Taylor Momsen On Depression And Substance Abuse

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“I’d given up as a person.”

You know Taylor Momsen from her iconic performance as Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl.

Momsen is also the lead singer of the long-running rock band The Pretty Reckless — and they just released their latest album, Death By Rock and Roll.

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In a recent interview with Metro UK, Momsen opened up about how the death of two friends — specifically, Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell and record producer Kato Khandwala — led her to a point where she “wasn’t in a good place mentally to be public.”


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Cornell died by suicide in 2017, while Khandwala died in a motorcycle accident the following year.

“My life felt like it was over, and I went very down to this utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse, and I was a mess,” she explained. “I was living in this hole of darkness that I was not sure I would ever get out of.”

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I had kind of given up on life. I’d given up on everything at that point. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make music again.”

“I’d given up as a person. It was very dark.”

Momsen claims that, around 2019, she was able to regroup with her band and launch into creativity as a way to help with how she was feeling: “It was music that saved me.”

“I know it sounds really cliché,” she explained, “but it was rock ’n’ roll and music that pulled me out of it, and I eventually got to a place where I could start listening to records again.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues, call SAMHSA’s hotline at 1-800-662-HELP or click here for more information.

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