Lena Dunham says it’s important to be "honest" about mental health.
The 30-year-old actress has opened up about her struggle with both anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and has said there’s "no shame in asking for help" as she encouraged others who suffer with their mental health to speak out and seek appropriate care.
She said: "I’m a writer, director, an actor and I have obsessive compulsive disorder and a generalised anxiety disorder that often leads to dissociative anxiety.
"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."
And the ‘Girls’ creator – who also starred as Hannah Horvath in the hit HBO show – stressed the importance of knowing those who suffer with mental health problems are "not alone", and the help is out there for them.
Speaking in a video obtained by People magazine and created in collaboration with the non-profit organisation Child Mind Institute – which works with young people struggling with mental health and learning disorders – Lena said: "I would tell my younger self to squeeze my dog tightly and to read a book and to meditate and breathe. 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."
Lena’s video is part of a series of celebrity clips filmed on behalf of the Child Mind Institute, with other stars such as actress Emma Stone, Olympian Michael Phelps, and journalist Elizabeth Vargas also opening up about their own mental health struggles in separate clips.