Amanda Seyfried, star of Mean Girls, Mama Mia!, Les Miserables and more, has been open and honest about her struggles with mental health.
At the end of last year, the 31 year-old actor and songwriter told Allure that she had been on medication for her obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) since she was 19.
In her late teens she feared she had a tumor in her brain, though after an MRI showed nothing was there she was referred to a psychiatrist. Although these compulsive thoughts and fears have continued into her adulthood, they have diminished.
Yeah. I'm on Lexapro, and I'll never get off of it. 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?
Clearly passionate about reducing stigma for medicating mental health issues, she continued:
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.
In March of this year she gave birth to her first child, a baby girl, with her 40 year-old actor husband Thomas Sadoski.
She has been notably low-key about her child, but recently opened up in a podcast with Dr. Elliot Berlin, called 'Informed Pregnancy Podcast.'
She spoke about her early modelling career and love of taxidermy, but it was her frank discussion about keeping up her antidepressant medication whilst pregnant that had our rapt attention.
As you may well have experienced, people can sometimes be fairly puritanical when it comes to motherhood, taking the 'baby comes first' notion very seriously. There are certain risks involved when it comes to what the mother ingests whilst she is pregnant.
Mind website said that they include: possible birth defects, increased risk of miscarriage and premature birth, and withdrawal symptom in the newborn baby.
And, of course, these things should be noted.
However, the website also details the importance of 'looking after yourself and your baby properly.'
They explain, 'If not taking antidepressants would mean you would become unwell or be unable to cope, you may decide that the best thing for you and your baby is to continue taking them.
'Ultimately, you will need to balance the possible risks to your baby against any potential harm in not taking your medication, and come to your own decision about what's best for you, based on your own experience.'
Amanda is someone who has experienced this firsthand, saying in the podcast that:
I didn't get off my antidepressants. It's really for anti-anxiety for me, but I've been taking Lexipro for years and years and years and I didn't get off of it [during pregnancy].
She was concerned, even with the extremely low dose she was taking, that she would not be able to cope. The actress thought she was 'going to fall apart being pregnant and postpartum.'
Thankfully, however, the experience has 'actually been wonderful' for the new mother.
'I feel better. My hormones have been really good.'
Plenty of women who don't have a history of mental health problems suffer from some kind of mental health issue during or post pregnancy. Though if you are suffering your odds are increased.
Seyfried has made an informed, well thought-out choice about caring for herself whilst caring for another. She has also simultaneously broken certain taboos surrounding motherhood, mental health and medication.
'A healthy parent is a healthy kid', she Seyfried. We couldn't agree more.