On Tuesday, Gerard Way took part in the Unwound & Unplugged virtual panel alongside Julien Baker and DeathbyRomy. During the conversation, Way opened up about his struggles with mental health during his time in My Chemical Romance.
In particular, Way detailed his early days in My Chemical Romance and how the sudden success of the band impacted his mental health.
Earlier this week, Sound Mind Live‘s Unwound & Unplugged virtual panel allowed Gerard Way, Julien Baker and DeathbyRomy to come together and openly discuss mental health and anxiety with Dr. Mike Friedman. For Gerard Way, he candidly opened up about his mental health journey and the personal growth he’s achieved while in therapy.
“I’ve been in talk therapy for probably – at this point, it’s probably eight years,” Way says. “All through my life, probably about when I got into my twenties, that’s when I started seeing a therapist because I had hit a point where I realized, ‘alright something’s not right, you know?’ This depression, this not getting out of bed, this not participating in life. There’s gotta be kind of something to this.”
He goes on to say that once My Chemical Romance took off, therapy moved to the backburner of his priorities. In fact, it wasn’t until around My Chemical Romance disbanded in 2013 that he immersed himself back into therapy.
“So, I started therapy way back then and the band kind of took off and got super busy,” he continues. “So there were lots of years of no therapy, probably when I needed them the most during this kind of a whirlwind. It wasn’t until towards the end of the band that I just needed it, I needed therapy. I had so much to process, so much to work through and so much to discover. I had so much to take ownership of, there were just so many things I had to do so I’ve been working very hard at therapy.”
Although Way is grateful for his success, the fame and attention that followed are still aspects he’s not used to. As a result, it’s taken him years to process what My Chemical Romance have achieved over the years.
“I found fame to be extremely traumatic,” he says. “I found the entire experience of being in My Chemical Romance and it kind of exploding into this thing of bigness in a way that it was never intended, I needed the last seven or eight years to process that experience. It did everything from me not wanting to be around people to making me not want to be in the outside world very much. It ended up with me just isolating.”
During the virtual panel, Way details a low point he hit during My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days era. While on the road, he found himself retreating to his hotel room and isolating himself from the rest of the world.
“On the road, it was extremely difficult for me and the hotel room ended up being this kind of dark place,” he continues. “When we would get to them, I would basically barricade myself and never come out. I wouldn’t let housekeeping in and I would have the curtains closed. It was just this really cold dark place on the road when I was struggling during Danger Days with some pretty bad depression and anxiety and things like that.”
The full Unwound & Unplugged virtual panel is available to stream below.
What are your reactions to Gerard Way’s comments on mental health? What did you think of the virtual panel? Let us know in the comments below.