Tim Bergling, also known to the musical world as Avicii, passed away Friday, April 20th, 2018. While the cause of death is still in dispute, media sources have highlighted his personal struggle with substance abuse, including a diagnosis of acute pancreatitis and gallbladder removal surgery. Even though he was only in his early twenties at the time, he admitted to traveling, touring, and getting caught up in a lifestyle that was bringing him fame and fortune, but at a great cost to his physical and mental health. There are many lessons his passing can teach people about the challenge of mental health and substance use disorders.
Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
Even after chasing all the money that came from performing and gaining a massive net worth in a short amount of time, Avicii was said to have felt drawn down by the lifestyle. One in four people will face mental health concerns in their life, and celebrities are susceptible. Anxiety, depression, addiction, and stress are common for people who live a life that is focused on performing for others where they may have to put on a different face to the crowd than they are behind closed doors. No matter how much money a person makes, it will never be enough to buy happiness, especially if the person is struggling with addiction or mental health issues.
Avicii was in his early twenties when he had begun producing, collaborating and sharing his music with the world. His pancreas could not handle the lifestyle he lived and he canceled shows and stopped touring to address those concerns. One of the challenges for people with substance abuse issues, which he is rumored to have shared openly about the struggles, is the damage to your physical health. The pancreas, liver, gall bladder, heart, and other organs are not meant to process excessive levels of alcohol or drugs through the body. Over time, it will catch up and potentially ruin your health. Not only that, it can greatly impact your emotional state and if addiction takes hold, the brain has been changed to the point where it will crave more to continue feeling the same way. This will require quitting alcohol and drugs altogether to enter recovery and start to heal. Even then, some of the damage may be irreparable.
Everyone handles life differently, carrying their own views and perspectives on life. Avicii described himself as introverted and often felt awkward in the spotlight. What he loved was making music. In living the lifestyle of a touring DJ, he was not able to sleep as much as needed, be consistent with exercise, healthy diet, or keep up with friends and family. Alcohol is often used as a coping mechanism for underlying mental and emotional health issues like anxiety, stress, loneliness, or other issues. Co-occurring disorders are also common, whether they come before or after substance use.
There is no true cure for addiction. It is not known whether or not Avicii had addiction to alcohol or drugs, but alcohol can be destructive without being addicted. Dependence on it as a coping mechanism, or excessive use can be equally damaging. Alcohol, drugs, and addiction are terrible conditions which ravage people’s lives and ruin reputations. It is only with a focused willingness to heal and get better, followed by treatment, and aftercare work that true recovery can begin to help heal these wounds. Even then, it will continue to be a day-to-day battle, fought minute by minute, step by step, as long as the person is alive.
Sound Recovery can help you if you are struggling with mental health or addiction issues. We specialize in supporting your personal recovery from drugs or alcohol with our programs, services and resources. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.