Following the suicides of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell this year, many in the music world have been opening up about mental health. Avenged Sevenfold lead vocalist, M. Shadows, in an interview with NME, discussed his personal battle with depression, especially in the several years after the death of his friend and band mate, Avenged Sevenfold drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan, in 2009.

"All I can say is, I never knew what depression was and you could say the word over and over again to me and I'd never know what the depths of it felt like until I lost Jimmy," Shadows said. "I went through about three years when I couldn't do anything, so I went to go talk to someone and it was the hardest three years of my life."
 

Avenged Sevenfold


"I would shake at night and have anxiety of anything I was doing, I couldn't sleep, y’know off the wall, random," he added. "But once I'd been through those three years, I would never ever question someone’s mental state, because I went through it."

Shadows went on to say the "stigma" of mental health is "disheartening," and that, "everyone on this planet goes through things at one point or another, so we just have to be there for each other."

"I know how desperate it is and how dark and terrible it is and how you feel like you can't do anything," Shadows said. "Unfortunately, people have to go through that to understand what people are going through."

"All I can say to people who don't think depression is a real thing, or say 'just suck it up and get over it' -- they just really have no idea," he said. "You have to give people the benefit of the doubt that they're doing the best they can to get through it."

Avenged Sevenfold spent a good portion of this year on tour with Metallica in support of their latest studio album, The Stage. Guitarist Synyster Gates recently announced The Synyster Gates School, a free online guitar school and community.