Why We're Worried About Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber's career in music has become the stuff of legend. His future manager, Scooter Braun, discovered Bieber while searching for a YouTube video of another singer, instead finding a 2007 video of the 13-year-old busking, which his mom had uploaded. Under Braun's tutelage, Bieber became an overnight sensation, his stardom increasing as he grew from a cutie-pie adolescent to a fully grown adult. Along the way, there have been some big hits — "Baby," "Boyfriend," "Yummy," and many more — that have brought him a whopping 23 Grammy nominations (and two wins).

Meanwhile, it's no secret that Bieber's journey to stardom has been a turbulent one. Who can forget the bad-boy behavior that rendered him a laughingstock in his younger years or his candid admissions of the struggles he's experienced because of becoming a celebrity at such a young age? Over the years, in fact, fans have witnessed a lot of behavior from Bieber that can easily be deemed troublesome. 

Given his tumultuous past and his uncertain future, there continue to be concerns about this talented artist. To find out more, read on and discover why we're worried about Justin Bieber.

He was subjected to 'disturbing' treatment when he was just a kid

Justin Bieber has been a force on the pop music landscape for so long that it's easy to forget how young he was when he first shot to stardom at age 13. Some interviews from Bieber's early years in showbiz have resurfaced, demonstrating some of the wildly inappropriate treatment he was subjected to at a disturbingly young age. 

These were documented by the Daily Mail in a video posted to Facebook, including 2012 footage of grown-up Katy Perry hugging Bieber and then giving his butt a grab, in addition to video from that same year of Jenny McCarthy aggressively attempting to make out with a reluctant Bieber while they're both onstage during the American Music Awards. Afterward, McCarthy was oddly proud of her inappropriate behavior toward an underage boy. "I just got to neck Justin Bieber and grab his butt," McCarthy told ET. "It was a little cougar scary, but I took the opportunity and the window, considering I'll never get to do it again, and kind of molested him."

In addition, there's also audio from a British radio interview in which the female host bemoaned that her parents never gave her "the sex talk" and asked Bieber to do it. Bieber, then just 15, was clearly freaked out. "I feel really uncomfortable right now. Why do you want to know the sex talk from a 15-year-old boy? That's pretty weird," Bieber responded. 

His 2014 DUI arrests and assorted bad behavior

It's no secret that 2014 was a banner year for Justin Bieber when it came to obnoxious public behavior — all the more impressive considering how low the bar had been set the previous year when he made headlines for urinating into a mop bucket in the kitchen of a nightclub. As Page Six recalled, he began the year by egging his neighbor's house, subsequently ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution after pleading guilty.

Also in January 2014, Bieber managed to get arrested for driving under the influence after being pulled over for street racing. He was charged with driving while drunk, driving without a valid driver's license, and resisting arrest. Hours after pleading guilty, he was charged with allegedly assaulting his limo driver. Days later, his private jet was searched by the DEA when it touched down at New Jersey's Teterboro Airport, reeking of weed. All of this, by the way, took place in January — the rest of the year was also not great.

Seven years later, Bieber looked back at that rough patch in his life with hard-earned maturity. "Not proud of where I was at in my life," he wrote in the caption of an Instagram post accompanying a photo taken during his 2014 arrest. "I was hurting, unhappy, confused, angry, mislead [sic], misunderstood and angry at god. I also wore too much leather for someone in Miami."

He has experienced extreme loneliness

Plucked from obscurity at the onset of adolescence and quickly becoming one of the biggest music stars in the world would understandably be an unsettling experience for anyone. For young Justin Bieber, this new world of fame and wealth came at a high price, leading him to become isolated and lonely during a formative stage in his life when, under normal circumstances, he'd be socializing with peers while making connections and friendships. 

He opened up about the loneliness he experienced in a 2015 interview with Clique TV. "People would never guess that artists like myself would feel lonely, with all things that are always around us and people, but a lot of it is really surface-y, and there's no depth to those relationships," Bieber said, possibly referencing the infamous posse of pals who'd been serving as his entourage during his annus horribilis in 2014. "So you just end up feeling like, well, I'm connecting, but I'm not feeling what I want to feel," he continued. "So, that's where I ended up. I was just in a place of like searching because I felt like people weren't what I needed them to be for me." 

