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Emma Stone Opens Up About Her Struggles With Panic Attacks & Anxiety

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Oct. 2 2018, Updated 9:26 p.m. ET

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Emma Stone is getting candid about her mental health battles. She revealed how panic attacks and anxiety have plagued her for most of her life in a talk during Advertising Week in New York City on Monday, October 1. Keep reading to hear more about her struggles and what she had to say about sticking through them.

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During an interview with Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz for the Child Mind Institute summit at Advertising Week, the actress spoke about her ongoing mental health issues.

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The Favourite star said she had her first panic attack at age seven. “After first grade before I went into second grade, I had my first panic attack. It was really, really terrifying and overwhelming. 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.”

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As her attacks got worse for the next two years, Emma said that she “couldn’t go to friends’ houses,” because she didn’t want to leave her mother's side. She  was later brought to a therapist who diagnosed her with generalized anxiety and panic disorder.

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“I am very grateful I didn’t know that I had a disorder,” the La La Land actress said. “I wanted to be an actor and there weren’t a lot of actors who spoke about having panic attacks.” Acting and improve became her saving graces and both helped her through her anxiety.

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The 29-year-old believed that her mental health has a big impact on understanding the characters that she plays. “I also believe there is a lot of empathy when you struggled a lot internally,” she said. “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.”

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Emma continued, “I believe that people who have anxiety and depression are very, very sensitive and very, very smart, because the world is hard and scary and there’s a lot that goes on, and when you’re really attuned to that, it can be crippling. And if you don’t let it cripple you and you use it for something positive and productive, it’s like a superpower.”

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Are you surprised by Emma's struggles? Sound off in the comments below!

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