On Friday, April 20th EDM fans across the world were shocked and heartbroken to hear that internationally known DJ Avicii had passed away at the incredibly young age of 28. Well-known for genre-mixing singles in the electronic dance music (EDM) world, this Grammy-nominated artist has been producing music since as young as 16 years old. By 18 he was already going on tours. So it tragic for many to see someone who had come up so quickly in his scene to be lost so soon.
DJ Avicii, born Tim Bergling of Sweden, was actually on vacation in Muscat, Oman at the time of his death, according to early reports. While the cause of death had not been confirmed, Oman police have officially ruled out “criminal suspicion”. UPDATE: A recent statement from the family has many wondering if suicide could be the cause of death.
However, many point to a number of health issues DJ Avicii was battling, including acute pancreatitis. Some sources report that this was in part due to his history of excessive drinking.
Avicii Faced His Health Issues
At only 26 years old, Avicii had announced he would be retiring from performing to focus on his health. During an interview with Rolling Stone just last year he had talked about how his lifestyle of hard partying had quickly begun to catch up to him. He told the magazine,
“It’s very easy to become too attached to partying. You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic.”
In 2013, Avicii further explained his motivations for giving up drinking with TIME magazine, saying,
“Yeah I was drinking way too much, partying in general way too much… Then I got a pancreatitis attack [at 21], which is very rare. So that forced me to do a 180 and stop drinking.”
But just because Avicii gave up drinking did not mean he gave up the party. He told TIME,
“I can be sober and party. It’s all a learning experience. I’ve gone out partying sober and I’ve met my new girlfriend from day one sober, and I’ve done everything sober. And I see how drunk everyone else is and I feel like, I kind of like not being hungover tomorrow.”
While Avicii also admitted it was stressful and brought on anxiety to face his fame and continue a demanding tour schedule, the artist was still optimistic about his sobriety. During an interview in the middle of his last worldwide tour, after announcing his retirement, he said,
“I just feel happy. I feel free at this point. Like I have my private life back and focusing on myself for the first time in a long time,”
However, Avicii did not condemn his fame. He still greatly enjoyed his career, stating:
“It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price—a lot of stress [and] a lot of anxiety for me—but it was the best journey of my life.”
The documentary Avicii: True Stories was one of the first public ways that the artist had opened up about the specific health issues he was facing with acute pancreatitis. According to reports, he was first diagnosed with the condition in 2012 after a hospitalization. In 2014 there were reports that the artist even had to undergo surgery as a result of further health complications.
While there is no way of knowing if his health issues were directly responsible for his death, we may never know.
UPDATE: Statement From Avicii’s Family
Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.
An over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.
When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.
He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness.
He could not go on any longer.
He wanted to find peace.
Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight.
Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed.
The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.
While Avicii may have suffered at some point due to his drinking, what we can be inspired by in his life is that he was not afraid to keep doing what he loved even after giving up alcohol. He was not afraid to party sober, and when he retired he did so with the desire to live free.
Have you experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you’ve tried to quit drinking? Has alcohol started creating other physical, mental or emotional problems for you? If so, you might want to consider getting help for alcohol dependence. Substance dependence and addiction are medical conditions for which treatment is available. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Photo Via: http://commons.wikimedia.org
Author: Justin Mckibben
Have you ever seen a movie with the characters Jay and Silent Bob? If not, go watch one right now… don’t worry, I’ll wait… RIGHT?! How awesome was that?!
“Ladies, Ladies, Ladies, Jay and Silent Bob are in the hizzouse!”
All jokes aside, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the hysterically funny actor Jason Mewes, he has a face that is synonymous with pop culture. The man is a comedic cinema icon, and has been part of a lengthy list of films and media including:
- Chasing Amy
He has been a feature in all films made by Kevin Smith, who plays the other half of his dynamic duo ‘Bob’, while Jason himself plays ‘Jay’. As the more vocal half in the Jay and Silent Bob partnership, he has come to define the fast-talking and all imaginative “marijuana-enthusiast” character known for snatching the spotlight in every scene he was in.
Jason is not only a 20-year film veteran with 81 acting credits in his filmography, he is also a man committed to his craft… and his recovery.
