Lena Dunham Says Chronic and Mental Illness Made Her Adopt a New Attitude

Living with any type of illness can be incredibly challenging, but sometimes living with a chronic or mental illness can cause your perspective on life to broaden and change. On Monday, Lena Dunham tweeted she has a “new attitude” about living with chronic illness, depression and anxiety.

The “Girls” star wrote, “chronic illness is cool cuz it gives me no choice but to nurture myself […] & I know Anxiety and depression are gifts for the same reasons!”

According to Dunham, her new attitude involves “practicing gratitude” as well as caring for her body while she deals with various health struggles.

Dunham has been outspoken about living with endometriosis and chronic pain, often sharing updates on her social media accounts.

Thank you for all the love & concern that's been pouring in since Tuesday. Although I'm much healthier than I was a year ago, complications arose from my most recent endometriosis surgery. When the healthcare of so many American women, especially our trans sisters, is at-risk- or already nonexistent- I am lucky to be in the position to seek help when I'm in pain. To those in that privileged spot- never forget that we are blessed and can pay it forward by supporting Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ clinics like Callen-Lorde with our ???? and ⌚️. I also want to remind all the women suffering from chronic illness that we aren't weak- quite the opposite, actually. We do our jobs with skill even when we're struggling. We care for our families even when we can hardly care for ourselves. We serve major face on a red carpet when we feel like lying face down would be more appropriate. I'll always be proud of those Met Gala pics- not just because I felt beautiful, surrounded by art and magic, hugging my best friend tightly, but because they're evidence that women contain steely multitudes. Just that morning @dianafalzone sued Fox after they took her off air for disclosing her endometriosis. But they're the ones who lost when they lost her, because everyone who's anyone knows that if you can battle chronic illness there's nothing you can't take on.

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

She’s also publicly discussed her struggles with mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As part of these conversations, she’s advocated for erasing the stigma and shame surrounding mental health issues and has encouraged others who are struggling to seek help.

It can be difficult to see illness as a “gift,” especially when it causes so much pain and struggling, but Dunham seems determined to embrace the positives and use her illnesses as an opportunity to listen and care for her body.

To learn more about how to practice self-care when you have a chronic illness, check out these tips and advice. If you’re having a tough day, here are some ideas for self-care.

Header image via Facebook.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

remote-controlled outlets and rolling overbed table

18 Devices That Can Help You Function on Days When You're Stuck in Bed

When your chronic illness flares up, it can often mean a day (or several) spent in bed while dealing with the symptoms. But as those who are chronically ill know, these days in bed aren’t exactly a “vacation.” In addition to the physical symptoms, being in bed all day can be isolating and boring, and it [...]
Young women eating popcorn watching movie.

5 Chronic Illness and Disability YouTubers to Binge-Watch Now

I spend a lot of time on YouTube. In addition to being a content creator, I often get sucked into a click-hole of vlog after vlog for hours on end. One of my favorite things about watching YouTube is seeing how other people live their daily lives. YouTube, a space where anyone can create and [...]
group of friends walking in a line with their arms around each others' shoulders

Even if I Lose My Diagnosis, I Will Never Lose My Chronic Illness Tribe

Before diagnosis, the decades in the wilderness where I did not even have the words or constructs to understand my pain and exhaustion, never mind anything to understand them, it was terribly, terribly lonely and very, very frightening. I stumbled around in the dark and had absolutely no idea where I was either going to or coming [...]

We Cannot Let Sickness Become an Excuse for Problematic Behavior

It is a sad truth that being sick, whether it be an acute or a chronic condition, does not instantly canonize someone into sainthood. Often, the opposite is true and the bitterness and shock of illness, and the treatment we receive due to illness, can sour a person’s outlook and turn us into people we [...]