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Adam Lambert: ‘Staying in your own head is isolating’

Mr. Nimbus | 01/05/2023

Ahead of the release of his latest album, High Drama, Grammy-nominated international superstar Adam Lambert has opened up about his own mental health, on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast. While Adam has openly supported mental health campaigns, taking part in ITV’s Britain Get Singing in support of their Britain Get Talking campaign this December, his appearance on the podcast marks Adam’s first time talking publicly about his struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, and his own mental health journey.

You can listen to Adam’s episode, which was released in December 2022, here:

On his own anxiety:

“I had my fair share of different anxiety triggers over the years, but I didn’t know to call it that. I didn’t realise that is what I was dealing with. I thought I was just busy or stressed and the more I started reading about things and then doing some therapy and talking to people, I was like ‘oh wow, I have anxiety.’”

“One of the things that’s difficult is you’re on tour and you want to deliver at the same level every night, and if some night you’re feeling a little bit off or down or not as much energy, you start beating yourself up.”

“I think early on, with the Queen stuff and with touring on my own, with all this anxiety that I was dealing with, the other thing I was using to deal with it, probably incorrectly, was alcohol. I was drinking too much. It never got to the point where I felt like I was out of control. It’s just a fine line of how much is too much.”

“I think one of the things I realised about all of it, is that part of the issue is that staying in your own head is isolating. If you’re isolating yourself, you’re not doing yourself any favours for this issue. So, like Britain Get Talking says, the more I talk with other people about how they feel, all of a sudden I feel a lot better.”

“And I started getting really in my head during performances and being really hard on myself. But what was happening was, instead of being that clear, I was projecting that anxiety onto an inanimate object, which was the sound mix. I was displacing actually looking in the mirror at myself and putting it on something I could blame and control, putting it on something that was outside of me. And I didn’t realise it for years. But I found out, in doing some therapy and stuff, this is common, in many cases, for people that aren’t entertainers too, to find something outside of you, cause you don’t want to deal with looking in the mirror, and that’s self-protective.’

On the pressures of his career:

“The expectation that the public starts to have about you, that puts a lot on your plate. And I think the thing that stressed me out a lot in the first few years was ‘is this going to be taken away from me at any moment?’ It was this anxiety that the rug was going to be pulled out from under me before I realised it and I was just going to be humiliated, and that was the fear I had. That was something I had to get clear on, you can’t control everything.”

“During the pandemic, my perspective shifted a little bit, in a good way. I think I became clearer on what my priorities were personally and how to better balance that in my own mind. Things can happen where you have success, and you feel really great and then maybe something doesn’t work out and if you’re not careful and you’re putting too much of your own identity and worth in your career and you can’t really control it, when those mishaps happen, you can’t let that tear you apart. You have to figure out a way to function.”

On having panic attacks:

“I started getting really dizzy, like these spells where all of a sudden, I would feel like I was about to pass out. And it was such a puzzle to try and figure out, because I saw a couple of doctors and no one could pinpoint what was wrong. I just didn’t understand it. And it was scary, because these little spells would come over me out of nowhere, for no reason and I felt like I was going to pass out. I was doing a TV show here in London and I was talking and like, and there was a little video package they were showing of a cancer patient, something sad, and I just almost fainted.”

“Every time I had heard about a panic attack, or knew people who got them, it was more of a hyperventilating thing, for me it was just like, I’m going to faint.”

“I’m on Rodeo Drive, on a gurney, getting wheeled into an ambulance, like ‘what is going on’… the doctor comes back to me and he’s like, your magnesium levels are dangerously low. I started doing more research and talking to a doctor and it’s interesting because your magnesium levels can get shot because of dehydration, also stress and lack of sleep. It was like a perfect storm of all of these things going on.”

On being on Medication:

On performing: “I started feeling like this isn’t fun, I’m not enjoying this because I’m completely stressed out about the technical side of it and it’s pulling me out the moment and I’m not having fun. I started recognising this, I started talking to somebody and then I went on medication for anxiety.”

“My doctor prescribed an SSRI, maybe seven years ago, and when you first go on it, you’re really tired and it’s a strange adjustment, and then once I levelled out, I realised I was such a good mood all the time, I was really relaxed and when I started going on stage, this loop in my head was so much quieter.”

“I had to feel that adjustment, to really recognise what was going on. I realised, this was a form of anxiety that I was unwilling to call anxiety for so many years, but clearly with an anxiety medication I’m feeling much freer, way more comfortable, more relaxed. It was a big wake up.”

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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