‘ I’m See king Treat­ment’

Trou­bled Roseanne Star Re­veals: De­ter­mined not to be­come an­other child­star statis­tic, Emma Ken­ney is get­ting help for is­sues in­clud­ing anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion

In Touch (USA) - - Tv News - — Re­port­ing by Rick Egusquiza

Emma Ken­ney has been a rev­e­la­tion to watch as she plays Dar­lene’s all-grownup — and trou­bled — teen daugh­ter, Har­ris, on ABC’S wildly suc­cess­ful Roseanne re­boot. On the April 3 episode, Dar­lene busts Har­ris for sell­ing shoplifted goods on Etsy. Dar­lene is dev­as­tated to dis­cover her kid hates liv­ing with grand­par­ents Roseanne and Dan in their tiny Illi­nois town so much that she’s re­sorted to il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity so she can raise money to run away. Har­ris’ bad be­hav­ior, Dar­lene re­al­izes, is rooted in deep un­hap­pi­ness.

The sto­ry­line hits painfully close to home for Emma, 18. She’s been act­ing since she was 10 — she’s also ap­peared on Show­time’s Shame­less since 2011. And in re­cent months she has been strug­gling with the dark side of child star­dom. “I was run­ning with a re­ally fast crowd. I was be­ing naive and very im­ma­ture, and I was do­ing things I should not be do­ing be­cause it was il­le­gal and I’m not 21,” she tells In Touch in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view. “It wasn’t healthy, and it was mak­ing me feel even worse — anx­ious and de­pressed. It was just a slip­pery slope that I did not want to go down. And I knew that I needed to stop it.” So with her par­ty­ing, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion reach­ing a crit­i­cal point, Emma has de­cided to get help. “I’m go­ing to be seek­ing treat­ment for my bat­tles,” she re­veals, with­out giv­ing specifics about what type of treat­ment she’ll re­ceive. “I’m go­ing to work through it. I’m go­ing to get help and make bet­ter choices.”

LOS­ING HER WAY Though Emma says her is­sues have not af­fected her work, her pri­vate life has suf­fered. “I just didn’t know how to deal with stress, so I would have an oc­ca­sional wild night. I would go out to clubs and bars with older friends in Hol­ly­wood,” she says. “I was very anx­ious, very de­pressed. I had no idea how to han­dle my emo­tions.” So she stopped and took in­ven­tory. “I wrote down a list of who I was sur­round­ing my­self with and re­al­ized I had to cut some of th­ese peo­ple out of my life be­cause they’re toxic and they’re leeches just try­ing to hop onto my band­wagon of suc­cess,” she says.

When she was on a hia­tus from Shame­less, the bad choices and toxic friends took a toll. “I was bored and didn’t know what to do. I’m such a worka­holic that I just acted out. Now, in treat­ment, I will work on find­ing other ways to cope with bore­dom, find hob­bies and bet­ter learn how to deal with stress,” she says, adding that her par­ents, clos­est friends and co-stars have been sup­port­ive. “I just think I need a men­tal san­ity break and a break from the Hol­ly­wood scene.”

SET­TING AN EX­AM­PLE Emma starts film­ing the next sea­son of Shame­less in May; then comes an­other sea­son of Roseanne. “I want to be the health­i­est, best Emma that I can be, and I know that by go­ing to treat­ment that’s what’s go­ing to hap­pen, and I’m go­ing to con­tinue on that pos­i­tive road,” she says, ex­plain­ing that she’s speak­ing out be­cause she wants to help oth­ers who are strug­gling. “I just want to send a mes­sage to my fans say­ing that it’s OK to ad­mit that you need help, and it doesn’t make you weak. I know I’m mak­ing the right choice by go­ing to treat­ment, and I’m go­ing to come out the other side the right Emma, the true Emma that I’ve al­ways been.”

TURN­ING POINT “I don’t have any fears. I’m ex­cited to go,” Emma says of get­ting treat­ment. “I want to be a pos­i­tive fig­ure for young girls and boys, for everyone.” “I think that many peo­ple can re­late” to the Con­ner fam­ily, says Emma, who bears an...

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