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Emma Stone's latest role in the romantic comedy, La La Land, is already drawing Oscar buzz. One time I saw her holding hands with Andrew Garfield as I was walking into biochem at NYU, and totally took a creeper Snapchat of them. Good story, I know.

I stood there, tryna be low-key as I casually snapped my photo, I was, for a variety of reasons, going through a phase of my life when my anxiety was at a peak. 

I didn't know it at the time, but as it turns out, I wasn't the only one on West 4th Street on the anxiety struggle bus.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Emma spoke openly about suffering from anxiety disorder as a child, and how her time in therapy "helped so much."

Therapy Isn't Something to be Afraid of

She stated: "I wrote this book called I Am Bigger Than My Anxiety that I still have: I drew a little green monster on my shoulder that speaks to me in my ear and tells me all these things that aren't true.

And every time I listen to it, it grows bigger. If I listen to it enough, it crushes me. But if I turn my head and keep doing what I'm doing – let it speak to me, but don't give it the credit it needs – then it shrinks down and fades away." 

Emma Stone also credited acting as therapeutic because having to do things like improv it "forced her to be present, which is the anthesis of anxiety."

Her words resonated with me: I grew up not only suffering from crippling anxiety, but also a seemingly counterintuitive love of competitive dancing and other activities, like acting, that force me to be present. 

Celebrities and Mental Health

Emma Stone's candidness about her mental health adds her to the ever-growing list of celebrities who are using their powerful platforms to bring attention to psychiatric diagnoses and stigma.

From Lady Gaga's recent acknowledgement of post-rape PTSD to Demi Lavato's longtime advocacy for anxiety, depression, and eating disorder therapy, many celebs are using their spotlight to share their personal mental-health stories.

The fact that it makes headlines each time a celebrity opens up about mental illness is telling of the current societal climate that surrounds these issues; but each brave advocate helps to crack stereotypes around an overly and wrongfully tabooed topic.

Society has long trained individuals to hide their mental illness, giving the impression that those with a diagnosis are somehow personally responsible or inadequate, when in reality, the opposite is true.

Too many assume and mislabel things like anxiety and depression as weakness, substance-dependence as disorderly conduct, and ADHD as a lack of self-control.

But those who live with mental illness fight uphill battles on a daily basis, and as a result are often some of the most hard-working, driven human beings, with absolutely no limits on ceilings they can shatter or goals they can accomplish.

And while it's gotten better in the past few years, still a stigma lurks, despite the fact that mental illnesses are just as serious, impairing, and important as physical illnesses, and deserve to be treated as such.

Which is why it's important to continue conversations about mental health and treatment. Because going to a therapist for anxiety is the equivalent to going to a going in for antibiotics when you have strep. It's basic, essential healthcare. 

Attending therapy doesn't indicate that a person is weak or fragile, but rather a sign that they are wise enough to give their body and brain what it needs to function at its best. 

By speaking openly about mental illness, treatment and coping methods that work for us, we can all help each other mitigate the impacts of whatever green monsters may be sitting on our shoulders. 

And whether it be acting, improv, writing, baking, skiing, hiking, biking or cuddling a fur baby, let's continue to find and share ways to tell off our own green anxiety monsters, and proudly own taking steps towards better mental health.