The latest to get real: Lena Dunham. The 32-year-old has long been open about her health issues – OCD, endometriosis, a hysterectomy – and this week she revealed her battle with prescription medication on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert.
“I was having crazy anxiety and having to show up for things that I didn’t feel equipped to show up for,” explained Dunham, who started taking Klonopin, a tranquiliser of the benzodiazepine class. “But I [knew] I [needed] to do it, and when I [took] a Klonopin, I [could] do it.”
Soon after, Dunham was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (linked to sexual traumas in her past, and more recent surgeries), and upped her intake. “There were a solid three years where I was – to put it lightly – misusing benzos, even though it was all quote-unquote ‘doctor prescribed’,” she said.
“Nobody I know who is prescribed these medications is told, ‘By the way, when you try and get off this, it’s going to be like the most hellacious acid trip you’ve ever had where you’re fucking clutching the walls and the hair is blowing off your head and you can’t believe you found yourself in this situation.”
But today, “the literal smell of the inside of pill bottles makes me want to throw up”, Dunham shared, now six months sober. "I still feel like my brain is recalibrating itself to be able to experience anxiety. I just feel literally on-my-knees grateful every day.”