Emma Stone Has Opened Up About Struggling With Anxiety

Emma suffered her first anxiety attack at age seven.

Emma Stone has gotten personal about her struggles with anxiety.

To raise awareness for the mental health of children, the actress spoke to the president of the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Harold Koplewicz, about her struggles with anxiety and panic attacks.

During the interview, Emma discussed having her first panic attack when she was 7-years-old and how that “terrifying” moment repeated itself over the next few years.

“It was really, really terrifying and overwhelming,” she said. “I was at a friend’s house, and all of a sudden I was convinced the house was on fire and it was burning down. I was just sitting in her bedroom and obviously the house wasn’t on fire, but there was nothing in me that didn’t think we were going to die.”

Emma shared that the anxiety attacks affected her social life and caused her to have separation anxiety from her mam.

Emma Stone

Soon after her first attack, Emma started going to therapy, which she called “embarrassing or shameful” because it wasn’t normal to talk about mental health or therapy at the time. However, she admit that she didn’t actually know she had a disorder because neither her mother or therapist told her.

“They gave her a name for what I was experiencing but she didn’t tell me, which I’m also grateful for. I didn’t know I had generalised anxiety disorder or a version of panic disorder. I’m very grateful I didn’t know that I had a disorder so to speak…there weren’t a lot of people that I could look at. I wanted to be an actor and there weren’t a lot of actors that spoke about having panic attacks.”

She kept most of those experiences within the confines of her home and discussed them mostly with her family. When she was in therapy, she wrote a staple-bound book called I Am More Than My Anxiety, where she could draw pictures and recalled it being “helpful.” Her mam still has it.

Emma continues to cope with her anxiety and panic attacks, and describes acting as a big part of how she works toward her goals. “If I didn’t go to LA, I would die,” she said.

Her struggles have also helped her become a better actress because she’s able to relate to different characters. “There is a tendency to want to understand how people around you work or what’s going on internally with them which is great for characters,” she said.