Amanda Seyfried explains why she will never come off anti-depressants

'What are you fighting against? Just the stigma of using a tool?' actress asks

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The Independent Online

Amanda Seyfried has said she will never come off the anti-depressants she started taking as a teenager. 

The Mamma Mia! actress has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), an anxiety disorder in which the person can experience frequent obsessive, intrusive thoughts and then exhibit compulsive behaviours in an attempt to neutralise or rid themselves of the thoughts.

Seyfried says she has been taking the antidepressant Lexapro since she was 19 to treat her condition. Now 30, she has no plans to come off the medication as they keep her OCD at bay.

In an interview detailing her treatment, she said a physical condition would require her to take medicine to treat it and questioned why mental health issues should considered any differently.

“I’m on Lexapro and I’ll never get off of it,” she told Allure. “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.”

Seyfried's OCD has a number of symptoms including the most common, thoughts and compulsions, to an irrational fear of people using ovens and worries over her own physical health.

“I had pretty bad health anxiety that came from the OCD and thought I had a tumour in my brain. I had an MRI and the neurologist referred me to a psychiatrist,” she said. “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.”

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