Amanda Seyfried on her OCD: ‘I’m on Lexapro, and I’ll never get off of it’

amandaseyfriedallure
Amanda Seyfried covers the November issue of Allure, and they put her in a gorgeous burgundy velvet jacket and styled her straight out of the 70s. She’s beautiful no matter what, she’s got that incredible hair, and that look really suits her. A lot of outlets are focusing on Amanda opening up in the interview about the fact that she has obsessive compulsive disorder and takes Lexapro to control it. This isn’t the first time she’s told the press about it. She’s been open about the fact that she has OCD and suffers panic attacks and that she’s being treated with Lexapro. Good for Amanda for continuing to talk about her struggles and for trying to reduce the stigma of mental health treatment.

Amanda met the Allure journalist in Stone Ridge, New York where she has a home and is raising chickens. She and her fiancé, Thomas Sadowski, plan to adopt a goat and a pig and just rescued two cats. Amanda also has her Australian Shepard, Finn, whom she Facetimes when she’s away from him for too long. That’s so cute that she face times her dog! Here’s some of what she told Allure and there’s much more at the source:

Q: Have you done a lot of work on your place?
A: “I bought the house in 2013, and then I had it redone…. I just finished renovating one of the barns for guests. I put in a bathroom and a little kitchenette, but no stove; I want people to eat meals in the house. Also, I always worry about people and how they use stoves. Which is just a controlling thing.”

Q: Is this related to OCD?
A: “Yes. About the gas. You could so easily burn down something if you leave the stove on. Or the oven.”

Q: Are you medicated?
A: “Yeah. 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. 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.”

On her insecurity

“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.”

[From Allure]

Amanda reminds me of Kristen Bell’s recent admission that she’s on antidepressants – the more celebrities talk about it, the more word gets out and people feel like they’re not alone. There’s no shame in it and mental illness affects people from all walks of life.

In this interview Amanda talks about the little town where she lives a couple of hours outside New York City. She said “There’s a little strip mall. But it’s a cute strip mall. There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts, a reflexology place. Even the grocery store is special. It’s the classic small-town grocery. There’s a lot of local things happening. And then I go to the farm stand. Everything you get is absolutely local.” Unlike a lot of other celebrities, you get the impression that she’s genuinely excited about it, and enjoys the normalcy of life where she can blend it. It isn’t an affectation about sampling the culture and looking down on people, she really wants to be a part of things and that’s novel to her.

Also, look at this new photo of Finn!

Finn is not impressed with your loom work.

Sunday morning weave

A photo posted by Amanda Seyfried (@mingey) on

Happy 7th, best friend @finnsite

A photo posted by Amanda Seyfried (@mingey) on

amandaseyfriedallure2

Photos credit: Amanda Seyfried/Instagram and Scott Tindle for Allure

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74 Responses to “Amanda Seyfried on her OCD: ‘I’m on Lexapro, and I’ll never get off of it’”

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  1. Bichon says:

    Been on Zoloft for 17 years, and have no desire to stop. It should probably be in the water.

    • Thurry says:

      It should be! I was on Paxil for 20 years, recently switched to Rexulti and Wellbutrin. Nobody except my immediate family members know that I’m taking antidepressants, as I haven’t told anyone else because I am still leery of being judged.

    • Sb says:

      I suffered from chronic depression as a teen and then added ptsd to the list as an adult. Took Prozac for 4 years then cymbalta for 8. I then did intensive amino acid therapy w a clinic in Texas for 2 years. With that I was able to ween off the cymbalta which took about a year. I haven’t taken anything for almost 2 years now and am symptom free. My psychiatrist tried to convince me not to do the amino acid treatment. So glad I didn’t listen to him. You have to do what works for you and helps you live your best life. Also find a dr that will listen and meet your needs. They are out there!

