Of course famous people get a mental illness as frequently as the rest of the population. If 10% of the population is at risk at any given time for a mental disorder — such as depression, ADHD, anxiety or bipolar — then so are celebrities.

The problem is, most celebrities don’t want to give more fodder for the paparazzi, and health issues are generally a private thing for most of us.

So it’s always refreshing to not only see a celebrity share his or her mental anguish with others, but do so on their own terms.

This month’s Men’s Health has a nice piece by the Counting Crows’ front man Adam Duritz about his grappling with a dissociative disorder. His first-person account is helpful in understanding the disturbing symptoms behind this kind of disorder — a complete disconnect with reality to the point of losing time (and in some cases, place):

This was not depression. This was not workaholism. I have a fairly severe mental illness that makes it hard to do my job — in fact, makes me totally ill suited for my job. I have a form of dissociative disorder that makes the world seem like it’s not real, as if things aren’t taking place. It’s hard to explain, but you feel untethered.

And because nothing seems real, it’s hard to connect with the world or the people in it because they’re not there. You’re not there. That’s why I rarely saw my family back then: It’s hard to care when everything feels as if it’s taking place in your imagination. And if you’re distant with people, especially women you’re romantically involved with, they eventually leave.

What makes my case even worse is that every night I go out on stage and have this incredible emotional connection between me, the band, and the audience. Then, just like that, it’s over. I go backstage, back to the bus, back to my hotel room, and sit there all by myself. That deep connection is yanked away in an instant. It’s like breaking up with your girlfriend over and over again, every night.

He’s found help, and encourages others who have a disorder like this to do the same.

I’ve always enjoyed Duritz’s voice and the Counting Crows in general, so I especially enjoyed the article. I hope you do too.

Read the full article: Mental Illness