Lena Dunham has opened up about her anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in a powerful video hoping to break down mental health stigma.
The ‘Girls’ creator, who has spoken about her mental and physical health in the past (she also suffers from endometriosis), has teamed up with the Child Mind Institute, a charity working with children struggling from mental health issues and learning disorders.
In the video, which was shared exclusively by People Magazine, the 30-year-old says she is grateful that her parents were comfortable talking about mental health issues, as it helped her cope with her illness.
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“I’m a writer, director, an actor and I have obsessive compulsive disorder and a generalised anxiety disorder that often leads to dissociative anxiety,” she says in the video.
“I feel so lucky that my parents were people who were comfortable with therapy with medication and conversations about anxiety. I would tell my younger self that there’s no shame in asking a teacher for help, telling a friend that you’re uncomfortable and that it’s just the same as falling down and scraping your knee.”
Dunham then addresses her younger self, sharing a few coping mechanisms that she has learned over the years.
“I would tell my younger self to squeeze my dog tightly and to read a book and to meditate and breathe,” she says.
“[I want my younger self] to understand that I’m not alone. There are so many other kids like me who are suffering this way and the greatest thing I can do for them and myself is to be honest.”
Dunham’s video is just one of a larger video series on mental health with Child Mind Institute, including celebrities such as Emma Stone and Michael Phelps.
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