As we all know, being a celebrity doesn’t equal a happy life, and many celebrities struggle just as much with addiction and mental health as anyone else does. (Always remember, they’re people first and foremost, just like anyone else.)
Right before reportedly seeking treatment for his mental health, pop superstar Justin Bieber has opened up about his past addiction to Xanax, and also hinted at his emotional struggles before seeking help.
Confronting a Dark Addiction
In a current profile of Bieber in Vogue, the pop star was remarkably candid about how he turned to Xanax to deal with the overwhelming effects of fame. He described taking the tranquilizer as a way of setting up a “screen” between himself and his behavior.
As one source explained to People, “Having this huge amount of fame completely changed him. He had access to anything and everything and was surrounded by people who just said ‘Yes.’”
Like many, once they get famous, Bieber indulged in the typical perks of fame, so many famous people fall into, and Bieber admitted he did “things that I was so ashamed of,” including being very promiscuous. Turning to sex was another way Bieber relieved the pressure of stardom, realizing that “sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth.”
Once Bieber started to indulge in Xanax, “it got pretty dark. I think there were times when my security was coming in late at night to check my pulse and see if I was still breathing.” (In fact, Bieber was busted for a DUI in early 2014, which was one of the first public warning signs that Bieber was heading for trouble with substances.)
Speaking Out and Getting Help
Then on the heels of Bieber speaking openly about his addiction came the report in People that he’s seeking help for his mental health. As a source close to the pop star explained, “He has been struggling a bit,” and Bieber himself admitted getting depressed during the lonely slog of being on tour. “I haven’t talked about this, and I’m still processing so much stuff that I haven’t talked about,” he explained. “I was lonely. I needed some time.”
With Bieber being honest and open about his struggles, it’s a big step forward for a performer who got overwhelming fame very early in life, which anybody would have a hard time navigating at any age, let alone when you’re seventeen. Just imagine having the burden of fame and fortune and being one of the biggest stars in the world practically overnight when you’re also trying to deal with hormones, school, dating, and other growing pains.
Reports have also surfaced that Bieber is putting his wedding to Hailey Baldwin on hold to get better. Ultimately the more artists and celebrities who come forward and talk honestly about their mental health and addiction struggles, the better, because it will encourage more people of all walks of life to get help and get well themselves.