Metal Asylum: Stories of Mental Health from Metalheads

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I debated the title of this article with myself for quite some time. A pun about psychiatric hospitals seems a little facetious for a topic this serious or a format this personal. In the end, I decided a slightly disrespectful play on words was fitting. Metal takes frequent and deep dives into the darkest places of the human mind and mental illness, moreso that any other genre of music, I would argue. Its treatment of the topic often treads over the line of good taste or good intentions. As a vivid illustration of this, the number of bands on Encyclopedia Metallum with a word as cliche as “Dragon” in their name is 69; the number of bands with the word “Suicide” in the name is 99. In metal, the act of taking your own life is discussed commonly enough that it has become a trope, even a genre tag.

But here’s the thing, the relationship between mental illness and the people who suffer from it is sometimes flippant, sometimes disrespectful. A person’s connection with their disorder can be dark and terrifying, but it can also be sardonic. Mental illness is a harmful companion, but it’s one you live with every day. It’s a volatile relationship, but it is a relationship.

In my mind, metal’s connection with mental illness mirrors this bond. Its candor with the darkness is shocking and off-putting to those who have not been in the darkness, but to some of those who have, it’s refreshing, even familiar. With that in mind, here are eleven stories of mental health battles from Toilet Ov Hell readers, including my own. Each entry is paired with a song that is important to the writer. A huge fucking thanks to everyone who contributed!

Also, importantly, if you are struggling in any way, if any of these stories feel familiar and you need help, please reach out to someone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is #1-800-273-8255. If you don’t know where to start with treatment, the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline can hook you up at #1‑877‑726‑4727. You aren’t crazy, you aren’t weak, you aren’t alone, and asking for help and learning how to slay your own dragons is the most metal thing you can do.


Sean Wright (Creator of Esoterica Codex metal blog)

Ever since I can remember I’ve had to come to terms with hearing about the topic of mental illness and dealing with it has been constant and very personal. I’m currently diagnosed with Adult ADHD and Major Depressive Disorder. That includes anxiety, panic attacks, and symptoms that mimics Manic-Depressive-like behavior. I’m a prime candidate for never being fully capable of finding the light at the end of the tunnel.

It also means I’m not the most hopeful or cheerful person at times. I can be downright grumpy. I also have a penchant for self-medication, gallows humor, impulsive and risky behavior. I listen to music that seems to thrive and make bank on exploiting mental illness in the most cringe-inducing of ways. It doesn’t help when you come from an environment that treated mental illness and depression as the norm. I grew up experiencing and seeing the damaging effects it can have on not just you but everyone around you. Experiencing it myself, it makes known that it is a chemical imbalance brought on by different factors and YES it is hereditary. It’s a constant raging war that at times never seems to be able to come to an end even though you might win a battle here and there.

Metal has been the one constant factor in my life that I first discovered when I was 9 or 10 years old that made me feel that I am not the only one dealing with these issues. Even before I was well-educated about my own brain chemistry. Metal music and it’s culture, even in the 90’s when it wasn’t in vogue/fashionable or popular to listen to, felt like a refuge for antisocial misfits such as myself. It made me feel less isolated and alienated than I already was. It still is the one place that I feel at home at any given day as I hurtle closer and closer to the age of 40.

My song is “Exercises In Futility VI” by MGLA. There have been numerous songs that I have a strong emotional connection with. This particular song is a current one within the past couple of years that perfectly describes, from my perspective, the hopelessness and acceptance of mental illness. It’s hard to pick a particular line of lyrics from it, because the entire song hits the nail right on the head. Upon first listening to the song, it felt like I was looking directly into a window of my personal past of dealing with the depths, and the constant daily struggle of mental illness.

“As if everything was to be made right one day
Dreams don’t come true for people like us
As if the gods were bored with peace in our hearts
And their fingers are itchy
As if we never broke people out of sheer boredom
And slept calmly among the wastes.”


The Janitor

I suffer from a disorder called Asperger’s Syndrome. I was diagnosed with it when I was 4 years old. I have a hard time reading social cues and I perseverate on things because of it. I got into music, preferably rock and metal, because of it. I’m relatively lucky when it comes to having Aspergers because most people like me have a hard time socializing. On the contrary, I’m actually really social.

