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Mike Patton Opens Up on Mental Health Struggles: “I Became Completely Isolated and … Afraid of People”

"I got some professionals helping me, and now I’m feeling better and getting closer to diving back in"

Mike Patton mental health struggles
Mike Patton, photo by Jay Blakesberg
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    In September of 2021, both Faith No More and Mr. Bungle canceled their planned tour dates as singer Mike Patton cited “mental health reasons” as preventing him from hitting the road at the time. Now, in his first interview since then, the legendary vocalist has opened up about some of the specific issues that he was and still is facing.

    Coinciding with the announcement of a new album from his band Dead Cross, Patton spoke with Rolling Stone about his mental health struggles.

    “It’s still going on — but it’s better,” said Patton. “It’s easy to blame it on the pandemic. But I’ll be honest, man: At the beginning of the pandemic, I was like, ‘This is f**king great. I can stay home and record.’ I’ve got a home studio. So I was like, ‘Yeah, what’s the big deal?’ And then something clicked, and I became completely isolated and almost antisocial [and] afraid of people.”

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    He continued, “That sort of anxiety, or whatever you want to call it, led to other issues, which I choose not to discuss. But I got some professionals helping me, and now I’m feeling better and getting closer to diving back in. Towards the end of the year, I’ll be doing my first shows in, like, two years, which is the longest time since I started doing this, that I’ve been out of the game.”

    Patton plans to head out on tour with Mr. Bungle in December for a South American outing, which will mark his first tour dates since canceling the shows last year. When pressed on whether the “other issues” he mentioned were alcohol or drug related, the singer responded, “It was a little bit of everything. But mostly, in my experience, it was mostly mental. I saw some therapists and all that stuff, which is the first time I ever had to do that in my life. And they basically diagnosed me as having agoraphobia; like, I was afraid of people.”

    He added, “I got freaked out by being around people. And maybe that was because I spent two years basically indoors during COVID. I don’t know. Maybe it reinforced feelings that I already had. But just knowing about it, talking about it, really helped. And we’ll see how it goes in December.”

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