      • LWithHearts says:

        Well done weening off the meds! I’m wanting to start tapering off my anti depressants but nervous about how my body will react. I guess I need to do more research. Hope you are happy and well :^)

      • sb says:

        Thank LWithHEarts. The best advice I can give is listen to your body. My dr wanted to ween me off in 1 month, but I needed to go so much slower. I figured after years of taking it for years, 1month of weening would probably land me in a severe bout of depression just from shock alone. I am glad I took the whole year to do it. I let my body and mind adjust to the new levels at the pace it needed. I wish you peace and happiness:)

      • Katherine says:

        SB glad you’re better. These illnesses are so hard on the people who suffer them. It felt like an impeding doom, a pain of the soul. Ocd is an anxiety disorder, I’m on Zoloft,250 mg and I wouldn’t wish mental illness on my worst enemy. Peace of mind is priceless.
        Keep healthy.

      • Nicole says:

        Mental illness is horrible. Weened myself off of some too. Also, had to go cold turkey on my Saphris. 300 bux for 30 pills, I said NOPE and now I am off after 5 years. I DO NOT recommend that to stop for anyone, but I had been weening myself off of that one as well. So, now just Effexor and Klonopin.

    • LizLemonGotMarried says:

      I was on Latuda for 2 years, but it causes weight gain, so I’m easing off it and onto another drug with many less side effects. Apparently my previous doctor just wrote Latuda because it was the hot new drug, but it’s for all these symptoms I don’t have. My new doc spends TONS of time with me, talking about everything (family, miscarriage, work, you name it) and coordinates my care with my GP, OBGYN, and even my counselor after we lost our son at 16 weeks this summer. She’s amazing, and I’m thrilled that I was able to get in with her.

      • margie says:

        I am so sorry to hear about your son, that is heartbreaking. So glad to read you are taking care of yourself, as it can be hard to do so after something traumatic and in the grips of depression and mental ill-health. Hugs to you.

      • PunkyMomma says:

        Liz — a tender hug for you, along with my condolences. I’m so sorry.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        So sorry for your loss. Glad you have found a good and caring practitioner.

    • Zeddy says:

      Good for you. I’ve taken zoloft as well for a period, and I was so happy I did. Makes a world of difference, absolutely.

  2. Nancy says:

    I’ve loved her since Mean Girls. She didn’t have to expose her illness, how cool that she did. The stigma of mental illness in this country has to stop and baby steps like a beautiful girl sharing her experiences helps.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, it’s really great that she did. I hope it convinces more people to seek treatment. My friend has two daughters with severe anxiety — amazing girls who are struggling so much. The doc has recommended meds but for some reason she and her husband have said they just “can’t” medicate them. They have spent years seeking and trying alternative treatments all to no avail. They know how lifesaving meds have been for my son’s depression/anxiety/ocd yet something still holds them back. It’s astonishing how strong the stigma can be, even when real suffering is staring them right in the face.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        That actually upsets me! I don’t understand the refusal to treat mental illness medicinally. Would they refuse an antibiotic to a sinus sufferer? It is the SAME THING. Pain hurts no matter where it comes from, body or mind. Treat it, people!

      • Esmom says:

        Tulip Garden, I say the same thing all the time, the brain is an organ like any other body part. Why some people feel it should be exempt from medical treatment really is beyond me. So frustrating. I feel like my friend’s girls have lost out on so much — they’re teens and should be more carefree. They can’t help it that their brains are just not cooperating.

    • milla says:

      it is not only in the States, it is everywhere.
      I suffer from anxiety, did therapy, but basically, i was told to learn to live with it, let go, live through my irrational fears.

      i am glad that Amanda spoke up so openly, she sounds like a wonderful person, down to earth and we need to talk more about mental health, since it is eating people alive, everywhere.

    • CMiddy says:

      My brother (36) has anxiety and was very concerned about telling family he was on medication. My Dad (69 year old retired truck driver from very small town down under) had perfect response – “it’s all good, if I have a sore back, I take a pill – what’s the difference?” I appreciate this may be a simplistic view but for my brother it was very positive.

