Huntress singer Jill Janus has discussed her lifelong mental health battle as she recovers from cancer surgery.
She’s reported that she’s doing well after a hysterectomy for deal with a tumour in her uterus.
But she’ll continue to face bouts of schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder – which have left her in a suicidal state on a number of occasions over the years.
Janus tells Revolver: “During the process of writing and recording our third album Static, I began to feel like something bad was growing within me. When we were on tour with Amon Amarth, I started to bleed heavily between my periods. I had a procedure, and my doctor found early stages of cancer in my uterus.”
But she says: “I know I’ll survive – I’ve survived much worse.”
That includes schizoaffective disorder, diagnosed when she was 20, after she’d been showing symptoms for several years.
Janus is now cancer-free following a succesful hysterectomy a few weeks ago.
The singer is also opening up for the first time about her lifelong struggle with mental health issues. “I was suicidal constantly,” she recalls. “In my mid-20s it shifted to full-blown mania. I can’t really remember much of my 20s. I lost my long-term memory and can’t remember names, faces, or even places.”
People around Janus saw signs of dissociative identity disorder, a condition previously known as multiple personality disorder. “I was developing these other personalities, almost as protection,” she says. “That’s also why I started to change my name – I was slowly not wanting to be who I was.
“I took on this persona Penelope Tuesdae, which helped me go out into nightlife and conceal my other life as an opera singer. I really wanted to split the two lives. Penelope Tuesdae started to take on a life of her own.”
Guitarist Blake Meahl helped her deal with the latest attack, which took place once Static had been completed. “Once a Huntress album is done, it’s almost like I slip into a postpartum depression,” says Janue. “I have to be hospitalised so I don’t hurt myself or anyone else around me. It can be very dangerous.
“This time I was forced into the hospital by Blake. He called an ambulance. I spent some time in the hospital so I could be re-evaluated. I’ve been prescribed new meds, so I’m feeling more stable.”
Static is due for release on September 25 and it’s available to pre-order through the band’s PledgeMusic page and via Napalm Records’ online store. Huntress begin a US tour next month and set sail on Motorhead’s Motorboat Cruise on September 28.