Jon Bon Jovi health: ‘It was not pretty’- star on past mental health struggles

Prince Harry joins Jon Bon Jovi at Abbey Road Studios

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The 60-year-old, who fronts the rock band Bon Jovi, has been open about how he has struggled with his mental health in the past. For three years, starting around 2013, the singer felt the “weight of the world” was on his shoulders, after guitarist Richie Sambora shockingly left the band after 30 years and a row emerged with the record label. However, one constant in his life was Hurley, who he met while they were still in high school.

“It was a very, very difficult time that I haven’t fully rebounded from yet but my wife has been phenomenal,” Bon Jovi explained in one interview back in 2016.

“Without her, I am not sure how I would have coped.”

Having the support of his loving wife, this was not the first time Bon Jovi struggled with his mental health. Like many who face the pressure of fame and fortune, at the height of his career the star was exhausted and suffered from a breakdown.

Back in 1991 when driving on the Pacific Coast Highway on his way to see a psychologist, the Livin’ on a Prayer singer contemplated jumping out of the moving car due to the amount of pain he was in.

When asked why things got so bad during this time and how they compared to more recent struggles, the star replied: “I am not ready to share it in full but it was not pretty.

“But I am working towards it. It was similar to that period in retrospect.

“I found acting at that time which gave me a release. There was no release this time around but there were just as much difficulties.” (sic)

Recently, ahead of one of his USA shows, the singer revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic also had an effect on his mental state.

Having tested positive for the virus himself back in October 2021, he stated that he was “grateful” to have overcome it with “minor scratches and bruises” but was initially worried that it would have impacted his singing voice.

He said: “When I got it, I couldn’t have sung for at least two weeks. That was the biggest thing for me.”

Calling it a humbling experience, Bon Jovi said the illness made him realise “how volatile we are and how fragile life is”. He added: “It didn’t matter if you were young or old, American or Egyptian, no matter who you were or where you were from, the Covid pandemic affected you.”

Despite his “tumultuous” past battles, Bon Jovi has been able to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” with the band having played numerous gigs in 2022 across America before the sad news of Such’s death.

Mental health can affect anyone and in several different ways. Although a nervous breakdown isn’t professionally recognised as a medical condition, it can be characterised by a time that individuals feel an “overwhelming amount of stress, anxiety or depression”.

The Mayo Clinic explains that signs of a nervous breakdown vary from person to person and depend on the underlying cause. Generally, it is understood that the person is struggling to function normally. For example, they may:

  • Call in sick to work for days or longer
  • Avoid social engagements and miss appointments
  • Have trouble following healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and hygiene.

These are all common traits of both anxiety and depression, two of the most common mental health conditions in the UK. A nervous breakdown also commonly occurs in periods of heightened or chronic stress, which can also cause adverse effects on an individuals physical health.

Although a certain level of stress is an essential part of our body’s “fight or flight” response system, long-term stress can actually cause serious health problems. Symptoms of stress include nagging feelings of worry, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.

Dr McClymont, Lead GP at Livi explains that stress can lead to numerous physical symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Digestive problems
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive.

As hormones released from the pituitary gland such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline also raise blood pressure when there is a threat of an immediate stressor, those with chronic stress may suffer from constant high blood pressure, putting them at risk of a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

Everyone is different but it is important to know when to recognise when your mental health is not right and seek appropriate help. Doctors and medical professionals will be able to assist individuals with self-help techniques, therapy and medication depending on their needs.

Mind, a leading mental health charity in the UK also recommends individuals start talking to someone they trust, whether this is a family member, friend or colleague. It may be that just having someone listen and show they care can help in itself.

For confidential support call Samaritans 24-hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123 or email via [email protected].

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