  3. Thurry says:

    I think this is great. I hope that lots more celebrities come out of the medication closet and talk about mental illness and treatment with psychotropic drugs to help remove these misbegotten and totally unhelpful societal stigmas against them.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Yes! My spouse has (non- life impairing) OCD/anxiety which causes him tremendous stress managing it, but will not treat it medically because he is a medical professional and the stigma is overwhelming for him.

      Our college-age daughter also has OCD/anxiety, is on fluoxetine and buspirone, and doing some therapy as well- but is not as well-managed as hoped. Does anyone have very good response to Lexapro for OCD/anxiety? Twin 15 year old sons have anxiety and depression as well, both on fluox, and I’m thinking there has to be a better alternative for them- one of them is on quite a high dose already, and like sister, also on buspirone, and has prn propranolol for performance panic disorder.

      I’d appreciate any anecdotal information anyone could provide. Thanks & well wishes to all.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        I know my 12 year old female relative is on Prozac (fluoextine) which didn’t help until her dosage was upped to 40 milligrams a day. That was semi helpful. However she was added an anti-anxiety med one week ago, to take 3 times daily, and is non-addictive, HUGE improvement. This may be the same med you are describing.
        I realize I’m a late responder but if you check back and are interested let me know and I will get the name of the anti-anxiety med. Also, she is seeing a therapist for regular check-ups, every month or so. That isn’t working too well because the psychiatrist is a male with whom she is uncomfortable but when she gets to see the female counselor (who may not be covered by insurance) she seems to relax and connect with her.
        I am just in from work and terribly tired so I hope this makes sense. Respectfully, I will pray for you and yours. This situation is incredibly frustrating and painful, no one wants to watch their child suffer. Best wishes.
        At the very least, I wanted you to know that you are not alone in these struggles.

  4. OriginallyBlue says:

    I love her openness and her dog. Omg he is so cute.

  5. Mrs. Darcy says:

    That photo shoot is stunning, but I am a basic b- autumn girl! Love the cover shot. Does the interview mention her engagement and whether her new fiancee will want to settle down in small town ‘Murica? Finn is such a magnificent dog, so photogenic!

  6. Esmom says:

    She looks oddly like Karlie Kloss in the photo shoot. But lovely as always, I love the old school Glamour or Mademoiselle vibe of it all.

    I’m happy she’s speaking out. I wish my son’s doc would try Lexapro as his OCD has proven very hard to treat. But docs tend to be much more conservative with teens/kids, understandably.

    Wishing her continued health and happiness. And now I find myself wanting to go do some weaving, words I not once spoken in my life! :)

  7. Sonishka says:

    Depression sucks. My partner left me and our baby of four months in june because he suffers from clinical not so treated depression. Mental dissease if untreated turns the person you love the most into a zombie and turns everyone s life upside down. I wouldnt wish this onto my enemy. The stigma of having or being impacted by any disorder of this kind is terrible and i welcome when people speak up about this issue. I wish that it wasnt so hush hush still so the people suffering from it would find it less difficult to get help.

    • Emma33 says:

      I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. I think that for men, the stigma is even worse. I have a close family member with OCD and he has just started opening up and talking about it, after having it for about ten years. He has commented a couple of time how huge he feels the stigma is.

      • Sonishka says:

        Thank you Emma33. I think that for men, this is tripple harder. They do not open up as such so to do so under overwhelming circumstances must be horrifying. Hope your relative gets better and has all the support he needs.

    • tealily says:

      Hey, I’m in a similar situation with my partner. It’s a horrible, helpless feeling. It’s hard to even try to explain what is happening to close friends and family, so I haven’t really tried. It’s a lot to deal with. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through it, as well.

      • Sonishka says:

        Hello tealilly. Im sorry to hear that, i really am. Explaining something like this comes hard, i myself have not much clue what happened, how do you explain to others then? And it seemed it happened in a matter of days.

        I would never think, not even though i have experienced him in a very bad shape, it never crossed my mind that he would leave us. He seemed so happy with me and the baby.