Jays Sober Journey
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is infamous as a cult classic, and Jason’s first movie, Clerks, set the standard for independently produced films. Besides doing voice-work for cartoons and video games he is on the road continuing the successful podcast he started with Kevin Smith called “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old.”
He is also very honest and open about his struggles with drugs, admitting that when bored comes his cravings can set in, and now-a-days it seems he as busy as a guy could take.
The irony here is Jason made his name as an actor playing a stereotypical “stoner!” The character of Jay is a drug dealing clown who hangs outside malls and fast-food spots all day selling weed to kids, but the man behind the funny guy is actually clean and sober.
Jason has been pretty public since his recovery about his struggles with heroin addiction and in a recent interview with The Fix, Jason admitted:
“Right around 21 is when I tried opioids for the first time. It’s in my family, I was born addicted to heroin. My mom was a heroin addict. My sister is a drug addict, my brother is a drug addict. It’s in the blood and in the genes.”
“I tried the opioids when I knew it was bad news. At that point, I had done Clerks, Mallrats, and Drawing Flies which is an independent film, and Chasing Amy. That’s what I wanted to do at that point and I feel like the drugs really hindered me.”
Kevin Smith entered Mewes into the first of a series of drug rehabilitation clinics in 1997, which would be the beginning of a back and forth battle with substance abuse.
In 1999 Mewes was arrested in New Jersey for heroin possession, and was sentenced to probation including:
- Community service
- Drug counseling
- Regular court appearances in New Jersey
In late 2001, after he failed to make a court appearance, a warrant was issued for his arrest. After the death of his mother in 2002 as a result of AIDS, he surrendered himself at a Freehold, New Jersey court and pleaded guilty to probation violation charges in April of 2003. He was ordered to enter a six-month rehab program, but that was also not his last stay in treatment. He ended up going back and forth for a few more years, even bumping into an old friend Ben Affleck who at the time was in rehab for alcoholism.
Further on during the interview when discussing his history with drug use, Jason talked about how drugs had hinders the normalcy of life that was supposed to come with growing up, and about how at one point he didn’t like what he did, and was just doing movies to get up and go in the morning.
Later in that interview when asked about maintaining his sobriety over time, Jason stated:
“To me, it’s really just about being honest and surrounding myself with people.”
“I didn’t want to share with people, or let people know, even though people did know. In my head, and being all messed up, I thought people didn’t know because I thought it would mess up my chances of working. Again, it was obvious, I was like 140 pounds and I was a mess, but every day the podcast is a big help. Surrounding myself with people that are good and just being honest with myself.”
In the past Jason reportedly recounted his bottom hitting after waking up on Christmas morning 2003 to find that he had started a fire after falling asleep near a lit candle while on heroin. Mewes returned to New Jersey, where he was given the choice of attending 6 months of court-mandated rehab or a year in jail.
In a July 2006 interview he reported that he was sober, and harbored no urges to drink or use drugs, but he relapsed in 2009 after having surgery.
Jason expressed that keeping himself accountable to others is a huge part of his program, and that he is tempted at times so he resorts to sharing his thoughts and feelings with those closest to him and telling on himself before anything happens to stay accountable to those around him.
Beyond that he spoke about how his work was a big part of his sobriety, and how important it was that he commit to it. When talking about his podcast and the roll it played in his sobriety, he said:
“I just feel like that has been a big difference for me being honest with everyone who listens to the podcast. I’ve been really accountable. I go into a Starbucks and someone will be like, “Hey man, I listen to your podcast. How many days do you have sober?” I’m literally accountable to all these people and out of the blue someone could ask me.”
However he has apparently been clean since June 28th, 2010.
Asked in a recent interview how long he was clean Jay responded with a resounding 1785 days! That is huge for a guy who got famous playing a guy who seemed like he was stuck on drugs for life. Sometimes you hear the term ‘chronic relapser’ and think ‘how hopeless can it get?’ Well the fact that a guy who plays one of the world’s biggest pot-heads in movies has been sober nearly 5 years is amazing, and if you’re wondering if it’s possible, ask this dude!
