Shawn Mendes is not only back with new music, but has opened up about his secret battle with anxiety.
The 19-year-old’s anxiety first came to fruition during his first headlining tour. The first single, In My Blood, from his new self-titled album features the lyrics “Laying on the bathroom floor, feeling nothing / I’m overwhelmed and insecure, give me something” — a reference to his battle with anxiety, he says, which began around his 18th birthday.
“I was so worried people were going to be like, ‘This kid’s always sad,'” Mendes told Vulture. Instead, “People I haven’t spoken to in years were texting and emailing me being like, ‘Dude, this is so important that you did this.'”
“I was in such a bad head space,” he recalls of those early years. “It’s so overwhelming to be successful. And that sounds like such a sh*tty thing to say. But it’s like, how do you keep it going? How do you sustain success when you don’t even really know why you’re successful? Dude, it was the worst. I’d break down in tears once a week. I used to think everybody was out to get me.”
In his other single, Youth, he issues a call to the hopeless to resist the urge to despair, but has also referenced it as being an anthem against gun violence.
There’s nothing holding him back, anymore!
Shawn Mendes’ self-titled album is out today.