Singer JoJo On Mental Health: I Named My Depression Burlinda

By Victoria Kim 08/31/18

In a recent Instagram post, the pop star described the self-destructive habits that fueled her depression and anxiety.

Photo via Instagram

Depression and anxiety affects millions of Americans—and celebrities are not immune. Recently Noah Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande and Emma Stone were among a slew of young artists who’ve been public about their inner struggles.

Now, singer JoJo (born Joanna Levesque) expanded on her experience with depression—which she nicknamed “Burlinda”—in a recent Instagram post.

In the caption accompanying a candid photo of herself, the “Too Little Too Late” singer announced that she will log off of Instagram “for the week to see how it impacts my mental/emotional state.”

“There’s no peace inside the anxious mind. Sporadically, for years, depression and anxiety have convinced me I’m unworthy of love, patience, (real) self-care, and forgiveness. Made me question if I’m ‘good enough’ to do anything consistently. Made it hard to follow through and to have healthy long-lasting romantic relationships without sabotaging them,” the 27-year-old singer wrote.

Levesque described the self-destructive habits that fueled her depression/void, named Burlinda. “In so many ways I’ve invited [Burlinda] to stick around… feeding her instantly gratifying treats that keep her growing… late night food binges, mind-altering substances, gossip, sex, comparing my life to what I see my peers doing on social media, etc.”

JoJo’s next steps include “changing habits that no longer serve me, reclaiming my time, re-evaluating the relationships in my life.”

“I love to sing and perform more than anything I’ve ever loved and I’ve always wanted to be the soundtrack to your lives,” she wrote. “But sometimes I feel paralyzed. Time for a reset. I deserve me at my best. So do you.”

In past interviews, JoJo addressed her parents’ history of alcoholism and addiction, as well as her own struggles with drinking.

“(My 2015 single) ‘Save My Soul’ is a song about addiction, and I grew up seeing addiction very close to me: Both my parents have struggled with it. So as a kid, you don’t kinda know when the bottom is going to fall through or what’s gonna happen next,” she said.

The song is “about feeling powerless, and I’ve struggled with addiction in different forms, whether it’s addiction to love, to a person who’s not good for you, to food, to negative feelings,” she said.

She, too, has been down dark paths. “I’ve definitely abused alcohol; I’ve been depressed. You can just kind of go down a black hole and find yourself addicted to almost anything,” she said.

“For a while, I coped by drinking too much. I wanted to get out of my mind. I wanted to stop picking myself apart. I just wanted to feel good, to chase that high. I wanted to stop worrying about my career.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr