Justin Bieber opens up about the struggles of childhood fame and drug addiction

Justin Bieber has posted a lengthy explanation for his “terrible decisions,” while also drawing eyes to his own battles with mental health issues and drug use over his years of rising to fame. 

Details

The 25-year-old star who grew up in Stratford, Ontario, shared intimate details about his upbringing and how fame led him into a cycle of disappointment and dread.

“My whole world was flipped on its head,” Bieber wrote in an Instagram post. He said he “started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships,” leading him to become “resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry … i was hiding behind, a shell of a person that i had become.”

Life as a 13-year-old boy who posted videos on YouTube was upended by his meteoric rise to fame, he said, adding that his parents were also only 18, without money and maturity, when he was born.

“Have u noticed the statistics of child stars and the outcome of their life (sic),” Bieber wrote. “There is an insane pressure and responsibility put on a child who’s brain, emotions, frontal lobes (decision making) aren’t developed yet.“If you look at kids exposed to early life adversity … they become more vulnerable to addictive properties of mind-altering substances, more impulsive,” he said, adding that how the brain interprets rewards and regulates behaviours would also be altered. “He probably wakes up at 19 or 20 and says ‘the person I have become is not who I am.“By 20, I made every bad decision you could have thought of and went from one of the most loved and adored people in the world to the most ridiculed, judged and hated person in the world,” he wrote.

Identity Crisis

Steve Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, said celebrities discovered at a young age can’t help but face an identity crisis.

“It is a challenging social minefield a lot of these famous people walk through,” he said. “He’ll either have to find a way to enjoy the new personality so to speak or to find a way of recovering the previous one and having the two co-exist.”

Bieber was raised by a single mom in social housing and his father only came back into his life after Bieber became a global phenomenon.

“People are coming at you with expectations, not necessarily about doing the best for the sake of the real Justin Bieber,” Joordens said.

As he grew up, Bieber says he failed to learn how to act responsibly. With people doing everything for him, he turned “18 with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted,” he wrote. “The life you knew has just disappeared and its been replaced by the circus,” he said.

 

Michaella Vanderkooi

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