Scottish singer Susan Boyle has revealed she was bullied as a child because doctors failed to correctly diagnose the illness that caused her mental health problems.
In an interview with the Observer the Britain’s Got Talent finalist said: “It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid, I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label.”
Boyle was prone to mood swings and unexpected outbursts during her childhood. Her behaviour was passed off by experts as ‘brain damage’ after she supposedly was starved of oxygen during her birth. This misdiagnosis and a culture of ignorance and fear over mental health issues, led to Boyle being tormented by her fellow pupils who labelled her ‘Simple Susie’.
She has now told how she went in search of a new diagnosis as an adult: “I went to seek a diagnosis from a Scottish specialist. Nobody told me to. I thought I had a more serious illness and couldn’t function properly.”
The specialist revealed that the condition she was suffering with was Asperger’s.
Boyle admits she was pleased to have an accurate diagnosis and is now happy to go public with her condition: “Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself. It will not make any difference to my life. It’s just a condition that I have to live with and work through.”
Boyle now lives in the small terrace house she always shared with her mother Bridget, whose family were from Co Donegal. Despite earning enough to live in a mansion, Boyle says she prefers to stay in her mum’s old house: “I made a promise to my mum that I would do something with my life. Spiritually, she’s with me all the time.”
A movie about Susan Boyle’s life is rumoured to be on its way from Fox Searchlight, with Meryl Streep are possible choice for the lead role.
Boyle shot to fame after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent. Her ordinary appearance and the fact that she was middle aged led the judges and the audience to suspect that she was just another of the many no-hopers who appear on the show.
But then within seconds of her singing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables, the clarity of her voice rang out and she stole the show.
The clip from was shown all around the world and she became an overnight star. A recording contract soon followed and she went on to produce the I Dreamed a Dream bestselling album.
Here is the YouTube video of Boyle’s audtion on Britain’s Got Talent, which now has over 139 million views.