Happily, he added, he had moved on from that crew and had surrounded himself with people with whom he could legitimately befriend, who were there to support him, not use him. "I'm in the best place ever, probably [that] I've ever been in my life," Bieber declared

His teenage drug abuse

During that turbulent period in 2014, reports of young Justin Bieber's drug use were off the charts. One report claimed Bieber and his party-hearty entourage smoked so much marijuana aboard his private jet that pilots wore gas masks so as not to get high from all the smoke. "The captain of the flight stated that he warned the passengers, including Bieber, on several occasions to stop smoking marijuana," federal authorities wrote in an incident report, as reported by Page Six. At the time, the Daily Mail reported that Bieber was spending a staggering $8,000 per week on marijuana, also reporting he was known to chug "sizzurp," also known as "lean," a potent combination of addictive codeine-laced cough syrup, candy, and sweet beverages like Sprite (as a source told Daily Mail, Bieber makes his version by "[ordering] bulk shipments of the codeine syrup he likes from Canada then mixes it with Fanta Pineapple before dropping a sweet in it").

It was reported that Bieber's team had been urging him to pump the brakes on his rampant drug use. However, he continually shut that down, insisting everything was fun and recreational, not problematic. Still, his behavior provoked concern. "I'm very concerned about him," Lucian Grainge, chairman of Bieber's record label, Universal Music Group, told the Daily Mail. "He needs help. He needs an intervention."

Eventually, Bieber straightened himself out. Years later, he reflected on his bad-boy ways in a lengthy 2019 Instagram post. "I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19," he wrote, reflecting on "the shell of a person I had become" during that period. "It's taken me years to bounce back from all of these terrible decisions," he added.

A history of anger issues

Another worrisome aspect about Justin Bieber has been his temper. While that appeared to be less of an issue in recent years, there was a time when Bieber had a tendency to respond to uncomfortable situations with anger and violence. This was often the case with paparazzi, with Bieber accused in 2014 of punching a photographer in Paris and sending bodyguards to attack another in Buenos Aires. That same year, Bieber was riding an ATV in Ontario with then-girlfriend Selena Gomez and deliberately rammed the minivan of a photographer who'd been in pursuit. An altercation ensued when Bieber attempted to grab the guy's camera. "There was some physical contact," Bieber's lawyer, Brian Greenspan, explained, according to CTV News. "It was described that Mr. Bieber was swinging at him, grabbing at the camera, that could have been three times at the most." Bieber entered a guilty plea and paid a small fine.

Bieber also displayed a public burst of anger in 2016, with TMZ obtaining a video in which Bieber — on tour in Barcelona — is seen sitting in a vehicle when a fan grabbed him through the open window. The singer responded by striking the fan in the face, reportedly splitting his lip. 

Bieber has even taken his anger out on audiences. That was the case during his 2016 concert in the British city of Manchester, where he chastised fans for screaming too loudly. When the yelling didn't subside, he stormed offstage. 

Concerns about his health after bizarre interaction with fans

In 2018, a YouTube video emerged that caused worries about the state of Justin Bieber's health. In the brief video, Bieber is seen greeting some fans in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His teeth gritted in a smile/grimace, Bieber waved before his entire body began convulsing as if he'd experienced a brief seizure of some sort. He then embraced a female fan, frenetically petting her back.

In comments to the video, viewers shared their concerns for the singer, with several speculating that Bieber was experiencing the effects of methamphetamine. "He is HIGH AS A KITE," wrote one commenter, while another added, "This is so sad." While others offered prayers, some commenters simply shared their hopes that Bieber would get help. "Wow, this is honestly a little frightening," wrote one fan. "I really hope there's an explanation for this other than drugs, but it doesn't look promising." Despite the speculation, the fan who received the hug defended the singer, insisting he was just playing it up for the crowd and, in her view, seemed to be perfectly sober. "He wasn't on anything, he was completely normal," she told The Sun.

