Jennifer Lawrence says she suffered from social anxiety

Nov. 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. actress Jennifer Lawrence told the French magazine Madame Figaro she suffered from social anxiety when she was a child, but overcame it by acting.

Lawrence, 23, won an Oscar this year for her work in "Silver Linings Playbook." She is also well-known for her work in the "Hunger Games" film franchise.

"My nickname was 'Nitro,' as in nitroglycerin," quoted Lawrence as telling Madame Figaro about what she was like as a little girl. "I was hyperactive, curious about everything. When my mother told me about my childhood, she always told me there was like a light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly. When I entered school, the light went out. We never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety. But I had friends. ... I went to see a shrink. Nothing worked."

Lawrence said everything changed when she discovered acting, however.

"One day, I begged my parents to take me to a casting," Lawrence said. "We went to New York, and that's where I started acting. Just on stage, my mother saw the change that was taking place in me. She saw my anxieties disappear. She found her daughter, the one who had this light and joy before school. ... I finally found a way [to] open the door to a universe that I understood, that was good for me and made me happy, because I felt capable, whereas before I felt worthless." reported Lawrence told Madame Figaro her parents moved to New York so she could pursue her dream.

"They wanted me to grow up in Kentucky, to lead a normal life, what all parents want for their children," the actress said. "But they saw me so truly happy that they sacrificed everything for my happiness ... without my family, I would be nothing."

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