James Blake has opened up about his struggle with mental health in a new essay. The piece comes as part of It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue (And Other Lies), which is a new collection of mental health writing curated by Scarlett Curtis.
.@jamesblake has contributed an essay detailing his struggles with depression and anxiety to It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (And other lies), a new collection of writing about mental health curated by writer and activist @scarcurtis. https://t.co/VrV1pA1etm
— FACT (@FACTmag) October 11, 2019
In the essay, Blake talks about his early battle with depression and anxiety after getting bullied as a teenager and struggling with gender stereotypes. “In the crude gender stereotypes I was aware of at that age, I thought I had the sensitivity of a female but in a male’s body,” Blake writes. “I joked my way through it and made sure nobody ever saw me cry.”
Blake then revealed that his struggle with mental health intensified after finding fame, eventually experiencing daily hallucinations and panic attacks.
“I became so self-obsessed and isolated that I wasn’t the success I seemed to be on paper,” Blake explains. “And so the chasm grew between my alias – the guy with the ‘Pitchfork best new music 8.0+’, with the uncompromising and flourishing career, who seemed in control of everything – and the man-child who for many years was hurting, spiralling, never leaving the house, wasting away in an ego prison, refusing to collaborate, allowing himself to be bled financially and taken advantage of by his friends and their extended family.”
I wrote an essay on mental health in privileged people, for @scarcurtis book ‘It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (and other lies)’.
It’s called ‘How can I complain?’.
Was extremely scary to put this out into the world but it felt important to me. Love you all xhttps://t.co/18nIg2nDm2
— James Blake (@jamesblake) October 11, 2019
He then went on to describe that he was “asking questions like ‘What is the point of me?’ and saying I didn’t want to live. I became afraid of the growing fog of war outside my house because of what I knew people expected of me if I entered it: a normal interaction and, even more impossible, a new album.”
Eventually, Blake talks about how his girlfriend Jameela Jamil encouraged him to stop comparing his mental health struggles to others, which allowed him to grow.
You can read the piece in full here.