Paul McCartney's battle with depression after Beatles split left him unable to get up

Sir Paul McCartney needs little introduction. The mega icon will be headlining this year’s Glastonbury and is the oldest musician to ever do so

Symptoms of depression
Paul McCartney opens up about his mental health struggles

Paul McCartney had mega-success in his Beatles heyday, but many would be surprised to know how he and his bandmates suffered mentally both during the height of their fame and after.

The 80-year-old singer-songwriter, who tonight will become the oldest performer to headline Glastonbury, previously opened up about his dark times that left him unable to get out of bed.

Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Times, McCartney discussed how the bandmates’ mental health was during the height of their fame.

McCartney said he and his bandmates Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison, were more likely to make fun of their issues in order to hide them.

When probed further regarding if anyone suffered with depression, McCartney said: “Yes, I think so. But you talked about it through your songs.

“You know, John would write. ‘Help! I need somebody,’ and I thought, ‘Well, it’s just a song,’ but it turned out to be a cry for help.”

Sir Paul McCartney will be headlining this year’s Glastonbury


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He went on to discuss how the same kind of thing happened to him “mainly after the break-up of the band.”

“All of us went through periods when we weren’t as happy as we ought to be,” he explained.

“But you know there were a lot of things we had to work through — you didn’t talk about mental health.”

Research has found men experience depression differently to women and often appear angry and aggressive, making it difficult for those around them to associate it to depression.

Statistically men are less likely than women to recognise, talk and seek treatment for their depression.

Writing about their mental struggles in songs was clear in many of the Beatles’ lyrics such as Yesterday, a song about loss and sadness.

For No One is another anthem for loneliness giving off the quintessential stiff upper-lip mentality regarding serious emotional issues.

For McCartney and his bandmates, writing about their mental health was far easier than discussing it among themselves.

However, after the announcement that the band were separating, McCartney’s mental health started to decline.

“All of us went through periods when we weren’t as happy as we ought to be. Same kind of thing happened with me,” he said.

Paul discusses his darker days battling with depression and loneliness during Beatles success


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The icon bravely revealed how he suffered with “classic” symptoms of “the unemployed, redundant man” in the time immediately after the band’s break-up.

He continued: “First, you don’t shave, and it’s not to grow a groovy beard, it’s because you cannot be f***ing bothered.

“Anger, deep deep anger sets in, with everything, with yourself number one, and with everything in the world number two.

“So, I didn’t shave for quite a while. I didn’t get up. Mornings weren’t for getting up.”

Early symptoms of depression can include:

  • Feeling sad, tearful, low, guilty or empty
  • Losing enjoyment in pleasurable activities
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Too little or too much sleep
  • Feeling agitated or tired
  • Having trouble concentrating.

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