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Daryl Hannah Autism: Actress Reveals Secret Struggle With Brain Disorder

By Bianca Facchinei b.facchinei@hngn.com | Sep 27, 2013 09:25 AM EDT

Daryl Hannah
Film actress and environmentalist Daryl Hannah recently revealed her life-long struggle with Autism. (Photo : Twitter)

Film actress and environmentalist Daryl Hannah recently revealed her life-long struggle with Autism, NewsMax reported.

In her interview with People magazine, Hannah admitted her disorder was so severe that it prevented her from making public appearances and promoting her work. 

"I've never been comfortable being the center of attention," Hannah said. "It's always freaked me out."

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Although she was diagnosed with Autism at a young age, she kept it hidden from directors and colleagues in fear of losing her job.

"I'm a grown up now," she added. "I've learned a couple of things that really would've made my life easier if I'd known them 20 years ago."

One of the things she learned to cope with was her "debilitating shyness" by teaching herself tricks, saying she "wasted so much time scared, self-conscious and insecure." 

The full interview with People will be released on Friday.

Autism is a disorder that affects brain development, usually resulting in issues with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors, according to Autism Speaks. There are different types of Autism, all of which fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Current statistics show 1 in 88 children in the U.S. have some form of Autism, demonstrating the ten-fold increase of Autism disorders in the past 40 years. In addition, boys are four to five more times likely to be diagnosed with the brain disorder. 

Hannah, 52, is best known for her roles in "Splash," "Kill Bill," and "Steel Magnolias." She also made a name for herself in environmental activism, promoting climate change awareness and sustainability on her weekly blog DHLoveLife and attending public protests, some of which have resulted in her arrest.

Additionally, she worked on a documentary project focused on ending sexual slavery. 

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