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.
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By Cheryl Steinberg
It’s a difference between two words – two words that seem almost interchangeable – although, that difference is all important when it comes to a certain type of eating disorder. Not the kind that has to with restricting food or caloric intake; it has to do with over-indulging in food, or over-indulging in a type of food. This is the main distinction between eating addiction and food addiction, respectively.
If you think you have one of these issues, here’s a little test for you:
Fill in the blank: “After a tough or emotional day, I will sometimes go home and eat ______ until I’m sick.”
Depending on how people answer this question, an emerging debate becomes apparent: regarding obesity and food addiction. Is food addiction a legitimate disorder? And, should food industries be held accountable for intentionally developing extremely palatable sugar-salt-fat bombs that can actually override the brain’s signaling that we’re full?
Or, is it more accurate to say that the behavior of overeating is an ‘eating addiction’ — a disordered relationship to all foods that requires action on the part of the individual, much like recovery from drugs?
In fact, Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D. to the Huffington Post compared the struggles of people with food addiction to alcoholics trying – and failing – to keep their habit under control.
“Sitting in the room with clients, you never hear people say, ‘Oh my god, I came home after a hard day and I was just craving broccoli and cauliflower so bad that I had a massive binge on these vegetables,’” said Gearhardt. “That’s part of the reason I think it’s important to recognize that not all food is problematic — it’s a certain class of foods that people seem to struggle with the most.”
She added, “Often they will try to have their own rules, like, ‘I’m going to try to not drink until after 5,’ or, ‘I’m going to try to drink water between each drink.’ But when they start drinking, the intensity of the alcohol makes it really hard; something similar might be happening with food.”
Food Addiction vs. Eating Addiction
It might be too early to say for sure but, food addiction research has its obvious appeal. The model reveals a comprehensive concept of the “toxic food environment” in which we live currently and is compelling in its assertion that the increasingly prevalent and powerful processed food industry is closely linked with growing rates of obesity , especially morbid obesity, which is defined as a body mass index over 40.
“’Food addiction’ has been implicated as a potential contributor to the obesity epidemic,” wrote John Menzies, Ph.D., a University of Edinburgh researcher who studies the neuroscience of hyper-palatable foods in an email to HuffPost. “However, there is no association between diagnoses of addictive-like eating and body weight.”
That is, some people of what’s considered to be normal weight seem to have signs of a so-called food addiction, while there are some obese people who have normal, healthy relationships with food. It’s those relationships, not the food itself, that should be the focus of analysis and intervention, said Menzies.
New York Times reporter Michael Moss a book, Sugar Salt Fat; in a series of eye-opening and, at times, shocking descriptions, Moss details all the tricks of the trade that the processed food industry employs in order to find the perfect combination of sugar, salt, and fat, making their food irresistible as well as eliciting hardcore cravings.
“The food industry hates the A word, addictive, because it cuts too close to their efforts to maximize the allure of their products,” Moss wrote in an email to HuffPost. Yet even he is reluctant to use the “a-word” when it comes to describing the effect processed food has on our brains.
“I’ve been shy about using the word myself when it comes to food, since narcotics can have such a tougher grip on individuals,” wrote Moss in an email to HuffPost. “But obesity and diabetes is a vastly greater health issue than drug abuse, involving vastly greater numbers of people, and it’s important to remember that the formulas used by the processed food industry to get us to not just like their products, but to want more and more of them, are just part of their strategy.”
However, Menzies argues that there’s just not enough evidence to prove that a certain food can be considered an addictive substance like cigarettes or alcohol. He writes that it’s more appropriate to regard chronic overeating as an eating addiction instead, based on his review of almost all the studies on the subject that have been recently published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.
“‘Eating addiction‘ shifts the focus away from the food itself to the behavior,” he wrote. “It emphasises that we need to look carefully at people’s relationship with food and understand how people make their food choices.”
Struggling with a substance abuse disorder, alcohol or drug addiction, and/or eating disorder makes life a lot tougher than it really is. The good news is that there is specialized treatment that can help you on the road to recovery so that you can start living life to its fullest. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We can help. You are not alone.
For those addicts who struggle with the abuse of prescription pills, especially powerful painkillers, it is an uphill battle trying to find treatment and escape out of that vicious cycle and into recovery. Discomfort doesn’t even come close to articulating some of the pain that is involved in detoxing from painkillers cold turkey, and the longer you have been using the worse it gets. So when you throw into the mix a legit medical problem that consists of a fair amount of pain, the concept of giving up the only thing that you believe can help you because it is causing you a different kind of pain can be terrifying. Here are 5 reasons recovery is so scary for prescription pill addicts with legit medical problems.
- Afraid of the pain of detox
For prescription pill addicts, the thought of detox is scary enough. When you add the pain of detox to a regularly scheduled agony from medical problems it only makes it harder to stick through that detox process without giving up, and many addicts who use pain killers have a hard time telling the difference between their own pains and the discomforts caused by withdrawals.
- Afraid detox will make medical problem worse
Sometimes when someone with a serious medical condition considers the idea of going to treatment for use of a prescription pill that has developed into a serious addiction they are afraid that the physical toll taken on the body from the detoxification process will actually create more complications with their current condition. Especially if their condition is the actual reason why they have been prescribed the medication in the first place, the addict can become even more worried that without it their problem will progress.
- Afraid of being ‘black listed’
A lot of times a prescription pill addict will avoid going to treatment or getting involved in their own recovery because they are worried that when they admit to having a serious problem with narcotics and abusing their medications that they will no longer be able to be prescribed medications. Many addicts believe that by going to treatment they are automatically ‘black-listed’ from being able to receive specific medications and they are scared that if they do so and their medical problem persists that they will no longer be able to get the treatment for that condition. They may fear that once they admit to a drug problem that doctors will assume in the future that they are just trying to manipulate the system in order to get these medications, when they really do have a more serious problem.
- Afraid of new medications
When taken off of you prescribed medication to try and resolve an issue with substance abuse, there can be some fear in recovery that your new medication may not be as helpful or healthy as you had hoped. It is possible that these new medications may not be as effective, or they may include their own list of side-effects or long-term effects that make them just as detrimental as the original medication you were taking.
- Afraid of relapses
Probably the worst fear of prescription pill addicts with legit medical conditions in recovery is relapse. Once in recovery a prescription pill addict will probably start off with a pretty legit fear of their condition because if they know already that they have issues with substance abuse and painkillers then it is understandable when they are hesitant to be prescribed new medications to help with their health problems because they are not familiar with the effects of these medications. Being an addict in recovery who has a legit medical issue and must be on some kind of medication, it can seem scary to have to remain vigilant as to your medications. At the end of the day though, all addicts must maintain self-awareness and vigilance.
For those with medical issues, the fear of getting off harmful medications can seem scary when you don’t know how else to navigate your illness without the help of your prescriptions. Some addicts don’t realize how much worse their illness may actually be as a result of the medications they abuse, or how it may be as simple as a new medication that could mean the difference between addiction and recovery, which for most means life or death. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135