What is Kim Basinger's Experience With Social Anxiety?

Kim Basinger has battled social anxiety and agoraphobia during her career.
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images



Experience with Social Anxiety:

Kim Basinger was so withdrawn as a child that her parents had her tested for autism and other psychiatric disorders; the tests did not find anything. Growing up, her worst fear was reading aloud in class, to the point that teachers believed she was having a nervous breakdown. When Kim took the podium to accept her Oscar in 1997 for LA Confidential, she couldn't find the words to speak, even though she had practiced for days.

Kim has spoken publicly about her struggles with panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety, appearing in the HBO film, "Panic: A film about coping." Kim received psychological therapy for her anxiety but still remains shy and susceptible to panic and agoraphobia.


Kim Basinger was born on December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia. At age 16 she won the Athens, Georgia Junior Miss Pageant and went on to the National competition in New York. After some success with modeling, Kim decided to move to Los Angeles in 1976 to pursue a career in acting.

Several television shows and movies later (including 9 1/2 Weeks in 1986 and Batman in 1989), Kim Basinger was a household name. In 1997 she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for LA Confidential. Kim married and divorced Ron Britton and Alec Baldwin; she and Alec have a daughter together.

Quotes From Kim Basinger:

"We've been through a lot, my daughter and I, but she has given so many gifts to shy old me and helped me overcome my fears."

"My hands were shaking. I was sweating so profusely, I could not move. I made it to my car and remember getting the keys in the ignition, cranking the car up, taking the back roads to my home and parking. I didn't leave the house for six months."

"When I came to Hollywood, I could wear a bikini, but I was in misery because people were looking at me. So I wore baggy clothes and watched other girls get the big parts and awards. I used to go home and play piano and scream at night to let out my frustrations. And this led to my agoraphobia."

"Fear has been something I've lived with my entire life, the fear of being in public places - which led to anxiety or panic attacks," she says. "I stayed in my house and literally cried every day."


Bane N. Life of drama for Basinger. Accessed January 28, 2010.

Rose C. A conversation with Kim Basinger. Accessed January 28, 2010.

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