Noah Cyrus on her Xanax addiction: emotionally, I was not there

Noah Cyrus really seemed like she was going through it over the past few years. It was a lot of little things, a vibe that was off, and it felt weird to talk or speculate about it because she was so young. And still is, she is only 22. In a new profile with Rolling Stone, Noah discusses her struggles with anxiety and depression, her Xanax addiction coming to a head in 2020, and of course, how her debut album was part of her recovery.

Her struggles with depression: “I had a really hard time being a part of a public family, and I struggled a bit with that, because it wasn’t exactly my first choice. I had a hard time with people coming up to me and saying, ‘Are you Miley Cyrus’ little sister?’ or ‘Are you Hannah Montana’s little sister?’ I did not like that, and it stripped me of my own identity for a long time.” Sometimes, she says, if people asked, she’d just answer no. As she started going through puberty, she developed body dysmorphia, something that was only exacerbated by the pressures of public life. She battled depression, and a light she felt she carried as a kid got pushed down, deeper and deeper.

Trying Xanax and becoming addicted: When she was 18, she tried downers for the first time “Once I felt that it was possible to silence things out for a second and numb your pain, it was over,” she says. A few of her friends at the time bit back comments about her drug abuse and “kind of cosigned it,” she says. What started recreationally morphed into a bleaker habit. “It just kind of becomes this dark pit, bottomless pit,” she says. She’d sleep all day and wake up at 8 p.m. She didn’t know which day was which, and her memory was slippery and unreliable.

The worst of the addiction and wake-up calls: By the time the pandemic hit in 2020, her substance-abuse problem was at its worst. The lowest and most alarming moment came during an international television interview: Cyrus was doing press after releasing The End of Everything in May, and she started to pass out mid-conversation. The loss of her grandmother Loretta, in August of that same year, was a bitter wake-up call. Cyrus didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye, and she wonders if she would have picked up the phone more often had she been more present. “I felt so guilty for not being there when my grandma died. I was there physically, but emotionally, I was not there. I couldn’t be,” she says. It also weighed on her that she’d shut herself off from her mother, Tish Cyrus, who was grieving.

On her recovery: “I was being helped by everybody that I needed help from, and it took some time to get on my own two feet,” she says. Music became the best kind of catharsis for her, and while she had some trepidation about sharing what she was going through, she almost couldn’t avoid it. “It was coming out in my lyrics,” she says. “So, it’s like, ‘I’m not going to hide my truth.’ I think it was evident that I was going through something the past couple years — I think my fans saw it. I think the public could see it.” She wanted to take the reins and tell the story herself.

[From Rolling Stone]

I always feel bad for younger children in showbiz families where the older sibling is extremely famous. It seems like an enormous amount of pressure and the constant need to “catch up.” From Noah’s description of herself it sounds like she was already a low-key kid uninterested in the frenzy of fame when her sister really blew up and it changed everything. And Noah is seven years younger so she spent a large part of her formative years being defined by this other person. The way she presents them, her struggles and the factors that led to her addition to Xanax make perfect sense, as does the feeling of wanting to “numb everything.” Her wake-up calls sound bad — the nearly publicized embarrassment of passing out during an interview, feeling that she wasn’t present for her grandmother/family when her grandmother died, and a racially charged exchange with Candace Owens — and she’s probably relieved they weren’t worse. It sounds like she’s in a much better place now and she’s healing by expressing herself through music. From a lot of what she said in the profile, it sounds like fame isn’t necessarily what she wants, so I do wonder about that.

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18 Responses to “Noah Cyrus on her Xanax addiction: emotionally, I was not there”

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  1. smegmoria says:

    Benzos are one of the scarier drugs. Coming off of them can kill you through seizures; being on them can make you a whole different person. I know. I’m glad she was able to get support to get sober.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      This. Glad she was able to get the help and support that she needed, and that she’s able to discuss what she was dealing with.

  2. L says:

    Glad she got help ❤️

  3. Twin Falls says:

    July got me through a long few months leading up to my separation. I hope she’s able to find peace with herself.

  4. Lucía says:

    She’s uninterested in fame? Could’ve fooled me. I’m glad she got clean, though. I can’t even imagine what addiction must be like.

  5. Imara219 says:

    I feel horrible for her. Addiction is no joke and the combination of having a celebrity sibling who was white hot has got to be unnerving. Her presence reads as someone happy with the alternative/indy art or creative scene. Someone who could give in those spaces but in a quieter way. I wish her luck on her journey.

  6. Lila says:

    I’m glad she’s in a better place. Her music is interesting and different. On the last album she hinted around struggling with being Miley’s sister and depression. It’ll be interesting to see those themes come out on the next album. Wishing her good things!

  7. whatWHAT? says:

    I have sympathy for what she had to deal with growing up, a “prettier” (in quotes because, she wasn’t AT ALL “ugly”, just didn’t resemble her sister) EXTREMELY famous older sibling and the pressure she must have felt. I would imagine that’s why she’s gotten so much facial work.

    however, I completely disagree that she’s not interested in fame. like Lohan’s little sister, she absolutely chased it but didn’t have the “it factor” that the older sister has. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her sing…can she?

    • kelleybelle says:

      No, she can’t. And I barely recognize her face now she’s had so much work done.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        honestly, her face looks painful, almost like it’s swollen. or like a mask.

    • SarahCS says:

      Didn’t Miley get her on stage at something when she was young (14?) and it really wasn’t good.

  8. Jojo says:

    She’s an amazing singer. I listen to July at least once a day.
    It makes sense she’s had work done if she struggles with body dismorphia. That and addiction… Not an easy feat.

  9. loi says:

    Is she part asian/native american?

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Damn. That one photo looks like she’s gonna squat for a wee. Wtf took these photos? I think they have a Xanax addiction. Somebody should’ve done her better than trying to put her addiction in a frame. I’m glad there’s another young face speaking to their demographic about addiction. For what it’s worth.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That first set of photos does her no kindness at all. Poor kid, so young & still with issues. I would hope she has no more of whatever she’s doing to her face. I kind of like that knit dress, the one with the ridiculous shoes. Nothing else to say, really, as she’s young & still rather unformed as a human being. Good luck to her.

  11. jferber says:

    Twin Falls, I feel for you and am glad you got through a hard couple of months that led to a major life change. I wish you peace, healing and joy in your future life.

  12. jferber says:

    I just listened to the song July by Noah Cyrus featuring Leon Bridges, and I must say, I was much more impressed with Leon Bridges than Noah Cyrus. Makes me want to listen to more of his music, which I will.

  13. jferber says:

    Wow! Leon Bridges’ music video Coming Home is fire! He is amazingly talented.