Lena Dunham is best-known for her TV show, “Girls”, but offscreen, the actress, producer, and director struggles with mental illness. Dunham was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety as a child and has received treatment for both for most of her life. Lena’s disorder has been debilitating for her without medication, and she openly shares how it affected her before and after treatment, and how she was only able to seek out help after seeing people she looked up to do the same.
OCD affects 2.3% of the U.S. population to varying levels of severity, but symptoms are often debilitating. Getting help often includes behavioral therapy, where you work to train new coping mechanisms to replace obsessively counting, organizing, biting, or other behaviors. While the public understanding of OCD is very much “someone who is very neat”, OCD can dramatically impact your life, is often comorbid with depression and anxiety, and it’s important to seek out help so you can improve your life.
Millions of us struggle with mental health problems, disorders, and illnesses. Even the rich and famous are not immune from disorders and illnesses of the brain, despite having all the time and money to solve those problems. There’s no shame or stigma in remaining aware of your mental health, getting help when you need it, and working to create a good life for yourself.