Halsey has opened up about her mental health struggles as part of a YouTube video series.
The singer took part in the platform’s Artist Spotlight Stories conversation series with psychologist Snehi Kapur as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. Watch the full video below.
Halsey said she wanted to help her fans to better understand bipolar disorder, a condition she was diagnosed with in her teens. She asked Dr. Kapur to explain what bipolar disorder is, who responded by calling it “a mood disorder where people have typically two phases” – the low phase and the manic phase.
Speaking about her own experiences with bipolar, Halsey said people often tell her she “doesn’t seem like” she suffers from the disorder “because they see a young woman who’s achieving all of these goals”. She also spoke of being in a psychiatric hospital as an adolescent and learning to recognise the feelings that led her there as she grew up.
The star spoke about the media perception of mental illness, saying she found the media “very celebratory of mental illness when they’re getting something out of it” like a record. However, if her mental health causes her to cancel a show, “if it takes something from them”, then it “becomes weaponised”. “The way that they can take the narrative away from you after you’ve chosen to share it is what’s one of the most terrifying parts,” she said.
“I think that our culture, in a way, has an obsession and a distaste for the ‘crazy woman’,” she said later. “We love her but we also weaponise that word against her.” Kapur replied referencing the “manic pixie dream girl” trope often found in movies and TV shows, calling it “exaggerated”.
The pair later shared advice on how to be an ally for those struggling with their mental health. “Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance,” Kapur said. “Accept that somebody around them can have mental illness. Accept that they will need help. The third acceptance is accept that it will recur.”
Halsey spoke about her latest album ‘Manic’, describing it as a “love letter” to who she is when she’s in a manic phase. “In the process of making this album, I had to make peace with this manic version of myself,” she said.
‘Manic’ was released in January 2020. In a four-star review, NME said: “The musician’s previous concepts have both been compelling in themselves but, by stripping back the stories to their very personal core, Halsey has made a record that is as thrilling as it is vulnerable, and her best effort yet. This is Ashley’s world; it’s really nice to meet her.”
For help and advice on mental health:
- ‘Am I depressed?’ – Help and advice on mental health and what to do next
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day