Bebe Rexha Said She Was Scared to Get an Official Mental Health Diagnosis
Musical artist, Bebe Rexha recently took a plunge. In what was an incredibly difficult decision, she announced to the world that she has bipolar. But it didn’t just take guts for Rexha to admit this to her fans, it took years of internal struggle for her to even admit the diagnosis to herself. She knew that she needed help, but she was scared about what that meant.
It’s a battle that many people fight, even in today’s world of increasing understanding around mental health. And that’s why Rexha finally decided to do something about it.
Bebe Rexha made her diagnosis public to help others
Rexha understood that she wasn’t alone when facing the stigma of mental illness. In the United States, almost half of all adults will struggle with some form of mental illness in their lifetime. But many won’t get treatment, and according to Cambridge University, the top reason for forgoing care is the fear of stigma. When it comes to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, two illnesses that are very misunderstood and stigmatized, 40 to 50 percent of cases go untreated each year. That’s a lot of people who need help and they’re not getting it because of fear.
When Rexha decided to go public with her diagnosis, she hoped that her influence could help others feel better about their own struggles. After doing an in-depth interview with Self, where Rexha discussed her journey with mental health, she decided to post the story to Instagram with an inspiring caption.
“I felt nervous putting out this cover,” Rexha wrote. “… But what I’m learning is this isn’t about me. This is about helping that one boy or girl or man or women or nonbinary person, not feel so alone when they are going through rough times because of their mental state. There is still a stigma associated with mental illness and mental healthcare and hopefully I can help to make a small change.”
Rexha was fearful of learning her diagnosis
Although Rexha almost always seems confident in everything she puts out, accepting her struggle with mental health was not easy. She was really fearful to admit her diagnosis, not just to the world, but also to herself.
“I was very fearful,” Rexha told Self. “I didn’t want to think there was something wrong with me.”
But Rexha has always been an anxious person. It may even be a part of her illness, she admitted, although that doesn’t make it any easier. “Even as a little girl, I remember always [being] anxious, scared of what was going to happen,” she said. “I was so worried all the time. I still am. I’m scared of everything.”
Throughout her life, Rexha had always known that something was wrong. She knew that she needed help, but she didn’t want an official diagnosis. For years before she finally became ready to admit the truth, Rexha told her friends, her family, and her therapist that she didn’t want to know what was wrong with her. “I was kind of just going with the flow,” she admitted.
Finally, she made an “adult decision to take another step to better [herself].” Rexha asked her therapist if she was bipolar.
The response was casual but supportive. Her therapist leaned forward and extended her hand. “Yes, hon,” she said.
Bebe Rexha is finally embracing who she is
Coming out as a person with bipolar disorder seems to have helped Rexha embrace who she is. She admits that she got to a place where she could just say “F**k it, this is who I am.” And now others have a choice if they want to accept her or move on.
Now, she’s taking medication to help her mental health improve and she’s writing songs about the experience.
There are so many people in the world who suffer from mental illness. It shouldn’t be something to be embarrassed about. Hopefully, others will see Rexha loving herself enough to get treatment and be able to take similar steps because everyone deserves a chance at happiness.