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Duff McKagan Opens Up About His Battle With Depression

Duff McKagan
Mark Davis, Getty Images

Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan writes a weekly column for the Seattle Weekly, and this week he revealed that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 threw him into a deep depression. McKagan said he had wondered why others just couldn’t “snap out of it” before 9/11 happened.

“Everything was suddenly fearful, and my own place on this earth seemed muddy and without bedrock,” he writes. “My daughters were 4 and 1, and suddenly my idealistic vision of being the perfect dad was acutely obscured by movements beyond my ability to control. I sunk into a thick, black state of being. Depression for the first time.”

Previously McKagan said he had dealt with panic attacks, but never found himself trapped alone with his own, dark thoughts. We’re mostly left to wonder how bad things got, but his purpose was to motivate those suffering from depression to begin tunneling toward the light with open conversation.

I have found in fighting thoughts and feelings of depression is to actually talk and get out — face the day head on if you can. “Today is going to be the best day in my history” is not a bad place to start. Share your “stuff” with others. Don’t be afraid to do it. You may just be surprised by how many like-minded people there are out there. Depression and anxiety have touched most of us to some degree or another.

Medical treatment is just one of the options, but continuing to hole up in one’s own sadness should not be. He finishes by hinting that he still battles with depression. “There is a way out of depression — you just got to get to a place to examine the monster.”

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