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Background

Musicians who have battled with mental health issues. Kurt Cobain.

Written by on January 24, 2019

Kurt Cobain, founder and lead singer of Nirvana, one of the most influential alternative bands of the early 90s is famously known for struggling with depression.

27 Jan 1994 — Kurt Cobain of Nirvana — Image by © Mark Seliger/CORBIS OUTLINE

What may not be as well known was that he may have also struggled with bipolar disorder. It’s unclear whether or not he was ever officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but his cousin, Bev Cobain, a registered nurse with a background working in mental health, has claimed he suffered from the illness. “Kurt was diagnosed at a young age with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), then later with bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression),” (1) she said in an interview. “Bipolar illness has the same characteristics as major clinical depression, but with mood swings, which present as rage, euphoria, high energy, irritability, distractibility, overconfidence, and other symptoms. As Kurt undoubtedly knew, bipolar illness can be very difficult to manage, and the correct diagnosis is crucial. Unfortunately for Kurt, compliance with the appropriate treatment is also a critical factor.”

Cobain’s depression was often made apparent in his lyrics, as well as interviews and his personal writing. The combination of Cobain’s mental health problems as well as his drug use caught up with him in 1994 when he took his own life.

Thankfully, in this era, where communication is so much easier and the stigma of depression is slowly but surely being lifted, there is a great deal of information and support for those who suffer from any type of mental health problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6P0SitRwy8

(1) http://www.nirvanaclub.com/info/nfcinterviews/bevcobain.htm

Image by © Mark Seliger/CORBIS OUTLINE


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