Lena Dunham Is Six Months Sober After "Misusing" Meds
Lena Dunham shared that she is now six-months sober, after quitting anti-anxiety medication Klonopin.
Speaking to actor Dax Shepard on his podcast Armchair Expert, the Girls creator said: "I've been sober for six months".
Lena went on to say that her "particular passion" was the Benzodiazepine Klonopin, which is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as well as seizures.
Lena explained that it was initially prescribed to her because she "was having crazy anxiety" under the pressure of "having to show up for things that [she] didn't feel equipped to show up for".
Explaining that the Klonopin made her "feel like the person [she] was supposed to be", Lena said that her anxiety was hindering her ability to work and was holding her back from day-to-day life.
On the medication, she explained: “It was like suddenly I felt like the part of me that I knew was there was freed up to do her thing”.
Lena went on to say that over the years, her increase went from sporadic, like when flying, to more regular use, adding that her doctors had no problem prescribing the pills to her.
“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 said.
It was after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the Girls creator explained, that her use of the drug veered into a problematic territory, and when she realised that it was no longer helping treat her anxiety.
“I was diagnosed with pretty serious PTSD. 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,” she said. “It stopped feeling like I had panic attacks and it started feeling like I was a living panic attack. The only thing that was notable was the parts of the day where I didn’t feel like I was going to barf and faint.”
“If I look back, there were a solid three years where I was, to put it lightly, misusing benzos, even though it was all quote unquote doctor prescribed,” she said.
Admitting that she was scared to stop taking the pills, Lena added that she didn't realise how hard it would be to quit.
“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 explained, adding: “Now the literal smell of the inside of pill bottles makes me want to throw up.”
Lena shared that although she's been sober for half a year now, her sobriety is still a work in progress.
“I still feel like my brain is recalibrating itself to experience anxiety,” she shared. “I just feel literally on my knees grateful every day.”
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