Pete Wentz On Being Bipolar, His Split from Ashlee Simpson
"At 31, we had all these great years as a band and then we took time off and I basically became Mr. Mom," Wentz said
After years of struggling with bipolar disorder, Pete Wentz has found a treatment plan that works for him – one that doesn’t include a prescription.
“I don’t take any medication,” he told HuffPost Live earlier this week. “I went to therapy … but I think the idea that there’s a one size fits all [solution] is one of those myths. Everybody figures themselves out in a different way.”
Now with his band, Fall Out Boy, back out on the road, Wentz is surrounded by a strong support system.
“We therapize each other,” he joked. “There’s no shame in talking about that kind of stuff, it’s not something that you should feel scared talking about.”
The band’s guitarist, Joe Trohman, hinted that the lack of communication between the members played a part in their hiatus, but lead vocalist Patrick Stump said they have finally found their groove.
“We’re all very comfortable discussing our collective health with each other,” he said. “I think that’s the thing we’ve made very cool with each other.”
Despite believing their relationship would be a “forever thing,” Wentz recalled the moment his marriage began to fall apart.
“At 31, we had all these great years as a band and then we took time off and I basically became Mr. Mom,” he said of caring for their son, Bronx Mowgli, whom the couple welcomed in 2008.
“I had the beard, the flannel shirt. I didn’t know what my identity was … when your identity is what you do, it’s hard when you stop doing it.”
It was then that Wentz began to grow out his beard and paid little attention to his personal appearance, causing the “vicious cycle” to snowball even further.
“It was the first time where I was like, ‘Well, no one’s really taking my picture. I’m just basically hanging out with my kid all day. Who cares?’ ” Wentz, 35, said. “I think when you stop caring about … your personal hygiene, it makes you even more depressed, but it makes you do it more.”
And between their young age – Wentz was 28 and Simpson was 23 when they wed – and having their marriage play out in the public eye, the musician said it was all just too much to overcome.
“I think there’s an important thing where you know how to fight because you can fight with somebody and it’s not the end of everything. But if you don’t know how to have those arguments, then they become nuclear,” he told Stern.
“You have people scrutinizing everything you do. ‘He cut his hair, it’s break-up hair.’ It’s like, ‘What? It’s a hair cut.’ It’s just insane.”
Following their split, Wentz went into a “panic” – and even considered quitting music – as he blamed the divorce on Simpson, a belief he now knows is unfair.
“I would be an idiot to think that I didn’t contribute to the unraveling [of our marriage]. Of course, at first, I’m like, ‘This sucks! You bailed on me!’ But you get perspective. We have a kid together. Our kid is awesome.”
Now Wentz has found happiness once again: He and Simpson have learned to co-parent in a “really good, healthy way,” and he and his girlfriend, model Meagan Camper, welcomed their first child together, son Saint Lazslo, in August.
But despite being “a man in love,” Wentz said he and Camper have no immediate plans to make it official.
“When you’re really committed to somebody, you know that you’re going to be with them, whether a ring changes that or not,” he said. “I do still believe in marriage. My parents are married. My sister is married. I am in love.”