Randy Blythe says people need to understand that depression can affect anyone, whatever their circumstances.
The Lamb Of God frontman suffered from depression that was exacerbated by drug and alcohol abuse and he says being in a successful band and having money in the bank didn’t shield him from mental health issues.
In the second part of an interview with The Rock Foundation, he says: “If someone is clinically depressed they can come from a great background, they can have money in the bank and even have a beautiful wife and family. But that doesn’t matter. I was a broken man internally, mentally, spiritually. Physically, somehow, I was still alive.
“But sooner or later, with the way I drank and the things I would do when I would drink, I would end up dead. I was an idiot. I woke up and looked at all these beer bottles and saw that they were kind of a metaphor for my life. I was just an empty shell, something that you pour alcohol in and was ready to break at any time.”
Blythe tried to drink his way through the depression, but eventually reached out for help.
He adds: “I had tried to tough it out by myself for so long and it just wasn’t working. I didn’t know where to start, so I was like, ‘Please God help me. Whatever you are, help me.’ It was a moment where I allowed myself to express my pain and ask something, anything, for some help.
“When I got sober, I felt really good for about three months. But after about four months I started to get deeply depressed. I did not want to go on any medication whatsoever because I had worked so hard to get rid of all the drugs and alcohol out of my life.
“My psychiatrist explained that I had drank so long that my brain’s ability to produce serotonin may be hindered. He said, ‘We ought to try give you some medicine to see if we can kickstart your brain so that it can produce serotonin again. You might not have to be on it forever. You just might need to rewire the neurones in your brain,’ because the synapses were coated in Heineken and Bushmills and cocaine and Percocet for so many years that they had gotten all warped.”
After two years on the medication, Blythe weaned himself off and says he’s in a much better place as a result.
Lamb Of God released latest album VII: Sturm Und Drang earlier this year. Blythe’s memoir Dark Days was also unveiled in 2015. The band cancelled their European tour in light of the Paris terror attacks.