Beach Boy Brian Wilson has been open about his struggles with mental illness for many years

By Tomás Mier
June 06, 2019 05:35 PM
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Steve Thorne/Redferns

Brian Wilson is postponing his upcoming tour to focus on his mental health.

The Beach Boys legend shared an emotional letter to his website on Thursday in which he announced that he will be taking the time to address his well being.

“I had every intention to do these shows and was excited to get back to performing,” he wrote. “I’ve been in the studio recording and rehearsing with my band and have been feeling better. But then it crept back and I’ve been struggling with stuff in my head and saying things I don’t mean and I don’t know why. Its something I’ve never dealt with before and we can’t quite figure it out just yet.”

Wilson, 76, was set to go on June’s Pet Sounds and Greatest Hits Live tours, but wrote that “it’s not good for me to be on the road right now.”

“It is no secret that I have been living with mental illness for many decades,” he wrote. “There were times when it was unbearable but with doctors and medications I have been able to live a wonderful, healthy and productive life with support from my family, friends and fans who have helped me through this journey.”

Fans shared their support for the singer online.

“Thank you for your vulnerability,” one user tweeted. “Mental illness is too often shushed, especially for men, but having role models like you express themselves openly only helps us all extend love and mercy to ourselves and seek the help we need.”

The “Surfin’ USA” crooner has been open about his struggles with mental illness throughout his life. In his 2016 autobiography I Am Brian Wilson, he delved deep into his battles with mental health, drug abuse and a difficult childhood.

“Lots of the music I’ve made has been my way of trying to get rid of these voices,” the “God Only Knows” composer wrote in the book.

RELATED ARTICLE: Beach Boy Brian Wilson Details Struggle with the ‘Voices’ Inside His Head After Troubled Childhood

After a psychedelic experience during his youth, he began hearing voices that told him that he was “weak,” “worthless,” and threatened to kill him.

To treat his mental health, the singer began to see controversial psychotherapist Eugene Landy in the 1970s. Landy exploited and controlled many aspects of the singer’s life before being relieved of his role in the ’90s. The complex singer-therapist relationship was the focus of the 2015 biopic Love & Mercy.

The Beach Boys
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In Thursday’s letter, the singer also spoke about three back surgeries he has undergone in the past year, saying that he is “physically stronger than I’ve been in a long time.”

“After my last surgery, I started feeling strange and it’s been pretty scary for awhile,” he elaborated. “I was not feeling like myself. Mentally insecure is how I’d describe it.”

Despite his struggles, Wilson ensured fans that he will be back.

“I’m looking forward to my recovery and seeing everyone later in the year,” he wrote. “The music and my fans keep me going and I know this will be something I can AGAIN overcome.”

The musical genius signed the letter, “Love & Mercy.”

Wilson is still set to go on tour alongside the Zombies this fall.

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