Billie Eilish Opens Up About Her Struggles with Body Dysmorphia and Depression
The singer told Rolling Stone that going to therapy has helped her feel "heard."
At just 17 years old, Billie Eilish has taken the pop music world by storm. She's the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number-one album in the United States, and the youngest woman ever to have a number-one album in the United Kingdom. She's also broken the record for having the most simultaneously-charting Billboard Hot 100 songs by a female artist.
Long story short: Eilish is killing it. But her quick rise to fame took her by surprise and has, understandably taken a toll on her mental health.
For those who might not know, Eilish has been a performer for most of her life. She took up dance as a young girl, dabbling in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary. By the time she was 12, she'd joined a competitive dance team. Even back then, she felt some angst about performing in front of a crowd.
"That was probably when I was the most insecure," she told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. "I wasn't as confident. I couldn't speak and just be normal. When I think about it or see pictures of me then, I was so not okay with who I was."
Eilish said she was especially uncomfortable with the tight-fitting clothes she had to wear to dance practices and performances. "I was always worried about my appearance," she explained. "That was the peak of my body dysmorphia. I couldn't look in the mirror at all." (Related: Lili Reinhart Made an Important Point About Body Dysmorphia)
When she turned 13, Eilish had to quit dancing because of a hip injury. "I think that's when the depression started," she continued telling Rolling Stone. "It sent me down a hole. I went through a whole self-harming phase—we don't have to go into it. But the gist of it was, I felt like I deserved to be in pain."
Things took a turn for the better when Eilish turned 14 and released some of her first hit songs. But when she got scheduled to go on tour for her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, her anxiety came back two-fold.
"I just couldn't take the fact that I had to leave again [to go on tour]," Eilish said. "It felt like an endless limbo. Like there was no end in sight. And, I mean, it's true: There really is no end in sight with touring. Thinking about that literally made me throw up. I'm not a throw-upper, but I threw up twice, from the anxiety." (Related: People Are Defending Billie Eilish After a Troll Objectified Her On Twitter)
Eilish isn't the only celeb to come forward about struggles with mental health. Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Ellie Goulding have all shared how the pressure that comes with fame has affected their emotional well-being. (Related: Lizzo Opened Up About Her Mental Health In "Emotionally Honest" Instagram Posts)
Thankfully, Eilish has been seeing a therapist to deal with her struggles. "I just was in such a bad place," she told Rolling Stone. "It was too much on me. I was too much on me. I don't want advice, because I'm not going to take it anyway. I just wanted to be heard."
Today, Eilish hopes that by sharing her personal struggles, she'll help others in her shoes feel less alone. "Sometimes I see girls at my shows with scars on their arms, and it breaks my heart," she said. "I don't have scars anymore because it was so long ago. But I've said to a couple of them, 'Just be nice to yourself.' Because I know. I was there."
"I haven't been depressed in a minute, which is great," she added. "Seventeen has probably been the best year of my life. I've liked 17."