Bebe Rexha reveals that she’s bipolar: ‘I didn’t understand why I felt so sick’

Bebe Rexha has been carving out a career as a songwriter and singer for almost a decade but she’s only just recently come on my radar. My daughter and I play I’m a Mess in the car all the time. Other than her minor dress drama leading up to the Grammys, I didn’t know anything about her. I do now, though, because she just opened up on social media about her mental health. On Monday, Bebe posted the video above to her Instagram, thanking her fans for their support. She said:

Alright, so I’ve never done this before but, I don’t know, I wanted to do a video. and this video is just me saying thank you to all of you guys out there who are following me and supporting me. I just feel it’s like it would be the right thing to do since you put your time and effort into, I don’t know, into my music and my art. And That means everything to me. So, I’m trying to be more grateful because sometimes you can be caught up in the number on the weighing scale and the number in your bank account and the chart positions and you can get super competitive and I don’t want to be caught in my life like that. So today I’m grateful for all my fans and for all the people who believed in me and supported me So, I guess, thank you very much if you’re watching this. That’s it.

That’s a nice message, especially what she said about not wanting to be caught in her life like that. I often let things that shouldn’t consume me and forget about nurturing the things and people around that I should. And this is, apparently, not the only thing Bebe and I share. Following that video on Instagram, Bebe dropped a series of tweets announcing that she’d felt sick for a while and couldn’t figure out why. Now she knows it’s because she’s bipolar and does not want to feel ashamed anymore.

I know exactly how Bebe felt. It can be slightly overwhelming to receive a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. but there is also a huge sense of relief to have an answer for what’s been going on. You no longer feel like you are somehow broken. That’s not to say a diagnosis makes it all better, but it’s a lot easier to process.

The part of her announcement I relate to the most is what she said about not wanting sympathy but just for people to accept her as she is. I am also pretty excited for her next album. Writing is so very cathartic to a person with bipolar and if she allowed herself to go with whatever she was feeling, that album will probably be pretty intense.

I’m glad Bebe specified she wasn’t going to be ashamed anymore. She shouldn’t be, none of us should, we can’t help who we are. But the best way to help those with the disorder move forward in life is letting them know that there are others out there who live and feel as they do. It’s not a fun disorder but there is nothing to be ashamed of and I’m glad Bebe put that out there. I imagine Bebe’s announcement, and more importantly her acceptance, will mean so much to her bipolar fans.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos, Instagram and Twitter

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15 Responses to “Bebe Rexha reveals that she’s bipolar: ‘I didn’t understand why I felt so sick’”

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  1. Eliza says:

    Bipolar disorder takes an average of 10 years to diagnose. I’m glad she has the knowledge and with that I hope the proper support for her mental health. I’m glad she’s just stating it as fact, no stigma.

    • Kristen820 says:

      I feel like even a lot of shrinks don’t fully grasp how many subtypes of the disorder there are, let alone how they manifest.

      I knew at 14 that I was bipolar. I was repeatedly misdiagnosed for 20 years. Even then, I was only taken seriously when an immediate family member was diagnosed.

      And, no. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! Yes, I have to take daily meds for it. Just like my UC (a “real” illness). It’s no different.

      “Of course it’s all in your head, Harry. Whyever should that mean it isn’t real?”

      • wanderingBy says:

        Plus the definition has shifted a lot over the years. A loved one of mine was Bipolar Spectrum II (which is just depressive, without the manic side) and it took so long for him to get help, and he died by suicide after a bad med reaction less than a year after his diagnosis. In some ways I wish the medical understanding was 20 years more advanced — it seems like with brain imaging and better chemistry they’re making such huge strides in understanding brain health, but it wasn’t enough yet to save him.

        I just love the language in her tweets, and Hecate’s reaction — it can be a really scary diagnosis, but she’s right, she shouldn’t be ashamed. And it doesn’t need to be quiet.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      With all the medical advancement and increased knowledge, depression and bipolar are amongst my first rule-outs. I think a lot of professionals don’t start with bipolar and they should. It’s a fairly “common” disorder, why discount it?

  2. Monicack says:

    This entire post made me legit cry. Even the strongest among us sometimes suffer iin silence. Let’s be compassionate. Let’s be kind.

  3. Shelby says:

    A lot of celebrities are coming out as bipolar but I wonder if they are actually treating it. Finding the right medication can take years and nearly all of the medications for bipolar cause significant weight gain, along with feeling flat, extremely tired and loss of creativity. I am bipolar myself and have put on 20 pounds from my meds. Before the current medication that I am on I took one that made me sleep all day and made me feel like a literal zombie. Celebrities only talk about the creative highs that come with bipolar when in fact the treatment for the disease revolves around getting rid of those.

    • Cdnkitty says:

      I’ve been wondering this too – my stbx went off his meds and never went back on and 4 years later I just couldn’t take the relationship anymore, which included his behaviour and choices. BP can be managed well, but I feel like the allure of the high sways some from not medicating and therefore living a more challenging life.

  4. JanetFerber says:

    I like her honesty and openness. I also like her music, her style, and her insane beauty. Wishing her only the best. Peace.

    • Embee says:

      You said what I came to say! I love this girl she is a ray of light. I’m thrilled for her that she has the help she needs to manage her bipolar and I look forward to her upcoming music!

  5. lucy2 says:

    I don’t know much about her, but I applaud her talking about this publicly to help chip away at stigmas. Best of luck to her.

  6. Victoria says:

    I hate this blonde color on people who can’t pull it off.

    Glad she’s open about mental health.

  7. shocked and appalled says:

    No one “is” bipolar. This is stigmatizing language. There is more to a person than their diagnosis. That’s like saying the disease is your identity. You aren’t “cancer” or “arthritis.” She is a person “with” bipolar disorder. It’s a common mistake people make – I have a friend who is a meditation teacher who speaks of his recent diagnosis like this. But, it’s dangerous and we should train ourselves out of it.

    • ew says:

      she comes out with an honest statement and you accuse her of using dangerous stigmatizing language? cool and productive!!

    • LadyD says:

      No, actually shocked is right on the money. It’s only in the last year or two that I really understood the difference. People shouldn’t be called autistic or bipolar as if that defines who they are as individuals.

      We need to retrain our way of thinking to separate the illness/disease from the person. A child with autism, someone with bipolar depression,…etc.., A simple change in the way you call it changes the way you perceive it.

      She is someone with an illness – bipolar I or II, just like she could be someone with hypertension or kidney disease.

      • wanderingBy says:

        Actually, in the autism community, a lot of people are reclaiming “autistic” because they feel like it’s such a central part of their personality that it would be stigmatizing to use “person with” language. And a lot of people find “having autism” is easier to say. As with pronouns, sometimes it’s best just to ask, and to recognize it might be fluid?