Jumpin Jack Frost is breaking the stigma around mental health
“Yeah, I don’t see myself as an advocate, it’s just stuff I feel or something I might see and think I want to share. To reach out to people who I think it can help. I was in Ibiza the other day and someone came up to me to say, ‘I love your tweets, they’ve really helped me’. Things like that make me feel good, that it’s worth it.” People who knew you in the ‘90s would never have expected that you got depressed or anxious sometimes…
“No, not at all, people would never have thought that. But I did, and it’s real — it can happen to anybody. If a car isn’t working properly, you gotta take it to the mechanic to be fixed. The same with the mind — if it’s not working properly, you need to look for help, and there are professional people out there who can help you with your depression and anxiety and mental health in many ways. When you don’t speak out or speak to people, if you try to live with it on your own without seeking help, you’re denying yourself a really good life.
There are people out there willing and qualified to help you.”
When you were bang into the drugs, were you trying to suppress emotions?
“Yeah, I was trying to suppress a lot — things that happened to me when I was younger. Unfortunately, things that happen to you when you’re younger can come to the fore when you’re older. I was definitely trying to suppress stuff.”
Your crack days must’ve been quite a dark time, then…
“Yeah, definitely, man. I look back and I think, ‘What the FUCK?!’ You know what I’m saying? What the fuck was I doing? But it was something that I went through, and I went to rehab and sorted it all out. I look back now and I just think, ‘Wow’.”
Does it feel like you’re almost a different person these days?
“Yeah, I feel like a completely different person. I still try to work on myself every day.”
One of your recent tweets said something like, ‘Admitting you have mental health issues doesn’t make you any less of a man…’
“No, not at all. It’s the old stigma — us men don’t talk about things like that, we men grin and bear it and get on with it. But us men are only human beings, and we need to talk about it — for our children, for our families. If we’re not right, our children are not gonna be right. Our relationships with our partners are not gonna be right. We have to be right. Us men have to stop thinking that we can’t talk to people, or that it makes you less of a man to talk about it. I think it makes you more of a man.”
It’s not always easy though, is it?
“No it’s not easy at all, but it’s something that we have to do. Otherwise you’re just going backwards and you might take yourself down when it’s unnecessary. You don’t have to suffer in silence. If you talk about it, find people you can talk to — someone that you know, your GP, they can refer you — it will help you. It really will.
“You don’t know what’s behind that smile. You can look at someone and say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ ‘Yeah, I’m ok’, and they’ve got a smile on their face. You don’t know if behind those eyes, they’re living in hell. If you only knew.”
You did those gigs for mental health charities in honour of Keith Flint, didn’t you?
“Yeah, I did, it broke my heart and I could really relate to it, so I was more than happy to be involved. I know all the boys from the band [The Prodigy] from back in the day, hadn’t seen them for a number of years. They’re all really lovely guys.”
What would you say to young people in the music scene who might get depressed or anxious sometimes but try to cover it up or not talk to anyone about it?
“My advice to any young people out there who are feeling anxious or depressed is ‘Don’t ever feel that you’re alone’. There are always people to talk to. If you know me, you can come and talk to me at any time. You can message me and I’ll be more than willing to help you — I can help point you in the right directions. Speak to your GP. You can talk to people you work with, you’ve got charities out there. There are many people out there who can help you right now. You’re never alone. Being a man is being able to go out there and share your feelings.”