‘O.C.’ Star Mischa Barton Opens Up About ‘Full-On Breakdown’ for First Time

The actress famously portrayed Marissa Cooper on the hit Fox drama set in Orange County before infamously spiraling out of control

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Former “O.C.” star Mischa Barton went off the public’s radar after making headlines for a DUI arrest and landing herself in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center psychiatric ward, but now she’s hard at work again, and speaking candidly about her troubled past.

“It was a full-on breakdown,” she told People in the latest issue. “I was under enormous pressure.”

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The “terrifying” ride began when she was just 17 years old, and became the breakout star of “The O.C..” The now 27-year-old actress says she was totally unprepared for the pressure, partying and lavish lifestyle that often accompanies national notoriety.

“There were a lot of enablers around, people to make it all possible,” she said of the constant partying with fellow famous “it” girls Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan.

“We thought, ‘Work hard, play hard,’” Barton added.

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“The O.C.” ended its run in 2007 — the same year Barton was arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles without a valid license, as well as narcotics possession.

She attempted a television comeback in 2009 by starring in “The Beautiful Life” on the CW, but the series didn’t last, and neither did her absence from the tabloids.

Shortly after Barton’s parents staged an intervention, she says she blacked out under the influence of the Xanax she was prescribed to treat anxiety, and was placed in the hospital under an involuntary 5150 hold for threatening to kill herself.

“I was never suicidal,” Barton said. “I was just overworked and depressed. But one slip of the tongue in a heightened moment and you find yourself in that situation.”

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She retreated to Europe where she was photographed with more weight than what the public was used to during the height of her fame.

“When you’re 16, you’re not what you are at 25. I was really young and just had not filled out at all,” Barton said. “Not everybody stays the same body type. It was always ‘She’s too skinny, she must be sick.’ Then it was, ‘she’s too big.’ I was never the right weight.”

Barton can currently be seen in supernatural thriller “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” and has a number of other projects in the works, including John Cusack‘s upcoming thriller “Kickback.”