For Emma Stone, growing up wasn’t always an “Easy A.”
The “La La Land” actress recently opened up to Rolling Stone about dealing with childhood anxiety since the age of seven and how her brain often went “30 steps ahead to the worst case scenario,” she said.
“My anxiety was constant,” she told the publication. “I would ask my mom a hundred times how the day was gonna lay out. What time was she gonna drop me off? Where was she gonna be? What would happen at lunch? Feeling nauseous. At a certain point, I couldn’t go to friends’ houses anymore ― I could barely get out the door to school.”
Her parents noticed how much the mental health condition was taking a toll on her and brought her to see a therapist. Stone, who said seeking professional support “helped so much,” eventually discovered that performing helped abate her symptoms.
“I started acting at this youth theater, doing improv and sketch comedy,” Stone said. “You have to be present in improv, and that’s the antithesis of anxiety.”
Experiencing overwhelming bouts of stress at a young age is not an anomaly. Childhood anxiety disorders are one of the most common pediatric psych issues, Allison Baker, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, previously told HuffPost.
“Many people believe that anxiety isn’t something worth assessing,” Baker said. “But it’s important treat anxiety, especially in children and teens.”
Stone said that learning to not lean into her anxiety is what eventually helped her manage it.
“If I listen to it enough, it crushes me,” she said. “But if I turn my head and keep doing what I’m doing ― let it speak to me, but don’t give it the credit it needs ― then it shrinks down and fades away.”