Amanda Seyfried Gets Real About Anxiety, OCD, and Mental Illness Stigma
“It should be taken as seriously as anything else.”
by Danielle Sinay
Amanda Seyfried opened up about her struggles with mental illness, revealing to Allure that she suffers from severe anxiety and OCD.
“I always worry about people and how they use stoves, which is just a controlling thing,” she explained. When asked if this was a symptom of OCD, she responded, “Yes. About the gas. You could so easily burn something if you leave the stove on. Or the oven.”
Amanda treats her OCD and anxiety with the prescribed medication Lexapro, which helps to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“I’ll never get off of it,” she said of the drug. “I’m on the lowest dose. I don’t see the point of getting off of it. Whether it’s placebo or not, I don’t want to risk it. And what are you fighting against? Just the stigma of using a tool?”
Amanda addresses something super important – the stigma of mental illness is cruel and unfair. It leaves those who struggle with it to think that their illness, and/or inability to cope on their own, is a sign of weakness. It’s not, because that’s what treatment is for!
“A mental illness is a thing that people cast in a different category [from other illnesses], but I don’t think it is. It should be taken as seriously as anything else,” she continued. “You don’t see the mental illness: It’s not a mass; it’s not a cyst. But it’s there. Why do you need to prove it? If you can treat it, you treat it.”
There are lots of ways to treat mental illness – therapy, yoga, and medication, to name a few, but it’s important to note that everyone’s solution is different.
She went on to note to confess that at one point her anxiety got so bad, she thought it was the result of a tumor in her brain. “I had an MRI, and the neurologist referred me to a psychiatrist. As I get older, the compulsive thoughts and fears have diminished a lot. Knowing that a lot of my fears are not reality-based really helps.”
Remember: there is not one type of anxiety. Stars like Kylie Jenner and Ellie Goulding have also opened up about their experience with the illness, and everyone describes something different. Some people experience panic attacks, while others suffer from specific phobias. Other forms of anxiety include Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Bipolar Disorder, to name a few.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the most common mental illness in the country, and if we’ve learned anything from Amanda, Kylie, and Ellie, it’s that stars aren’t immune to mental illness, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If you personally struggle with anxiety, depression, or something else, please don’t be embarrassed to get help. There are lots of resources readily available – even on your iPhone! Check out some of our favorite mental health and therapy apps here.
We’re so glad Amanda opened up about her anxiety and OCD, and is doing what she needs to to feel happy, healthy, and like her best self. Hopefully her courage will inspire others to do the same.
Remember – there is nothing wrong with you, whatever it is you’re experiencing. You are perfect and beautiful just the way you are!
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1?800?273?TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat.