DISTURBED's DAVID DRAIMAN Says Finding Help For His Recent Mental Health Issues Was 'Unbelievably Frustrating'

July 10, 2023

In a new interview with The Charismatic Voice, DISTURBED singer David Draiman addressed the deep-rooted stigma against mental health issues, saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "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. You don't have control over cancer. It eats away at you from the inside; it metastasizes, if you allow it to. And you can't be blamed for depression, or addiction even, for that matter, any more than you can for contracting cancer or some other debilitating disease. You don't want it. You're not asking for me. You're not too weak, and that's why you succumb to it. It's out of your control."

The 50-year-old singer, who moved to Miami, Florida in early 2022 after residing in Honolulu, Hawaii for a few years, went on to say that a shortage of providers in the U.S. often complicates access to care. Finding a therapist who's available and in-network can prove challenging, especially given many don't take insurance.

"My biggest critique of the status quo is that we don't have enough support," David said. "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 bog — 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," he continued. "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," David added. "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."

According to Draiman, access to mental health services currently falls short of the decisive action needed to tackle the ongoing crisis.

"We need to be way more proactive about mental health in this country, in this world, in this society that we live in," he said. "It should be so much easier, and it's not. I mean, thank God for my son. Thank God for the good people I have around me. Thank God for my fans and my band and the performances, because without them, I don't know if I could have gotten through. And the same things that saved me and save every day are some of the things that led to the demise of my colleagues. The pressure. Being under the microscope. Having every note, every word, every movement, every behavior analyzed and the expectations that come with it, that once you achieve a certain level, that's what they expect from you every night. And not being able to hit those notes that they're dying to hear from you is demoralizing in a way I can't even explain. When you become the key to unlock the door and you can't unlock it yourself anymore, it's a terrifying status quo to be living in. [For] too many of my colleagues, it exacerbated their already severe depression."

Two months ago, Draiman revealed that he recently battled addiction and depression that almost ended his life. In a speech he delivered to fans onstage in Milwaukee, the singer spoke candidly about the "demons that are known as addiction and depression" and lamented the deaths of fellow rock-star friends like LINKIN PARK's Chester Bennington, SOUNDGARDEN's Chris Cornell and STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' Scott Weiland. He then admitted that "a couple months ago, I almost joined them."

In May, David underwent on operation to have a benign tumor removed from the radius in his right arm.

A month earlier, Draiman confirmed that he recently finalized his divorce from his wife of 11 years, Lena Draiman.

DISTURBED's latest album, "Divisive", came out last November. The LP was recorded earlier last year with producer Drew Fulk (MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, LIL PEEP, HIGHLY SUSPECT) in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to Billboard, "Divisive" sold 26,000 equivalent album units in its first week of release, with 22,000 units via album sales.

On the all-format Billboard 200 chart, "Divisive" debuted at No. 13.

DISTURBED has had five No. 1s on the all-genre chart, beginning with "Believe" in 2002.

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