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Mental Health Month Spotlight: Trent Reznor

It’s no secret that Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) has seen times as dark as some of his music.

During the period between 1994’s The Downward Spiral and 1999’s The Fragile albums (and especially after the not-so-successful The Fragile), Reznor struggled with substance abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

And, if you’re familiar with it at all, “Hurt” – one of Reznor’s many most well-known songs from The Downward Spiral – sounds like an anthem for folks struggling with the same kinds of issues.

Reznor has spoken publicly about his battles with drug addiction and mental health issues. During a 2007 interview with Heather Adler, Reznor stated:

“I hated everything. I hated everyone. I hated everything about myself. I hated music. I didn’t care about anything […] That’s a bleak place to wind up at, but things couldn’t be further away from that now. I was certainly depressed and I was in the thralls of withdrawal for about a year after the Fragile tour […] Through my actions, I was certainly behaving in an irresponsible enough way that I was, in a cowardly way, trying to end it.”

A few months later, Reznor talked with Sun-Times music critic Jim Derogatis about how family issues worked to exasperate those issues:

“My grandma never recovered, literally. She died one month later and I fell deeper into a depression that consumed my entire being. I became lazy, I became irritable, I was a giant f***ing a**hole to everyone who had been close to me. I made s***ty decisions, I befriended Marilyn Manson, I was a mess. It was the worst time of my life.”

(Is he equating a friendship with Marilyn Manson with depression and crappy decisions? Haha, that’s funny.)

As he’s still alive and well and very much in the public eye for good news, things obviously changed for Reznor. He took some time off, successfully completed rehab, and regrouped.

So what’s Reznor up to these days?

Well, aside from recently celebrating is 44th birthday (hey, staying alive is an accomplishment for all of us – especially those who’ve battled drug addiction), he’s a raving Twitter fan who just won the 2009 Webby Award for Webby Artist of the Year “for his achievements in ‘harnessing the power of the Internet to share his music and passions'”.

Reznor also recently became engaged to West Indian Girl’s Mariqueen Maandig, and he and the NIN touring members are also currently on tour with Jane’s Addiction and nearly every single show is sold out.

Not too shabby, right? 🙂

Mental Health Month Spotlight: Trent Reznor

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2009). Mental Health Month Spotlight: Trent Reznor. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 May 2009
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