Dakota Fanning has opened up about the anxiety she increasingly experiences as she gets older. (Pic: Reuters)

Dakota Fanning has opened up about the anxiety she increasingly experiences as she gets older.

The 24-year-old actress - who is dating Henry Fyre, a crew member on her new TV series 'The Alienist' - admitted her worries have escalated as she's got older, and she knows that the things that cause her concern usually indicate a bigger problem.

She said: "I wasn't an anxious child at all, but as I've got older, I've felt more anxiety moving into my life.

"Usually the little things I get anxious about are indicative of a bigger thing. For me, making a decision that's going to affect something in the future is overwhelming. 

"Or I can be fine for a long, long time, and then I'll walk into my apartment and then [panic] that things are a mess."

Dakota admitted she was upset by the "mess" in her New York apartment when she and Henry recently returned from a trip, but was aware her upset was just a way of trying to seek "control and order".

She added to Sunday Times Style magazine: "I said, 'Everything is a mess! It's a mess in here!' He was, like, 'You have to realise that it's not. I understand you think that, but it isn't.' 

"And he was right. It was me just trying to get some control and order."

But the 'War of the Worlds' actress credits her Christian family and "being raised with a relationship with a higher power" for helping ease some of her stress, as well as instilling a sense of accountability.

She said: "It's like, OK, maybe none of that actually matters.

"If you do something you're not proud of and no one is around to see it, there's a presence bigger than you who does see it. In a literal way, as a child, it was, like, 'S**t!' "