Rosie Stoff
April 18, 2013 3:00 am

To start, how awesome was this last season of GIRLS?! That was some pretty amazing television. I was thrilled to read not only that is got picked up for season three, but for 12 whole episodes!!

This is a thank you letter to Lena Dunham. A thank you for the last three episodes and the brave places she took Hannah – into the world of OCD and anxiety. That world is all too familiar to me.

I’ll begin with a short story. A few years ago, when I was still in school, I was having a major agoraphobic and germaphobic episode. A friend called me up and asked me to come hang out that night and as I told her what was happening. She said, “Do you have too much homework? If you come out tonight with us, you won’t think about it and you’ll be fine!” That misunderstanding infuriated me. And I realized – people don’t understand the severity of OCD and severe anxiety issues unless they are either A) having it, B) a parent witnessing it in a child or C) have studied it in a medical sense.

I’ve never seen a face put to the disorder that people see as a role model and look up to as a god like they do with Lena. That is what I would like to thank her for – showing something that people are often afraid to talk about, afraid of people seeing them as weak and being judged. It’s not that the disorders are uncommon; they are, in fact, very common! But people tend to take their medication and go among their lives without thinking.

Things could change at the drop of a hat, and as we saw in GIRLS, they can and they did! In the season finale,  Hannah’s breakdown while attempting to write her book in a day shed light on the pain and despair that is felt in the moment. I saw myself in every facial expression, every movement; I’ve even hidden between the bed and the wall to avoid being found. Being in the deepest hole with no way out… we all need an Adam to come save us!

Thank you, Lena, for putting an extraordinary face to something that is experienced by so many people, but is often kept a secret due to the stigma of weakness and being misunderstood or accused of overreacting. Thank you for showing an accurate and utterly raw and real episode of personal hell.

I’ve often wanted to write a piece like this – not venting about the issue, but hopefully helping someone understand the crippling and heartbreaking emotions that go along with one that we all witnessed with Hannah. I think seeing her pain and inability to climb out of the anxiety hole and escape her obsessive compulsions and rituals did the trick. Watching the final episode, I felt a sense of not only heartbreak, but also relief, saying to myself, “Yes, it’s out there and people are getting it… I hope.”

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