“It was such a strange political time with the shift from this Democratic moment to rampant conservatism, so I felt like I needed to be vocal politically. But there’s a lot of challenges that come with that,” Dunham said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.
As a result of her feminist views, she says that the far-right news site Breitbart News and its followers demonised her, and added that she had to have security guards present while she attended public events.
“The level of threat on the internet, you assume it’s not real. And you don’t want to take it seriously,” she continued. “But I had someone send me floor plans to my apartment and be like, ‘I know where your bedroom is.’”
Dunham added: “I wouldn’t want even my worst enemy to experience the misogynistic rage I’ve experienced.”
After Girls ended in 2017, she said, “The negative attention really forced me to go inward after Girls. My biggest prayer after Girls was just to get my joy back. Because telling stories used to be my greatest joy and I lost that feeling for a little while”.
She explained: “It’s not like throughout Girls I was a raging wine drunk who came to work inebriated. Towards the end of Girls, I was just a very anxious person dealing with an enormous amount of chronic pain.
“That experience went from trying to get care to trying to take care of myself to suddenly being in over my head and needing to take that time away.”
In 2018, Dunham entered rehab to treat her addiction to benzodiazepines, a depressant typically prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.
Now, nearly “five years sober”, Dunham said that while her month stint in rehab “was so full of shame and fear and anxiety”, it was “the best thing I ever did”.