Emma Stone, who has previously been open about her experience with anxiety and panic attacks, opened up again in a new video with the Child Mind Institute this morning.
Stone is just the first in a series of celebrities who will be joining the Institute's new #MyYoungerSelf campaign to raise awareness about mental health for children, which is part of a greater education effort from the Institute called Speak Up For Kids.
In the video, Stone talks about what she'd want kids going through anxiety to know.
"It's so normal," she said. "Everyone experiences a version of anxiety or worry in their lives. And maybe we go through it in a different or more intense way for longer periods of time, but there's nothing wrong with you."
"To be a sensitive person that cares a lot, that takes things in in a deep way, is actually part of what makes you amazing," she said.
Although she struggled with her anxiety and panic disorder as a kid, Stone said in the video that she "wouldn't trade it for the world," because it makes her feel things deeply. She wants kids who may be watching the video to know that coping with anxiety gets easier as life goes on, and as you learn more about yourself and your triggers.
"I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands," Stone said of her anxiety disorder last year. "I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later. I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change."
Feelings like these can be common with anxiety. But, as Stone said, symptoms are often manageable with a combination of medication and therapy, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Yet, about 80% of kids who have an anxiety disorder are not being treated, according the ADAA. This campaign will hopefully help to lower that number by helping kids, and their parents, recognize the symptoms, and get past the stigma of mental health disorders.
Emma Stone is a quirky, funny, beautiful, strong, and successful actress. And she has anxiety. Stories like hers can help to normalize conversations about mental health.
Stone is the first in a month-long series of celebrities sharing their stories on the Child Mind Institute's social media accounts. The Institute plans to post a new story from a new celebrity every day in May, which is Mental Health Awareness month. Others joining the campaign include Tommy Hilfiger, who will talk about his dyslexia, and David Cross, who will speak on depression.