Andy Warhol was a world-renowned visual artist instrumental in the success of the pop art movement in the 1960s. He was also a talented producer and film director. Warhol introduced a new concept of art to the world through his paintings, illustrations and prints; his iconic Campbell soup tin and Marilyn Monroe paintings have become some of his most recognizable artworks and are considered highly valuable collectibles. Many consider him a creative genius.
Because of his bold works and quirky personality, people often ask, “Did Any Warhol do drugs?” Like a lot of artists who experiment with drugs to springboard new ideas, Warhol was no different. He detailed many accounts of his struggle with prescription drugs in The Andy Warhol Diaries. Read on to learn more about Andy Warhol and his experience with addiction.
Who Is Andy Warhol?
Warhol paved the way for a new generation of art, but this came with constant pressure and attention from the public. Andy Warhol worked hard to control his public image, despite his private battles with self-esteem, addiction and mental health issues.
Andy Warhol’s childhood had a lot to do with his career path, but it also contributed to many of his mental health issues. He grew up in poverty and suffered from Sydenham chorea, a neurological disease that meant he was bedridden for up to 7 weeks at a time. It was during this period that he read comics, listened to the radio and practiced his art.
Unfortunately, Warhol’s disorder left him with a slightly disfigured nose, and he quickly became the subject of childhood bullying. This led to huge self-esteem issues and a hyper-focus on his appearance. He was so insecure about his appearance that he later underwent cosmetic surgery on his nose. Many mental health struggles and addiction issues can be traced back to some sort of childhood trauma.
Andy Warhol’s Career
Despite his internal struggles, Warhol went on to be one of the most successful artists of all time — always mixing business and pleasure. After finishing college, he began his journey into mixed media by combining his ink drawings with printmaking. From the start of his career as an illustrator for Glamour magazine, Warhol was a success.
It was during the sixties that Warhol skyrocketed to fame after finding his passion in pop art. In 1961, Warhol created his first pivotal piece of pop art, called Coca-Cola. When Warhol became famous began to find it hard to distinguish between the real world and fantasies. He began exhibiting eccentric and grandiose behaviors that would lead some experts to believe he suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Upon meeting people, Warhol would create a new persona when interviewed and always managed to redirect conversations. This ruse and mysterious way of dealing with the public always threw people off, ensuring no one delved too deep into his psyche. From a young age, Warhol learned to dress up and act to avoid revealing too much of himself. During Warhol interviews, you never knew what was coming.
But he was more than just an artist. Andy became involved in producing movies touching on risqué subjects. In total, he produced in excess of 650 short films. The seventies saw Andy branching out into the publishing industry where he co-founded a media magazine called Interview and then went on to author a few books, the most famous being The Andy Warhol Diaries.
Mental Health and Fame
Fame creates a false sense of reality where many celebrities become far removed from the real. Being thrust into the spotlight can exacerbate previously existing mental health issues. Staying grounded while in the limelight isn’t easy, especially if you’re constantly worshiped as a hero. The attention high can be addictive, especially to those who are on the Narcissistic spectrum.
Narcissistic personalities desire adoration, despite common insecurities. Andy Warhol exhibited the telltale signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but went to great lengths to hide his insatiable appetite for attention. At the same time, he battled with stress, anxiety and compulsive hoarding.
Celebrities are often criticized for bad behavior seen in public, but in cases of substance abuse this can be the addiction talking and not the true essence of the person. The pressure from being famous and having easy access to everything can be a breeding ground for self-destructive behaviors.
Did Andy Warhol Do Drugs?
Yes. The Andy Warhol drugs of choice included Obetrol, a diet pill that has a similar effect to speed. Warhol’s battle with mental health was believed to be the reason for his pill dependency.
According to a study, 37% of alcoholics and 53% of drug abusers suffer from mental health disorders. Throw fame into the mix and the daily prying from the media and it’s easy to see why vulnerable celebrities can lose their way.
One of Warhol’s contemporaries claimed that he could justify his drug taking, which is one of the key behaviors of an addict. On one occasion, Andy Warhol put cocaine on his gums and announced that he wasn’t actually physically taking the drug, he was just putting it on his gums. These are the kinds of lies and justifications substance abusers regularly tell themselves.
Andy Warhol used to tell people that forcing change on people with addiction issues will never work. Warhol’s advice is that people only change when they’re ready to.
Confront Your Problems
Addiction and mental health disorders aren’t just reserved for the general population. Famous people also suffer from diseases like addiction and medically diagnosed mental disorders. Your favorite celebrity could be suffering in silence and putting on a brave face for the media. Try not to judge their behavior — they’re fallible, just like the rest of us. Most celebrities have financial freedom and easy access to help, but you can also access help from Sunlight Recovery.
If you can recognize problems when they arise, you’re on your way to treating them. The compassionate team at Sunlight Recovery can help you find the correct treatment for both substance abuse issues and medically diagnosed mental disorders. Contact us today.