What Avicii’s Journals From Rehab Reveal About His Mental Health

Avicii’s Journals Detail His Mental Health Struggles

Born Tim Bergling, Avicii was a Swedish DJ, songwriter and producer. With chart-topping hits like “Levels” “Wake Me Up”, Avicii’s music was genre re-defining. Despite the quick success Avicii experienced, the artist’s lifelong struggles with anxiety and addiction led to his death by suicide in 2018.

Mans Mosesson has just released a biography detailing how mental health concerns, addiction, and other issues were present during the Grammy nominated musician’s life. For Moseeson’s Tim – The Official Biography Of Avicii, the author was granted access to Avicii’s personal journals. These journal entries reveal how much the DJ struggled in the years before his death. 

Avicii’s Early Substance Use And Dissociation

Avicii was in highschool when he first smoked Marijuana. Bergling experienced paranoia and derealization after this experience. He felt disconnected from the world around him and began to feel depressed. Avicii was in this state when he confessed to his parents about his use of marijuana. He expressed concern that Marijuana could have triggered a psychosis. They took him to see a child psychologist, who alleviated their concerns. 

After first using Marijuana, Avicii likely experienced a period dissociation. This can be defined as a disconnect between a person’s memories, feelings, behaviors, perceptions, or sense of self. While dissociation is often mild, it can also become a disorder which can interfere with an individual’s daily life. Studies have shown derealization can occur after someone has used Marijuana. This is not due to the substance being triggered, but rather as a result of using it. These feelings can occur after a single use or after repeated, extended use. 

Anxiety is a constant struggle in life

Dissociation can also be a sign of many psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Avicii, a shy person who has been called shy throughout his life, struggled with both anxiety and depression. He was self-conscious about his appearance as a teenager, especially his nose and his acne. 

Fame, success, and the DJ lifestyle only heightened Avicii’s anxiety and substance use. He used alcohol to cope with the recognition he received from fans, his nerves during performances, and his hectic tour schedule. 

“It feels like I’m going to faint every single day now. And not just today and this tour but from about the first time I mentioned that I felt worn-out. Pretty regularly but I push it back down and choose not to bring it up because there’s nothing I can do about it,”He told his manager in 2011.  

Health Issues Caused By Avicii’s Substance Use

Avicii was 22 years old when he was admitted to the hospital for severe stomach pains. His acute pancreatitis was caused by excessive alcohol use. Doctors instructed him to heal his stomach’s inflammation by avoiding junk food and staying sober for at least 6 months. He was also given Oxycodone, an Opioid to ease the pain.   

Avicii began pill popping when he was back on tour. In the journal entries featured in Mosesson’s book, he wrote, “Of course, I didn’t listen to the majority of doctors. I listened to the couple who said it would be okay if I was careful. I was ignorant and naive and touring the world, still on the never-ending tour because once you’ve circled it once, guess what? You start right back over again.” 

Avicii was recommended by doctors to have his gallbladder removed in 2013 after stomach pains returned. He decided not to have the procedure performed until he had more time. His appendix burst the following year and his gallbladder had to be removed. Both of these hospital stays resulted with more painkillers being prescribed. 

An Intervention In Ibiza

Avicii’s hospital visits were followed by a series of changes in his behavior. He was often irritable and acted erratically. His parents tried to help him with the Opioid addiction in 2014. He refused their help and flew to Los Angeles, where a personal physician would write him prescriptions whenever needed. 

After two occasions where he needed his stomach to be pumped with a combination of pills, alcohol and other drugs, his friends and relatives organized an intervention. This intervention took place in Ibiza, where Avicii was performing a few performances. He accepted to be admitted to a quiet and expensive treatment program on the Spanish Island. It was during the 1 month of intensive, inpatient care. rehabAvicii eventually came to realize that his addiction was a means of coping with his mental health issues. 

“It needed to be explained to me very logically and caveman-esque for me to truly understand its nature and how it was harming me. Ouch, pain. Why me pain now? Uncomfortable feeling. Future Time deal with pain. Future deal with pain better than present Tim because already there’s too many present pains more urgent to deal with,”During the Ibiza treatment, he wrote in his journals. 

Avicii’s Life After Rehab

He was done with his month in rehabAvicii seemed to have a different outlook on life. He was meditating and reading about the collective unconscious. Then he got a puppy. After not performing for a long period of time, he returned to the stage in 2016 at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival. He announced that he would not perform live again just days after the gig. Avicii chose not to perform so that he could improve his mental health. 

Avicii appeared to be in a newfound state of stability, but he struggled with his mental health. Avicii began to lose interest in his music career, despite continuing to suppress his anxiety and depression. His disassociation feelings may have returned after he started smoking and drinking. 

Tereza Kacerova was his girlfriend at the time. “What if everyone around me is just a projection in my mind? Sometimes I just think these things. About how nothing really matters.” 

Avicii began to meditate heavily, which he found helpful in clearing the mind. “nonsense”His mind. He believed that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s deep meditation was a way to exercise the brain and would bring him happiness. Avicii would spend whole days meditating, despite the fact that this meditation was usually done in 20 minute increments. 

While on a trip to Muscat, Oman, one of Avicii’s friends called his father to express concerns for the DJ’s well-being. The friend described Avicii’s intense meditation and shared that he was refusing to eat, speak, or take shade from the sun. Avicii committed suicide just one day later on April 20, 2018. Avicii had 28 years of age. 

Suicide and Addiction

Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans of all ages. Suicide is a more common cause of death for those with substance use disorders (SUDs), such as Avicii. In fact, people who drink heavily are five times more likely to commit suicide than those who drink socially. The suicide rate due to Opioid addiction has nearly doubled in the last few years. 

Suicide risk individuals often struggle with addiction and other mental health risk factors such as depression, anxiety, chronic disease, and a history or abuse. Suicidal thoughts are possible due to the fact that drugs and alcohol can worsen these conditions and increase aggressive behavior and lower inhibitions. 

It is important to recognize signs that may indicate a loved person is suicidal. Here are some behavioral signs to look out for: 

  • Admitting to feeling lost, hopeless, or without a purpose in life 
  • Separation 
  • Trouble sleeping, or oversleeping 
  • It is difficult to control your anger 
  • Doing physical harm to oneself 
  • Relapsing could also indicate suicidal thoughts.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free and available at any hour of the night at 1-800-273-8255.

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