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Sometimes the people you least expect can carry a powerful and positive message about how even though addiction held them back, recovery changed their life. A life in sobriety can be far more fulfilling and exciting than people assume, and it starts with choosing to make a change. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Photo Via: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Hardy
Author: Justin Mckibben
I have to say that being a huge movie buff, and I’m the kind of guy who tries to remember every role my favorite actors/actresses play in. I highly anticipate the new Mad Max: Fury Road film starring the London talent turned Hollywood hero Tom Hardy, and as someone that follows the careers of actors and actresses I’m impressed with after they are able to grab my attention with just one intriguing role, I have become a huge fan of this guy. So when I first read about Tom Hardy speaking openly about his battles with drugs and his road to recovery it was something that makes him seem more human, and I might actually be a bigger fan for it.
Hard Man Hardy
Edward Thomas “Tom” Hardy is a 37 year old English actor from Hammersmith, London who made his feature film debut back in the day with Black Hawk Down in 2001. He since has been noted for countless amazing performances in some awesome titles including:
- Star Trek: Nemesis (yes.. he was the main villain)
- RocknRolla (appeared as Handsome Bob)
- Inception (a performance toe-to-toe with Dicaprio’s)
- Warrior (nuff said)
- Lawless (the big brother/soft spoken moonshine man)
- The Dark Knight Rises (duh… anything Batman is awesome)
And throughout his career he went from a much smaller size to a bulky brawler, getting him some serious notoriety as what he says Hollywood sees him as- a “hard man” on set, but that’s not who he thinks he is. This may be most noticeable in his role as the yoked-up mask-faced mercenary BANE from the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
So when Hardy recently talked about his troubles with drugs and how helpless he was in active addiction, I can’t help but imagine him saying (in my best possible Bane impersonation) “I was wondering what would break first, my mind… or my body!” Addiction struck in his mid-20’s, but it seems Hardy counts himself fortunate to have recovered before getting the chance to terrorize us in Gotham City.
In an interview with fellow former addict Kenny Ross, Hardy talked about how his had nearly fallen apart, along with his career due to drugs and alcohol. Despite his successful performance in Black Hawk Down, he quickly found himself in a downward spiral that landed him broken.
“I didn’t want anyone to know I was out of control, but I couldn’t hide it. Eventually, the body gives up. I was completely kaput. I was lucky I didn’t get hepatitis or AIDS.”
Hardy admitted that his troubles began at an early age of 13, when he was already experimenting with hallucinogens. Coming from an affluent home Hardy was kicked out of boarding schools for theft, and an addiction to crack cocaine and abusive relationship with alcohol quickly followed. Hardy was arrested for stealing a Mercedes and possessing a gun at 17, but somehow managed to get off without punishment. The years went on and his addiction was only growing, and he abused crack cocaine consistently. At one point he said:
“I would have sold my mother for a rock of crack”
While it didn’t get to the point his mom was on the auction block, it apparently got bad enough for Hardy to make a change.
“I did something particularly heinous that allowed me to wake up.
“I had to lose something. Sometimes you have to lose something that is worth more to you than your drinking.”
Then one day in 2003 he woke up in a puddle of his own blood and vomit on the streets of Soho, and after years of using and boozing he finally realized he needed help. Luckily for him, he was able to find it.
His Reaction to Recovery
Hardy may have become one of the “hard men” of Hollywood, but he is certainly able to admit his shortcomings and his faults. During an interview Hardy described his transition into recovery from despair and desperation, and how the message had stuck with him.
“I was told very clearly, ‘You go down that road, Tom, you won’t come back. That’s it. All you need to know.’ That message stayed with me clearly for the rest of my days. I am f–king lucky to be here.”
When he talks about his trip to rehab, his intentions going in, and the revelation he had while in treatment it is a very familiar story. This inspiration hits close to home remembering my own journey to treatment for addiction, and one thing I can honestly relate to is when he said:
“I went in thinking I’d do it for a little bit until I can go out and drink and people forgive me. But I did my 28 days, and after listening to people who had been through similar circumstances I realized I did have a problem.”
Hardy has now been sober since 2003, and he credits a lot of that to helping others in many ways to reach out. He has actively worked a 12 Step program, and admits that at times his work may be his substitution for his drinking and drugging, but he does his best to stay aware of what that element of his ambition could do. He is the first to admit he has the same potential to ruin it all today as he ever did, but he is grateful for his life today and for the opportunity to chase his dreams and raise his son.
