Kesha Talks Mental Health, Eating Disorders & Cyberbullying

By David Konow 05/23/17

“I knew I was destroying my body with my eating disorder, but the message I was getting was that I was doing great."


While social media can be a forum for trolling and bullying, many have also found it to be a positive forum to post their emotional troubles and look for support from others. It’s certainly been a hard balance for pop star Kesha, who feels that much of what has been written about her on social media drove her depression and anxiety, and helped fuel her eating disorder as well.

Back in 2009, Kesha broke through with her debut album, Animal, which went to #1 on the charts. She also co-wrote hits for Flo Rida (“Right Round”) and Pitbull (“Timber”). In later years however, Kesha has been at war with her former producer, Dr. Luke, who she claimed in a lawsuit had “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally” abused her. (Dr. Luke countersued, and recently lost his job at Sony’s Kemosabe label.)

Now Kesha has written a personal essay for Teen Vogue, where she blasts internet trolling. She’s especially disgusted that the cyber world has taken bullying to another level, saying it makes the bullying she suffered when she was younger “almost quaint" compared with what goes on today.

“The amount of body-shaming and baseless slut-shaming online makes me sick,” she writes. “I know from personal experience how comments can mess up somebody’s self-confidence and sense of self-worth. I have felt so unlovable after reading cruel words written by strangers who don’t know a thing about me.”

She also felt that social media was a catalyst to her eating disorder, which she went to rehab for in 2014.

“The sick irony was that when I was at some of my lowest points in my life, I kept hearing how much better I looked,” she writes. “I knew I was destroying my body with my eating disorder, but the message I was getting was that I was doing great.”

Yet now Kesha says she’s “changed my relationship with social media. I love it because it’s how I communicate with my fans—and nothing means more to me than my fans—but too much of it can exacerbate my anxiety and depression.”

Like other celebrities, Kesha has “made a pledge to take more breaks from social media and screens,” and the most important lesson she’s learned is “taking the time to work on yourself requires bravery. Trying to change your life based on other people’s thoughts can drive you crazy.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.