Amanda Seyfried speaks frankly about her 11-year struggle with OCD

"You don't see the mental illness: It's not a mass; it's not a cyst. But it's there."
Lintao Zhang

"You don't see the mental illness: It's not a mass; it's not a cyst. But it's there."

Amanda Seyfried has never been afraid of discussing her struggles with mental illness and in her latest interview the actress opened up about living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the stigmas that surround seeking help.

In a candid discussion with Allure magazine, Seyfried, 30, revealed she has been taking anti-anxiety medication for 11 years. And the Mamma Mia and Les Miserables star happily admitted she will keep taking the medication for the forseeable future, just like individuals would for any other illness.

"I had pretty bad health anxiety that came from the OCD and thought I had a tumour in my brain," says Seyfried. "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.

"Knowing that a lot of my fears are not reality-based really helps".
Pascal Le Segretain

"Knowing that a lot of my fears are not reality-based really helps".

"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?"

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She continued, "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. 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."

Discussion of her mental health arose after Seyfried revealed that she had the stove removed from a guest house on her Stone Ridge, New York property for fear that someone could start a fire.

"I always worry about people and how they use stoves. Which is just a controlling thing," she said. "(It's) about the gas. You could so easily burn down something if you leave the stove on. Or the oven."

Before being diagnosed with OCD, Seyfried believed her anxiety was manifesting from a physical health problem. While the actor continues to battle her insecurities and fears she says she has coped better with age. 

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 "I had an MRI, and the neurologist referred me to a psychiatrist," she recalls.

"It's funny when insecurity hits you. Sometimes I feel I know the world so well, but then ... it's so debilitating. You're like, What am I doing here? No one wants to see me. Why are you taking my picture? It's stupid, it's irrational, and it's not all about me, but I make it about me because I'm insecure. 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."

 - smh.com.au

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