        We were planning to move to another country as a family as he got a new job and then he just announced that he doesnt want to be in a relationship and he told me to go away with the baby. Just two days after we came back from a vacation with his parents. He moved to Spain in august and we remained in Slovakia.

        He comes to see the baby every few weeks and this is ever so heart breaking to me as for the outsiders we look like a perfect family with a perfect baby and on the inside it is crushing me that we have nothing, we are no family.

        The worst thing is that l know he needs help, he is unwell and he is missing out on so much and he will regret it later and be probably even more depressed because of it.

      • tealily says:

        I’m so sorry, Sonishka. It must be so hard for you. I guess no one really knows what’s going on inside someone else’s family or someone else’s life. The hardest part is that you can see him hurting, but there is nothing you can do to make it better. I hope your partner gets to the point that he realizes he needs help and that there is no shame in that. I’m glad to hear that he at least comes to see the baby. I hope that you are doing okay on your end, and that you can get help if you need it too. I hope you don’t feel alone. Sending you a hug from America. Thanks for responding.

    • Lotta says:

      @SONISHKA
      Have you thought about if he may have postnatal depression. It can happen to men too. I know a man who had this and now works as a counselor, and he says it not as unusual as people think.

  8. Shutterbug99 says:

    I follow Amanda on Instagram just for the Finn pics. I love that dog!

    The styling on the cover really suits her. I would like a burgundy velvet jacket for my own wardrobe!

  9. aenflex says:

    Never really thought about her until I read this. She was just Karen to me.

  10. Jess says:

    Good for her, talking about it definitely helps reduce the stigma around mental illness. I’ve also struggled with OCD over the years, I took Paxil as a teen but eventually got off of it, it was a horrible experience weaning down from it though, that’s why I’ve been hesitant to take something else but lately I feel like I may need to!

    I love her love for animals, Finn is the cutest!

    • Esmom says:

      Hi Jess, I was just talking to my doc about the horrible experience I had tapering off a med (Effexor) about 10 years ago and she said never to let that hold me back from trying it again because they have new ways of weaning while adding a small dose of something else like Prozac to alleviate the withdrawal. Best of luck.

      • Jess says:

        Thank you! I’m almost at the point where my desire to feel differently has overcome that fear, maybe I should just plan to be on it for awhile and not worry about coming off of them!

      • Esmom says:

        I hear you. I have been on and off meds for years, we can’t really discern a pattern, but I am now back on the dreaded Effexor because it does work so well. The doc convinced me not to worry about going off it…taking it one day at time.

    • qw says:

      I got off Lexapro with zero problems, however I did it over 3? months. I’ve read horrible things about getting off Paxil though.

  11. Lucy says:

    Great interview! I’ve always liked Amanda (as the rest of the Mean Girls Ladies, even Linds on her good days), so good for her.

  12. hey-ya says:

    ….she should get a doggy friend for Finn…that way he wont feel quite so bereft if Amanda makes Thomas her baby daddy…

    • jwoolman says:

      If dogs are anything like cats in such matters, he might appreciate getting a puppy to raise. Someone he can pass on all his extensive doggy knowledge and experience to….

  13. Alix says:

    Gorgeous cover shot, her place upstate sounds awesome, and I’d be happy to move into her guest house!

  14. PunkyMomma says:

    Bravo, Amanda for sharing — there’s such a stigma and misunderstanding in our society regarding mental health issues.

    From my own experience, the meds worked for anxiety and depression until my metabolism went into an early peri-menopause. I had to start all over again trying different meds. 🙀

    Finn is everything.

  15. mellie says:

    Love her and Finn! She seems so genuine. I was on Lexipro for a time, for anxiety, it did it’s job, I’m not a martyr..medication is made for a reason, there is no stigma in mental issues, good for her (and others) for bringing this to the forefront!

