Kate Bush health: Star, 63, on 'mental puberty' that made her feel 'differently'

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The star began writing songs at the mere age of 11, and by 1978 had sold over a million copies of her debut album The Kick Inside. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bush was the first female artist in pop history to have written every track on a million-selling debut album. A few years back, a former colleague at her label EMI spoke with The Mirror, who revealed some insight into the star’s work ethic and the process in which she goes through in order to produce her successful music.

Known for keeping herself out of the spotlight, Bush released a compilation of rare tracks, cover versions and remixes from box sets back in 2019 which was her first music release since her 22-night residency at the Hammersmith Apollo back in 2014.

Speculating about why she leads such a private life, before her comeback in 2014, her former colleague told The Mirror: “Kate is a perfectionist, always has been and always will be.

“As much as she has enjoyed her time out of the spotlight, she knows she needs to get back on stage and share her musicianship to feel truly fulfilled.

“She’d probably describe herself as having mild to middling OCD.

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“Even the most innocuous thing has to be just so – in rehearsals, she will go over songs scores of times until she is happy.

“Kate has had the final say on every detail. To say she has been hands-on is an understatement.”

Although Bush herself has never claimed whether she has OCD or not, the star has spoken in the past about struggles with her mental health, especially after turning 30 years old.

Speaking about the difficult period in the late 1980s, Bush said: “I think it’s a very important time, where there’s some kind of turning point.


“I needed to be in a position where there were no demands. I was just trying to recuperate.”

Mental health is something that affects us all, and due to the Covid pandemic, referrals for specialist NHS mental health care reached a record high in England by the end of 2021.

A mental health condition can affect an individual’s thinking, feeling, behaviour and mood causing severe disruption to their everyday lives, and the ability to relate to others. Mind, a UK-based mental health charity, explains that one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem such as anxiety and depression.

OCD is a serious anxiety-related condition that affects 1.2 percent of the population. It involves a person experiencing frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, commonly referred to as obsessions and carrying out compulsions – repetitive behaviours or mental acts that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.

In some cases, over time compulsions can become more of a habit where the original obsessive fear and worry has been forgotten, in this instance compulsions are often completed to enable the individual to feel “just right”.

Although some individuals may be embarrassed about seeking help, there are two main ways to get help for a condition such as OCD. These include:

  • Psychological therapy
  • Medication.

Therapy, often cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that helps individuals to face their fears and obsessive thoughts without using compulsions. The therapy is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are the most typical type of antidepressant that is used to help treat OCD. This type of medication works by altering the balance of chemicals in your brain.

For any help or support for mental health, call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours. Alternatively, text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19.


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