While our new Mad Max may look like a bit of a bully in his movies, it appears as though he is anything but. As a loving father and active member of a fellowship who has dedicated himself to helping others and spreading the message, he seems to take his role in recovery very seriously, and isn’t afraid to talk about living in the fear. Sometimes we don’t see how our heroes are humans too. We all need a little help sometimes. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
Here’s a macabre statistic: almost 15 million Americans suffer from some form of major depressive disorder annually. People find mental illnesses like depression difficult to talk about and the negative stigma associated with it doesn’t make things any easier. Mental illness is just as legitimate as physical disease or injury but, because it goes unseen, it’s difficult to grasp. If you have major depression, you’re in good company with these 8 celebrities who have major depressive disorder (you might be surprised)…
#1. Ellen DeGeneres
Beloved talk show host and avid fan of dancing, Ellen DeGeneres was not always so wildly successful. Back in 1997, she decided to take the brave step of coming out on her semi-biographical sitcom, Ellen, and although the episode in which she made her big reveal was one of the highest-rated episodes of the show, Ellen’s ratings fell drastically the following season and it was soon cancelled.
During this time, DeGeneres faced a dark period in both her career and personal life. With a failed attempt at another show, The Ellen Show, (it was quickly cancelled); offers drying up; her personal relationships falling apart, it’s no wonder that DeGeneres’ mental health took a major blow.
Nowadays, though, it seems the actress-turned-talk show-host has won the battle with depression and Ellen has since become one of the most bankable television names in the world.
#2. Jon Hamm
Mad Men star Jon Hamm faced major depression early on, in his adolescence: his father died when the actor was 20 years old, leading to a deep depression. His struggle with depression lasted for years but he was always proactive with seeking help; Hamm says that both therapy and antidepressants helped treat his depression. About acting, Hamm has said: “The theater department seems to be the way station for the orphans and all the people who don’t fit in anywhere else” and it seems that he has put his early experiences with depression to good use while crafting his art. With a hugely successful acting career at his feet, it seems Hamm has finally arrived as a force in Hollywood. Recently, the actor completed a 30-day rehab program for alcohol addiction.
#3. JK Rowling
J.K. Rowling rose to fame with her whimsical and inspiring Harry Potter book series. Before long the books were a worldwide phenomenon and Rowling was the richest female author on the planet. But, before all of that, Rowling struggled with serious depression. The author would later admit that things got so bad for and that she even contemplated suicide.
Before she found her voice with writing, Rowling was a single mother struggling to make ends meet. She would scribble bits and pieces of what would become the Harry Potter epic on crumpled napkins in between jobs. She persevered and now the world has some amazingly touching and uplifting literature to show for it! It is said that Rowling, like Hamm, used her depression as inspiration – at least in part – while writing; a famous example of this is her concept of Dementors, which are “soul-sucking fiends” that act as guards in the magic world’s infamous Azkaban prison. The Dementors “drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them” by performing the Dementor’s kiss, which works by sucking the happiness and soul from its victim.
#4. Brad Pitt
Another one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors to do battle with major depression is the ever-popular Brad Pitt. With credits like 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Moneyball, Inglourious Basterds, and the Ocean’s Eleven franchise to only name a few – or six – things weren’t always so great for the star.
Pitt revealed in the past that he fought depression back in the ’90s, telling the press that he felt like he was “wasting away” and that he turned into a “stoner” without any direction or ambition. Pitt says he was disgusted with his reliance on marijuana and that he sank into depression and self-loathing. Also around this time, Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston was on shaky ground and has said that that was another contributing factor when it came to his mental state. He has said that neither he nor Aniston really had what it took to be in a relationship together and that they “faked it” for a long time.
Pitt has reportedly said that his marriage with Angelina Jolie restored him so much that it completely changed his life around. Pitt has told reporters that Jolie “lives life” in a way that few others do and credits Jolie in getting him re-focused on his artwork and living a fulfilled life.
