Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach: ‘Knowing That I’m Not Alone’ Helps With Mental Health
In recent years, the subject of mental health has been brought more to the forefront, and one of the more open musicians in speaking about his own issues has been Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach. The vocalist recently taped a video interview for Heart Support, an organization that has provided a community for those dealing with mental health issues, in which he speaks about his battle.
Leach revealed that he has dealt with anxiety and suicidal thoughts in the past, going so far as to reveal that he had gotten "romantically in love with the idea of killing himself" during a particularly down period around 2008-2009. But it wasn't until he challenged his own preconceived notions of seeking help that things started to turn. "I was kind of raised with the idea that you don't really talk about that stuff," states Leach. "Going to see a therapist is not an insane thing. It's not something that should be abnormal."
"On paper, if you were to look at my life, you'd say — and I've gotten this from people — where, 'You have such a good life. You're living your dreams. You're doing everything you wanna do. Why are you sad? How dare you say that, oh, you're not feeling well?' or this and that. And I think for me, as I've gotten older, it's gotten a bit worse, but because I've reached out, because I've gotten help, because I speak about it, I meet people who are the same as me, or even worse off than me, it's helped me to develop tools to push through and to not feel alone. And I think that's huge. If I were to say anything, that's probably the biggest thing."
He adds, "It's just a matter, for me, of keeping the conversation on the table, constantly talking about it, and the more we talk about it, the more it evolves. Honestly, that can save lives, and I think that's why, for me, it's so important."
Leach also revealed one other outlet that has helped him deal with his issues and that's exercise. During work on a Times of Grace album, the singer recalled spotting a mangled bike outside the studio and taking that bike and fixing it up. Riding the bike reminded him of his youth and better times and started to help with his mindset. In the years since, cycling has become a bigger part of his life and part of his coping in difficult times.
"Because of what I've been through and because of the language I've developed and what with the people who've surrounded me, I see a light where I didn't see a light before," says the singer.
Watch the video in full below and for those looking for a place to speak about what they're going through with mental health issues, Leach suggests the forum at Heart Support that can be found here.
Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach Discusses Mental Health With HeartSupport
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