Juanes Reveals His Battle With Depression, Fans are Saying His Letter is a ‘Healing Balm’
The singer‘s post detailed his mental health issues throughout his career. Writing, “Professional success doesn’t guarantee happiness, nor does money.”
“Depression is a common disorder, more common than you think,” he wrote. “I personally have suffered from it for many years.”
While Juanes’s former manager alleged the star was “depressed” and considering quitting music back in 2012, the singer stayed quiet about his battles until recently.
The “Camisa Negra” singer explained, “Feeling vulnerable makes me stronger. To be able to openly talk about my problems and insecurities doesn’t make me a coward or weak.”
Adding, “All of us, absolutely all of us, carry a problem, a personal sadness, pain or frustration, no matter our social class, religion or profession.”
Juanes said it has “taken him many years” to write to his fans about his depression
In his Instagram post, the “Me enamora” singer said he spent many years waiting to be happy once he reached different goals. However, he realized he just needed to “enjoy the process.”
“We spend all our lives thinking that we will be happy once we have something,” he described. “But when that thing arrives, we aren’t happy either,” he wrote. “Our entire lives disappear that way, working to achieve what we dream of, but forgetting to enjoy the process.”
Speaking about his battle with depression, the singer admitted he “has to deal with genetic and chemical factors from a long time ago.” Still, it seems like his music career only intensified what he felt. “I went from being an extremely introverted person,” he recalled, “to having to confront acceptance, rejection, hate, and social and work pressures.”
While talking about how crucial it is to “talk about what you feel” with someone you trust, Juanes also shared a personal story. Namely, how 13 years ago, he “suffered one of the strongest blows in his life.”
“I was at the peak of my career, hundreds of concerts, at first sight a perfect and enviable life,” he remembered. “But inside, I was destroyed, disillusioned, and tired.”
He also said he “lost key moments when his children,” all in order to “please the rest of the world.”
He also described how he had issues telling people “no,” at least in regard to his career. “I never had the strength to say: ‘I’m tired, I need some time.'”
“I always thought I could do it,” he recalled. “That way of thinking brought me to a nervous collapse that made me abruptly stop all my activities to be at home with my kids.”
He now calls that moment “the best decision he made in his life.”
The singer recalled how some people made him think he was “crazy,” and he turned to alcohol
While the “Es Por Ti” star kept his family close, some people around him made him think he was “crazy” for his disorder.
“Some people around me, very few, made me think I was crazy, that I needed a psychologist, and that it wasn’t normal for me to experience this.”
He then turned to alcohol: “I looked for help in alcohol to try to numb myself and keep going. The result was worse.”
“I got to a moment of exhaustion that I hated seeing myself in the mirror,” he revealed. “[Or] listen to my music, see myself in a magazine, and most painfully, I didn’t enjoy being onstage.”
Still, Juanes eventually decided to focus on the people that really mattered to him, and find solace in them. “I told my mom, my wife, my siblings, and my closest loved ones that I was thinking of taking a break.”
“Almost everyone’s response was beautiful: ‘Rest, Juan, we need you mentally and emotionally healthy.'” And that he did.
This time period seems to line up with the 2010 release of his album “P.A.R.C.E.,” which was a far cry from his past commercial successes.
Juanes explained to Rolling Stone this year, “When ‘P.A.R.C.E.’ came out, I was going through a very dark period of my life, mainly in the creative side.”
“I think it’s my worst record,” he told the outlet. “It’s definitely an average record. I was in the dirt, I was very depressed, I smoked a lot, I drank a lot. I was broken.”
Still, at the time, the artist didn’t feel that he could be open about depression. He explained in his IG post, “Remember, success didn’t allow depression or sadness in those times. Your life had to be perfect. Today, fortunately, times have changed.”
“Remember, everyone can suffer from depression, and talking about it is a good way to start battling this silent, powerful disorder that can end our lives. Don’t doubt asking for help if you need it.”
“I still haven’t overcome depression, but I manage it much better,” he said. “And I can say I am happier and more successful than ever in my life.”
“You can do it also,” he added.
Now, many fans are coming out in support of the singer, thanking him for his bravery. As one X user described, “The part in Juanes’s letter talking about depression where he says, ‘I hate seeing myself in the mirror’ described me, too. I didn’t like seeing myself in photos.”
Another X user said the letter “comforted her heart”:
Over in the singer’s comments section, people continue to relate to his struggles. “Thank you, Juanes. I suffer from [depression]. And it is a healing balm how you open your heart so others feel empathy.”
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