Mischa Barton has had an alcohol problem since she was 14. The former "O.C" actress - who is receiving psychiatric treatment at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after being placed under a 5150 hold, a piece of U.S. legislation which means she poses a danger to herself or others - worried friends with her out of control behavior for several years and they are relieved she has finally sought help.
Stacey Kives - a former stylist on "The O.C." - said: "She was on the path to self-destruction - it was just a question of when she was going to be ready to do something about it."
"Mischa has been drinking since she was about 14, and she doesn't drink to have fun any more - she drinks not to feel anything. But I think this last episode has scared her straight. She finally sounds like she's seeing reality."
According to her friend, Mischa has previously resisted all attempts to help her seek treatment and would cut pals out of her life if they suggested she had a problem.
Stacey added to Britain's Heat magazine: "Mischa's finally willing to get some help. She was partying so hard before. Whenever a close friend would say, 'Mischa, I'm worried about you,' she would distance herself."
"It was just a matter of time before she hit rock bottom. Now she wants her friends and family around her. It's a good sign."
It is believed the 23-year-old actress was suffering from low self-esteem prior to her hospitalization.
A source said: "She hates her legs. She isn't comfortable with her body. It's been a big source of stress and self-hate."
Referring to pictures which appeared to show bumpy skin on the actress' legs, another source said: "She had a big problem with those photos of her cellulite. She didn't like it. That just was something that contributed to her spiraling but she didn't do much to fix it because of her partying."