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Image for James Blake Opens Up About His Mental Health & Experiences With DepressionJames Blake in Sydney, July 2016 / Photo by Olivia Hadisaputra

James Blake Opens Up About His Mental Health & Experiences With Depression

Written by Jackson Langford on July 4, 2018

Content warning: this article discusses depression, anxiety and suicide.

James Blake has opened about his major struggles with depression and anxiety while speaking at a conference in California earlier this week.

Speaking on a panel called “You Got This: Managing the Suicide Crisis in the Arts Population” at the Performing Arts Medicine Association’s annual conference, Blake frankly and candidly addressed his previous struggles with mental health.

Billboard reports that Blake mainly refers to his early 20s, the same time his debut self-titled album came out, as a really tumultuous time for him.

“I was taken away from normal life essentially at an age where I was half-formed,” he said. “Your connection to other people becomes surface level. So if you were only in town for one day and someone asked you how you are, you go into the good stuff…which generally doesn’t involve how anxious you feel [or] how depressed you feel.”

He also discussed his eating habits, and how they contributed to his mental illnesses.

“I would say that chemical imbalance due to diet and the deterioration of my health was a huge, huge factor in my depression and eventual suicidal thoughts,” he said. “I developed intolerances that would lead to existential depression on a daily basis. I would eat a certain thing and then all day I would feel like there was just no point.”

This all comes after, just a month ago, Blake criticised music media outlets for pigeon-holing him into “sad boy music.” In that same month, a new mental health helpline was launched in Australia to support those within the music industry.

If you or anyone you know needs help or information regarding mental health, you can also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

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