‘I didn’t laugh for a long time’ – Singer Hayley Williams opens up about mental health
Paramore’s Hayley Williams has opened up about her mental health in an open and honest essay.
In an exclusive for PAPER, Williams reflects on mental health and the pressures that lead to a lot happening in a short time.
‘In the summer of 2015, I was an engaged, yellow-haired 26-year-old. There was a Grammy sitting on my kitchen counter and boxes everywhere from the move I’d made back home to Nashville after a few weird years in LA. I was going to get married that September, slow down some, plant a garden, have a kid, make another Paramore record. Everything was finally going to be perfect and I was going to live happily ever afte— Oh,’ she writes.
‘I woke up from that crash with one less bandmate… another fight about money and who wrote what songs. And I had a wedding ring on, despite breaking off the engagement only months before.
‘A lot happened within a short time. But then I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t laugh… for a long time. I’m still hesitant to call it depression. Mostly out of fear people will put it in a headline, as if depression is unique and interesting and deserves a click. Psychology is interesting. Depression is torment.’
Cats can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing
‘My cats save me every day,’ Harriet Williamson writes, ‘the therapeutic value of being able to cuddle and stroke them is huge.’
Williamson, who is Metro lifestyle reporter at the Metro, credits her cats with getting her through some of her darkest days.
‘My two cats aren’t trained therapy animals, but they provide an amazing source of comfort,’ she explains, and she is not alone.
In 2011, along with the Cats Protection, the Mental Health Foundation carried out a study and found that 87% of cat owners said having a feline friend had a positive impact on their wellbeing.
76% also said they coped better with everyday life thanks to the company of their cat.
Williamson herself said: ‘I don’t know how I’d cope on some of my darker days without my cats, and I’m not alone in feeling this way.’
Why are we all so stressed?
For mental health awareness week last month, the Mental Health Foundation revealed almost three quarters of people felt so stressed in the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
For an ‘alternative’ look at why we are all more stressed ShortList spoke to three accomplished people from very different back grounds.
Performance psychologist, Rob Robson, told the magazine: ‘I think it’s fair to say that in today’s society we have more going on. At work, we’re doing more with less while social media provides more information to handle and more social interactions – but often with lower quality.’
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