#5. Russell Brand
Russell Brand is no stranger to strife. The actor-and-comedian-turned-activist has battled addictions in the past, from drugs to sex – and celebrates more than a decade of continuous sobriety. But, also in the past, Brand struggled with both depression and bulimia, both of which he sought treatment for multiple times.
Brand draws on his own emotional turmoil for laughs and Brand is in good company (as far as this author is concerned) with the likes of Mitch Hedberg (RIP), Louis C.K., and Joan Rivers (RIP) – to name only a few. Nowadays, Brand channels his energies into positive, proactive endeavors by speaking out about addiction, recovery, and the need for support among fellow recovering addicts after they leave rehab.
#6. Winona Ryder
The 80s It-Girl went from being in the spotlight to the fringes of Hollywood in a New York minute. Her credits list Beetlejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Dracula, and Girl, Interrupted (with Jolie) but a very public break-up with superstar Johnny Depp led to severe anxiety with depression. As a result, Ryder sought therapy and was even institutionalized for a brief stint due to her mental illness. And then there was the oh-so-public shoplifting incident, which must have dealt her a heavy blow.
It seems, though, that Ryder has made a bit of a comeback with her roles in Black Swan and the show Homefront. However, Ryder’s depression seems to be a pervasive force in her life as she refuses to take lead roles in film work due to the emotional stress that it puts on her.
#7. Pete Wentz
Fall Out Boy bassist and songwriter Pete Wentz routinely struggled with mental issues stemming back to his teens; he is diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and has taken medication for it since the age of eighteen. In 2005, while supposedly at the top of his game, the famous musician and a friend got loaded on alcohol and other drugs and ended up playing a grim game of Russian roulette. At one point, his depression got so bad that he tried to overdose on Ativan. Wentz detailed the story of his suicide attempt in an interview with Playboy:
“I was isolating myself further and further, and the more I isolated myself, the more isolated I’d feel. I wasn’t sleeping. I just wanted my head to shut off, like, I just wanted to completely stop thinking about anything at all.”
Wentz now has two children and a supportive girlfriend and credits a good support system of great friends with helping him keep his depression at bay.
#8. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones has been waging a war with her own mental health for a while now and has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder type II – the depressive subtype of the disorder. The star of such films as Chicago and Oceans 12 experienced a serious bout of depression while her husband of 15 years, major Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, fought throat cancer. Douglas has said of his wife’s condition that he had no idea the extent of her suffering.
In April 2011, Zeta-Jones sought treatment for bipolar II disorder and checked herself into the high-end Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut. The actress again sought help in treating her bipolar disorder by checking into a health care facility again in April 2013.
Zeta-Jones treats her major depression with therapy and medication.
Please don’t suffer in silence. There continues to be a negative stigma attached to depression and other psychological disorders however the tides have begun to change. Mental illnesses are just as real and just as painful – if not more so – as physical illnesses. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to talk to someone today – or tonight. We’re here 27/7 to take your call.
By Cheryl Steinberg
Jon Hamm, currently best known for his role as alcoholic ad man Don Draper on Mad Men, has just completed a 30-day stint in rehab for alcohol addiction just days before the debut of the hit show’s last season.
The actor checked himself into the high-end facility Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut at the end of February.
Representatives for Hamm released a statement, saying, “With the support of his longtime partner [actress and screenwriter] Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction. They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward.”
A trending star, Hamm’s role as advertising executive Don Draper in the AMC drama series Mad Men which came onto the scene in July 2007, won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series the following year in 2008. Before his break-out role as Draper, Hamm had supporting roles in The Town (2010), Sucker Punch (2011), and Bridesmaids (2011).
It seems Hamm’s trip to rehab for alcoholism is an unfortunate case of life imitating art.
It is not known if Hamm has struggled with alcohol in the past and it seems that this is his first time in rehab. Here’s to it being the only time. Our thoughts and well-wishes are with you, Mr. Hamm.
Alcohol use disorder, as it is now medically-recognized, is a serious medical condition that can range from problem drinking to full-blown alcoholism. If you think that your drinking puts you anywhere on that spectrum, or you know someone who is struggling, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist. We are confidential and compassionate professionals who can answer your questions and help you weigh your options. And, we’re here 24/7.