Lena Dunham Opens Up About Battle with Anxiety & OCD – People


Lena Dunham feels no stigma surrounding her struggle with anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. 

Teaming up for a new campaign with the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit that works with children struggling with mental health and learning disorders, the Girls star says she feels fortunate her parents encouraged her to seek treatment for her mental health issues.

“I’m a writer, director, an actor and I have obsessive compulsive disorder and a generalized anxiety disorder that often leads to dissociative anxiety,” she shares in the video exclusive for PEOPLE.

“I feel so lucky that my parents were people who were comfortable with therapy with medication and conversations about anxiety. I would tell my younger self that there’s no shame in asking a teacher for help, telling a friend that you’re uncomfortable and that it’s just the same as falling down and scraping your knee,” she continued.

Dunham, 30, goes on to say what coping mechanisms have worked for her in the past.

“I would tell my younger self to squeeze my dog tightly and to read a book and to meditate and breathe,” she added. “And to understand that I’m not alone that there are so many other kids like me who are suffering this way and the greatest thing I can do for them and myself is to be honest.”

Dunham’s video is part of a larger series the Child Mind Institute is launching in which celebrities including Emma StoneMichael PhelpsElizabeth Vargas talk about their personal experience with mental illness.