  16. The New Classic says:

    I would love to know where upstate she lives. It would be awesome if she lives near me. Mark Ruffalo lives locally and he pops up at community functions from time to time and is an absolute sweetheart. Amanda seems like she’d be a lovely “neighbor” as well.

  17. Spikey says:

    Finn is my favourite celebrity *ever* and I’m shocked he’s 7 already. Amanda will be devasted when he’s gone, she clearly loves this dog very much. As a fellow patient with mental illness (depression) I know that it’s ever harder for people like us than healthy folks. I hope for her sake that she has a good therapist in addition to her medication. When we had to put down one of our dogs a few weeks ago I had the first episode in years and fell really hard. That sh*t is no joke.

  18. Luca76 says:

    It’s funny/interesting how many celebrities live in or have lived that area It’s a beautiful place with gorgeous homes and stunning back roads and tons of culture.

  19. lile says:

    I’m on Paxil. Its been 2 1/2 years – almost 3, now. I wish I had gotten on it decades ago! I have SEVERE anxiety that manifests in different ways. Like pulling all my eyelashes out. Also, severe driving anxiety. I would get lost so easy and then would dissolve into a panic attack where I would feel like I needed to pull my hair out, but never actually did but got pretty close a couple of times. Now, I can drive ANYWHERE and I DO. I have never felt more free and I never realized how limited my life was before.

    • Abbess Tansy says:

      I had depression for many years, then severe anxiety reared its ugly head a couple years ago. I’ve had difficulty leaving my house.

  20. BonnieJean says:

    Amanda is so beautiful & Finn is magnificent.

  21. sunny says:

    How many of you are on birth control? Apparently it causes depression and mental illness. So I am curious to know if you ever noticed that your issues started or were exacerbated by birth control. I know it made me absolutely insane when I started taking it in high school (for constant never endin periods which weren’t stopped or lessened at all by the stupid pill) and it ruined my life for a long time. I can’t be the only one. Awful stuff and almost as awful as antidepressants were for me. Of course if it works for you that’s great and I am not in any way judging or being negative about things that work for others, I’m just saying it was awful for me personally.

    • Poodler says:

      Yes! I was put on birth control at 14. Around 17 I stopped taking it and almost immediately went into a deep depression where I couldn’t eat, sleep, or relax. I had awful panic attacks and was a complete mess. Prozac saved my life.

    • LizLemonGotMarried says:

      I’m on the patch, and I’ve never noticed a difference being on vs. off. I’m sorry you had that experience, though, that’s never pleasant. Some people just react differently.

    • CityGirl says:

      Also Prednisone – when I was about 35 I had a couple of years of severe asthma and took, over time several short courses of Prednisone . After one almost lethal asthma attack while swimming in the ocean I was prescribed a longer course (approx 1 month), and higher dose of Prednisone, and without knowing that depression is a side effect, I went thru it so badly. I didn’t understand what was happening but I was so despondent, I could barely function. When I went back to the Pulmonary Specialist, his nursing staff instantly recognized the extreme difference in my demeanor. They immediately weaned me off Prednisone and told me about this potential side effect. What they didn’t tell me was that the depression would stay with me, even when I was off the Prednisone. I’ve been dealing with depression for well over a decade, almost 2

    • vespernite says:

      YES! This was me and my mom and sisters. None of us can take birth control. It literally made us insane. The mood swings were huge, it made my panic attacks come back. I had to take antidepressants to recover from the birth control. Never again.

  22. jess says:

    I have anxiety but pills dont really work for me and i dont want to take antidepressants.
    What are my other options? Or are pills the only way to go?

    • Christin says:

      There are some natural alternatives available (supplements consisting of vitamins and herbs that help stress/anxiety). I have tried a couple of types, when under added stress and to help with my driving anxiety.

    • Nibbi says:

      i’m all about medications if you need them but there are other things that also help.

      I think the main one is regular, hardcore exercise to keep the neurons running. major. helps with sleep, helps with stress, super important.

      also massages if possible are probably gigantically helpful. journaling helped me a lot to figure out sources of anxiety.

