5 Creatives who’ve shared their Mental Health Stories

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. From 14th – 20th May, we’re hoping to raise awareness of mental health, specifically in the creative industries.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. From 14th – 20th May, we’re hoping to raise awareness of mental health, specifically in the creative industries.

There have been hundreds of years of research and studies have shown links between people working in the creative industries and those living with mental health problems. But of course, not every creative person lives with a mental illness. And as many people know, being creative and doing something you love can be an amazing relief from a difficult time!

Read on to hear about 5 creative people in the public eye who’ve spoken openly about their own mental health journeys:

 

Jade Thirwall:

Perrie, Leigh-Anne, Jesy and Jade make up the lively, smiley and full of energy girl group, Little Mix. A few years ago though, this personality wasn’t the case for Jade.

Before joining the pop group, Jade battled with the eating disorder, anorexia, when she was only 13 years old. Jade had a lot to deal with; from bullies and a death in her family, which caused her to lose a dramatic amount of weight and she had to be hospitalised.

“My periods stopped and things were getting out of control but I don’t think I really cared about what was happening to me,” she admits. “I felt so depressed at the time that I just wanted to waste away and disappear.”

Her recovery wasn’t always easy, Jade had weekly visits to the hospital and therapy sessions. She also says finishing school and joining Little Mix helped her back on track, too.

 

Russell Brand:

He’s a comedian, actor, radio host, author, activist… Actually, there’s not much that Russell Brand doesn’t do!

Russell has been very vocal about his mental health problems throughout his career; he’s shared that he’s been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder. He’s also dealt with bulimia, addiction and experienced a period of self-harming.

“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”

He’s never been shy about speaking about his experiences with these issues and he’s even released a book, titled Recovery, which explores his freedom from addictions.

 

Adwoa Aboah:

She is known for her stunning Vogue covers, but away from the world of fashion, the British model launched Gurls Talk. It’s a project that encourages girls to share and listen without any judgement or stigma – a lot of their content is around mental health and having honest, real conversations about it.

Adwoa shared her story of mental health when she opened up about her battle with addiction and an attempt at suicide for Heads Together in this video.

Her work with Gurls Talk has shown how you can turn a negative personal experience into an amazing thing. Gurls Talk is a community of creative young girls who are speaking openly about mental health.

 

Kendrick Lamar:

Compton-born rapper Kendrick Lamar has released some of the most popular and powerful music of the past few years. His rise to fame hasn’t been without difficult times though.

Kendrick has openly discussed his struggles with depression in the past. “Three of my homeboys [one] summertime [were] murdered, close ones too, not just somebody that I hear about. These [are] people I grew up with. It all, psychologically, it messes your brain up,” he told MTV in 2015. “That can draw a thin line between you having your sanity and you losing it. This is how artists deteriorate if you don’t catch yourself.”

 

J.K. Rowling:

She’s the author of the best-selling book series in history, and the Harry Potter writer is the ultimate creative. Her fantasy novels bring together people from all over the world through their love of magic.

What a lot of people don’t know, is that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter during an episode of severe depression. Whilst writing was a good escape during a difficult time for her, J.K. also saw a doctor who referred her to counselling.

“It’s so difficult to describe [depression] to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness,” J.K. told Oprah Winfrey, “but it’s that cold absence of feeling – that really hollowed-out feeling.”

 

Adele:

We challenge you to listen to any track from albums 19, 21 or 25 and not belt along with Adele. We think it might be physically impossible!

Alongside releasing music, performing on world tours and headlining festivals, Adele is a proud mum to 5 year old son, Angelo.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Adele opened up about her experience of postpartum depression (a mood disorder associated with childbirth).

“I can slip in and out of [depression] quite easily,” Adele told Vanity Fair. “I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she said. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant… Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it.”

She explained how she dealt with this by taking much-needed time to be alone – just one afternoon a week.

 

If you’re worried that you’re developing a mental health problem you should seek the advice and support of your GP as soon as you can. If you need immediate help and can’t get to your GP, you should visit your local A&E. The Samaritans also offer emotional support 24 hours a day – in full confidence, you can call 116 123 – it’s FREE.