Jaymi Hensley Opens Up Over Battles With Depression and Anxiety

Looking in from the outside, Union J singer Jaymi Hensley seems to have it all; Good looks, supportive fiance, great friends, and successful music career, but behind closed doors the 26-year-old has battled with alcohol problems and mental health issues.

And now for the first time ever the former X Factor star has opened up about his secret battles with depression, eating problems, over drinking and his anxiety.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper about his problems the talented lad said; “I remember getting back to the apartment, looking online and there was a picture of me in the sea.

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“The headlines were ‘Fat Jamie’ and ‘Beer Belly’. All of the other boys [Josh Cuthbert, George Shelley, and JJ Hamblett] were ending up on these sites like, ‘Fit Famous Males’ and I was on ‘Bros with Bellies’. It was awful.

“After that it affected the holiday. I wouldn’t go to the beach, I wouldn’t take my top off. That stemmed the last three years. I started not eating. I would never get changed in front of people.

“I actually made myself not very well at all and that really affected my mental health.

“I lost a good two and a half to three stone since X Factor and became very skinny.

“I would binge eat. My biggest demon was food. I would get skinny so that I could eat again, then I wouldn’t eat so I could get skinny again.”

Jaymi also spoke about his drinking problems, saying:  “I was able to go to these clubs that you couldn’t ever get into in your wildest dreams before.

“You would go out with people you didn’t really know and they didn’t care if you got absolutely smashed.

“I would go out to three in the morning and get up at seven and go straight to work.

“I was making myself ill. I was doing everything I possibly could to numb it.

“We were socialising with people who were very famous and very powerful. You’d go in and there’d be free drinks on the tables, and by free drinks I mean ridiculous amounts of free alcohol.”

Hensley’s problems were made worse last year after Union J were dropped by their record label RCA, he said;

“That was my safety blanket [being in the band]. I did the midlife crisis thing. I would go out all the time, I would make sure I was seen at events wearing posh clothes to try and cling onto the fact that people need to see us.

“I didn’t tell anybody and we didn’t tell anybody as a band for a year.” 

Over the past six months Jaymi Hensley has slowly addressed his demons and gotten help for his mental health issues;

“I went to the doctor and said, ‘Look I don’t know what’s wrong with me at the minute, I’ve got no energy. I’m really not happy. What’s the matter?’

“I did this questionnaire and I ticked every single box.”

Thankfully Jaymi Hensley is now back to full health and is happy once again.The kindhearted singer is also helping others in the same situation as him after becoming an ambassador for mental health charity Mind.

And his music career with Union J is officially a reality again with the new look band who have replaced George Shelley with Casey Johnson, hitting the road for a UK tour next year. And is also planning his wedding to long term love Olly Marmon.

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Jaymi Hensley has bravely opened up about his problems to help others who may be suffering;

We are proud of Jaymi for speaking about these issues and we hope he helps lots of other people who may be going through the same things.  


Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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