Lena Dunham has opened up about her life in therapy.

The 'Girls' star has written an essay titled 'Growing Up in Therapy', detailing her years of counselling from the age of eight when her parents insisted she see a child therapist to deal with her growing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

She explained: ''I am eight, and I am afraid of everything. The list of things that keep me up at night includes but is not limited to: appendicitis, typhoid, leprosy, unclean meat, foods I haven't seen emerge from their packaging, foods my mother hasn't tasted first so that if we die we die together, homeless people, headaches, rape, kidnapping, milk, the subway, sleep.''

The 28-year-old star candidly describes how her ''best friend'' was not another child but her fourth-grade school teacher Kathy, and says she was also friendly with the school nurse.

Lena sheds further light on her unconventional childhood when, at the age of 13, she discovered the extent of her OCD after reading an article about a woman who is ''so burdened with obsessions that she has to lick art in museums and crawl on the sidewalk''.

The actress writes: ''Her symptoms aren't much worse than mine: the magazine's description of her most horrible day parallels my average one.''

Lena goes on to explain that she has been seeing her current therapist, named Margaret, since the age of 15 and ponders that she's finally developed into a well-rounded individual, as evidenced by her counsellor - who at first ''won't tell me anything about her life'' - offering up a glimpse into her personal life during a therapy session about her relationship.

She wrote in New Yorker magazine: ''Why does Margaret deem me ready now? What test have I passed, what maturity have I displayed? Do therapists have a metric by which they judge our ability to work with information rationally?

''Maybe I have properly conveyed the truth and security of my romantic relationship and she is ready to admit me into a club of stable, balanced women with whom she shares her secrets.''