Emma Stone has opened up about the “terrifying and overwhelming” panic attacks she experienced while growing up.
The actor discussed her ongoing struggle with mental health as part of a panel during Advertising Week New York: “The summer after first grade, before I went into second grade, I had my first panic attack,” she told Dr Harold Koplewic.
“It was really, really terrifying and overwhelming. I was at a friend’s house, and all of the sudden, I was absolutely 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. So I called my mom and — it was panic, but of course I didn’t know that — she came and picked me up. And then it just kept going for the next two years.”
Revealing that the signs were there from her early childhood, she said: “At the beginning, I was very serious as a baby and toddler — didn’t really laugh or smile much, took everything in in a very intense way. And then I was a performer; I was rambunctious and excitable and loved to sing and dance — up until I was about 7.”
Emma eventually went to therapy and credits her family with supporting her through the experience: “They gave [my mom] a name for what I was experiencing, but she didn’t tell me. I’m pretty grateful that I didn’t know that I had general anxiety disorder and a version of panic disorder.”
Props to Emma for opening up about the kind of struggle that so many find difficult to vocalise.