Jamaican reggae artist Lila Iké says she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This mental illness causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
The singer disclosed her diagnosis in a recent episode of Odyssey by Yendi, a YouTube program hosted by former Miss Jamaica Universe, Yendi Phillips.
“I just learned a couple weeks ago that I have bipolar disorder. I was formally diagnosed with that,” Lila revealed. “It’s something that I have been experiencing for a while and didn’t even recognize what was happening to me. Like after an extreme high or coming off a stage or learning about a big accomplishment, I almost always go into feeling depressed.”
“It’s like everything that you accomplish and all of your skills and your talents, it just gets cloudy like I can’t see beyond it, and you get extremely low, and you don’t want to do it anymore,” she said, explaining her symptoms.
Lila’s first episode
The Second Chance singer spoke about her first manic episode in 2018 and how it threatened to halt her music career.
Lila revealed that in her first episode, she was with her mentor Protoje, and he was able to observe and help her during that moment.
“I remembered feeling paranoid, feeling scared that everyone was about to get me.”
The artist stated that she was using marijuana a lot during that time and thought that she had smoked bad weed. “For a while, that was what I was thinking. That made me extremely paranoid about being around people.”
Lila, who rose to fame with songs like Where I’m Coming From, Second Chance, and I Spy, explained that she never understood why she would have these erratic mood swings before her diagnosis.
“Until recently, I didn’t know what was happening to me. I would go four, five days with no sleep at all, and I’m thinking I’m just inspired, or I’m just insomniac or something. But I would just want to be up, and there is no way to calm myself down unless there is somebody around me who understands what’s happening.”
Her social media haitus, and return to music
Following a series of cryptic posts on social media in November 2021 about her sexuality, followed by a disturbing Instagram Live alleging that people were threatening her life, Lila took a break from social media as part of her healing journey.
Lila further revealed that the ordeal has caused her to reflect on herself as an artist.
“Everything that I stand for and everything that I believe in, I have put it into my music. My main purpose here is just to make music that inspires people, music that inspires the youth, music that is positive, music that is uplifting. That’s literally all that I’m trying to contribute,” she said.
Lila, in her interview, revealed that following her latest episode, Protoje shared with her that having witnessed what happened to her in 2018, he had made a conscious decision to slow down her career. This shift would involve releasing one single per year to help her handle the pressure better. From there, they’ll see how well she manages and hopefully progress into performing at more concerts and stage shows.
The artist noted that as she has learned more about her mental health, she has developed a routine that includes exercise, a balanced diet, and rest.
Wrapping up the interview, Lila Iké noted that new music is coming and her debut album to follow up on the EP released last year.
Born Alecia Grey, Lila Iké grew up in the cool hills of Manchester, Jamaica.
The 26-year-old signed with Protoje’s In.Digg.Nation label in 2017.
She released her debut EP “The Experience” in 2020, under a partnership with In.Digg.Nation and Six Course/RCA Records. She breathes a delicate testimony of love, infatuation, and spiritual guidance on the 7-track record.