Amanda Seyfried opens up about her mental illness, says it should be “taken as seriously as anything else”
It’s really a shame that so many people live with the stigma of mental illness and feel like they can’t talk about it. Which is why when a celeb like Amanda Seyfried talks about her OCD and how she’s managed it throughout the years, it feels refreshing. It sounds cheesy, maybe, but the more anyone talks about anything that’s sort of “taboo,” like mental illness, sickness, or addiction, the better it is for everyone. And one day we’ll be one big, weird, happy family and go live on Seyfried’s sick-sounding farm in upstate New York.
Seriously, though, you want to hang out with Seyfried on this property, the scene of her big feature interview, which she’s renovated with her OCD in mind. She told David Denicolo of Allure, “I just finished renovating one of the barns for guests. I put in a bathroom and a little kitchenette, but no stove; I want people to eat meals in the house. Also, I always worry about people and how they use stoves. Which is just a controlling thing.”
It’s about the fear that someone will burn something down in the barn if she leave them alone for too long. Obsessive compulsive disorder is often portrayed in the media as a “quirky” little thing (counting, pacing, organizing), but it comes with a lot of anxiety, fear, and depression. Which is why Seyfried considers Lexapro her BFF.
She’s been taking the lowest dose for 11 years, she told Allure. And it seems to be working, but she’s nervous to kick the habit just in case. “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? 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 said.
Seyfried is right about mental illness being somehow in a different category, and if someone had a chronic disease, would you shame them for taking meds? She said, “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. I had pretty bad health anxiety that came from the OCD and thought I had a tumor in my 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.”
Everyone needs to listen to Seyfried and stop acting weird and icky about mental health issues. Even if we all can’t escape to the woods and renovate barns, we all have our ways of dealing with our shit.