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Shia LaBeouf Says Child Stardom Gave Him PTSD

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Disney Channel may seem like nothing but cruise ship shenanigans, wizards being wizards, and carefully choreographed cafeteria dance sequences, but Shia LaBeouf explained that his experience with the network was much, much darker. During an appearance on The Hollywood Reporter‘s podcast, Awards Chatter, he explained that his time filming Even Stevens and the complicated relationship that he had with his father while the show filmed actually gave him post-traumatic stress disorder.

LaBeouf’s new movie, Honey Boy (he plays a character inspired by his father), is loosely based on his experiences with child stardom and the family issues he grew up with. He explained that he felt as though he needed to earn money for his family to somehow repair his parents’ marriage. While he got into the details on the podcast, all mentions of Disney Channel are changed for the movie.

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“It was the first time I’d been told I had PSTD. I just thought I was an alcoholic, like a true blue drunk and I needed to deal with that,” LaBeouf said on the podcast. “I knew it was an issue but didn’t know there was this extra whole other thing that was hindering my ability to have any peace in my life and my ability to deal with people.”

LaBeouf added that he was diagnosed with PTSD after he started therapy as part his court-ordered rehab after being arrested for disorderly conduct and obstruction back in 2017. Before his therapy, he said that he never imagined he could have been diagnosed with something like PTSD. The diagnosis wasn’t all that came from the sessions. Honey Boy did, too. He told Deadline that the movie came from the journaling that he did as part of his therapy.

“You write down a bunch, dealing with PTSD and a lot of your trauma, and [what I sent director Alma Har’el] came out in script form, because that’s just how I’ve been doing this for quite a while,” he said. “It’s just how I write, and I sent her the script — not even a full script, just like a conversation between two characters, a young me and my father. And at the time, I wasn’t trying to play my dad; I was just writing this thing down and then sent it to her, and she’s like, ‘One, this is a movie.'”