Mental health issues among dance music's elite has been a hot topic over the past several months. At the tale end of last year Dubstep pioneer Benga opened up about how bipolar disorder and schizophrenia caused him to retire. Nicky Romero revealed that anxiety almost made him want to quit music altogether. And Rustie also shared how "addiction and mental health problems" forced him to cancel gigs. Now EDM's posterboy Avicii is retiring from music. It seems as though no one is immune to the troubles of mental health and dance music icon Sasha recently shared his story.
In an interview with The Guardian Sasha opens up about how gaining popularity within the dance music community caused him to experience anxiety attacks.
“It was right at the peak of my rise to fame. I just couldn’t cope with it,” Sasha remarks when describing being pressured by record labels. “I couldn’t cope with everyone knowing me, I couldn’t cope with the lifestyle – it was mad.”
He says his anxiety got so bad that he would be subjected to anxiety attacks that were a result of just being around music and in the DJ booth.
“Music would trigger them off. I thought I was losing my mind. The more intense the music, the more intense the anxiety got. It was quite a hard period of time: I was in the DJ booth with thousands of people in front of me going crazy but I was thinking I was losing the plot.”
When anxiety kicks in, it's difficult to know what is happening or how to deal with it. After a friend opened up to Sasha about his own experience with mental health issues, he was able to recognize that he was going through a similar crisis.
“I had no idea what was happening to me, and I didn’t know who to talk to. It wasn’t until a friend of mine explained to me what had happened to him – because he’d been off work for about three months – and I was like: ‘Oh my God, I’m having the same thing.’ I went to a doctor and started talking [about it]. I found that I was able to deal with it and I haven’t had one for a long time.”