The tortured man behind Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, who in the 90’s said he would not take anything for his diagnosis of bipolar disorder. And more.,….below. The suicides and accidental OD’s are only part of a much larger story!
I was listening to Lithium yesterday (Sirius 90’s-my ‘stuck in the 70’s-type station’), and Matt Pinfield, a programmer I used to know, told a story about NIN’s Trent Reznor and how before he formed his band, he’d seen Ministry and fallen in love with Al Jourgenson’s vocal style and stage presence.
I wasn’t clear on the next part, but there was something about nails…an actual nine inch nail he pounded into a piece of wood and there ya go, Nine Inch Nails.
I wonder about Trent, how he’s doing now and how in the 90’s he refused treatment for Bipolar Disorder. Even though I benefit (and get penalized healthwise) from psychiatric meds, I think that with the kind of agonized self expression he had with his band, he might have been able to transfer the majority of madness to the music so it didn’t eat him up inside.
But that only works for so long. When the creative well runs dry for a little or a long while, then what do you do with all that pain? Look at what happened to Hemingway, and many others?
We look at the suicides of movie stars, writers, artists, and rock musicians only when they happen and then we move on to a more pleasant topic. We gave the most attention of late to the late Kurt Cobain yet his music lives on as if we never lost him.
People never talk about his bipolar diagnosis or his chronic pain. What drove him to the poppy to begin with.
What about the accidental OD’s of people like Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, Rivers Phoenix, Scott Weiland, and so many like me, sentenced to a lifelong struggle to achieve and retain mental health?
Add that to someone famous; with commercial restraints imposed on them by their handlers? The late Scott Weiland mentioned his ‘handlers’ or ‘minders,’ as he called his sobriety coaches, with sarcasm and disdain. How could he not when if you read AA’s Big Book, it’s emphasized that neither the material nor the wisdom within it be used for commercial gain?
When I went to rehab more times than I care to admit, I too was skeptical of for profit centers reliant on the 12 steps as a framework for their programs. It’s not ethical. Yet we Canonize places like the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs for making Liz Taylor Mop the Floor or Hazelden in Minnesota for having one of the “Cagney and Lacey” stars come back and give talks?
When one of the celebs accidentally experiences an early expiration date; falling off the shelf to their death, we hardly notice and blame them for their symptoms-substance abuse. It’s a symptom, man, mental illness and inferior coping skills the cause.
Why should we cast aspersions on drug abusers looking for an instant fix to what ails them when we ourselves live in a ‘risk vs benefit,’ ‘drugs will fix it’ communal existence with the American Medical Association, Big Pharma and our own health care providers?
Why? Why? Why?