Amanda Seyfried believes that mental illness should be dragged out of the shadows and discussed in plain view. To help achieve that, she’s opening up about her own obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
The 30-year-old Mamma Mia! actress graces the cover of Allure‘s November issue, and while chatting about the recent renovations to her upstate New York home, the topic of mental illness arose. Amanda said she chose not to include a stove in the guest house she had built out of fear that someone might burn the place down. She added that her decision was a result of OCD, that it was “just a controlling thing.”
Delving further into the subject, she said, “I’m on Lexapro, and I’ll never get off of it. I’ve been on it since I was 19, so 11 years. 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? 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.”
Amanda, who has chatted about mental health in the past, also spoke about the “proof” many people need in order to legitimize mental illness, as well as her own journey to diagnose her illness. 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. Knowing that a lot of my fears are not reality-based really helps.”
In her Allure feature, the Mean Girls star additionally talked about her insecurity issues and the relief she’s afforded by escaping to her Stone Ridge, New York home (which is about 100 miles north of New York City). She touches on her love of the town, her fiancé Thomas Sadoski, and her plans for her estate, which include redesigning the property and acquiring a goat and a pig to complement the rooster and four chickens she already owns. ~Matthew Pariselli