Depression can affect anyone, and that includes young, up-and-coming singers. In a new interview with Elle, Billie Eilish opened up about experiencing depression, and why it's so important to believe people when they share that they're having mental health issues. The 17-year-old singer told the publication that some people accused her of faking her depression, and that attitude is simply not OK.
Per Elle, Eilish holds the distinction of being the first artist born this millennium to reach number one on the music charts. But fame doesn't shield the "Bad Guy" singer from depression. She shared with the magazine how it felt to know that some people didn't believe she was truly depressed. "It hurt me to see that. I was a 16-year-old girl who was really unstable," she said. "I'm in the happiest place of my life, and I didn't think that I would even make it to this age."
Eilish is in a good place right now, but it's been a long journey for the young artist. "I'm finally not miserable," she told Elle. "Two years ago, I felt like nothing mattered; every single thing was pointless. Not just in my life, but everything in the whole world. I was fully clinically depressed. It's insane to look back and not be anymore."
As reported by the National Institute of Mental Health, a National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that an estimated 2.3 million young adults from the ages of 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2017. The statistics show that Eilish is far from alone in experiencing depression, and by sharing her experience, she could help other teens who are going through a similar situation.
Eilish seems to be well aware of her position, and she has a message for anyone who is struggling. "I haven’t been happy for years. I didn't think I would be happy again," she said. "And here I am—I've gotten to a point where I'm finally okay. It's not because I'm famous. It's not because I have a little more money. It's so many different things: growing up, people coming into your life, certain people leaving your life. All I can say now is, for anybody who isn't doing well, it will get better. Have hope."
The "When the Party's Over" singer is living out her teen years in front of the world, and she clearly understands that means she's going to face extra scrutiny. But she's also found a way to prioritize her mental health by bringing friends with her on tour, leaning on her family, and spending time doing the things she loves, like riding horses, per Elle. Her music speaks directly to her generation, and her resiliency and message of hope is as powerful as her songs. Speaking out about mental health issues isn't easy, but by getting candid about how much her state of mind has changed in just a year, Eilish is showing her listeners that with help and time, things truly will get better.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.