The actress opened up about the anxiety she’s faced since childhood and her goal of helping others conquer it.
It’s a story that is becoming more familiar as mental health becomes a national conversation: actress Goldie Hawn might be an Academy award-winning actress, but she once struggled with anxiety.
Hawn told her story at The Child Mind Institute‘s 5th Annual Change Maker Awards, where she won her Activist Award.
“I lived with anxiety as a little girl,” said Hawn. “I thought the Russians were going to bomb us. I thought I could die without ever kissing a boy. I suffered anxiety every time I heard a siren.”
Even as she spent more time in the spotlight, she would begin to have anxiety attacks. “The next thing I know I’m doing a TV show and I was having nonspecific anxiety attacks,” she explained. “I didn’t know why I was feeling anxious or what was wrong with me, when I would go into public and feeling like I could vomit. I didn’t know why I wanted to sit on a couch while I was supposedly becoming something that everyone was so excited for me.”
Hawn soon realized she needed to take action.
“I suffered for about a year…[then] I took charge and saw a doctor,” she told the audience. “But that was the time when I was 21 and I realized that I had a mind, that I was going to fix that mind and I was going to make sure I knew and understood everything that was happening and why it was happening.”
Eventually, she found her key to happiness: meditation.
“I went for meditation because it was the thing to do, and when I did, it was like I can’t ever explain to you—it was the most joyful experience I’ve ever had,” revealed Hawn. “I felt like I returned back to my deepest part, to my heart, to my joy. It just hit this seed of joy that I always had as a young girl. Because all I ever wanted to be was happy. That was my goal.”
Hawn founded the MindUp program to help children deal with mental health issues through meditation, hopefully providing them with the tools that helped her find happiness.
She felt concern because of the statistics that suggest suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24.