Lena Dunham Wants to Be the “Face of Fibromyalgia”

In a profile of Girls star Lena Dunham in New Yorkthe writer and television producer opened up about her health struggles, which include having her uterus removed during a hysterectomy and being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Dunham goes into great detail about her struggles with both mental health (PTSD and anxiety brought on by sexual assault) and physical health (endometriosis, chronic pain due to a mixed connective-tissue disorder that makes her joints hurt, and fibromyalgia). She also talks about being a cultural lightning rod, her break up with her longtime boyfriend, and the end of her working relationship with Girls co-creator Jenni Conner.

After Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham is probably the most high-profile celebrity to talk about her diagnosis with fibromyalgia. Dunham is also a lot more controversial than Lady Gaga, and as she acknowledges in the interview, “I’m not for everyone.” Still, as more celebrities feel comfortable discussing their struggles with fibromyalgia it can only help raise awareness of the diseases, and hopefully, that can lessen the stigma associated with the disease.

Highlights:

  • Her illness got worse as her the HBO show Girls was coming to an end, and it took a toll on her personal relationships and friendships: “Physical pain is really isolating … I was lonely and medicated.”
  • She underwent treatment for an addiction to the benzodiazepine Klonopin.
  • She felt “vindicated” after her uterus was removed and her surgeon told her it was “You have the most misshapen and diseased uterus I’ve seen in my entire career.”
  • Dunham is experiencing perimenopause after the removal of her uterus.
  • She’s currently taking Lyrica for fibromyalgia, along with the antidepressant Lexapro, and a medication for adrenal glands.
  • She told the author that she’d like to be “the face of fibromyalgia.”
  • Dunham is in group therapy for her PTSD, which she attributes to sexual assault and “medical trauma.”
  • Lady Gaga sends her motivational text messages.

Further reading:

Yeah, I’m Not for Everyone.’ Lena Dunham comes to terms with herself. – New York Magazine’s The Cut

“Girls” Star Lena Dunham Reveals she has Fibromyalgia – RedOrbit Fibromyalgia

Lena Dunham Says She’s Sober After Quitting Klonopin – New York Magazine’s The Cut

7 Celebrities With a Chronic Illness – RedOrbit Fibromyalgia

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