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Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler Opens Up About Battle With Depression

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler has opened up about his battle with depression during an interview with NPR‘s “Bullseye With Jesse Thorn.”

Speaking about his first experience with depression during his early days in the band, Butler said social stigma prevented him from visiting a psychiatrist and the condition remained undiagnosed for a long time.

“One day I got a really bad bout of depression and I went to the doctor and he said, ‘Oh, go down to the pub and have a couple of pints. Or take the dog for a walk or something. You’ll be all right,’” Butler said. “And it was, like, ‘No, I’m not gonna be all right. It doesn’t work like that.’ And that kept happening.”

“You can have everything you can possibly want in the world, but when you get into those dark, depressing days, nothing matters,” he added. “All you think about is, like, ‘So I’ll just end it or what.’ And luckily I used to come out of it.”

Butler revealed that he was diagnosed with clinical depression after “a bit of a nervous breakdown” in St. Louis in the 1990s.

“I was living in St. Louis at the time, and I had a bit of a nervous breakdown. And I went to this doctor, the usual doctor, and I just explained everything to him and he told me that I was clinically depressed and he put me on Prozac,” he said. “And after six weeks, I finally came out of the depression. And I thought, ‘Oh, yeah. This is what I’m supposed to feel like.’ And ever since that, I’ve been OK.”

Butler’s personal and professional lives are traced in his memoir, “Into the Void: From Birth to Black Sabbath And Beyond,” which was released in June.

(Photo: Tilly Antoine)

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