My choice tune is “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent, specifically the amazing 12 minute live version off “Encore: Live In Concert.” It helps to listen to it because it empowers me when I’m sad.


InsomniacGhuleh

In late 2009, I left an abusive relationship and returned home (a 1200 mile drive). I attempted not only to piece my life back together, but myself as well. My journey to an undying love of metal was spurred during this tumultuous time, thanks to some internet randos and my desire to find absolutely anything that would make me feel something again.

On top of the traumatic experience I had managed to escape, I lived with depression. Depression is a complicated amalgam of self-loathing, sadness, guilt, isolation, hopelessness, and a yawning abyss of nothingness. Nothingness, in particular, had a powerful grip on me. During that time, I felt as though someone had scooped out the essence of who I was, leaving me a dank, heavy, hollowness. I had days (okay, who am I kidding, weeks) of being physically unable to get out of bed.

There was an aspect of failure and loneliness in everything I attempted to do. Having set out to accomplish much, and returning home a shadow of who I was, I had expertly managed to push everyone away, alienating friends and family alike. My parents didn’t seem to understand why I was “behaving like this.” But I found some solace in music. Music was the one constant in my life.

At some point, a friendly internet stranger introduced me to all things HevyDevy. I latched onto Strapping Young Lad and the Devin Townsend Project. I don’t know what it was in particular about that music, but after months of feeling absolutely nothing, I felt a glimmer of… Something. It scared the hell out of me, but it was also fascinating.

It can be easier to be numb. Emptiness can’t lead to disappointment. But I knew if I continued on as I was, I would commit suicide. The ideation was already there, I simply hadn’t committed to it yet. That spark of something made me realize that, perhaps, I wasn’t a degenerate who was dead on the inside.

After a deep dive down the Devin Townsend rabbit hole, I discovered that he had a show scheduled in my rinky-dink home town. I hadn’t been leaving the house, except when forced to, but I bought a ticket and played all his albums on repeat in anticipation. I clung to that concert like it was my last hope. Honestly, it was.

I went to the concert, and not only did I love it (hooray for feeling things!), but it changed everything. Before the show, I waited in line behind a pair of super nice metalheads. We chatted, and hung out. They even kept an eye out for me while we were in the pit and made sure I could see the band. Everyone I talked to that night was friendly. The guy who booked the band was so excited to share his own enthusiasm, it was infectious. There was a sense of community that I still experience, to this day when attending shows. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever known outside of metal. That concert gave the groundwork to heal from an abusive relationship, and vital a reminder that it’s okay to feel.

My song is “Hyperdrive” by Devin Townsend Project. During this period of my life, Hyperdrive stuck with me. It has a pretty a melody and vocals, but it’s undercut with a sense of melancholy. It was the first piece of music I heard that expressed how I felt. Outwardly, it seems upbeat, but if you listen and pick apart the lyrics, you’ll find sadness and a sense of struggle (in this case, probably Devin’s drug addiction). I had made it far, and had broken away physically intact, but in mental shambles. Hyperdrive was helpful in that it let me acknowledge my low points. It was a reminder that what I was (or wasn’t) feeling was legitimate, and I needed to allow myself room and time to sort through it all.


Anonymous

Metal music (and aggressive styles music in general; I’m not picky) has pulled me through a lot. I had fairly crippling depression when I was younger; nearly driving me to suicide twice. If I didn’t have good genes I would be an addict. Getting over my sexuality from being raised fairly conservatively was a big part of it, as was figuring out my gender issues – both of those helped me “find myself”, and writing music has been a huge outlet for me.

I suffer from crippling migraines and for a while I was on a fairly nasty medication called Amitriptyline – it worked like a charm for preventing the migraines but also imbalanced my hormone levels and aggravated my depression seriously. Quitting the drug helped a little but it took a long time for my psyche to recover, and substance abuse and general apathy became rampant. Emotional disconnect prevented me from seeking help and I spiraled down deep and eventually dropped out of college. I’m not 100% perfect now, and I still have my ups and downs, but I have a decent side career now and I’m a fairly successful musician, and those have both helped pull me out of my pit.

