In 1996, Mindy McCready released her debut album. The singer’s Ten Thousand Angels included her number one hit “Guys Do It All the Time” and went on to double-platinum certification with two million copies sold.
Sadly, much of the public is familiar with McCready more through her troubles with the law, appearance on addiction reality show Celebrity Rehab, and frequent suicide attempts than through her music. On February 17th, the front page news about McCready was her successful suicide attempt of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Unfortunately, McCready’s story isn’t a unique one. Sylvia Plath, Kurt Cobain, Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, the art and entertainment world is riddled with stories of depression, addiction and suicide.
The world of entertainment can be a difficult one to navigate. The rejections, successes, failures, constant changes to routine and uncertain futures of artistic fields create a roller coaster ride that wreaks havoc on the psyche, which is why entertainers and artists are more prone to depression and addiction than those in other fields.
If you work in an artistic field and suffer from depression or addiction, you are far from alone, and, when it comes to treatment, you have many options. If you are suffering from addiction, the first step is to get help from trained professionals who can help you overcome your dependence on substances. This is an important step toward handling depression, because you can’t control how you feel if you let substances control how you think.
After controlling your addiction, the next vital task is to control your depression. Even if you don’t want to take antidepressants, there are many things you can do to improve your depressive state, including eating right, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.
As an artist, you are naturally more prone to depression than the general population, but that doesn’t mean you have to give into it. Don’t deprive the world of your work yet to come. Who knows what Plath or Cobain would have done with a few more decades?