My family recently saw the band Imagine Dragons in concert when they came to Frisco, Texas (outside of Dallas/Fort Worth). It was a great show, and one I’ve wanted to see for a long time. I was definitely at this concert to enjoy hearing this band’s live music with my family, but I got so much more out of this show than I was expecting. The lead singer, Dan Reynolds, suffers from depression (check out this article in BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-40277696), and he’s been sharing this message about mental health treatment over the past year on his worldwide tour, “We have a stigmatization in our society today that is hurting our youth, even killing our youth. We cannot hide the fact that we all need help. It’s not a broken thing to be depressed. I have a therapist. I was diagnosed with depression. It does not make me broken. It does not make me weak.” (Check out this article in Today: https://www.today.com/health/imagine-dragons-star-talks-depression-during-concert-it-does-not-t131476).
Pretty powerful words, right?
What’s interesting is that when he was talking between sets, before he openly spoke about his depression, I could tell by what he was saying that he had done his own work with a therapist. I even turned to my husband and stated, “this guy’s been to therapy!” Then, right before they played their hit song, Demons, he openly spoke about his depression and how helpful and life changing therapy has been for him.
I was speechless! Here’s the lead singer of one of the most popular bands on the planet right now, and he’s being open and honest about his struggles, and what has been helpful to him. He’s being vulnerable in front of thousands of people. (Check out my blog on vulnerability: https://heidimcbain.com/vulnerability-if-being-vulnerable-is-at-the-heart-of-our-connections-with-others-why-do-so-many-of-us-struggle-with-it/)
He also looked out into the audience at all the young people and spoke about how hard middle school was for him as an uncool saxophone player. He reminded our kids that even when things are hard, that they will get better. He reminded them to ask for help when they needed it, and to not try to deal with their problems alone. And, he reminded us all, that even the lead singer of a hugely popular band suffers just like the rest of us. No one is immune to hurt and pain, regardless of how glamorous life looks from the outside looking in.
I was in awe thinking about how many lives this one person is touching by sharing his story, by being real and authentic, by not being ashamed about asking for help from a therapist when he needed it the most. I also read in the attached BBC and Today articles that along with therapy he focuses on healthy eating, meditation and yoga, and he also doesn’t drink alcohol.
Prince Harry is another public figure with a huge public reach. He recently disclosed that he went to counseling after the sudden death of his mother. He now speaks openly about how therapy helped him, and he’s also having a huge impact on others, especially in the lives of the veterans he helps. (Check out this ABC video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu7JTykVBk4).
Serena Williams is another public figure who has been in the news a lot lately, as she has been speaking openly about her postpartum depression struggles and feeling inadequate as a new mom. Think what an impact publicizing her struggles can have in helping other new moms who are also feeling inadequate! (Check out this recent article on this topic: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/allthemoms/2018/08/07/serena-williams-postpartum-maternal-childbirth-complications/925122002/)
I know I’m focusing on celebrities here, because their reach is far and wide publicly. However, we can all do our part to help stop the stigma surrounding mental health treatment. My own story is that I usually seek treatment from a therapist when I’m going through a major life change that includes grief and loss: the loss of my dad, a heartbreaking miscarriage, and moving, to name a few.
Have you personally ever seen a therapist? Do you speak openly about your therapy experience with others? Think about the huge impact your therapy story can have on those around you!
Filed Under: Counseling for Women