How David Bowie Coped With Anxiety and Shyness

david bowie anxiety
David Bowie Street Art

Many famous singers and actors suffer from anxiety. David Bowie overcame anxiety and shyness to be successful. Read on to find out more.

Many famous singers can disguise their anxiety when performing in public. It is impossible for you to know that they are crippled by fear when performing.

For example, let us take a look at David Bowie. Would you have guessed that David Bowie suffered from anxiety and extreme shyness problems most of his life?

The shyness and anxiety difficulties did not prevent David Bowie from being successful as a professional singer and entertainer.

But it did take a toll on his personal life in general. In the past, he has acknowledged this, but he did not like being interviewed. He found it very difficult to be interviewed and having to talk to people about his difficulties.

What is noteworthy is how singers and celebrities like David Bowie can be successful in spite of their anxiety disorder. Entertainers can develop different personas. They can change their personalities while performing on stage. They can invent and become a different person altogether. Did you ever wonder why so many singers use stage names instead of their real names?

David Bowie and How He Dealt with Anxiety

David Bowie was a very flamboyant singer and entertainer. He seemed to enjoy performing, and his shows were full of energy, passion, fun and were very exciting to watch. However, when the show was over, David was back to just being himself. He was back in the ‘real world’. So he had to be himself again.

That meant coping with his anxiety and shyness problems. So he used his music and singing to escape from the issue of anxiety. But he could only do this while performing. He literally could be someone else for the performance or show. David Bowie took the pressure off himself in this way while performing.

Ziggy and Aladdin Sane Personas

Take Ziggy Stardust as an example. While being Ziggy, he was the complete opposite of his usual self. This allowed him to be a different person and forget the anxiety and shyness during that time. Then you also had The Thin White Duke and Aladdin Sane later, both different kinds of personalities David Bowie became while performing.

So he appeared in a film and even acted in small parts on Broadway. It is interesting that when he became someone else, he was able to do all that.


Anxiety and shyness were not a problem for him, and he focused on whatever he was doing to great effect. Becoming a different person released all his worries and allowed him to perform at his best. He had the talent to do so and perform at his best. He was able to be different than he usually was. He could express himself and behave differently than by being himself.

When he was performing, he was fascinating. His music and energy were fantastic. People from every walk of life attended David Bowie concerts from all over the world. That was how good his personas were. All his anxiety and shyness disappeared while on stage, and he enjoyed the experience of entertaining people.

You would never know how shy and anxious he could be offstage. People can be amazed to discover how many celebrities are entirely different in real life. They are really like anyone else, having to deal with the same issues that everyone experiences. Many entertainers are shy and insecure when off stage and just being themselves. Many of them shun the limelight when not performing due to their insecurities.

So David Bowie was able to become someone else when performing. He was able to give it everything, and he could entirely focus on his performance. His anxiety and shyness were not evident when on stage. If you ever saw him during an interview, you would see that his on-stage persona and his real-life self were very different people.

David came across as being shy in nature and introverted. The way he was able to deal with anxiety and shyness and be successful is an inspiration to anybody who suffers from anxiety disorders. Take inspiration from someone who overcame it.

Be yourself and express yourself in any way you can. If David Bowie was able to deal with it under the public gaze, it should be easier for anyone to find ways to handle anxiety issues.

You are not a celebrity, but how they handle anxiety should give you some ideas. Find and discover some strategies to help you focus less on your anxieties. There are many things to help you — music for example, or sports or creative arts. These activities will help you to get out of yourself. You will meet people but have something else to focus on that interests you. Put all of your focus on the activity and not the people. Get lost in your performance.

How You Can Help Yourself

If you find it hard to get started due to very high levels of shyness or anxiety you might consider doing some type of therapy to help you reduce your anxiety levels. Even celebrities undertake treatment. Therapy will help you relax and help you with your social skills. So never be afraid to seek help for your problems.

You are no different than anyone else really, and if famous people do it then why not you too? Look at what David Bowie achieved in spite of everything. Do you think you could emulate him and find ways to deal with your anxiety? What you need to start with is to discover something that you have a real passion for. Then focus on that passion and using any techniques you find helpful, just get into it and your fears will diminish over time.

david bowie anxiety and shyness

Some of David Bowie’s Works

You don’t have to deal with the problems that come from being a celebrity and always being in the public eye. You don’t have to give interviews or be recognized by everyone in public. Remember that when you are anxious and be thankful for it. There are many ways you can deal with your anxiety and shyness issues.

Find some methods that will work for your particular personality. Remember that no matter what you choose to help you when you are alone, you will always be just yourself. There is no right or wrong way.

Everyone is different and finds their own solutions and what works for them. Now go out and find your own way and be happy in yourself. David Bowie anxiety levels did not stop him from being a brilliant performer.