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Despite living in the spotlight, Emma Stone is never one to shy away from honesty, and her personal struggle with anxiety is no exception. The actress appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night to discuss her starring role in Battle of the Sexes, and the conversation quickly turned from her relationship with the legendary Billie Jean King to her lifelong struggle with the mental health issue.
"I was a very, very, very anxious child, and I had a lot of panic attacks," Stone told Colbert. "It has always been something that I've lived with, and it flares up in big ways at different times in my life. Sometimes, while it's happening, like, while I'm in a phase of big turmoil, it feels like it's never gonna end—but it does."
She also divulged that a combination of childhood therapy and acting have helped her immensely over the years. "[Acting] helped me so much; improv helped me so much," she continued. "I mean, I still have anxiety to this day, not panic attacks—knock on wood." Stone even showed the audience a private drawing of her anxiety that she did during a therapy session at age 9; the sketch depicts a young Stone towering over a small green shape, which she identified as "her anxiety."
While Stone's admittance may seem minimal, her acknowledgment helps to normalize this traditionally stigmatized mental health disorder. The more public figures use their platform to deconstruct the taboo surrounding mental illness, the more open the conversation becomes. With this kind of honesty, we can hope to one day live in a world where mental health is addressed with the same kind of seriousness and regularity as physical health.
Watch the full clip of Emma Stone's appearance on The Late Show below.
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