My song is “Beautiful Mourning” by Machine Head. I was an edgy motherfucker when I was depressed. This is one hell of an angry song and it really resonated with me. Very few albums from my “early days” of listening to metal have stuck with me, but The Blackening is one that has.


Justin Davisson

I have anxiety and depression issues and have for a long time, plus none of my friends live close by/in the same city. I don’t think I was aware of my anxiety/depression/social isolation ’til high school but Metal music helped me a lot even though back then I had just a few friends. Metal made me connect with them and others who I was pen-pals with.

Ever since high school (which was during the friggin’ Reagan-era, good lawd!) I’ve loved getting lost in Fates Warning’s “Guardian.” There’s really something about feeling not completely alone when John Arch sings “I will remember you…”  And I really want to live in that album cover with the space-lemurs.


Crab Nicholson

When my father moved the family, I was 9 years old. This isn’t to say that my anxiety and manic-depression wouldn’t have manifested if we stayed where we were, but I didn’t have social bonds half as strong as those of my peers.

At 12, a lot of the fabric of what I had been led to believe about the world was tearing apart. There was the missive of school, wife, work, death and the suburban neoliberal icing of everything being perfectly fine which was growing increasingly incompatible with what I was learning, both through the reported world of print, and my experience of the world I lived in.

Confused and enraged, I would self-mutilate regularly and, as I moved into my teen years, seek out drugs and toxic women, all the while developing views on love, power, and geopolitics which were at odds with the white walls around me. Something was very wrong about the world and all these adults pretending otherwise while expecting my respect was baffling at best.

Though I couldn’t articulate it this way at the time, I was finding solace and strength in the expressions of punk, metal, and gothic music that were helping to reinforce my character. A local radio station (WJSE 102.7, but it doesn’t exist anymore) was introducing me to heavier thrash bands on a show called The Mosh Pit which they aired at midnight. Living, as I was, in the rural suburbs of South Jersey, I don’t know that this would have come to me otherwise.

The journey towards feeling okay more or less would see me through a stint in a mental hospital and years of chemical experimentation, of both the prescribed and self-administered varieties. It has cost me relationships and jobs. This has never really ended but, at this ripe old age of 26, I have more tools under my belt to deal with episodes as they occur. This world, however, is no less fucked.

My song is “Propaganda” by Sepultura. This song doesn’t deal with mental health directly, but with power structures and the nature of truth. Critical reasoning has come to be a great friend of my mental health by allowing me to form my own fucking narratives of my own fucking mind and body.


Kelsey (Decapitron)

In my early twenties, after flunking out of college and returning to my hometown in defeat, I presented with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Not the cute, daytime TV OCD where you like to arrange your pencils in order of length and carry around a bottle of Lysol, mind you. The kind where you are constantly bombarded with a lurid vision of your sister being brutally raped and murdered, convinced it’s absolutely going to come true, and deciding that the only way to prevent it is to bang your head on each wall of your house exactly 45 times. Did you miscount just then? Shit, you’ve got to start over. Wait, did you miss the door jam of the bathroom? You’ve got to start over completely. What do you mean you have to sleep now? Do you hate your sister?

OCD is a disorienting mixture of doing insane things, being fully aware that they are insane, and being filled with animal terror and shame if you don’t do them. The banging your head on the wall thing wasn’t my tic (my things mostly involved glasses of water and telephones), but it’s a common one. Over a year and a half of being undiagnosed, OCD tore my mind down, and it would have torn my life down if I hadn’t sought help. I’m recovered now. Well, “recovering.” It’s a little like alcoholism in that regard. I fight urges on occasion, and relapse is a horrifying possibility.

