Though singer-actress Dove Cameron fell in love with acting at a young age, when she became famous during her teens years thanks to her Disney Channel show Liv & Maddie, she began second-guessing whether or not showbiz was the right career path for her.
While talking to GRAZIA, the 25-year-old recalled one of the first times she was recognized by a fan, a situation that unexpectedly sent her into a panic attack.
"I was like, Oh, this is terrible! I’m not made for this," she said. "So, that was scary, you know? I went from being in high school to that. And you only really know how that’s going to interact with your biology when it happens. Sorry to say, I thought I knew that I was gonna be OK with that, and you just don’t know."
Living in the spotlight didn't become much easier over the years even as her star began to rise: the Daytime Emmy winner nabbed roles in several musicals, most recently in Schmigadoon!, a new comedy series on AppleTV+, and she's currently in the midst of reshoots for a live-action version of the '90s cartoon show The Powerpuff Girls.
Still, it wasn't until last year that she finally overcame her anxiety.
"I had, like, a year where I was just not witnessed by anybody. And I wasn’t recognized ever and I didn’t go to any events," the blonde beauty noted of 2020. "And I think when I could let my nervous system go back to an equilibrium that I had before I was ever exposed to the public eye, then I could kind of heal whatever was not reacting well in me."
"It used to just send me into a state of terror, I guess, and now I feel like I can tackle it, because… I don’t know," the "LazyBaby" crooner admitted. "I guess I have a better sense of who I am."
The star's explanation comes after she publicly confirmed she was "queer."
"I think that everything in life comes back to how you feel about yourself. I just feel a lot more autonomous and I love myself," Cameron expressed. "It took me a long time to love myself and even longer to like myself. And now that I feel like I’ve done both to the best of my ability so far — until I redefine what that means again — it’s just changed everything. When you don’t hate yourself anymore, the world opens up."