John Shearer/Getty Brothers Osborne
The Brothers Osborne are opening up about their experiences with mental health in the hopes of breaking long-standing stigmas.
John Osborne spoke candidly about his struggles with anxiety and depression — challenges he says he's faced his "entire life" — in an episode of Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country that aired Friday.
John, 39, said he was a "very sensitive" teenager who struggled a lot in his youth, starting in high school, where he described himself as "the classic tortured musician."
"I've gotten very good at hiding it, but I've done a lot of therapy and I medicate even, I'm not ashamed to admit that because I do need help," he said. "We all need help."
The Grammy-nominated musician said that while his efforts have "all paid off," his road to happiness wasn't easy, and involved various treatments like medication and therapy.
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"It can be very hard and a very long time. But if anyone out there that's listening to this is struggling with it, just get help, there's nothing wrong with it," he says. "No one cares. No one's judging you."
"If someone's like, 'I fell and I broke my arm, I have to take some pain meds.' Well, obviously, because your arm hurts," he continued. "We have to treat the same thing with our mental struggles, and, just for me, therapy and a little bit of medication works — and just try to get some good sleep."
John previously opened up about his struggles in July, when he told Bobby Bones that he suffered a "meltdown" while on tour in 2019 that eventually led him to a therapy retreat.
"It was bad," he said at the time. "I got to a point where I was suicidal and I ended up with tinnitus, ringing in my ears, brought on by a lot of other different things. I wasn't sleeping. It got really, really ugly."
He also said in April that his anxiety was so bad, he considered quitting making music while the country duo recorded their album Skeletons.
Though John told Bannen that it's easy to make alternate, temporary fixes, such as relying on alcohol, it's all about focusing on yourself and doing the work.
Terry Wyatt/Getty Brothers Osborne
"All I could say is be patient with yourself in the journey," he said. "If I can get there, anyone can get there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, [you've] got to be patient. You'll reach it."
John's brother TJ, 37, weighed in, too, saying that he has dealt with anxiety in the past as well, and stressing the importance of being open with your feelings so as not to feel like it's you against the world.
"I wouldn't say that I have a problem with [anxiety], but you know, just those moments, other things in my life where you do feel like, 'I'm crazy, I'm alone in this feeling, what's wrong with me?'" he said. "And it's nice when other people are dealing with that same thing and you don't feel alone. John probably felt that way for a while, like, 'I'm stuck in my own world and I'm spiraling and no one can understand.' There are other people, unfortunately lots of people, who are out there struggling with a lot of the same things. So I think it's important that you guys — it's nice to hear y'all speak about it."
TJ publicly came out as gay in February 2021, and in September brought boyfriend Abi Ventura to the 2021 CMA Awards, saying at the time that he hoped the move would "show people that they also don't need to hide or alter themselves in any way."
The country duo are releasing a deluxe version of their most recent album, Skeletons, and are up for two Grammy Awards at this year's show.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.