David Draiman of the Chicago nu-metal band Disturbed believes “We need to be way more proactive about mental health.” During a recent conversation with The Charismatic Voice, Draiman opened up about his own struggles with mental health and talked about his frustrations with the current system in place that’s meant to address mental illness. A couple of months ago, Draiman opened up to a live audience and talked about his struggles with depression.
While talking with The Charismatic Voice, Draiman compared mental illness to cancer, saying (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), “People classically have viewed it as a weakness. ‘Now, why can’t you use logic and reason and the beauty that you’re surrounded by in your life to dispel what’s happening to you?’ It’s ’cause it’s not under your control. Logic and reason don’t respond to it. You can make all the sense in the world; what’s happening to you doesn’t make sense. It’s no different — and I’ve said this on numerous occasions, and it couldn’t be more true — it’s no different than cancer.”
Draiman continues, going on to talk about his experience trying to find help for his mental health. He speaks about his particular situation in life and how difficult it was for him to find a therapist. Per Draiman:
“My biggest critique of the status quo is that we don’t have enough support. A phone number isn’t enough — it’s not. For many, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to go ahead and dial that number in the first place. And let’s say that you’re in a position like I am. What am I gonna do — call an 800 number? I can’t do that. So finding help, when you finally get to the point where you’re crying out for it, should be easier to get.
“When I was at my low point like about three months ago, and I had just said goodbye to my dog of 14 years, my best friend… I’m in this house that I got specifically because I had the [dog] — a 110-pound male Akita, my Gabriel, my guardian angel, and now I’m in this house all alone, and my son isn’t with me, and I’m divorced, and I’m not feeling well. And everywhere I look, I see my dog; everything reminds me of him. I reached out and I tried to get help, and it was un-fucking-believably frustrating. Everybody is unavailable. Nobody’s taking new patients. They want you to do this evaluation, that evaluation. Do you have the money for it? Can you qualify for it? Is it within your insurance plan? Fuck you! Enough! I’m telling you.
“You get to the point where you’re vulnerable enough that you’re desperate and you need help. Fucking help me. I ended up going to one therapist — one therapist — and she ended up telling me she didn’t have enough time to cure me and pawns me off on three other therapists that didn’t have enough time to cure me. It shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be as much of a business as it is.”
Draiman goes on to add that he feels there needs to be a change in how we address mental health: “We need to be way more proactive about mental health in this country, in this world, in this society that we live in. It should be so much easier, and it’s not.”
While we have come a long way in talking about mental illness, there is still a lot of work to be done in creating a stronger system to help those in need. Do you agree with David Draiman’s points regarding mental health services?