Billie Eilish is opening up about managing her mental health.
The 17-year-old pop star — who rose to ubiquity seemingly overnight with her debut LP When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss the ups and downs of her sudden fame and how it has affected her.
Eilish revealed that her mental health has been affected by her penchant for performing, even from a young age. A dancer — ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary — the singer-songwriter joined a competitive dance team when she was 12.
“That was probably when I was the most insecure,” the “Bad Guy” singer told Rolling Stone. “I wasn’t as confident. I couldn’t speak and just be normal. When I think about it or see pictures of me then, I was so not okay with who I was.”
Eilish said she was uncomfortable in her own skin, especially in the clothes she’d wear to dance.
“I was always worried about my appearance,” she added. “That was the peak of my body dysmorphia. I couldn’t look in the mirror at all.”
Eilish’s emotional health began to deteriorate further when, at 13 years old, she ruptured the growth plate in her hip, forcing her to quit dancing.
“I think that’s when the depression started,” she told Rolling Stone. “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.”
While Eilish doesn’t self-harm anymore, she still carries the pain with her.
“Sometimes I see girls at my shows with scars on their arms, and it breaks my heart,” she said. “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.”
By age 14, Eilish began to make a splash online with her impressive vocals and original songs. And since When We All Fall Asleep dropped, she’s been on tour seemingly nonstop, which the star says has fueled her anxiety.
“I just couldn’t take the fact that I had to leave again,” Eilish said. “It felt like an endless limbo. Like there was no end in sight. And, I mean, it’s true: There really is no end in sight with touring. … Thinking about that literally made me throw up. I’m not a throw-upper, but I threw up twice, from the anxiety.”
Eilish said she recently sought therapy to talk through her issues.
“I just was in such a bad place. It was too much on me. I was too much on me,” she said. “I don’t want advice, because I’m not going to take it anyway. I just wanted to be heard.”
While she’s still managing her issues, Eilish says she’s in a great place now.
“I haven’t been depressed in a minute, which is great,” she says. “Seventeen has probably been the best year of my life. I’ve liked 17.”