Mischa Barton has had a hard time over the last few months. After starting the year off well signing on to appear in Ashton Kutcher's model drama, 'The Beautiful Life', things went down hill after the actress was placed under alleged involuntary psychiatric hold at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in July.
In this interview with Time Out New York, Barton breaks her silence.
Time Out: A lot of people are watching you now, speculating you were in rehab back in July.
Mischa: Here’s what happened: before the show started, I was travelling abroad for contract stuff and I went through a terrible surgery - a wisdom tooth surgery, all four removed. It was a nightmare. I’ve never had surgery before - it all went wrong and I had to have a second surgery and it almost delayed shooting because it was a nightmare to me, because I couldn’t deal with the thought of not getting there on time. So with the travel, and surgery and prep for the show - it was hell.
Time Out: Is this when you were checked into Cedars?
Mischa: Yeah, I went through a tough spot where everything compounded on me, and it was like a perfect storm, like everything was happening to me at once. The show, travel and then this fairly routine surgery that went wrong - it’s still just healing. But I had to get through it without proper painkillers because I couldn’t take those during work. So it’s been a nightmare.
Time Out: How did you end up in a psychiatric hospital?
Mischa: I was down in the dumps about everything there for a while. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom about things and have to get the most stressed-out just to feel better again. I got completely stressed-out and couldn’t handle everything, and now I feel really in control.
Time Out: Was it an official nervous breakdown? Drugs?
Mischa: I don’t know. I don’t know. I had a friend who had a quasi–nervous breakdown, but I’m not sure it’s the same thing. I’m not sure I’m capable of a full-on nervous breakdown, but it was pretty bad. It didn’t last that long. It was more about the pain. I have a newfound respect for people who have chronic pain. I started getting migraines.
Time Out: Did they teach you how to deal with the pain?
Mischa: Not really. I just wanted to get back to work. The doctor told me I was lucky I didn’t lose feeling in my lips and face, which would have been horrifying and couldn’t act properly. My mom was like, 'Now’s a good time to get it done, before the show.' And it was the worst time to do it.
Time Out: What was it like for your mom?
Mischa: [Rolls eyes] I don’t know. [Looks away] It was miserable for everyone. But I really don’t know.
Time Out: Is your mom the one who admitted you into the hospital involuntarily?
Mischa: [Nods yes and rolls eyes again] I’ll tell you that story but not the whole world. The funny thing is, if all this happened in New York, no one would care.
Time Out: People would be like, 'Nervous breakdown? I had one yesterday too. Where are we going to brunch?'
Mischa: [Laughs] Yes, exactly, New York lets you be who you are, and people aren’t as judgmental. I’m so gld to be back here.