The 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' star used to attend regular therapy sessions to help control her social anxiety and hyperactivity, problems which developed when she started at school.
She said: "My nickname was 'Nitro', as in nitroglycerin. I was hyperactive, curious about everything.
"When my mother told me about my childhood, she always told me there was like a light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly. When I entered school, the light went out. We never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety. But I had lots of friends though. I think mostly I didn't feel intelligent because I wasn't a good student ... I think in life, some people are stupid, but they manage to get by, and I'm one of them. I went to see a psychologist, but nothing worked."
Eventually Jennifer was only able to overcome her anxiety by taking up acting.
Once the 23-year-old actress took up the profession her problems disappeared.
In an interview with French magazine Madame Figaro, she explained: "One day, I begged my parents to take me to a casting, we went to New York and that's where I started acting. As soon as I was on stage, my mom started to see the change in me. She saw my fears disappear. She found her daughter again, the one who had this light and joy. I finally found my path in life and something that made me happy, because I felt capable, whereas before I felt useless. That's why my mom fought for me to become an actress."
The instincts of Jennifer's mother Karen were proved to be correct as Jennifer has gone on to win the Best Actress Oscar - which she was awarded this year for her role in 'Silver Linings Playbook'.
Despite the phenomenal success she has received at such a young age, Jennifer tries to live as normal a life as she can.
She said: "One of the dangers in the film industry is that things are too fast. I do not want to burn the stages of my life. I want to keep it simple, you see, I do not have an assistant."