ENTERTAINMENT

Billie Eilish Talks About Self-Harm, Depression And How She's Coped

The 17-year-old pop phenom opened up about her mental health struggles in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Billie Eilish talked about the mental health issues she’s dealt with since she was 13 years old, including anxiety, self-harm and depression, in a candid interview with the Rolling Stone.

The 17-year-old pop phenom told the magazine that she suffered from body dysmorphia when she was a competitive dancer, and said that she faced depression that started when she was forced to quit dancing after she ruptured a growth plate in her hip at age 13.

Eilish revealed that she resorted to self-harm amid the emotional turmoil at that age.

“I think that’s when the depression started,” she told Rolling Stone, referencing her injury. “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.”

Eilish quickly rose to fame, and she’s already dedicated at least part of her career to advocating for mental health awareness. 

She hasn’t shied away from talking about her bouts of depression in previous interviews and in May, she appeared in a PSA reminding people to “seize the awkward” and seek the help of a friend or a therapist if they need it.

And in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in April, Eilish also revealed what it was like to live with Tourette’s syndrome.

Eilish said she doesn’t self-harm any more, noting that she hasn’t “been depressed in a minute,” but at her shows, she’ll sometimes run into girls who have harmed themselves. When she does, she offers those fans a simple but heartfelt piece of advice.

“It breaks my heart,” she told Rolling Stone. “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.”

Eilish still struggles with anxiety, though, an issue that emerged when she started touring. In one instance, the singer described a week where she had a panic attack and cried for two hours every night for a week.

She described that week as one “of bursting misery.”

To help her get through those moments, Eilish said she started seeing a therapist again.

Eilish also spends time with horses as a way of relaxing, her mom told the magazine. While growing up, Eilish worked at a stable near their home in exchange for horse riding lessons.

“It’s more for my mental health than, like, a hobby,” Eilish said. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

CONVERSATIONS