Avicii was one of the most talented and successful DJs – but sadly the challenges he faced show that even the best of us can struggle with personal demons.
In 2016, Avicii told The Hollywood Reporter magazine that he was feeling happier and less stressed than at any point in the past. Just two years later he was found dead in a hotel room at the age of just 28.
Like many millions of other people, the Swedish musical icon had experienced issues with alcohol. At the age of 21 he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis linked to excessive drinking, later having his gallbladder removed.
Tragically, his journey is not uncommon. Many individuals who suffer from similar problems find that their demons resurface unless the underlying causes of their discomfort are resolved.
Symptoms versus causes
It would be easy to conclude the limitless alcohol that is often associated with success in the music industry was the cause of Avicii’s demise.
In fact, as a recent article in Psychology Today pointed out, that would be an oversimplification. Very often, alcohol misuse is actually a symptom of a much deeper problem.
DJ Avicii, real name Tim Berglin, was very open about the fact that his rise to fame may have contributed to his problems. He courageously spoke about how some aspects of his success led to him experiencing anxiety, an issue that men in particular can find it difficult to talk about.
In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Avicii said: “When I look back on my life, I think, ‘Whoa, did I do that?’ It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price — a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety for me.”
An investigation into the cause of Avicii’s death has ruled out foul play. His family have subsequently issued the following statement: “Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.”
“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.”
Avicii experiences highlight all too painfully that people who rise to fame quickly can find it hard to cope with the added pressures and expectations that come as a cost of success.
As anxiety or alcohol do not discriminate – they don’t care if you are talented and famous, nor rich or poor. Subsequently, this may explain why so many celebrities have turned to substances over the years.
Sadly, where an individual is struggling with prolonged distress, alcohol misuse can become a coping strategy. However, whilst rehab may address physical health, without proper aftercare long-term recovery can still be at risk.
Treatment for alcohol and anxiety
If the causes of alcohol misuse or anxiety are left unresolved, there is a high possibility that these issues will return. This often occurs after the individual returns to their normal environment following treatment.
Dr. med. Konrad Hitz is the Medical Director at The Kusnacht Practice, a luxury treatment centre in Zurich for psychological disorders and addiction. Dr. med. Hitz believes it is vital to treat the root causes of any issue.
The Kusnact Practice also offers a comprehensive aftercare programme to help clients to readjust to a normal life following treatment.
Dr. med. Hitz said: “We do not merely treat symptoms, we analyse and treat the underlying causes of a client’s mental health issues, which are normally biochemical/neurochemical and psychological.
“Trauma and childhood developmental issues are often the hidden causations which manifest in poor mental health. Once we have identified the underlying causes, through a series of assessments and testing, we begin treating each cause and support our clients with developing resilience and coping skills. Clients are then confident and able to realistically maintain a recovery programme of wellbeing and in turn develop self-worth and esteem.”
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