Interestingly, that wasn't the only time Bieber was captured on video experiencing an apparent shaking fit. In a 2019 video, shot while he and his wife, Hailey Bieber, went on an outing, Bieber's head began shaking from side to side, seemingly involuntarily. 

His health struggles with Lyme disease and Epstein-Barr

In 2020, Justin Bieber shared an Instagram post — which he subsequently deleted — to reveal he'd been diagnosed with Lyme disease. "While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like s***, on meth etc. they failed to realize I've been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health," he wrote in that post, as noted by CNN, adding that he'd be sharing more about his diagnosis in an upcoming documentary series. 

That YouTube series, "Justin Bieber: Seasons," arrived a few weeks later, giving fans a rare glimpse into his personal life. In the fifth episode, Bieber revealed that he'd long felt as if his energy was depleted and underwent a barrage of medical tests that led to the revelation he had Lyme disease. Also featured in the episode was Bieber's physician, Dr. Erica Lehman, who explained that Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be tricky to diagnose. "And we know that it can cause a whole spectrum of neuropsychiatric symptoms: mood changes, irritability, depression, anxiety," she said. "Justin fits the picture of these symptoms."

In the docuseries, Bieber was seen undergoing various forms of treatment, including receiving an intravenous infusion and spending time in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Justin Bieber has struggled with depression

In that same episode of the aforementioned docuseries, Justin Bieber revealed that, prior to his Lyme disease diagnosis, his symptoms had led to a misdiagnosis. According to one of Bieber's doctors, a Los Angeles psychiatrist decreed that he had bipolar disorder and prescribed lithium. Subsequent examinations revealed that he does not have bipolar disorder, although he's long struggled with depression. 

In 2019, Bieber posted a lengthy essay on Instagram, opening up about the unfortunate decisions he'd made when he was younger and the mental health struggles he'd experienced. "It's hard to get out of bed in the morning ... when it feels like there's trouble after trouble after trouble," he wrote. "Sometimes it can even get to the point where you don't even want to live anymore. Where you feel like it's never going to change."

During a 2020 listening party for his single "Yummy," Bieber reportedly broke down in tears while speaking with the crowd. As Variety reported, he looked back on the deep depression he'd experienced. "I don't even think I should be alive never mind thrive," he said, crediting his manager, Scooter Braun, for helping him through it. "You walked with me through a lot of s**t," he said, addressing Braun.

He's experienced suicidal thoughts

In a followup to his 2020 docuseries — "Justin Bieber: Next Chapter" — Justin Bieber became extremely candid about the depression he'd faced. At one point, he admitted his feelings of hopelessness had become so severe that he contemplated taking his own life. "Man, I think that there was times where I was really, really suicidal, like really, like, 'Man, is this pain ever gonna go away?' It was so consistent — the pain was so consistent. I was just suffering, so I [was] just like, 'Man, I would rather not feel this than feel this,'" Bieber said.

Bieber ultimately credited his faith in God for lifting him out of the mental abyss he'd found himself in. Meanwhile, Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, looked back at those dark days with a certain degree of regret that he hadn't done more to help. "If I could do it all over again, I would have had you in therapy, day one," Braun told Bieber, conceding the singer would have benefited from having someone to talk to who wasn't a member of his team.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

He was struck with a rare syndrome

In June 2022, Justin Bieber shared a worrisome health update. In a video he posted on Instagram, Bieber revealed he'd been impacted by a new medical malady in addition to the other issues he was already dealing with. "As you can probably see from my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsay-Hunt syndrome." The illness, he revealed, had led him to experience some severe symptoms, evident by parts of his face drooping. "As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can't smile on this side of my face ... So there's full paralysis on this side of my face," he continued, explaining that his condition was the result of a virus that had affected nerves in his ear and face, causing the right side of his face to become paralyzed.

Previously, he'd postponed three shows on his upcoming Justice World Tour, but even worse news followed. In a subsequent message he tweeted, Bieber shared the sad announcement that the effects of Ramsay-Hunt syndrome were forcing him to cancel his remaining tour dates, having pushed himself to the brink of exhaustion to fulfill previous concert obligations. "I'm going to be okay," he wrote, "but I need time to rest and get better."

