In this blog we will discuss Billie joe armstrong and his experiences of living with depression.
Does Billie joe armstrong have depression?
Billie Joe Armstrong, frontman for the famous punk rock band Green day has opened up about his mental health in a conversation with Damian Jones for NME.
He did not openly confirm whether he had depression or not however, he did mention that he had a mid life crisis in his 20s because he genuinely did not think he would live that long.
He was very frank when he mentioned that:
“Whether it’s people dealing with PTSD or… like, everybody’s got a part of their brain that is neurotic, or maybe even paranoid, or bi-polar, or they have a personality disorder.” (Damian Jones for NME)
He noted that he had struggled with mental disorder and the scene that he was part of- the punk rock scene- was an environment where much of the people involved did seem to have some sort of mental issue.
Due to the fact that he was constantly around these people, he did not realise that there was something wrong with his own mental health and only released later on in life.
Billie joe armstrong also noted that he struggled to come to terms with his fame and often had trouble with socialising with his fans or being put out there on social media.
He also noted that part of his mid-life crisis was the disillusionment of his reality and how people often used him and his fame rather than true support. On his he noted:
“But I think the thing that makes it uncomfortable is how fucked-up social media has become, and how everyone’s got a camera in their pocket now. There are a lot of people out there who aren’t fans who just wanna be guilty by association or something. They wanna hold you in their pocket as a souvenir. And I think that sometimes that’s the part that gets annoying.” (Damian Jones for NME. )
Most of his mental health struggles as well as that of his bandmates are reflected in the work and the songs that they have created.
Billie Joe Armstrong openly said that most of the songs they wrote ouched on some of the real-life struggles the members of Green Day have gone through themselves.
One such song about depression is Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day. This song is an important musical piece that was extremely popular in the early 2000s when many young people could relate to what the narrator talks about in this song.
The band, in the voice of a narrator of the song, talks about how lonely he feels, how isolated and desperate he feels to reconnect with people that are no longer part of his life.
Most of their songs is about survival and going through with life as is as well as theme related to suicide and depression. Armstrong believes that their creativity was one way of helping them process the challenges of life and helped push him and his bandmates through.
In an interview with Kerrang! Magazine, Billie Joe Armstrong also revealed how self-conscious he is as a person, often struggling with a low sense of self worth.
He noted that this low sense of self worth could be a result of his background, as he noted:
“I’m a really self-conscious person. I think there’s a thing about me where – and maybe it’s where I come from, coming from such a working-class background – it’s stifling.
“In the back of your head, the voices are going, ‘Who the fuck do you think you are? You’re never going to pull this off.’ (Metal Castle)
Armstrong has been very candid of his own struggles with low self worth and anxiety, however he has been supportive and positive when he notes that hanging back because of fears of not being good enough is not the way to live.
What is depression?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.
Depression is marked by the following symptoms:
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day- either by their own observation or observation made by others.
- Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia.
- A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts.
Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives.
People with depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.
This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts.
While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death.
How to cope and manage if you have depression?
Here are a few things you can do to cope with depression:
Seek professional help
If you have not been diagnosed, do not stick to self diagnosis based on your symptoms. Seek out professional consultations starting with your GP who can refer you to specialists in the field.
There may be different medications- some which might work for you while others that might not help you.
Taking time to find a doctor who can help you with estimating the right dosage of medication and the right medical treatment can make the quality of your journey to recovery drastically different.
If it’s a job that is causing you immense stress, maybe it is time to consider taking a leave of absence. Or it could be your own family environment that is causing your symptoms to flare up- consider moving out if your financial situation persists.
The intent here is to reduce or remove the things in your life that add stress. If it is a certain relationship, taking the time to set boundaries or communicate that you are taking time out can be one way.
By reducing stressors, the thought of waking up and facing your day may seem a little less daunting, you might even look forward to it.
Learn and apply coping skills
If you are depressed, you can learn coping skills and techniques and apply them at least once a day when experiencing depression.
This can be learning how to tackle your anxieties and negative moods by regulating your breathing and engaging in deep breathing techniques.
You can also try grounding techniques to help you cope with spiralling down a negative rumination. Make goals for each day and let your goals be small, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound,
Make plans for your day that suit your pace- if today is especially difficult, make a step by step plan from your bed to the bathroom in the mornings. Reward yourself when you succeed and be kind when you slip up. Remind yourself that you are learning.
Engaging in exercise, even if it is only a 15 minute stretch can be a wonderful step towards loving yourself and caring for yourself.
You can opt for joining the gym however, if this is too much you can consider yoga or pilates that you can start gradually; you can also go for walks or runs alone or with your loved ones.
Getting out of your house and doing something that allows you to get your blood pumping in itself can be a great way of self care.
Eat a healthy diet
Diet is an important aspect of overall health and is an important component of maintaining a positive state of mental health.
There has been plenty of research studies that have been linked to what we eat and higher risks of depression. Research finds that well balanced meals with adequate intake of vegetables, fruits, grain, and healthy fats are related to lower risks of depression.
Take time to improve your sleep hygiene. Research has found that sleep disorders are also a core symptom of depression. Irregular sleep and not enough sleep can make your healing process difficult and can even heighten the risk of relapse.
Some of the things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene are
- Avoid substances that impact your sleep, this includes caffeine.
- Exercise daily
- Avoid heavy dinners
- Change your sleeping environment to be more soothing and sleep inducing.
- Make changes in your pre-sleep routine such as taking relaxing baths before sleep, avoiding gadgets two hours before sleeping time.
Connect with loved ones
Reaching out to people who love you and letting them know that you are having a hard time now, can bring you closer to people who truly love and care for you.
These are positive relationships we want and need around you as you begin your journey to recovery. Positive relationships help you discover joys and meaning to your life.
Make plans to meet them for lunch, or go for a walk with them. Make sure you make clear what you can and cannot do and agree on something that both you and them can enjoy.
You can also take the step to connect with other people who are coping with depression through group therapy or support groups.
Oftentimes, listening to other people’s successes can instil hope, it also gives you the opportunity to learn new perspectives of living and life along with new techniques to cope.
In this blog we have discussed Billie joe armstrong and his experiences of living with depression.
Damian Jones. Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong: “I’m uncomfortable with how fucked-up social media has become” NME. Retrieved on 26th April 2022. https://www.nme.com/news/music/green-days-billie-joe-armstrong-im-uncomfortable-with-how-fucked-up-social-media-has-become-2721848
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong Talks Early Mental Health Struggles. Discover Dave. retrieved on 26th April 2022. https://www.discoverdade.com/rock/green-days-billie-joe-armstrong-talks-early-mental-health-struggles/
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong Reveals The Shocking Thing That It Would Make Him Depressed. Metal Castle. Retrieved on 26th April 2022. https://www.metalcastle.net/green-days-billie-joe-armstrong-reveals-the-shocking-thing-that-it-would-make-him-depressed/