- Lena Dunham revealed she is struggling with a chronic illness on Instagram.
- The actress says she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which affects connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, and more.
- Lena shared paparazzi photos of herself using a cane and wearing a nightgown during a flare.
Lena Dunham got incredibly candid with fans in a recent Instagram post, revealing that she’s struggling with a chronic illness.
“I could choose to be embarrassed by these paparazzi pics—I mean, that’s probably the point of someone publishing them in the first place—but I’m really not,” she wrote alongside a photo of herself on the street in a nightgown, using a cane. “I could lie and say it was an early Halloween look (Don’t you get it? I’m going as a con woman leaving a Florida Keys jail after being acquitted of murdering her husband, and now she’s trying to get disability license plates.) But the truth is just: This is what life is like when I’m struggling most with chronic illness. An Ehler-Danlos syndrome flare means that I need support from more than just my friends… so thank you, sweet cane!”
Lena said she “resisted doing anything that would make my physical situation easier” for years, thinking that using a cane “would ‘make things weird.’” “But it’s so much less weird to actually be able to participate than to stay in bed all day,” she continued. “And yes, you’d better believe I’m wearing my nightgown. I was walking four feet to the car to go to the doctor and I wanted to be full cozy. I mean, didn’t Bieber wear hotel slippers for like five years? Yeah, so I can wear my glamour nighty for two hours.”
Lena also included another shot of herself in a blue vest and pants, where she’s clearly feeling herself. “And then an hour later, I’m in a meeting look tackling the job I love,” she said. “That’s the two-fold life of a woman with chronic illness; we still rock our dreams and goals and passions (and fashions) and we live many lives in one day. Tell me about your day!”
People flooded Lena’s comments with messages of support. “Beautiful in both,” wrote Kristen Bell, while Sarah Hyland, who also has a chronic illness, simply wrote, “Thank you.” Others shared their own stories with chronic illness.
What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, exactly?
According to the National Institute of Health, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is “a group of disorders that affect connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, blood vessels, and many other organs and tissues.” Symptoms run a big range, going from having mildly loose joints to hyper-mobility to highly stretchy and fragile skin. Some people can have more severe issues relating to heart health and skeletal abnormalities.
Lena isn’t the only celebrity with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Earlier this month, Sia opened up about having the condition and Jameela Jamil said this summer that she also struggles with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. “I have a tonne [sic] of stretch marks, and because I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, *every* time I cut, I scar. I *refuse* to have these normal human marks weaponised [sic] against me,” Jameela tweeted at the time.
Lena didn’t get into specifics about her own symptoms, but one thing is for sure: She’s not going to keep her condition under wraps any more.
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