Having braved an early elimination from Dancing with the Stars
and been fired from America's Next Top Model
because of her "gigantic huge ego,"
Paulina Porizkova paid a price.
As a result of these circumstances, the former supermodel now reveals, she suffered anxiety attacks – and the prescribed antidepressant, Lexapro, took a toll of its own on her, she reveals in a self-penned editorial
on The Huffington Post
Admitting that such factors as her brief DWTS
stint in 2007 stoked her panic attacks ("[I] just couldn't figure out what I had done wrong to be so disliked"), Porizkova, 46, writes that she turned to the drug at her doctor's suggestion.
A year later, "when I had to have a physical for insurance on America's Next Top Model
, I truthfully wrote down the only medication I took, Lexapro," she says. "Unfortunately, this was promptly broadcast all over the ANTM
production set. … I was judged crazy. Unstable."
Two years into being medicated she noticed that not only was her anxiety being dulled, but so was her personality. One side effect: a "sexual distancing from my husband," musician Ric Ocasek.
"I felt emotionally Botoxed," she writes. "I decided that this affair had all the drawbacks of an affair."
After quitting the antidepressant, Porizkova bumped up her exercise regime to offset the withdrawal, "three weeks of being tired and shaky from wrangling with awful dreams."
She also found herself fighting the daily urge to pop a pill: "I could finally understand the drug addicts who had cleaned up but wrestled with the urge to use every day," she writes.
"I'm certainly not an anti-medicine crusader. [But] I'm starting to wonder whether antidepressants can often be the emotional equivalent of plastic surgery."