In this week’s People magazine, former O.C. star Mischa Barton talks about her psychotic breakdown and subsequent recovery. “It was terrifying,” she said. “Straight out of Girl Interrupted.”
After her family staged an intervention in 2009, she took a powerful sedative and passed out. The then 23-year-old was partying hard, and her loved ones knew she needed some tough love to break the cycle. She found herself strapped to a gurney, terrified and threatening to kill herself.
Eventually she was held for four days against her will in the psychiatric ward at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. She says that even though she was never serious about wanting to kill herself, the time in the psych ward ended up being what she needed to get away from “work, my family, and all the pressure.”
The fame and media attention she received as Marissa Cooper on The O.C. was a lot to handle for a teenager. She was only 16 when she got the part and found herself jet setting around the world and earning millions in endorsements. She said, “There were a lot of enablers around, people to fly you around and to make it all possible.”
She also said that she was overwhelmed with work and people depending on her, and when she tried to get out of jobs, she was told she couldn’t.
After her forced confinement, she escaped Hollywood to heal. Now she’s 27, happy and healthy and getting back into acting. “I needed to take this time for me,” Barton said. “I’ve learned a lot. I’m stronger now and excited for what’s ahead.”
Bravo to Mischa! It can’t be easy to come out and be open and honest about something like this, but I’m glad she did. Crappy things happen when we make bad decisions, and sooner or later we all suffer the embarrassing consequences. Kudos to the actress for coming out and saying, Yeah that happened ... I’m better now.
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