Thankfully, the symptoms he'd experienced were not permanent. In March 2023, he posted a video on Instagram Stories in which he demonstrated his ability to smile, indicating that his facial paralysis was no more.

He confessed to having an 'emotional breakdown' after getting married

Justin Bieber married his wife, Hailey Bieber, in September 2018. The couple's matrimonial journey got off to a rocky start, which the two detailed in a particularly candid interview with Vogue. "The thing is, marriage is very hard," she said. "It's really effing hard." According to Bieber, one big obstacle was his ongoing trust issues. "It's been so hard for me to trust people," he explained. "It's been difficult for me even to trust Hailey. We've been working through stuff."

Bieber offered more details during an appearance on "The Ebro Show," revealing that he had a difficult time when he was hit with the reality that being married wasn't going to heal the underlying issues that he'd been struggling with for a long time. "I remember when I first got married, I hit a little bit of an emotional breakdown because I thought marriage was going to fix all my problems, and it didn't," he explained. 

That realization led him to some introspective self-reflection that forced him to confront some cold, hard truths about himself. "It's hard sometimes to look in the mirror and really have to realize, man, maybe you're not the person that you necessarily thought that you were," he said.

His first year of marriage was difficult

In addition to the "emotional breakdown" he experienced early on in his marriage to wife Hailey, Justin Bieber has also admitted that their first year of being spouses was a rough ride. While appearing on the "In Good Faith With Chelsea & Judah Smith" podcast, Bieber revealed that he'd come to the knowledge that he had a lot of work that he needed to do on himself if the marriage was going to work. "I realized there was some serious healing I needed to go through in order to get to a place where I could be in a healthy, serious relationship because I had a lot of trauma and scars," he explained.

Hailey, also appearing on that podcast, divulged that their relationship had experienced difficulties even before getting married, detailing one particularly rough patch when they weren't even speaking to each other. "It was actually very sad when we didn't speak," she said. "I did something that really hurt him, and I think that kind of maybe took that idea [of marrying me] out of his mind at that point."

Happily, they were able to overcome their difficulties and make it to the altar. 

He's felt powerless to help wife Hailey with her own mental health struggles

While Justin Bieber's own struggles with mental health created difficulties in his marriage, his wife, Hailey Bieber, also experienced issues with her own mental health. "I like to make jokes about how I feel because sometimes it's easier than admitting I'm having a hard time," she wrote in a 2023 post she shared with fans via Instagram Stories, as noted by Us Weekly. "But truthfully since 2023 started I have had some of the saddest, hardest moments I've ever had in my adult life and my mind and emotions have been fragile to say the least." She concluded by conceding that there are many others out there feeling similarly and offered her own experience as encouragement that they weren't the only ones going through those types of struggles. 

According to a source, Bieber had been having a difficult time with the situation, with his inability to help her cope leaving him bereft. "It breaks Justin's heart to have seen Hailey struggling emotionally the way she has been these past few months," the source told Us Weekly. "He loves his wife more than anything and knows she has a heart of gold."

Rumors of troubles in his marriage

After more than five years of marriage, some disturbing rumors about Justin and Hailey Bieber began to surface in early 2024. According to In Touch, the marriage was reportedly on the rocks, with Hailey becoming increasingly fed up with her husband's fragile emotional state. "Justin is clingy and he relies on her so much for his emotional and psychological well-being," a source told the outlet. "There are times Hailey just wants to end it so she can be on her own again." Noting that the two had experienced a lot of highs and lows in their marriage, the source added, "Friends are surprised they've lasted this long."

The source also pointed out that her experience as a model had toughened Hailey, while Justin had been catered to and micro-managed since he was a child. "Hailey sees him as an immature kid at times," claimed the source. 

Another issue reportedly pushing the two apart was their differing stances on children (Justin wants them now, but Hailey would prefer to wait). Then, there were Bieber's various health woes, which had forced his wife into the role of taking care of him while neglecting her own needs. "It made her realize how one-sided their relationship was," the source added but also pointed out that Hailey, more than anything, wants to make the relationship work. "She really doesn't want to throw in the towel on her marriage," the source insisted.