Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach: Mental Illness Discussion Should Be as ‘Common as a Sprained Ankle or Bruise’
Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach has been in the spotlight onstage with his band of late, but he was front and center for a different kind of gathering last week at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, England, opening up about his struggle with mental illness. While he may have impacted some of those in the room, the singer wants to keep the message going beyond the evening and decided to take his message to social media.
Leach posted a photo of himself not long after he woke up with the hashtagged message #IAmBrokenToo. "This photo was taken right as I woke up today (very much feeling the jet lag). I feel this picture better showcases a more honest and sober face. Still have some sleep on me in this one, but my eyes they tell the deeper and silent story. ・・・ This is the face of some one with a mental illness," explained Leach.
He continued, "You are not alone. I too have #Anxiety #SuicidalThoughts #Depression and #Addictions. I do and say things 'out of character' when I am mentally 'high or low' it’s just part of the distinction of the illness."
The vocalist says, "I shared a part of my soul with you that 99.9 percent of people don’t know about me. I truly hope you walked away with some love, hope and determination in your hearts. For us that struggle and suffer with mental illness everyday is a battle. So to those who understand, are willing to listen and are willing to try to understand I salute you! Please keep the conversation going! Let’s make mental illness as common as a sprained ankle or a bruise. It’s shouldn’t be a taboo or shunned topic, it needs to be 'normalized' and treated like the 'illness' it is. To help prevent suicide please be there for friends, ask for help, and don’t make anyone feel alienated or ostracized for having depressive or manic thoughts...it’s Ok to NOT BE OK!"
Leach offered a second posting as well (seen below), in which he added, "I am no role model and I mess up a lot. I’ve got my issues and flaws like anyone but I at least try to be honest about it and dispel the whole 'rock star' thing as it doesn’t suit me for many reasons. My friends and fans keep me going and I write my lyrics not just to express myself but in the hopes someone out there hears it and it helps them with their struggles. So thank you, thank you all for understanding and supporting me and my music."
Having just finished up a tour leg overseas, Killswitch Engage will return stateside in September for a one-off show at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Ct. on Sept. 15. An Australian tour will follow for the band in late October and early November. See dates here.
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