Worship singer Brandon Lake shares battle with depression, adrenaline fatigue

Worship singer and songwriter Brandon Lake shares his mental health struggle in a podcast episode in January 2024.
Worship singer and songwriter Brandon Lake shares his mental health struggle in a podcast episode in January 2024. | Screengrab: YouTube/ Mac Lake

Christian worship singer and songwriter Brandon Lake recently opened up about his firsthand experiences with depression and “adrenaline fatigue” during a podcast in which he also discussed the importance of spiritual and physical well-being. 

The 33-year-old musician, husband and father of three sons, named Blaise, Beau and Banner, spoke about the moment he realized he was battling depression and adrenaline fatigue — a term used by alternative health practitioners to explain tiredness and other symptoms thought to be due to chronic (long-term) exposure to stressful situations, according to Healthdirect Australia, which adds that adrenaline fatigue isn't a recognized medical diagnosis.

Lake shared these intimate details on a recent episode of the "General Leadership" podcast with his father, Mac Lake. He said that on the night he first experienced a battle with his mental health, he was putting his young sons down to sleep when he suddenly began to have an episode of depression.  

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That evening, Lake said he reached out to two of his close friends to confide in them about his struggle. 

“{My wife] Brittany is putting one boy to bed; I'm putting the other boy to bed. And I reached out to two of my buddies. And I had too much pride to even call them; I texted them. I said, 'Guys, I don't know what's going on right now. I've been home for a few days … and I don't recognize myself. I'm not myself. I'm freaking out. And I’m feeling compelled to just crash or do something crazy,’” Lake recalled.  

“And they're trying to call me but I wouldn't answer. And I'm still trying to put the boys down, and my buddy sends me a voice text praying over me. Micah … one of my best friends, he's just been a Godsend. And I listened to the voice text while I'm laying with one kid in bed,” Lake continued. 

“As soon as he prayed over me, man … all of the weight and the craziness in that moment, it broke. I broke, but in a good way, which led to confession.

At that point, he added, "I hadn't shared any of what was going on with me with Brittany. I kept it to myself. And that's one of the biggest things the enemy wants to do is isolate you and keep you in that constant panic, and you believing all of those lies.”  

After hearing his friend Micah’s prayer over voice text, Lake said he broke down and wept, and his wife held him close in that moment.   

His depression had actually started a few years earlier when he went through the transition of rising to fame and notoriety, he added. 

In that transition, Lake said he went from being a local worship leader to signing onto a record label, touring the country with Bethel music and writing songs with many of the famous artists he had looked up to.

However, along with his newfound fame came heavy feelings of “pressure” that took an emotional and mental toll on the artist.  

“I was starting to feel depression coming on. … It was within weeks I jumped on this Bethel tour with Bethel music — heroes of mine. I can't even believe I'm in the room with them. And they found me on this tour. And it was amazing,” Lake said.  

“Around the same time, I get invitations to write with so many of my heroes. You would have thought I was just on speed. It was like drugs. My adrenaline is just firing. I'm so excited; I'm having the time of my life. [But] it created pressure,” he added. 

“I've heard it said that your body doesn't know the difference between good stress and bad stress, it just knows stress. While I'm having the time of my life, there's other things happening. … The tour was amazing. These writing sessions were amazing. And all of this happened within a span of a few weeks.” 

Lake said the pressure started to get to him when he came home from his first tour with Bethel. 

“These wild thoughts would just come up in my mind, you know, and I kind of ignored it at first. Because I'm like, ‘I should be happy. I'm living all my dreams right now,’ right? And then these insecurities would creep in as soon as I got home, and then, I started believing things about myself,” Lake said. 

“I've started thinking in ways I've never thought, like being completely vulnerable. I even had a low moment. And y'all, this is like the span of a few hours, a few days. And I'm already thinking like, ‘Should I just leave this Earth? … I'm miserable. … Would they just be better without me? Does anybody love me? Am I even seen?’” he added. 

On the night he broke down crying while putting his children to bed, Lake said he realized he needed someone to talk to about the dark feelings he was facing. 

“Luckily, because I've had amazing role models and counseling, I knew to quickly talk about it. But this was a kind of battle, one I didn't see coming. And it was nothing I'd ever experienced before, he added, reiterating how he had a huge physical, mental and emotional adjustment going from being a local worship leader and home with his wife and children to going on tour and then returning to a less hectic lifestyle at home.  

“I was wise enough to know that probably [these feelings were] going to come back. That feeling, those thoughts, are going to come back if I don't deal with them. And that's when I realized I have to have somebody to talk to. And not only Brittany, but I probably should talk to a professional about this. And I began to meet with Chip, my counselor, my therapist, if you will, and he gave me language to understand what was happening.” 

Lake said his therapist told him that he was suffering from adrenaline fatigue.

“I'd come off the road and I had no more adrenaline. And what that [does], is it attacks your emotional management system, your pain management system. And talking about health, it attacks your immune system. So you can easily, if you're somebody on the go and not giving yourself time to rest, you will get sick,” Lake explained.  

“For me, it just manifested in becoming mentally sick and not having a true North. I couldn't find true North. I began to talk with him and he gave me language for that, which brought about so much freedom. And [he] helped me with some tools to make sure I'm combating that,” he continued. 

“[My therapist told me], ‘Brandon, you are basically shooting heroin for a few weeks. And then you have to go cold turkey. That's what that lifestyle was doing to you. And now, you have to come home. And we've got to figure out ways to make that mountaintop in that valley. We've got to even that out and make sure you're coming home. You're experiencing how to help you stay in a really healthy [place].’”

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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