In the new issue of Esquire, Amanda Seyfried not only gabs about her new “spinach and seed”-eating diet, she also scandalously pops pills in front of the interviewer! A birth control pill and the anti-anxiety med Lexapro, that is. Here’s how it’s described in the story:
The anxiety rises in her as she speaks, and she cracks open her purse, shakes a Lexapro into her hand. She halves it, then pops a birth-control pill from its foil pack and swallows both. “Yeah, yeah, I’m anxious,” she says. “And yes, I use birth control.”
This bit has prompted Jezebel to respond with a post that applauds her for her seemingly “blase” approach to both birth control and regulating her moods — something which, to many people, might seem like activities that should be done in private. Meanwhile, a writer at Crushable says that the reference to Seyfried’s pill-popping didn’t even register to her (until she read the Jezebel story) and she’s surprised that anyone would find taking prescribed medication publicly to be controversial.
Personally, I’m more irked by the Esquire writer’s description of Seyfried’s Lexapro use. I take Lexapro as well, and share Seyfried’s “yeah, yeah” attitude about being on the anti-anxiety and anti-depression drug. I don’t feel the need to hide it or be ashamed of it and I think it’s cool that she’s not guarded either. But I think her casual attitude could be misconstrued by some.
The Esquire writer makes it seem like Seyfried suddenly decided to take her medicine as she became anxious — as if she was reacting and treating a sudden symptom. As someone who takes Lexapro, I can assure you that taking it isn’t like taking Advil for a headache. It takes weeks for the meds to build up in your system, so taking one pill doesn’t have any immediate, powerful, or noticeable effect. Making it seem like Seyfried was just popping a Lexapro because she felt like she needed to — because “anxiety” was “rising” in her voice — combined with her blase “yeah, yeah” response, seems like a kind of manipulative way of making her seem … I dunno … Lindsay Lohan-esque? There’s already a negative perception of psychiatric meds in this country — that people who take them use them as a crutch, etc. — and one writer’s carefree, blase telling of a starlet’s pill-taking kind of adds to the stereotyping.