Metal didn’t factor into my recovery, but it was what allowed me to rebuild my identity. Coming out of the other end of that hell and isolation, I had burned most of the bridges I had with friends and employers. I didn’t know who the fuck I was, how I wanted to look, or where I belonged. But at a metal concert, things were different. It was the one place I felt comfortable, the one place where didn’t feel like a secret freak trying and failing to wear a “functioning person” costume convincingly. I was still in a headspace where I could feel every old lady in every checkout line clucking their tongue and shaking their head behind my back, but a sweaty, fat guy elbowing me in a circle pit? He just wanted to throw the horns. He felt like family.

The other music I was listening to began to trickle away. I got some piercings and threw away every non band shirt I owned. Adopting a metalhead identity wasn’t the act of trying to fit into a group, it was the act of trying to fit into my own skin. For the first time in my life, I really love who I am, and that man is built on a foundation of heavy metal.

My song is “In Self Ruin” by Lychgate. Musically and vocally, it mimics the feeling of an OCD panic attack better than anything I’ve ever heard. The desperation and violence in Greg Chandler’s voice is eerily familiar.


Anonymous

I’ve suffered from serious mental health issues for most of my life. Until this past year several of my conditions (borderline personality disorder, PTSD) had been undiagnosed. When I’m suffering through any sort of depressive episode or wrestling with the symptoms of my disorder aggressive sounding music with stereotypical heavy metal lyrics (i.e, Satan, war, partying) will help me feel better. I tend to listen to a lot of Slayer, Dissection, and Gojira during these times. The sound of the music offers catharsis a and gives me a chance to focus on something other than what I am feeling at the time.

Conversely, heavy music with lyrics that are “sad” or somehow relate to my illness tend to exacerbate my symptoms. A song like “Gravedancer” by Pig Destroyer, which features the line “I could cut myself to pass the time” reinforces the negative feelings and thoughts that I am having. Hearing lyrics that speak about self mutilation, suicide, or other facets of mental illness usually just serve to help me wallow. Hearing my thoughts and feelings expressed by another person through music reminds me that I am not alone, but also allows me to give myself permission to refuse to get any sort of real help for my illnesses.

My song is “Gravedancer” by Pig Destroyer, as mentioned above. It has some fairly suggestive (at least to me) lyrics that hit hard when I am suffering. Another song that has been significant to me is Distractions of Living Alone by Woods of Ypres. The lyrics really illustrate some of the thoughts that go through my mind when I am feeling particularly low. The song has definitely not helped with my mental health issues as it reinforces negative feelings.


Turk E. Burger

There are a lot of people with some definite screws loose, and I am one of them. Maybe metal music attracts those with shitty childhoods? I don’t know, but it made me feel better as a kid, blastin’ whatever death metal I got my hands on.

As a musician, lyrics in metal have always been a secondary thing to me. A lot of times in death metal, they’re hard to understand anyway. Certain chord progressions pull on different heartstrings of mine, and the riffs of a song and the aggression makes me feel better.

For my song, both “Zombie Inc” by In Flames and “Death Certificate” by Carcass come to mind. Both those albums were everything to me in that era (the mid ‘90s), while my parents were divorcing. Hard times, but aggressive riffs and killer chords make me feel better inside.


Anonymous

This might come across as sappy, but I’m speaking completely off the cuff while stoned/drunk, so bear with me…

From age 12 onwards, I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, and anger. I first got into metal in High School. Coming off the heels of a miserable Middle School experience (overweight, obsessive compulsive disorder, tourette’s syndrome, bullied everyday, parents getting divorced, just lots of fun stuff), I was both directionless and highly impressionable. For better or for worse, my highly impressionable younger self was up late one night channel-surfing and came across a cartoon called Metalocalypse. I’ve been a Metalhead ever since.

Regardless of what was going on in my life at the time, metal has always served as a sort of “constant” for me. None of my family or friends were into it; metal was the first “interest” that I actually carved out for myself as opposed to being introduced to by someone else. It was this independent, completely separate space that I could spend time in and flush all of the negativity and toxicity and self-hatred out of my system. It was therapeutic.

My tastes have changed a lot over the years. I used to be super obsessed with Mushroomhead, then I discovered that they’re just a cheap Faith No More knock-off and I’ve since moved on to greener pastures altogether like Dismember and Revocation. But the relief is still the same. I put on an album or playlist and I just feel better.

