Chris Cornell

MDMA and Psilocybin: The Future of Anxiety Medication?

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When my wife texted me from the other side of the apartment last Thursday I knew things could not be good. Four simple words: Chris Cornell is dead. While I haven’t remained up on Soundgarden or Cornell’s solo career over the last two decades, Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, along with the Temple of the Dog record, were essential high school and college listening, memories for life.

Of course you want to know what happened at such times. The NY Times initially reported potential suicide, a claim quickly verified around the web. Impatient animals we are, song lyrics and life episodes were immediately dissected for clues, including the fact that the last song Soundgarden performed was a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying.” All so poetic, this story wrapped up with the perfect bow of rock star misery.

Or is it? Cornell’s family rebutted that his medication is to blame. He might have taken a higher dosage of Ativan than usual, an anti-anxiety drug also prescribed for insomnia. Side effects include suicidal thoughts, mood swings, confusion, hallucinations, feeling unsteady, and memory problems. Cornell’s wife noticed that he was slurring his words earlier that evening.

While we’ve gotten better at solving hardware problems—torn meniscuses, faulty heart valves, various cancers—we’re still working with an ancient operating system when it comes to our software. One of the failures of modern medicine is its inability to treat emotional pain, writes neuroscientist Marc Lewis and addiction specialist Shaun Shelly:

Modern medicine has confirmed the overlap of bodily and mental maladies through painstaking research, and yet treatment for psychological problems lags far behind a cascade of stunning advances in the treatment of physical ills – advances that have doubled the human lifespan and improved our quality of life immeasurably.

We’ve put a lot of faith—too much, Lewis and Shelly argue—on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by—well, no one is exactly sure, which is a big part of the problem. If you’re suffering from mild or moderate anxiety or depression side effects likely outweigh benefits. And yet in numerous countries they are the most commonly prescribed group of pharmaceuticals for treating emotional distress. One JAMA report stated that 16.7 percent of American adults filled at least one psychiatric drug…

Report: Chris Cornell Funeral to be Held May 26 in Los Angeles

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Just after a week following his death, singer Chris Cornell will reportedly be laid to rest, according to a report from CNN. The news channel reports a pair of sources familiar with the family’s plans as stating that the funeral will take place May 26 in Los Angeles.

According to the report, the singer’s body is being flown back from Michigan to Los Angeles today (May 21) and the vocalist will be buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. One source told CNN, “The family is thinking about a [public] memorial for fans, but is coping now with their loss and the funeral service.”

Cornell’s wife became concerned when speaking with the vocalist on the phone not long after the band’s show in Detroit Wednesday night (May 17). After security was reached, they arrived to find his hotel room door locked and a second door locked as well before eventually finding the…

Inside Chris Cornell’s Final Weeks: Touring and Spending Time with His ‘Perfect Wife’ and Kids

Chris Cornell was fully immersed in work and family in the weeks before his startling death on Wednesday night at age 52.

Although a medical examiner ruled that the former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman died of suicide by hanging, his family insisted in a statement released through their attorney that the devoted husband and father would not have knowingly and intentionally taken his own life — and question whether any “substances” played a role in his death.

“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise,” Cornell family attorney Kirk Pasich said in the statement. “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”

Furthermore, Pasich said Cornell — who in the past month was busy touring with Soundgarden and making red carpet appearances for the song he contributed to the new film The Promise — was planning for the future, including a fun family getaway on Memorial Day weekend.

Read on to learn more about Chris Cornell’s final weeks:

Promoting The Promise in April:

The beloved grunge rocker wrote and performed the end-title song for The Promise, a film that addressed the Armenian genocide. He attended the London premiere in April 6 alongside Amal and George Clooney, and shared a shot of himself with the Oscar winner on Twitter.

Cornell and his wife, Vicky Karayiannas, then attended the Los Angeles premiere on April 14. He spoke to PEOPLE on the red carpet, and said the project moved him because his wife’s Greek family was also impacted by the WWI genocide that wiped out roughly 1.5 million Armenians.

“One of my close friends is the producer of the film, who’s Armenian, Eric Esrailian. My wife is Greek. Her grandparents were actually refugees from the same period of Greek refugees, the same policy,” he said. “If neither of those things existed, it would still be something that I would want to be a part of and be able to have the opportunity to write a song for such an impactful, and what I think of as an important film.”

Cornell, who announced he was donating all proceeds from the song to the…

Chris Cornell’s Wife Issues Statement, Blames Anxiety Medicine for Suicide

Chris Cornell’s wife Vicky issued a statement speculating whether his suicide was the result of too much anxiety medication.

Vicky Cornell, the wife of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, issued a statement Friday morning where she remembered her late husband, who died Thursday morning at the age of 52, and speculated whether his suicide was the result of taking too much of his anxiety medication.

“Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend,” Vicky wrote.

“His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do.”

However, following Soundgarden’s concert Wednesday night, Vicky…

Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Dead at 52

Chris Cornell, lead singer for Soundgarden, has died at age 52. Rick Diamond/Getty

, a dynamic vocalist and guitarist whose versatile showmanship as Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog’s frontman was a signpost of the grunge era, died Wednesday night. Detroit police are investigating the death as a possible suicide, according to The Associated Press. He was 52.

The singer was in Detroit at the time of his death, having played a show with Soundgarden, who were on tour, earlier in the evening. “His wife, Vicky, and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause,” his publicist said in a statement. They also asked for fans to respect their privacy.

Cornell’s artistry was marked by his impressive multi-octave vocal range and a rare sensitivity for heavy music. With Soundgarden, he could shift between raging metal declarations (“Jesus Christ Pose”), somber mood pieces (“Fell on Black Days”) and psychedelia (“Black Hole Sun”) with ease.

After years of playing generally aggressive music in the Eighties, his full range of musical expression showed in 1991 when he created Temple of the Dog – a supergroup featuring Soundgarden and eventual Pearl Jam members – to pay tribute to late Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood. He later explored heavier territory with members of Rage Against the Machine in the supergroup Audioslave and his sensitive side as a solo artist, with frequent acoustic shows in recent years.

The band formed in 1984 after a period…