Robbie Williams on mental health and addiction
by Laura Forsyth
Robbie Williams has spoken candidly about his struggles with mental health which caused him to spiral into addiction – and fear for his life.
While relying on alcohol during his low points, the star realised that had to take action or he ‘was going to die’.
The multi-award-winning singer added that his social anxiety was so extreme that he didn’t leave the house for three years.
Robbie appeared on the Weight Watchers’ Wellness That Works podcast, which was themed around mental health.
Weight Watchers’ ambassador Robbie reflected on some of the challenges he has experienced during his career and revealed how he has overcome them.
He said: ‘Where my mental health led me to was addiction.
‘I didn’t realise I was filling in my own blanks, so I never feel like I’m enough; I don’t feel thin enough, good looking enough, charismatic enough, funny enough.
‘I want to fit in and found alcohol filled in all of those blanks… then it became a crutch and I became dependent on it and it overtook my life which invariably, it will with people. I didn’t know it was happening at the time, because you don’t, you know that after the event. It takes you an awful long time to take care of that mess.
‘I got social anxiety so extreme I didn’t leave the house for three years. Then when I came to trying to leave the house, I didn’t know how to be amongst people. I didn’t know how to have a conversation, I just really struggled.’
On how he managed to turn things around
The Angels singer was inspired to share his experiences to help other people open up about their own mental health struggles.
Robbie said: ‘Take it in small steps. You can only get bucked off the horse so many times, daily, secondly, minutely, but you just keep getting back on the horse and then your percentage of who you are, where you are and how you feel about yourself and life will get better and better but it’s a hard journey.’
He continued: ‘We have come on leaps and bounds with how the public perceive what’s going on with mental health.
‘It’s a much healthier place to be. People are very open and talking about what’s going on for them and their minds, and their mental health. It’s basically the start of the process of talking about this stuff, and I’m very proud and happy to be in a society that is now getting to grips with what this is.’
Now he is now in one of the most positive stages of his life and believes he owes that to his wife and children.
Robbie added: ‘I have to say my ‘Golden’ era is right now and I have had several golden eras with my wife. I just started filling my shoes with me – I’m 45, and it’s taken that long.
‘The second 20 years of your life are spent sorting out thefirst 20 years. Thanks to the WW programme I’ve got myself in a better shape than I was in January and it’s made me be able to indulge in a bit of eccentric dress wear.’
The WW Wellness that Works podcast is a fun and motivational podcast for anyone who wants to build healthy habits – whether that means eating better, moving more, shifting your mindset or all of the above.