My song is “Drawn to Black” by Insomnium. This was one of the first songs without any clean vocals that I really enjoyed (my high school self had very “basic” tastes). I associate it with a sense of weightlessness, like I’m immune to any negative internal vibes or external stimuli.


Anonymous

Like all of us, my path to wellness is long and complicated and riddled with fucking potholes, and I’m nowhere near the end and have basically no answers. So here’s the short version. I find that the surest path is the one that is most true to myself, and every time I like the way I look, or hear things I like, or get to talk with like minded people about music, I feel better. On the darkest days, when I forget to eat and am virtually unreachable, heavy metal is often the only thing able to flip on that “enjoy stuff” switch. It also helps harness that dark energy, and steers it away from self destruction and towards creativity and expression. There’s a lot more to say but that’s really the gist of it, I love you, heavy metal and I love you Toilet dudes!

My song is “Deathbed” by Agoraphobic Nosebleed. This album is actually a bit of an aberration for me, I’m not really an ANb fan, but this album is so raw and emotional that it’s been my coping jam since it came out. In bad times and good, it helps me remember that pain is a part of life and that beauty can come from darkness.


 

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    I spent a lot of time forgetting about things that bothered me when I was in my teens with Awaken The Guardian too

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    This is a great article and not just because I wrote a piece for it. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with my problems. Back when the blog started i was on a different medication than the one I’d been taking since I was 8. I was basically psychotic and my parents wanted to commit me. Luckily I went back to Abilify and now I’m better than ever.

    • Howard Dean

      For the well-being of both you and your parents, I’m glad you went back to a medication that is better suited for you. I can’t imagine a more terrifying/heartbreaking situation–for both the individual and the parent.

  • tigeraid

    Fascinating, and poignant, stuff. Thank you all for sharing.

  • Very cool article. I’m a registered nurse at a psychiatric hospital and can empathize with a lot of what’s been said here even if I haven’t experienced it firsthand. No fake news here!

  • Nice work on this everybody! I suspect this was therapeutic to share your experiences and it may well give some comfort to others who are going through similar things.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Decapitron & Co. My thoughts today are with you for being brave enough to communicate this personal moments and I really hope for the best of you. Hope writing about it helped you way in some way. A big hug from my Elfic lands.

  • Howard Dean

    “Metal takes frequent and deep dives into the darkest places of the human mind and mental illness, moreso that any other genre of music, I would argue.”

    I’d argue the true pinnacle is in power electronics or noise. Those genres are supremely fucked up front-to-back, tackling a lot of really sensitive and fucked up material that metal seldom touches.

    • Dumpster Lung

      I could absolutely see that, but there’s probably enough crossover to kind of lump the two together in a sense. I mean there are certainly people who like one but not the other, but I’ve noticed at the power electronics shows I’ve been fortunate enough to discover/attend the past couple of months, the artists are often involved in metal with other projects, and I see at least a handful of people that I always see at metal shows.

      • Howard Dean

        I think there actually is a standalone PE/noise fanbase, but I agree that there is a lot of crossover. I think the metal fans who are in search of the “most extreme” or fucked up material eventually find their way to PE/noise, because sonically and thematically they tend to go places beyond the scope of what most metalheads would find palatable (i.e. most fans of Cattle Decapitation or Mgla probably aren’t going to be salivating for Intolitarian or Grunt).

        I’ve been there and seen/heard it, but as a devotee of the almighty riff, I’m not much of a fan.

        • Can confirm that at times Noise/PE really dives into the deeper end of the mental illness spectrum. As much as I enjoy abrasive music, even I can’t handle Noise/PE in large quantities. Some of that stuff is down-right disturbing to say the least. Even Experimental music such as Current 93 or Coil, Yellow Swans, and on the topic of Noise/PE, Grey Wolves is another that comes to mind. Also Goth/Industrial tends to be in regular rotation in dark/heavy times as well, specifically Skinny Puppy.

