Jonah Hill opens up about 20 years of painful anxiety attacks

Jonah Hill opens up about 20 years of painful anxiety attacks
Jonah Hill taking a break from promoting duties due to anxiety
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Jonah Hill opened up about his history of painful panic attacks as he takes further steps to protect his mental health.

The Oscar-nominated actor, 38, is set to release a documentary, Stutz, named after his therapist Dr Phil Stutz. The film will share the tools and resources Hill has acquired over the years to combat anxiety.

In a statement sent to Deadline, he said:

"I have finished directing my second film, a documentary about me and my therapist which explores mental health in general called Stutz. The whole purpose of making this film is to give therapy and the tools I’ve learned in therapy to a wide audience for private use through an entertaining film.

"Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events.

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"I am so grateful that the film will make its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall, and I can’t wait to share it with audiences around the world in the hope that it will help those struggling. However, you won’t see me out there promoting this film, or any of my upcoming films, while I take this important step to protect myself. If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn’t be acting true to myself or to the film.

"I usually cringe at letters or statements like this but I understand that I am of the privileged few who can afford to take time off. I won’t lose my job while working on my anxiety. With this letter and with Stutz, I’m hoping to make it more normal for people to talk and act on this stuff. So they can take steps towards feeling better and so that the people in their lives might understand their issues more clearly.

"I hope the work will speak for itself and I’m grateful to my collaborators, my business partners and to all reading this for your understanding and support.

– Jonah Hill."

Despite not having social media himself, Hill was praised across platforms for breaking the stigma of anxiety.

One said, "As someone who has dealt with anxiety most of my life, I applaud and thank Jonah Hill for his candour and openness in discussing this difficult topic."

"Good for him! I’m a big fan of Jonah Hill and respect him even more for this," another added. "We have to be kinder to each other, so many of us suffer from anxiety. The more people who admit to it, the better."

A third tweeted: "Love Jonah Hill at baseline. Even more for his courage in shining light on his anxiety. He recognises the risks, the optics, and the privilege he has in being able to take time off work for his mental health. What a world it would be if employers made such concessions for us."

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