While most people know him for the catchy 2000 song “I Want Candy,” Aaron Carter seemed to drop from the limelight very abruptly. The now 28-year-old recently appeared on Oprah: Where Are They Now in a rare television interview where he candidly opened up about the host of personal struggles away from stage that accompanied his meteoric success as a young pop star.
“It was 2004 or 2003,” he said. “A lot of money was coming in, we had the biggest estate in all of the Florida Keys. I had to show all the cameras my life that I was losing and nobody ever knew it.”
The precipitating event was the abrupt announcement of his parents’ divorce, made mere minutes before he was set to film an episode of MTV Cribs. Carter, then only 15, was still a juvenile. Despite his fame and stardom, he was losing his platform of personal support and stumbled into a slew of bad decisions.
“The depression was brought on because I loved my family being together. I did not want to see them divorced. I couldn’t dwell on it. I couldn’t think about it too much. I kind of had to block it out. I started partying and getting into a lot of trouble… With everything that was happening, I started losing all my money. I went broke.”
The onset of depression after a traumatic event, such as a divorce, is common and not surprising. Usually, these depressions manifest in a continued feeling of intense sadness that interferes with a person’s ability to function normally.
Being a celebrity even more intensely elevates the pressures of having to maintain a facade of perfection. Losing his parents’ support, family unity and stardom at the same time drove Carter into a dark spiral of addiction to cope, cutting his fame short and leaving him unable to ever fully make a comeback.
Despite the stigmas, depression is a very treatable disorder. There are a wide range of therapies and medications that have been proven to work. The first step is to recognize the symptoms, and then reach out and get help, whether it be from confidents within your inner circle or a mental health professional.
Aaron Carter attributes much of his own recovery to going to the same rehabilitation center as Robert Downey Jr. Staying in his same room, Aaron found a mentor in RDJ who helped him piece together the devastation of the breakage of his family.
Watch Full Interview Below
Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?
One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.
But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.
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