          • Howard Dean

            My experience with Current 93 is limited to their side of the split they did with Om, but from what I remember it was pretty loopy stuff. I’d have to look it up, but I seem to remember the dude behind the band being a kind of interesting… character.

          • Their “Dog’s Blood Rising” LP is some of the scariest shit I have heard. Highly recommended. Same goes for early Coil particularly their first 2 LPs. I would even throw in Diamanda Galas for extra sp00kiness as far as non-metal/experimental/etc. goes.

        • Dumpster Lung

          Oh yeah, no doubt there are non-metal fans of those genres. Maybe even the majority, but seems like enough metalheads get drawn into it as well that there’s some significance.

          I’m mainly a riff-oriented guy myself, even strictly within metal. I don’t do a ton of post-anything or much drone. I don’t even make time for enough doom under a certain tempo. But it’s not that I don’t like the slower, atmospheric side of things. I love it, but I just don’t find myself listening to it near enough.

          Live is a whole different story, though. When I saw Sunn O))) they played for nearly 2 hrs (maybe it was a full 2), but felt like 20 minutes. It was really something else.

    • Decapitron

      Huh. I kind of mentally lump PE in with metal, but I don’t really have any musical basis for doing that.

      I would also argue that PE/Noise tends to be more evocative of mental illness than exploratory of it, in most cases. Stalaggh/Gulaggh is technically a horrifying dive into the depths of insanity, but it doesn’t tell a personal story or come to any conclusions.

      I think both approaches are super valid, though.

  • Been looking forward to this. This is a subject I’ve been majorly thinking about and pondering about the connections with ever since I started realizing or finding out why I am the way I am. Hopefully this gives people a bit of insight into how important this music is to readers of TOH and hopefully it gives some people some sort of hope and strength to soldier on.

    ” I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that.” – Rust Cohle

  • Dumpster Lung

    Excellent article. Really not much else to say that I didn’t already on FB, but powerful stuff, and you took the perfect approach/struck the perfect vibe in handling it.

  • Vault Dweller

    This is really great content. Thanks to all the contributors.

  • Howard Dean

    A few observations:

    –I knew a lot of people in college and young adulthood who “suffered” with adult ADHD. Their “suffering” was usually limited to the times when their ‘script ran out and they couldn’t crush Adderrall. Kinda fucked up. I wonder how much the recreational scene of abusive ADD/ADHD medication usage has made it more difficult for people who legitimately need the drug to actually get it. It has certainly stigmatized the drugs, which is also too bad, because there are peeps (like the first dude in this article, by the sounds of it) who actually need it.

    –“Seek out drugs and toxic women” sounds like it should be a Midnight song.

    –One of my roommates in college suffered from pretty severe OCD. Dude had to check every door of his car every night five times in a row at exactly 9:45pm every night. He had some other quirks, too. It never got to the point where it really affected his life (at least not at that point), but it was pretty bad.

    –I can’t add my own anecdote, because my relationship to metal and music is purely about the music.

    • One thing I didn’t go into specific details was my personal history with ADHD. I was diagnosed with that when I was 8 or 9 years old in like 1990. That was right before Ritalin being prescribed became a common practice. The ass-kicker was coming from a family that didn’t believe in treating the condition with amphetamines and the natural way. Which meant being un-medicated and being given coffee as far as a stimulant goes. You wanna talk about the kid that made straight-F’s and drew pictures in the back of the classroom all day and couldn’t remember to simply turn in his homework? That was me. But as far as the college kids ‘suffering’ due to their scripts running out, yes I have seen that as well. It’s something I’ve always wondered that may be in the end it was a good thing I was never given amphetamines because I do have friends that were put on that as kids and their issues and struggles are just on the same level of my own if not worst. I think there was some study how amphetamines disrupt and completely screw-up a young child’s body from growing properly including brain chemistry as far as growth/IQ goes.

      • Howard Dean

        So you’ve never actually had to treat your ADHD with formal medication (Ritalin, Adderrall, etc)? That’s pretty awesome. I know it works like a charm for some people, but for others it seems to mess them up even further.

