Earlier this year, Noah Kahan was chosen by TIME magazine for its TIME100 Next list of artists who are creating impactful work. Now, he’s making more of an impact by sharing the story of his mental health journey with the publication for this year’s World Mental Health Day.
Noah’s essay details his lifelong struggle with depression, anxiety and episodes of depersonalization, during which he feels dissociated from his body and that things around him aren’t real. He tried therapy and medication, but the growing pressures of his music career sent him into a downward spiral.
Finally, in 2020, when the music business temporarily shut down, the pressure was off, so Noah took control of his mental health by resuming medication and therapy. More importantly, he writes, “No one knew when the industry would come back, so I started to simply make music I loved again.”
“I made an album that brought me so much creative joy that for the few weeks we worked on it, I felt like I was floating,” he adds.
Noah says today, when people tell him that his music saved their lives, he disagrees. “The strength it takes to get through difficult moments and complicated challenges, mental and physical, comes from within,” he says.
The “Dial Drunk” singer says he still struggles, noting, “There is no perfect ending or conclusion in my journey with my mental health.” But thanks to therapy, meditation and the support of his friends and family, he now has “an arsenal to live a meaningful life, and to not be defined by the chemicals in my brain.”
Noah also created The Busyhead Project, which raises money for organizations specializing in mental health awareness and resources.
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