Bebe Rexha feared she was “going crazy” when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The 30-year-old singer announced she had been diagnosed with the mental health disorder in a tweet posted in April 2019 and has said going public with the news was tough because she didn’t want to think “there was something wrong” with her.
She said: “I didn’t want to think there was something wrong with me. That was my worst fear all my life: going crazy. I felt like me opening up to my fans was me finally saying, ‘I’m not going to be imprisoned by this.’
“[I hoped being candid about the diagnosis would] make somebody not feel imprisoned, at that moment, if they feel like they’re going through a rough time, that’s why I decided to really open up and to free myself from that.”
Bebe suffers from bipolar I, which is defined as having severe manic or depressive episodes, or times of both. And the singer has said one of the tracks on her upcoming album will touch on her diagnosis.
Speaking about a song titled ‘Break My Heart Myself’, Bebe said: “It goes like, ‘Hello, my name is Stevie / Actually, I’m lying. It’s really Bebe. / It’s the meds. They make me really sleepy. / Klonopin, my friend, yeah, she numbs the feeling.’ And then it’s, ‘My doctor upped my dosage. / My mom felt bad, so she sent me roses. But without it, I get really hopeless, and 5.7 of Americans know it.’ “
The last line refers to the statistic that an estimated 5.7 million American adults are affected by bipolar disorder, and Bebe is determined to “normalize” the condition.
She said: “It’s important for me to laugh at myself sometimes, and also spread information, and normalize it because it makes me feel better instead of writing a sobby ballad. Which, you totally could do – there’s not anything wrong with that. But I like to be sarcastic about things sometimes. It takes away the pain and hurt.”
Since being diagnosed, the blonde beauty has sought out professional help from a therapist and takes medication, both of which she says has helped her live “a more balanced life”.
Bebe told Self magazine: “It’s helped me live a more balanced life, fewer ups, and downs. When my medication started kicking in, I couldn’t believe how I felt. I couldn’t believe that’s how good people could feel.
“I’m fine, I’m healthy, I’m working on myself. I’m bettering myself as a human.”
If you or someone you know is dealing with mental health problems and would like to talk to someone, visit bonga.or.ke to speak anonymously.