Lena Dunham has been sober for six months after “misusing” anti-anxiety drug Klonopin.
The Girls creator and star began using the powerful medication to help her cope with anxiety when she would have to “show up for things that (she) didn’t feel equipped to show up for”, explaining an alleged sexual assault during her time at Oberlin College in Ohio over 10 years ago and the numerous surgeries she has had to treat her endometriosis left her with mental health issues.
“I didn’t have any trouble getting a doctor to tell me, ‘No you have serious anxiety issues, you should be taking this. This is how you should be existing’,” she tells Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert. “I was diagnosed with pretty serious PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.) I have a few sexual traumas in my past and then I had all these surgeries and then I had my hysterectomy after a period of really extreme pain. It stopped feeling like I had panic attacks and it started feeling like I was a living panic attack”
“If I look back, there were a solid three years where I was, to put it lightly, misusing benzos (benzodiazepines), even though it was all – quote unquote – doctor prescribed,” she adds.
After Dunham decided to stop using Klonopin, she was shocked at how intense her withdrawal period was. However, she is “grateful” she is no longer using the medication.
“Nobody I know who are 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 f**king clutching the walls and the hair is blowing off your head and you can’t believe you found yourself in this situation’,” she says.
“Now, the literal smell of the inside of pill bottles makes me want to throw up. I still feel like my brain is re-calibrating itself to experience anxiety. I just feel literally on my knees grateful every day.”
And she is thrilled her life is now an open book.
“I just opened my eyes and realized: s**t, I have no more secrets,” she writes on Twitter.