Kit Steinkellner
November 11, 2014 3:32 pm

If you’re feeling depressed, it can be easy to think that you are the only person who has ever felt that way. Suddenly you’re on a quicksand track galumphing around in circles and asking questions like, “what’s the point?” and “why me?” and “has anyone ever felt this way before?” The reality is, a lo-ot of people have felt that way, even celebrities.

In a recent interview with an Australian television program, Katy Perry opened up about her battle with depression following her split with Russell Brand. The subject was broached when Perry began talking about “the darker place” she was in when she wrote her song “By The Grace Of God“, a song written as her marriage to Brand was coming to an end.

The interviewer highlighted a particular lyric of the song, “I looked in the mirror and decided to stay, I didn’t want love to let me go that way,” and asked Perry if there was “a time where you felt like you didn’t want to go on, that you were in that low a place?”

Perry was beautifully frank, “You know, sometimes you can be blinded by your extreme emotions. I definitely was looking for answers, during that time when I wrote that song, and yeah, I was depressed and sad, and there were thoughts, but there were never actions, thankfully. But I wanted to share that side of my story, because I know there are so many other people out there that have gone through things like that, and you always feel like you’re the only one going through that. You walk out the door, and you see someone you know, and they ask you how you are, and you just have to say you’re fine when you’re not really fine, but you just can’t get into it, because they would never understand. Well, then comes along a song that speaks to you, that makes you feel like ‘Gosh, I can get through this if she can get through this, I can get through this.'”

Perry’s words are not just important, they’re necessary. To be a superstar with a worldwide fan base, to go on record about your struggles, and be transparent with the public is a powerful act — perhaps even a life saving one. There are doubtless many of Perry’s fans going through similar feelings to what Perry went through, and it’s a gift for Perry to stand in solidarity with fans and to share her experience. It’s also significant that Perry transformed her pain into art, and by doing so gave her fans the gift of a deeply personal song that explores some of the most painful parts of loving another person and being alive.

Perry’s using her fame for good, empowering her fans who feel isolated by heartbreak and defeated by depression to understand that they are not alone. As scary as it can be to be vulnerable , Perry exemplifies how important it is for stars to be honest about the things that are hard from them. It’s a gift to fans, some of whom may desperately need reassurance from an idol they love, that they are not alone in their pain.

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