Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz has opened up about the depression he’s experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing the last year has been the worst of his life.

Mental health issues throughout the pandemic have been widespread. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that 31 percent of respondents to a CDC survey said they’ve experienced anxiety or depression. “These numbers are nearly double the rates we would have expected before the pandemic,” NIMH adds.

On a new episode of Stoke the Fire, Adam D explained how he went from grateful for time off the road to desperate for human interaction.

“I was, like, 'This is gonna be great. We'll take some time and we'll take care of ourselves, and when we get back we'll be in an even more positive headspace. And we'll tour non-stop when we get back to it,’” Adam D. begins. “And then I think once the realization of 'COVID's not going anywhere' hit, I was, like, 'Oh, no. Oh, no.' And then the loneliness. My girlfriend works, like, 12-hour days, so I never fucking see her. So the loneliness started eating me alive. Getting injured again — I hurt my back really bad again. Going to the hospital — all that shit. Fuck, I was [on a] downward spiral.”

"I guess I never really realized how dependent I am on human interaction after all," the guitarist continued. "I get so burnt out on it being on tour, because you're always around other people, so I always just thought I preferred being alone. And then when I was alone for that long, just completely by myself, I fucking went crazy."

"This was, without a doubt, the worst year of my life — a hundred percent. I'd never gone to such a dark place ever before. I'm glad that I've finally pulled out of it, and the promise of good things coming was really the catalyst for that. Being able to see people, getting vaccinated and then being able to go out and things opening again, and all the [coronavirus] rates dropping. Now life is pretty much back to normal where I'm living. And it's just amazing to see people again. I was so scared to go home and see my family because of my grandmother — she was not doing well, so I didn't wanna be the reason that somebody in my family got sick and then gave her something.”

The experience also allowed Adam D. to understand what bandmate Jesse Leach, who suffers from mental illness and has become one of metal’s great advocates for mental health awareness, goes through on a daily basis.

“I know Jesse talks about depression and anxiety all the time, which runs in my family. Every one of my siblings has had to deal with something. And they're either on some form of medication or they have to do some form of crazy meditation to keep their thoughts at bay,” Adam shares. “I never truly experienced the depth of it until this last year and how controlling it can be. I always just assumed, like, 'Just have a fucking beer and have a chat with a good friend, and it'll help fix things.' And from what I went through last year, I realized now nothing fixes it — nothing fixes it. It's like the most hopeless feeling you could ever have. It's really fucking crazy. And I truly know now what it means to be depressed." [via Blabbermouth]

Adam D. (Killswitch Engage), Jesse Leach & Matt Stocks - Stoke the Fire Podcast Ep #025

  • If you're suffering from mental illness, there are resources available to help. SAMHSA's National Helpline (1-800-662-HELP) can refer you to treatment facilities, support groups and community-based organizations focused on mental health and addiction issues.

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