Actress Dove Cameron, one of the stars of the popular Netflix series Stranger Things, has opened up about her experience with anxiety and dealing with fame. “It’s not something that you notice when you’re 25 and on the road,” she told the American Psychologist in a recently released clip. “It’s a place where you see people when you’re in the airport and people that you run into everywhere you go, especially because when I’m on tour with my band, my main job is playing music and being on stage in front of thousands of people.”
Cameron explained that while she was able to manage the anxiety she encountered on tour, the situation became much more difficult in the public eye. “The people around you are exposed to you and your ups and downs and whatever is going on in your life,” she said. “I think having an outlet and having somebody to talk to, even though it can be the other way around when you’re having a bad day and trying to control something, it helps you know that there’s somebody who understands what you’re going through and knows that this is real and you can let it go.”
The actress revealed that she felt “such a sense of empowerment” when she could be herself in front of fans, but that those feelings were impossible to maintain in the spotlight. “You’re not as genuine because you’re thinking, ‘If I say something wrong or if I behave strangely, then I’m going to upset people who have paid money to see me,’” she said. “I’ve had some celebrity and fan situations where you just think, like, I can’t even process this conversation in any kind of truthful way. You just play this game with yourself where you have to be slightly less yourself. It’s an amazing game, and it’s certainly extremely beautiful and powerful, but it’s not real.”
A fan told her, “You’re not alone in this.” To which she replied, “I appreciate that, and I appreciate you being aware of it and hearing that in me.”
Like Cameron, many people who have been through fame have said that it is often hard to escape the pressures that come with being a public figure. A recent study conducted by the University of Amsterdam found that excessive social media use may increase feelings of anxiety, particularly among people without medical conditions.
Cameron, however, said that her struggles led her to her most important lesson about being comfortable in her own skin. “If you stop feeling comfortable, you’re not going to grow,” she said. “And that’s the most important thing that you can take away from this is that you have to do it for yourself and find your way in life, and not be afraid of who you are.”
Read the full story at Refinery29.
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