Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“For every woman who has struggled - there's no shame” Lena Dunham on the stigma of taking anti-depressants

rexfeatures_5490355l.jpg

Since she was a teenager, Lena Dunham has been taking antidepressants.

But she's recently started to notice there's a stereotype, particularly in popular culture, that women who take psychiatric medication are portrayed as uncontrollable, emotional and worst for wear.

"Lately I've been noticing that nearly every pop cultural image we see of a woman on psychiatric medication is that of an out-of-control, exhausting and exhausted girl who needs help," she writes on Instagram.

"But guess what? Most women on meds are women who have been brave enough to help themselves."

Can I live?

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

Emily Taylor (played by Rooney Mara) tries a series of antidepressant medications in 2013 film Side Effects

Emily Taylor (played by Rooney Mara) tries a series of antidepressant medications in 2013 film Side Effects

The 29-year-old continued to stress how women on medication for their mental health should not be made to feel inadequate or ashamed.

"It's important that we see normalizing portrayals of people, women, choosing to take action when it comes to their mental health. Meds didn't make me a hollowed out version of my former self or a messy bar patron with a bad bleach job. They allowed to really meet myself.

"I wish that for every lady who has ever struggled. There's really no shame."

The writer, director, actress, author and businesswoman also shared a picture of the number of subscription pills she takes on Instagram.

This week, the star also shared her new approach to coping with stress at work - a simple two letter word.

While many argue that saying "yes" is the key to opening more doors, Dunham says she's started to say "no" and that it's worked wonders for her personal life.

"Work is, organically, a place of yes," she writes in a guest post on LinkedIn. "Because I had so much shame about the private strings of unanswered texts, broken plans, re-made promises, at work it became my mission to answer every email no matter the hour, agree to every added task, finish the day off by reading a link sent by a colleague rather than a book for pleasure."

"And for awhile, it worked like a charm. A compliment like “you’re the fastest email-er I know,” or “how do you do so much at once?” was better than a romantic sweet nothing to me. It fulfilled my desire to be seen as unsinkable, reliable. And in the deepest place, lovable.But we can only pull off a high wire act for so long before gravity does its job. The more my personal relationships suffered, the more I wanted to work."

She says as soon as a polite “no” entered her vernacular -  “I can’t do it realistically by Friday,” or “I wish I could be on that panel but my week is insane,” or even “no, I’m not comfortable with this dynamic” - And "something miraculous happened".

"People respond well to honesty, to reality. They understand." Read Lena's full article at linkedin.com.

Related

anxiety-comics-funny-illustrations-gemma-correll-2__700.jpg

Illustrator perfectly captures the everyday anxieties we all deal with

ThinkstockPhotos-122604589.jpg

The one life-changing tip that will help you cope with stress

digital detox.jpg

What happened when a social media addict tuned out for two weeks

467409313.jpg

This is the (small) amount of friends you can rely on in a crisis

Swear-Word-Coloring-Book-Will-Help-You-Stop-Swearing-And-Start-Coloring-In-201655__700.jpg

Behold the colouring book of swear words

anxious child.jpg

“My childhood anxiety went untreated - and I'm still dealing with it”

woman-explains-depression.jpg

Woman explains exactly what depression is like in stunning poem

rexfeatures_5495048p.jpg

Gillian Anderson on dealing with anxiety and going grey

Jennifer Aniston.jpg

Top stress-busting tips from the world's most successful women

More

Margot Robbie writes stirring open letter to Hollywood

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Gabrielle Union shares a powerful message about rape and harassment

The star says she’ll “keep talking out” for survivors like herself

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

Why the singer has opened up about her mental health

The singer says it was “really, really bad” during her time with the band

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Anna Faris understands why people were obsessed with her relationship

She and Chris Pratt were often hailed as #relationshipgoals

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2017

Cher is starring in the Mamma Mia! sequel and we can’t wait for 2018

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey shares shocking sexual harassment story

“I got in my car and cried”

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Jennifer Lawrence was forced into a naked line-up by a producer

In the name of weight-loss “inspiration”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Abigail Breslin’s photo reveals how domestic abuse can stay with you

The actor has opened up about the realities of living with PTSD

17 Oct 2017

“Why Liar is proof that TV's depiction of rape is damaging to women”

The proliferation of rape in TV and film is a real problem for the representation of women

by Harriet Hall
17 Oct 2017