Bebe Rexha On Being Bipolar: 'I'm Not Ashamed Anymore'
Bebe Rexha is once again talking about her mental health.
“For the longest time, I didn’t understand why I felt so sick. Why I felt lows that made me not want to leave my house or be around people and why I felt highs that wouldn’t let me sleep, wouldn’t let me stop working or creating music,” she shared on Twitter on Monday.
“Now I know why. I’m bipolar and I’m not ashamed anymore. That is all. (Crying my eyes out.)”
Bipolar disorder causes sharp shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to function. Last October, Rexha tweeted: “I feel it’s important to understand that just because you can’t see any physical condition doesn’t mean it’s not a disability that needs to be taken seriously.”
Earlier this month, Rexha, 29, told Marie Claire why she has always been so open about her mental health.
“I finally saw a therapist and found ways to control it – like exercising, eating healthier and changing my priorities,” she explained. “That helped so much and I’m not ashamed. If I can shine a light to make my fans feels less alone, that makes me feel good.”
Last summer, Rexha opened up about the condition to Teen Vogue.
“I cry a lot. It's tough,” she said. “I have my own therapist and I have people I talk to. It's an everyday battle, I feel.”
Rexha has released several songs addressing her condition, including her 2014 single “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy,” in which she sings: “There’s a war inside my head / Sometimes I wish that I was dead.”
In an interview with Z100 New York last year, Rexha explained: “I could have allowed it to completely take over my life but I was like, ‘no, that’s not happening,’ and I found a way to live with it and put it into my music and laugh at it."
But the singer came under fire last year for her “I’m a Mess” video, which is set in a psychiatric hospital. On social media, many people called the video tone deaf.
“This is an absolute disaster,” read one tweet. “i thought we were starting to become much more mature about mental illness.”
Another tweeted: “bebe rexha’s appropriation and misrepresentation of mental illness to sell music is truly grim.”
In an essay for Medium, Dr. Rachel Kallem Whitman opined that Rexha “wrote a crappy pop song and paired it with the most stigmatizing, ableist (ableism = disability oppression), and sanist (discrimination against people with mental illness) music video I’ve ever seen.”
Rexha defended the video in a tweet last July: “I wanted to create a video and song that expressed my truth. This video is a celebration of me finally being able to accept my imperfections. I’m okay with not being okay all the time.”
On Monday, Rexha tweeted that she doesn't plan to hold anything back on her next album.
"I hope you accept me as I am," she said.