Emma Stone's childhood drawing of her anxiety is so relatable

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Susan Devaney
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Emma Stone has once again opened up about her lifelong battle with shyness, anxiety and crippling panic attacks. And, this time, she has gotten even more personal about it, sharing a picture she drew of her condition when she was a child.

During an appearance on The Late Show to promote her new film Battle of the Sexes – in which she plays tennis ace Billie Jean King in the famous 1973 match against Bobby Riggs - the actress spoke candidly about mental health with host Stephen Colbert on Tuesday 19 September.

At one point during the interview Colbert held up a drawing of a girl beside a small green monster and a line of text, saying: “I’m bigger than my anxiety”.

Explaining the drawing, Stone joked that the monster resembled a uterus: “This is me I guess. This is anxiety, it’s a little green monster who looks like a uterus with ovaries. I didn’t mean for it to be hormonal.”

“I was nine and I was in therapy. I was a very, very, very anxious child and I had a lot of panic attacks and I benefited in a big way from therapy. I started at 7. 

But Stone also stressed that she still very much suffers from anxiety now.

“[Acting] and improv helped me so much. I still have anxiety to this day.”

Sometimes we have a tendency to fall into the trap of thinking that celebrities live easy, problem-free lives – especially an Oscar-winning actress – but Stone has been very upfront and honest about her anxiety in the past.

In January this year, the actress spoke candidly about her battles with mental health to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress revealed that she had been a “nervous child from early on, prone to panic attacks and debilitating shyness”.

“It’s just the way I’m wired,” she said.

But it was a new-found hobby of acting, and particularly improv comedy, that really helped Stone to tackle her shyness.

“I think my parents saw that acting was the thing that made me fulfilled and happy,” she said.

Stone grew up in Arizona before convincing her parents to let her drop out of school at the age of 15 and move to Hollywood to pursue an acting career, a decision which she now calls “crazy” – but which clearly paid off.

However, she admitted that her Oscar-nominated role in 2014 hit film Birdman caused her to again suffer from anxiety.

“The tightrope walk of that movie, the pacing and timing — I lost my mind a bit,” she recalls. “I just got to a point where I snapped.”

But Stone is now aware of the triggers of her anxiety, with interviews in particular causing her to suffer from anxiety.

“Before any interview, I have to sit with myself for five minutes and breathe and get centered because I get so nervous,” she said.

“Interviews are kind of like therapy, except all your answers are being written down and printed. I always want to be on the other side of it. I don't want to be deconstructed for millions. I'd rather do the deconstructing.”

Images: Rex Features