Mischa Barton Offers Less-Than-Forthcoming Explanation For Meltdown

In a new interview, Mischa Barton explains that she wound up under psychiatric hold last month because having her wisdom teeth removed led to a nervous breakdown, but "if all this happened in New York, no one would care."

In an exclusive interview with Time Out New York's Michael Freidson, Mischa Barton says that her trouble started when she decided to get all four wisdom teeth removed before her new show The Beautiful Life started filming. Something went wrong and she needed a second surgery, which almost delayed shooting. She explains:

"So with the travel, and surgery and prep for the show-it was hell... 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."

It's possible that rumors that the meltdown was caused by too much partying, drug use, weight issues, or a suicide attempt were untrue, but she doesn't address them at all. When asked specifically how she ended up in a psychiatric hospital, she's pretty vague, saying:

"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."

Barton doesn't respond when Freidson asks if drugs were the problem and continues that she doesn't even know if it was a nervous breakdown. She says, "I'm not sure I'm capable of a full-on nervous breakdown," but explains that it was "more about the pain" and she started getting migraines. As far as we know, people don't get checked into Cedars-Sinai and held under a 5150 for having painful migraines. It's understandable that she wouldn't want to share her medical information with the public, but then why agree to talk about it in the first place?

While Barton does a good job of seeming like she's sharing a lot of details without actually revealing anything, her feelings toward her mom, whom some have accused of being a stage mom, are pretty obvious. She says a doctor told her that as a result of her oral surgery she could have lost feeling in her lips and face and been unable to act. Barton says she only decided to get the surgery because,

"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."

Freidson notes that she rolls her eyes and looks away when asked about what it was like for her mom. He asks if her mom was the one who admitted her to the hospital involuntarily and she nods yes and rolls her eyes again, adding,

"The funny thing is, if all this happened in New York, no one would care... New York lets you be who you are, and people aren't as judgmental. I'm so glad to be back here."

We have a feeling that the tabloids wouldn't have let her off the hook in New York either, but she emphasizes several times that she's just happy to be in New York and back at work on The Beautiful Life. Though insisting that everything is fine has sadly become de rigeur for starlets who've recently suffered a meltdown, Barton's blaming a serious psychiatric incident on having her wisdom teeth out isn't a very reassuring explanation.

Mischa Barton Talks [Time Out New York]

Earlier: Why Do We Celebrate When An Actress Falls Apart?