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LeAnn Rimes blames missed childhood for personal troubles

Singer Leann Rimes is convinced her lack of a proper childhood caused her a lifetime of struggles because she was forced to mature so quickly after finding fame as a teen.

The country star began recording songs at the tender age of 11 and scored her first big hit with Blue just two years later.

But the pressure of being thrust into the spotlight took its toll on the youngster and she ended up burying her feelings of anxiety and stress until she could no longer keep them under control.

She began a 30-day treatment program in rehab the day after turning 30 in August (12) and she now feels like she's been given a fresh start in life.

And Rimes is convinced her loss of childhood innocence contributed to her emotional breakdown.

She tells talk show host Katie Couric, "I think it boils down to basically a loss of childhood. I didn't really have a childhood, and as a kid I was pretty much told to, if anyone asked me that question, to say I was fine...

"There's the little girl inside of me that I've never quite developed. I jumped over so many normal childhood experiences and became this adult very early on so that part of me is extremely developed and then there's this little girl who never got the attention that she needed. I'm giving her, I guess, that attention now in a way that I now know how to do."

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