Lily Allen Talks Addiction, Mental Health Treatment

By David Konow 07/02/19

Allen recently revealed she spent time in a psychiatric ward. 

Lily Allen

British singer Lily Allen has been very open with the public about her struggles with addiction and mental health, and she’s now speaking out to The Guardian about her time in a psychiatric ward.

Allen acknowledged that the music industry isn’t the best environment to maintain your mental health. “I’m surprised I’m not dead,” she says today. “The music industry was a hedonistic place in the noughties. It was all about having fun and getting fucked up. People who indulge don’t generally come out the other side. Having children trigged responsibilities.”

Last year she told People, “I think it was age. Waking up on a tour bus, really hungover with makeup running—it’s not a good look when you’re 30. It’s okay when you’re 19!”

Allen also told The Guardian, “I chose sex over heroin. I didn’t realize [it] at the time. Addiction can manifest itself in all manners of ways. You use substances or sex to put a plaster over something else, like pain or fear. There are all manner of destructive things you can get up to.”

Allen Reveals That She's Living With Bipolar Disorder, PTSD

In 2017, Allen went public about living with bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after she had a stillborn child.

Allen also revealed that she spent three months in a psychiatric ward, which she says “wasn’t a positive experience at the time, but I came out of it slightly healthier than when I went in. I’d been trying to harm myself so I was under close supervision. One thing I learned while there was about the formative years and attachment parenting. Both my parents were busy when I was young so I try to make myself less busy for my children now.”

As Allen’s children get older, she’s concerned about how they will deal with social media, which is a psychological hazard many parents have to navigate today.

“I worry about Instagram for my daughters, because it makes young, impressionable girls feel their whole value is based on their looks. When the surefire way to increase your followers and likes is by taking your clothes off and piling on makeup, that’s what you’ll do because you want validation, just like every teenager.”

Lily In A Parallel Dimension

Acknowledging she’s had a messy life, the singer quipped, “I hope the other Lily Allen in a parallel dimension is doing well. I think she lives in Cornwall, works as a florist supplying flowers to boutique shops in London, and lives in a lovely house with her children.”

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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.