If you ask the musicians that are on auto-destruction mode to explain why they are on that mode, you enter a swamp. A huge swamp. Their story is long. It is complicated. Painful. Sad. Frustrating. It depends how far in their lethal path they are. But, usually, some very powerful and intricate events have driven them to to where they are.
I listen. I get them not all the time, but often enough. The first thing is to listen. You have to be very patient. It can take awhile. Which is good. You help them give birth to their word, their story. It’s important. The more they share, the more you’re likely to understand. And the more you understand, the easier it is to propose a solution, even if they have already tried it. You can use different tools to help the student to enforce those solutions in their lives.
In general, people don’t have a hard time telling you what’s troubling them. Where they get lost is when they get lost. No, I don’t mean to make a joke. I’m very serious. They over-analyse things.
If someone had a band and got out (Fired, quit, whatever), they will feel some guilt. That’s normal. Guilt is good. In moderation. They feel the pain too. Also good. In moderation. They start an internal conversation. Great! But, for crying out loud! In moderation. The internal conversation is what gets them. Because they begin to walk in their head, as I call it. And as they walk, they have the impression that they are thinking. But they are not in a good place to think. Not with clear thoughts. They are sad, they are hurt, they are frustrated. Those emotions play a role in their mind, they do not stay silent at all. And the thinking becomes speculations, dark predictions, somber projections. It is not thinking anymore. Because it is not anchored in any kind of reality. What they are marinating in their head is very dreadful scenarios of what has happened and what will happen. But that’s not reality, that’s their imagination at work. An imagination under influence, too. The worst kind of influence: the kind that ponders doomsday scenarios!
And they sink. Depression, anti social behavior, pessimism (Always called “Realism”). The sand gets in their mouth. They don’t need to be on drugs to hurt themselves. They don’t need anything. They will knit that straight jacket from the strands of the rain if they have to.