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Why Child Stars Go Nuts, According to Former Child Star (and ‘Matilda’ Actress) Mara Wilson

While Amanda Bynes is busy live-tweeting her mental meltdown, fellow former child star Mara Wilson offered some insight into why many kids who grow up in the spotlight go on to have such troubled adulthoods.

Wilson, who made her Hollywood debut in “Mrs. Doubtfire” at age 5, wrote a recent blog post entitled “7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider’s Perspective)” detailing how the world of childhood stardom is a breeding ground for narcissism, co-dependency, and desperation.

“It was generally a good experience,” Wilson writes of starring in films such as “Matilda” and “Miracle on 34th Street,” “but every day I’m glad I wasn’t Olsen twins famous. Not many child stars make it out of Hollywood alive or sane, and at any given time there are at least three former ones having very public breakdowns.”

As for why those breakdowns happen, Wilson lays out several explanations, many of which center around the lack of strong parental role models. Wilson said she was lucky in that regard: her parents didn’t push her into acting, and always looked out for her best interests.

Today, Wilson is 25 and an NYU grad, living in New York and working as a writer and sometime stage performer. While she made it out of Hollywood alive and on her own terms, she recognizes that many of her fellow child stars aren’t as lucky.

“It’s not something I’m ever going to escape. And while I’m glad for all the advantages it’s given me … it does give me something I have to not only live up to, but surpass,” she writes. “ … There’s not much to do besides accept it for what it was and move on.”

As for those would-be fellow child stars who still want to pursue the limelight, how can they avoid meltdowns of their own?

“Make sure it’s really your choice, get out of it when it stops being fun, and get an education,” Wilson writes.

To read the whole post, head over to Cracked.

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