Machine Gun Kelly gets candid about mental health: ‘I’m sick of smiling’

It is always a good idea to talk about mental health, seek help and open up about your vulnerabilities. When a celebrity does it, it makes a lot of difference in furthering the discussion around this topic, which is still stigmatised in many parts of the world.

Machine Gun Kelly, 31, got candid about his mental health recently. He was in conversation with actor Drew Barrymore for her chat show, and while painting her nails, frankly talked about his state of mind, letting fans in on his emotional side.

The rapper and singer said, “I think I’m new to being vulnerable outside of songs. I see a lot of pictures of me and there’s like, smiles on them. It’s just weird though because I didn’t feel good at all that day and I kind of am sick of smiling on days when I don’t feel like smiling.”

“And I feel like this odd pressure because I don’t want my fans to think that I’m taking something for granted so if I accept an award and I’m super smiley but behind the scenes, there was stuff going on,” he added.

Kelly, however, said that he would much rather speak about “funny stuff” with Barrymore. “A lot of what I do is for other people and I haven’t given myself the time to just accept that it’s okay to not be okay.”

As he spoke, Barrymore looked on empathetically. The 46-year-old told him that she “likes him so much more” now that he opened up about his mental struggles. She also shared that she herself needed mental health intervention after her divorce from husband Will Kopelman after four years of marriage in 2016.

“I went through a really painful divorce and I wasn’t doing very well. I just wanted to go talk to some people and how to pull myself out of a hole and I had these two kids that I had to fight for and I needed help. I started reaching out to different people and eventually, I really made some big, sweeping changes in my life and I got on a whole new track — not back on track, but a brand new one that I helped build.”

Experts say that when one is feeling overwhelmed, or thinks they may not be doing so well mentally, they should ideally reach out to people, as opposed to caging and isolating their feelings. In January 2021, Kelly had tweeted that anxiety is “eating [him] alive”.

According to a People report, in December 2020, too, he had revealed that he was seeking therapy, during an interview with Interview magazine. “Currently, my drug of choice is happiness and commitment to the art, rather than commitment to a vice that I believed made the art. I’m taking steps. I had my first therapy session last Thursday. That’s the first time I ever went, ‘Hey, I need to separate these two people,’ which is Machine Gun Kelly and Colson Baker. The dichotomy is too intense for me,” he was quoted as saying then.

“The tools that I’ve been given to start with seem helpful, I think. I’m still kind of ripping my hair out. Why am I not changing overnight? How am I supposed to meditate for 10 minutes when I can’t even sit in my own brain for two minutes without distracting myself by doing something? That’s really hard,” he had said.

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