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Singer Brian Wilson’s deeply honest statement on his mental health is a rare gift


by Amanda Cassidy
07th Jun 2019
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Beachboys star Brian Wilson has cancelled his upcoming tour in June as a result of his struggle with his mental health.

The 76-year-old singer and songwriter told fans that he would not be able to press ahead with the Pet Sounds and Greatest Hits Live tour as scheduled because a recent operation on his back had caused him to feel “mentally insecure.”

Yesterday, Wilson wrote a simple but hugely personal statement on his website which read;

“It is no secret that I have been living with mental illness for many decades.  There were times when it was unbearable but with doctors and medications, I have been able to live a wonderful, healthy and productive life with support from my family, friends and fans who have helped me through this journey”.

Related: Britney Spears’ treatment in the media has changed dramatically 

He continued, “As you may know in the last year or so I’ve had three surgeries on my back. The surgeries were successful and I’m physically stronger than I’ve been in a long time.”

However, after my last surgery, I started feeling strange and it’s been pretty scary for a while. I was not feeling like myself. Mentally insecure is how I’d describe it. We’re not sure what is causing it but I do know that it’s not good for me to be on the road right now so I’m heading back to Los Angeles.”

Wilson went on to say that he had been rehearsing with his band when his mental health issues “crept back” and that he started “Struggling with stuff in my head and saying things I don’t mean.”

This is a rare occasion when someone in the public eye isn’t afraid to open up about their struggles with mental health. It is a rare gift to admit to fans that you are fallible – even the use of the word insecure shows his vulnerability.

Stigma

More celebrities are choosing to break the stigma of problems in their lives. Demi Lovato was lauded for being honest and open about her mental health problems, as was Jim Carey. We inherently know that there is nothing wrong with feeling like this, we’ve seen campaigns encouraging people to open up about how they are feeling – to shine a light on a problem that festers in darkness.

Wilson could have remained vague about his reasons for cancelling. God knows there are plenty of those in the spotlight who don’t choose to reveal why they cancel a show or a tour. It is their prerogative to keep their personal lives personal but for those, like Wilson who chose to say it as it is, it is a huge step towards stamping out the stigma of admitting you aren’t well.

For now, Wilson says his immediate plan is to rest and recover. He says in his statement that he is looking forward to feeling better and to “seeing everyone later in the year.”

“The music and my fans keep me going and I know this will be something I can AGAIN overcome,” he concluded.

 

If you need support or advice on mental health you can contact Samaritans 

 

Related:

This description of depression by Jim Carey will stop you in your tracks More

What your gut is telling you about your mental health More

Post-natal depression: ‘I tried to take my own life’ More