Like many celebrities, Jamie Foxx has admitted that life in the limelight isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Behind closed doors, he’s a real person with real issues just like the rest of us. Now, for the first time, Jamie Foxx is opening up about his own mental health scare. The “Unpredictable” singer recently sat down for an interview with Hip Hollywood where he opened up about the mental episodes he faced.
Jamie’s Health Scare:
The BET Awards host opened up about the dark period in his life where he battled alcoholism and drug abuse. Jamie, who recently celebrated his 50th birthday, revealed he almost lost it all during the early years of his career. He admitted that he’d use alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with his problems. While filming a role, Jamie also reflected on another inner struggle he’d dealt with since he was younger. “I was in a bad place because I felt like I might be literally losing my mind,” Jamie said. “I’ve always had a childhood fear of losing my mind. I needed someone to help bring me out of it.”
After undergoing treatment with a psychiatrist, Jamie finally got to the root of his problem. He discovered that he had “a deep-seated dread of mental illness that was exacerbated by an incident when he was 18, when his drink was spiked by the hallucinogenic drug PCP (phencyclidine) at a college party,” according to BlackDoctor.org.
After discussing his own personal, bouts, Jamie Foxx opened up about another celebrity who has faced similar challenges – Kanye West.
On Kanye West:
By now, everyone has probably heard one thing or another about Kanye West’s mental health. Over the past several months, Kanye has had all kinds of bouts and unfortunately, many of his meltdowns have unfolded publicly due to social media rants. While many people have criticized the Yeezus rapper, Jamie Foxx has a completely different take on the situation.
The famed comedian/actor admitted that his manic episodes were relatively similar to the problems Kanye is currently facing. Jamie admitted that he sympathizes with Kanye revealing how he knows all too well how quickly mental health scares can get out of hand. “When [Kanye] talked about the drugs, the mental drugs, I’ve had an episode of that,” Jamie told the publication. “When [Kanye] was talking about the, ‘I went in for 2 pills, and the 7 pills [he received from the hospital],’ that’s real!”
However, there’s one difference between Jamie and Kanye. The Ray actor revealed his family wouldn’t allow him to go out in public when he was going through a manic episode. “I was lucky enough to have people, like my sister, like my family, to say yo, you can’t go out right now cuz you talking crazy,” Jamie shared.
A Long Battle:
Jamie Foxx’s latest interview with Hip Hollywood comes after a previous television appearance on Oprah’s Next Chapter. During that segment, Jamie recalled one disturbing night during his college years at United States International (now Alliant) University in San Diego when he began hallucinating. That night, he’d attended a college party and drank a glass of whiskey. After sipping the drink, he admitted he suddenly felt “terrible – the room was moving, the faces of the other people were contorted”.
He continued, “I know who it was, but he wasn’t a friend. I was drinking whiskey and it didn’t taste funny, so I had no idea. It took about 15 minutes and I knew something was wrong. I said to my room-mate, ‘Something is going on, and I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to ride it out.’
“That was the last thing I said, and then I was almost in a coma and I couldn’t move, couldn’t talk, couldn’t even say, “Take me to the hospital.” My friend could see something was badly wrong and he took me to the emergency room.” Another friend, Mark Provart, “stayed at the hospital with me. Then he took me back to the dorm and I was afraid of the dark and he would talk to me every night and calm me down and say stuff like, ‘You’re OK, the demons aren’t real.’ He saved my life.”
Jamie admitted after that episode things only grew worse. He revealed he had flashbacks for nearly a year after that episode. “It felt like all of my fears were coming true and I was going crazy.” He continued, “I read up on PCP after it happened. It leaves a fingerprint and you can’t get it out of your system. It happened to me when I was 18 and I had 11 months of harsh flashbacks, and then when I was 26 I had a flashback just like that (snaps his fingers) – and another one when I was 32, and that was the last one, but I always worry about it coming back.”
“How did it make me feel? Like living in your worst nightmares. You’re afraid of the dark, afraid of things you see on the television, you feel that things are coming at you. I felt paranoid, and paranoia is craziness. It’s not good.”
Kudos to Jamie Foxx for seeking help speaking out. Best of luck to Kanye West.