Emma Stone Depended On Acting At a Young Age to Escape Her Devastating Anxiety

We hear a lot about anxiety in medical headlines and how many people experience it, yet don’t always equate it to famous actors. Perhaps it’s because actors always look extroverted to a point where they seemingly have no qualms about speaking in front of people — let alone dozens of cameras.

How anyone could have anxiety and manage to present themselves so intimately as Emma Stone has on the big screen would be a major survival tale.

Stone is one of millions of Americans who live with anxiety. Take a minute to understand how anxiety impacted Stone’s life when younger and how acting helped bring a unique way to keep it controlled.

Emma Stone’s anxiety started in childhood

Emma Stone
Emma Stone | Theo Wargo/WireImage

According to a CNN report on Stone from last year, she suffered her first anxiety attack at the stunning age of seven. She said it involved visiting a friend’s house and convincing herself the house was burning down when it wasn’t.

At the time, of course, she had no idea what was wrong with her. When you’re seven years old and have a sense of panic, you obviously believe your own feelings and think something is always wrong in reality.

Don’t think kids that young can’t have troubles with anxiety already, if not even younger. Statistics from Anxiety and Depression Association of America show kids as young as a year and a half can start to exhibit an anxiety disorder.

In the case of Stone, her family made sure she sought therapy at a young age, something that also involved her interest in doing theater work. It was in the realm of acting where she learned to temper her anxiety and even project it through a performance.

If you think it’s impossible for someone to perform in front of people with anxiety, Stone might be the poster girl for showing how much it can work as a form of self-help.

How many use acting as a way to conquer anxiety?

It wasn’t so much acting that helped Stone conquer anxiety as it was taking an improv class. Channeling her feelings through improv helped her specifically, something possibly unique to her.

She’s also said continuing to battle anxiety helps you create a more heightened sensitivity to everything. Ultimately, she thinks her anxiety was there for a reason in helping her become a better actress.

One thing we can’t deny is she’s given indelible performances related to the human condition many of her peers couldn’t have done half as well. We never want to uphold mental illness in helping anything, yet it may play a stronger factor in creating great acting art after all.

For Stone, she’s called it her great “superpower,” something you wouldn’t expect anyone to say about anxiety. Consider this proof every negative thing occurring exists to create a positive counter-response.

Anxiety never really goes away

Any of you who’ve experienced anxiety knows you can maybe conquer it for a while, but it always comes back when you least expect it. When it does hit, it often hits at the worst possible times.

Stone admits to still battling anxiety all the time, something she keeps under control with ongoing therapy. There shouldn’t be any career anxiety on her part now thanks to being an Oscar winner and one of the most in-demand actors in the world.

None of this matters, however, when anxiety often takes a mind of its own to reshape your thoughts.

Having Stone be so transparent about it helped her anxiety as well, something we should hope sets a precedent in persuading others (women or men) to admit to anxiety issues if it’s a stifling problem.