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Avenged Sevenfold's Frontman M Shadows Describes the Physical Symptoms of His Depression


It can be hard to understand depression if you don’t know what it feels like. And, as Avenged Sevenfold frontman M Shadows explained in an interview with NME on Sunday, sometimes symptoms of depression can be felt physically as well as mentally.

After losing his friend, drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, in 2009, Shadows experienced a variety of symptoms during a three-year period of depression and anxiety:

I went through about three years when I couldn’t do anything, so I went to go talk to someone and it was the hardest three years of my life. I would shake at night and have anxiety of anything I was doing, I couldn’t sleep, y’know off the wall, random. But once I’d been through those three years I would never ever question someone’s mental state, because I went through it.

Before his experience with depression, Shadows said he couldn’t understand what it meant to have depression. Now, his experience has given him insight into the challenges people living with mental illness face.

“I know how desperate it is and how dark and terrible it is and how you feel like you can’t do anything,” he told NME. “Unfortunately, people have to go through that to understand what people are going through. All I can say to people who don’t think depression is a real thing, or say ‘just suck it up and get over it’ – they just really have no idea. You have to give people the benefit of the doubt that they’re doing the best they can to get through it.”

Males are almost four times as likely to die by suicide than females and represent almost 78 percent of suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While more men die by suicide, men are less likely to seek treatment than women for their mental health.

“The stigma is disheartening because everyone on this planet goes through things at one point or another, so we just have to be there for each other,” Shadows said. “Some people will have darker situations that they can’t pull themselves out of, and they need people or they need help with some sort of medication, something they can do or someone they can talk [to].”

Shadows added that it’s important that people put themselves in others’ shoes, even if it takes a lot of work. For every person who is willing to talk about their experience, there should be someone willing to listen, he said.

“It takes a lot of work from all of us to understand where people are coming from, and then do the best to help them because it’s just too important,” Shadows said. “We’re going to lose too many people if we don’t do something about it.”

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resourcespage.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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