The 78-year-old singer admitted he and his bandmates – Sir Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison – were more likely to mock their issues than have a discussion, but he thinks they came out of their global fame and its associated problems “reasonably well adjusted”.
Asked if he thinks, with hindsight, the ‘Come Together’ group had mental health issues, he said: “Yes, I think so. But you talked about it through your songs.
“You know, John would. ‘Help! I need somebody,’ he wrote. And I thought, ‘Well, it’s just a song,’ but it turned out to be a cry for help.
“Same kind of thing happened with me, mainly after the break-up of the band. All of us went through periods when we weren’t as happy as we ought to be.
“Ringo had a major drinking problem. Now he’s Mr Sober of the Year!
“But you know there were a lot of things we had to work through, but you’re right — you didn’t talk about mental health.
“It was something really that, as four guys, you were more likely to make fun of than be serious about. And the making fun of it was to hide from it.
“But having said all that, we were reasonably well adjusted, I think.”
The group split acrimoniously in 1970 and though Macca was pleased he repaired his friendship with John before he was murdered in 1980, he doesn’t think they’d ever have reunited even if the ‘Imagine’ hitmaker was still alive.
He added to The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine: “We made a decision when the Beatles folded that we weren’t going to pick it up again. So we switched off from the Beatles.
“You talk about something coming full circle that is very satisfying; let’s not spoil it by doing something that might not be as good.
“It was a conscious decision to leave well enough alone, so I don’t really think we would have. But who knows? We could have.
“We had certainly got our friendship back, which was a great blessing for me, and I now will often think, if I’m writing a song, ‘OK, John — I’ll toss it over to you. What line comes next?’ So I’ve got a virtual John that I can use.”