Amanda Seyfried Opens Up About Living With Mental Illness

"I'm on Lexapro, and I'll never get off of it," the actress tells Allure

By Zach Johnson Oct 18, 2016 12:45 PMTags

Amanda Seyfried is who she is, and she doesn't pretend otherwise.

So, while discussing home renovations in Allure's November issue, the Fathers and Daughters actress casually mentions she has obsessive compulsive disorder. "I bought the house in 2013, and then I had it redone," Seyfried, 30, says of the home she owns in Stone Ridge, N.Y., located about 100 miles north of New York City. "I just finished renovating one of the barns for guests. I put in a bathroom and a little kitchenette, but no stove; I want people to eat meals in the house. Also, I always worry about people and how they use stoves. Which is just a controlling thing."

That worry, she explains, is related to her OCD.

Amanda Seyfried Has Babies on the Brain

"I'm on Lexapro, and I'll never get off of it," Seyfried says of needing an antidepressant. "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."

Seyfried, who had previously discussed being in therapy, does what she can to manage her disease. "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," she tells the magazine. "I had pretty bad health anxiety that came from the OCD and thought I had a tumor in my brain. I had an MRI, and the neurologist referred me to a psychiatrist. 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."

Fame has made living with OCD interesting, to say the least. "It's funny when insecurity hits you. Sometimes I feel I know the world so well, but's so debilitating. You're like, 'What am I doing here? No one wants to see me. Why are you taking my picture?'" Seyfried says. "It's stupid, it's irrational, and it's not all about me, but I make it about me because I'm insecure."

So, when she's feeling insecure, the Allentown, Penn., native retreats to her home in upstate New York to find her center. "I love this place so much. I love this town!" Seyfried says. "There's a little strip mall. But it's a cute strip mall. There's a Dunkin' Donuts, a reflexology place. Even the grocery store is special. It's the classic small-town grocery. There's a lot of local things happening. And then I go to the farm stand. Everything you get is absolutely local. But I also have a garden. Kale. Romaine. I just planted blueberries last year. Tomatoes aren't out yet."

Seyfried and fiancé Thomas Sadoski have big plans for their estate. "We have a whole new design for the property. We're going to get a goat and a pig; they're going to grow up together, so there shouldn't be trouble," she says. In addition to her dog, Finn, Seyfried has rescued two cats. She also has a rooster and four chickens—and the chickens can troublesome. "Now here's a f--king weird thing: They stopped laying. They didn't lay for a good six months," she says. "They have a really good home, and they were super fertile, and then they just stopped. Then we got four more chickens, and the other ones started laying again. I think they're threatened."

If this doesn't sound like the glamorous life of a movie star, that's fine by Seyfried. "I hope I wasn't too boring," she says. "If I was, you should feel free to make anything up that you want."