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Jennifer Lawrence Discusses Her Anxiety Disorder

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- Jennifer Lawrence wowed fans with her fiery portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in the hit movie The Hunger Games. Yet, despite Lawrence’s confident command of the film’s leading role, the actress admits she has struggled to mirror that confidence in her personal life.

In an interview with French magazine Madam Figaro, the 23-year-old actress revealed how she overcame social anxiety disorder.

“My nickname was ‘Nitro,’ as nitroglycerin,” she recalled of her childhood. “I was hyperactive, curious about everything. When my mother talks about my childhood, she always says there was a light within me.”

“When I went to school, this light went out,” she continued. “We never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety. I went to see a shrink, nothing worked.”

It wasn’t until Lawrence decided to pursue a career in acting that her struggles subsided.

“One day, I begged my parents to take me to a casting,” Lawrence told the magazine. “We went off to New York and that’s where I started acting. On stage, my mother saw the change taking place in me. She saw my anxieties disappear. … I felt capable whereas before I felt good for nothing. This is why Mom fought for me to become an actress.”

During the interview, Lawrence also thanked her parents for their efforts to ensure her happiness. Her parents took out two mortgages on their homes and moved to New York to support their daughter’s career, she said.

“They wanted me to grow up in Kentucky, to lead a normal life, what all parents want for their children,” she 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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ABC News Radio