Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand lives with social anxiety disorder.
Barbra Streisand has shared her experience with social anxiety. Andrew Toth / Getty Images

Barbra Streisand is a singer, actor, director, and producer who has shared her experience with social anxiety disorder.

Experience With SAD

During a concert in New York's Central Park in 1967, Barbra did what for her was unthinkable—she forgot the lyrics to a song. Unable to shrug off the incident and carry on like many performers do, the consummate perfectionist found herself avoiding performing in public for nearly another three decades.

Finally ready to face her fears, Barbra performed live in Las Vegas over New Year's in 1994. Still battling her own fears, the star chose to use teleprompters to ensure that she did not forget the words to the songs.

Treatment

In an interview in 2006 with Oprah Winfrey, Barbra revealed that she had begun taking anti-anxiety medication in a bid to once again get her stage fright under control.

Previously it had been reported that she had received therapy from Jerilyn Ross, president and CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America—the same therapist who later treated Donny Osmond. Barbra continues to use teleprompters as an aid to help mitigate some of her anxiety about performing.

Biography

Barbra Streisand was born on April 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. Barbra's biological father passed away when she was 15 months old and her memories of childhood are of a mother who couldn't show love and a stepfather who disliked her.

Barbra attended the same high school as Neil Diamond, with whom she later went on to sing the duet "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." Barbra is married to actor James Brolin and has a son, Jason, with ex-husband Elliot Gould.

Barbra has appeared in various films including "Helly, Dolly!" (1969), "Yentl" (1983), "The Mirror Has Two Faces" (1996), "Meet The Fockers" (2004), and .

She has received numerous awards including two Oscars, five Emmys, and eight Golden Globes.

Barbra's Thoughts About SAD

"I couldn't come out of it. ... It was shocking to me to forget the words. So, I didn't have any sense of humor about it. You know, I didn't make up words ... some performers really do well when they forget the words. They forget the words all the time, but they somehow have humor about it. I remember I didn't have a sense of humor about it. I was quite shocked."

"You know, I can't remember my good reviews. I remember negative ones. They stay in my mind. So, that says a lot about my upbringing or, you know, a feeling of self-worth when I was younger. Now, I can sort of look at it and see that's kind of funny. But, you know, it is true even today."

"During my last tour, when I kicked off my shoes and said whatever I wanted, I actually enjoyed myself. Performing is not about perfection. I could never perform live if it were. For me, it's about raising the money to do good in the world.

It's about self-acceptance. It's about believing that I am enough."

Sources:

ABC News. Barbra Streisand Looks Back on 25 Years. Accessed May 13, 2008.

O, The Oprah Magazine. Oprah Talks to Barbra Streisand. Accessed May 13, 2008.

Vanity Fair. A Star Is Reborn. Accessed Aug 9, 2015.

Continue Reading