        • Yeah my family didn’t believe in medication, until they started seeing that I literally couldn’t function what-so-ever then what happened was that it got so bad for me that I started experiencing depression at 14/15/16 and since then it’s been a long history of trial and error for me as far as finding the right medications. I have tried Adderall and all it does is make me feel extremely violent. It just didn’t work for me even when I made an honest attempt to try it just to see how it would affect me. There is truth that everyone is wired differently.

          • Howard Dean

            “all it does is make me feel extremely violent.”

            Copious accounts of Jack Daniels does that to me. We are all wired differently, indeed.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    If I’d have to rate this article out of 10, I’d give an 11 if I could. Great idea to discuss this subject.
    It might sound strange to some, because for the biggest part of my youth I grew up as the stereotypical guy “who knows the right people”, but the first few years of my life going to school when I was a small kid we’re pretty rough though, and no matter how “popular” I got in high school, an underlying feeling of inferiority always stuck with me. As time went on I started hanging out with a lot of criminal types, got “big” going to the gym and taking martial arts classes…etc…
    I’ve always been suffering on and off from feelings of dejectedness, mood swings and in the past I’ve been prone to really violent outbursts when feeling pushed.
    It is what it is. I think I have sorta learned to live with my “construction mistakes” and I like to think that music (including metal of course), working out and – from time to time – getting shitfaced help.

    • Howard Dean
      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Seriously, it’s really refreshing to see a topic like this being discussed. Especially since I’ve been getting these stupid fits of internal rage again lately – which can get triggered over futile shit.
        Even really exceptionally stupid futile crap like getting trolled by a guest account on MS for instance. And believe me, I DO realize how dumb it is that I can fly into a rage over trivialities like that, but I just can’t help it. I mean, it’s the internet and you can do fuck all about it, but if there is the slightest chance that I meet the person who heckles me online face to face in real life, there also exists the possibility that I might beat him senseless. I do know this comes off as ignorant and moronic, but that’s just the way it is. In real life I like to think I always do my best to act respectful and I’m always ready to help someone out, but I react extremely badly to arrogance and when feeling pushed around, things can turn ugly within the blink of an eye.
        I’m not in the least bit proud of it and I’ve gotten help for this, but still you can’t change your nature for the full 100%.

        • BobLoblaw

          Its weird what triggers a nature that, in reflection, is completely alien. I know what you mean about the frustration after.

  • Count_Breznak

    Oddly enough, no bands by the name of “Suicide Dragon”, or “Dragon Suicide”.

  • my story pales in comparison to the severity presented by those in the article (kudos for sharing!)
    as a teen, i had mild depression and social anxiety. in those times, i pretty much hated all humans. when i put on heavy metal (i.e. Obsolete by Fear Factory), the aggressive and abrasive nature of the music would sync up with the emotions swirling around in my brain… i was then able to reach a state of calm, and come back down to Earth [mentally].
    now i love everybody and have no anxiety. thx heavy metal!

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Yay, Fear Factory!

  • Daniel Delgadillo

    Really awesome article. I’m currently suffering with what I think is bipolar disorder, and I really do relate with a lot of this and if you are, too, know you aren’t alone and all that shit.

    • Daniel Delgadillo

      And if I were to choose a song that helps me deal with the random and intense impulses I feel, it would probably have to be Mgla’s Exercises in Futility V.

  • Eliza

    If you find yourself believing that life is not worth living anymore, talk to somebody about it, don’t let it consume you. That somebody can be someone you trust, a family member, a friend, a colleague, a professional or a random stranger on the internet. I got over my social anxiety by reaching out to my parents, and that is just a minor story compared to all these.

  • Butt Face

    …just so long as everyone remembers that there is no particular ‘bond’ between metal and depression (I can’t call it mental illness as this comes in all shapes and sizes with most illnesses not associated with the darker side of things) above and beyond everything else, as suggested in this article, and inappropriately glorified in other blogs. There isn’t.

    Many people I know who are true depressives gain solice from listening to music in general. None of them have an interest in metal at all. So lets not make this a metal thing. It’s a human thing.

    😉

  • Suryical Estil

    This was a fucking awesome read.