Jimi Hendrix’s destructive behavior is evident with his untimely death at the age of 27. Could his song “Manic Depression” be from a person who does not know how to handle his fame? Perhaps it was a cry for help from either a cocaine addiction or bipolar disorder. I believe that his lyrics reveal his lack of pleasure in the music he once loved. The words “turn myself off” and “go on down, all the way down” are signs of severe depression or suicide. (Song, 2013) There is no mention of delusions of grandeur or uncontrollable rapidly changing thoughts which are symptoms of bipolar disorder according to the DSM-IV-TR (2000). Psychoactive substances, such as cocaine, mock symptoms of manic depression. Cocaine provides a feeling of “increased confidence” (Ryan, 2013, p 102). Withdrawal from this psychoactive substance can manifest itself as a depression, change in eating habits as well as thoughts of suicide. Addiction to cocaine changes the way the brain is wired and weakens the user physically and mentally (Ryan, 2013, p 103). Jimi Hendrix’s short life and even shorter music career brought an end to one of the greatest guitarists there ever was. I wonder how great he would have been if he sought professional help instead of self-medication. He was involved in a turbulent time in America’s history and his music still lives today.
Ryan, M. (2013). Psychsmart (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR) (4th ed,). 296.80 Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Retrieved from http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org.library.capella.edu/content.aspx?bookid=22§ionid=1890370#2441. Accessed January 12, 2013. http://www.songlyrics.com/jimi-hendrix/manic-depression-lyrics/