Phil Collins Talks About Alcoholism, Near Death From Pancreatitis

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Phil Collins Talks About Alcoholism, Near Death From Pancreatitis

In an interview with The Sunday Times, musician Phil Collins opened about alcoholism, just ahead of his forthcoming autobiography entitled “Not Dead Yet.”

In the interview, 65-year-old Collins admitted that he “nearly died” from his dependency, and stated that his problems started after he ceased touring and moved to Switzerland. He used an expletive to describe the condition of his organs, and said that he drank “spirits, corrosive stuff.” In fact, his problem was so serious he was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. He overheard someone asking his children’s nanny if he had a will.

He says he was subsequently treated with disulfiram, a medication that makes drinkers sick when they consume alcohol.

He said he had previously justified the behavior because “I deserved a break in my life where I could do anything, whatever I wanted.” He also attributed his downfall to depression following three failed marriages.

From the book:

“It took me until the age of 55 to become an alcoholic. I got through the heady 1960s, the trippy 1970s, the imperial 1980s, the busy 1990s. I was retired, content, and then I fell. Because I suddenly had too much time on my hands.”

In a 2004 Rolling Stone article, he also admitted to having suicidal thoughts, a revelation that was worrisome for fans.

While Collins officially retired in 2002 due to back and arm injuries caused by years of drumming, there have been rumors of a comeback. NME reported that he may be ready to announce a series of shows and festival engagements this year. Indeed, he was seen performing in August at the opening ceremony of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

Collins is one of just three artists (including Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) to have sold more than 100 million records as both a solo artist and band member.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

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