]