Bebe Rexha on How She Went From ‘Fearful’ to ‘Free’ While Living With Bipolar Disorder

Bebe Rexha is as fearless as they come. However, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the singer/songwriter was crippled with fear of people finding out due to the mental illness stigma.

But with the help of a therapist, Rexha has since come to terms with her diagnosis and now feels a sense of freedom living with an illness she was once ashamed of.

Bebe Rexha at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards
Bebe Rexha | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Bebe Rexha first revealed her battle with bipolar disorder in 2019

Rexha first shared that she was living with bipolar disorder in April 2019 when she revealed the news with her millions of Twitter followers.

“For the longest time, I didn’t understand why I felt so sick,” she wrote. “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. Now I know why.”

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Nearly two years later, the singer opened up about living with the illness during a February 2021 interview with Self magazine.

According to Rexha, she’s experienced symptoms like mood swings, anxiousness, and overwhelming depression throughout her life.

“Even as a little girl, I remember always [being] anxious, scared of what was going to happen. I was so worried all the time,” she said. “I still am. I’m scared of everything.”

As she got older, the “In The Name of Love” singer’s mood swings started to become dangerous.

“It made me feel just weird feelings, weird emotions, weird thoughts all the time. Not normal thoughts,” she told the outlet. “I’d be in the passenger seat of the car and I would want to open the door and jump out and just get f*cking squashed—which is terrible.”

Bebe Rexha had a hard time confronting her illness at first

After spending years trying to cope with her symptoms, Rexha finally decided to seek help, even though she was afraid that what she would find out would be detrimental to her career.

Rexha shared, “It’s the war you have inside your head: Will it affect my career? Will people judge me? Will they want to work with me? If people have been calling me crazy, are they going to be like, ‘Well, that b*tch is f*cking crazy?'”

Eventually, Rexha met with a therapist and began taking medication under a psychiatrist’s guidance, which is something she delayed after fearing that the medicine would change her as a person and an artist.

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“I waited a very long time until I took meds. I was really scared that it was going to flatten me out,” she said. “[Medication has] maybe helped me be a little bit more insightful and learn things about the world and also allowed me to be a little bit more centered so that I can actually write about my feelings.”

Bebe Rexha hopes that by sharing her story, she’ll destigmatize the way people think about bipolar disorder

After coming to terms with her bipolar disorder diagnosis, Rehxa’s fears of being labeled for her illness was replaces with acceptance.

Not long after seeking help from her therapist, the singer decided to share her diagnosis with fans, which gave her a sense of freedom once the word was out.

“It’s scary, but at a certain point you got to say, ‘F*ck it, this is who I am.’ Or you just keep it to yourself,” she told Self magazine. “At the end of the day, it’s nobody’s business. But, for me, I like to be very transparent with my fans…and I won’t allow it to label me. It’s something that I’m going through, but it’s not me.”

Now, the singer isn’t afraid to be transparent about her diagnosis with fans and hopes that her being open and honest about her story will change the way people think about bipolar disorder.

“I felt like me opening up to my fans was me finally saying, ‘I’m not going to be imprisoned by this,'” she says. “And maybe it’ll make somebody not feel imprisoned, in that moment, if they feel like they’re going through a rough time. That’s why I decided to really open up and to free myself from that.”