  23. Christin says:

    My mother was mostly bed-bound due to severe RA, which is certainly enough to affect one’s nerves and behavior. Yet we thought something else was amiss (likely OCD).

    The stove reference made me smile, because during her brief daily visit to other parts of the house, she refused to leave the kitchen without first looking to see if the stove lights were on. The stove and oven were rarely used in their home, yet she was concerned they ‘could’ have been accidentally turned on.

    My mom would insist nothing was wrong with her and that she did not have OCD, even after discussing common behaviors that she clearly had. We just let her do things her very particular (and time consuming) ways, but it did add to an already significant hardship. To her, having things a very specific way, triple checking locks and the stove HAD to happen. I just wish I had been more compassionate, and that I had taken time to better understand OCD (even if she refused to see a specialist).

  24. LeAnn Stinks says:

    I have always thought that Amanda was gorgeous. Also, I adore her love affair with her dog, Finn. I understand, as I am in one with my Yorkie, Cody. I also applaud her for being so open and honest with her mental struggles.

    However, the affair she had with the other man in her life, left a negative impression of her on me. While she seems to have quite a few redeeming qualities, the way she allegedly obsessively (no pun intended) persued this married man, was not nice.

  25. Donna says:

    I was on Effexor SR for years. I didn’t feel it was helping me at all, so went off it gradually. It was HORRIBLE to get off, mood swings, electric shocks in my head…but I eventually managed to get off it. I swore I’d never take another antidepressant. But my OCD has increased to a level where I’m barely functioning, my worrying and panic levels are off the charts. I started seeing a counselor about it several months ago and she convinced me I don’t have to live like this (also my son has been begging me to get help, which is mostly why I went to the counselor in the first place) so I have an appointment next month with a psychiatrist. I can’t even believe I’m talking about it here… I think knowing others are treated for OCD and can lead normal lives is very reassuring! I’m still hesitant about taking meds, but I’m open to what the psychiatrist will recommend. I really can’t live like this anymore.

  26. iseepinkelefants says:

    I just got back on Lexapro. This time for some reason I have insomnia on it but the upside is my emotions are under control so I don’t even care about the side effect. For me it’s a wonder drug. From my point of view it seems like a mild antidepressant so I don’t see a problem with it. If she’s right and is a placebo then whatever I’ll take whatever I can get. I don’t want to go back to being irrational. I find though that it doesn’t help me around my period when I go really hormonal (perhaps I need to raise the dose) but one week versus a whole month is better than nothing. Good for her for being open. There is nothing wrong with taking antidepressants or admitting you need help.

  27. J says:

    Homewrecker.

  28. vespernite says:

    Love Amanda! I’m on Lexapro and it is a life changing drug if you suffer from Anxiety and Panic disorders. It scares me to think that I’d have to stay on it forever, but the alternative is truly more frightening. It was a relief to hear her say she will stay on it forever, it truly just normalized the idea for me, just stripped the shame away. #NotAshamedtoMedicate

  29. What was That!!!! says:

    HONK for Finn!!
    💕❤️

  30. Nibbi says:

    she’s super likeable.

  31. Denise says:

    She is very lucky that she hasn’t had the significant weight gain Lexapro is known for, or the way it can turn on you. It saved my life, but I gained a lot of weight for my frame, and not realising it was the cause (I don’t think I wanted to know because it was helping me) I too decided I would be on it as long as possible because it also took away my hormonal mood swings. But then after 2 years the depression started to return and I instinctively knew that it was the drug. Luckily my doctor agreed because she had seen this before and rather than up my dosage she supported me in going off. I did very carefully and it was awful. It gave me compulsions to feel a moving truck hit me. When I was standing near the road. I nearly walked out in front of one on the way to pick up my daughter from school. I was not suicidal but it messed with my head so badly it nearly caused me to kill myself. Luckily I survived it all and five years on I’m still ok. I hope Amanda stays well.