Creed frontman Scott Stapp says he is “lucky to be alive” after spending much of the last six months in a prescription drug-induced psychosis.
Stapp, whose band Creed scored major hits in the ’90s with songs like “My Sacrifice” and “Higher,” made headlines in November when he posted a bizarre video to his Facebook page in which he claimed that record executives were stealing millions of dollars from him and that the IRS had frozen his bank accounts. The singer was also placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold after reportedly calling his son’s school to warn of an impending ISIS terrorist attack.
In an interview with ABC News, Stapp said his bizarre behavior was down to regularly overdosing on his prescription medication.
“I was so out of my mind, delusional, turned on everyone that I loved, made wild and crazy accusations about my wife,” Stapp told ABC. “I thought I was being followed by the government, I mean, it was a manic paranoid, psychotic episode. I was driving around with … a 12 gauge shotgun in my lap. And I thought that people were trying to kill me.”
Stapp said his troubles began in 1998, just around the time that Creed’s Proof of Life album was released.
“In 1998, I was on top of the world. I had four No. 1 singles. My career was taking off,” he said. “And then all of a sudden, a depression came over me, a debilitating, physical depression. At that point, I went into a walk-in clinic while I was on tour, sought a doctor and got a prescription antidepressant, and that’s really where this journey begins.”
Stapp told ABC that he began suffering from wild swings in his mental state. In 2006, he attempted to commit suicide while continuing to battle alcohol and substance abuse. In the 2012 book Sinner’s Creed, Stapp claimed he was sober and ready to move on.
But the singer told ABC he relapsed, lying to a doctor to get a prescription for Adderall. Stapp said the medication helped for a little while, but when its effects fizzled out, he began to take more and more, eventually reaching 120 mg per day, or double the legal dosage of the amphetamine. It was at this point, Stapp said, that he began suffering from “delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.”
“I thought my own wife was trying to poison me. I made crazy accusations that she had done things to me that she’s never done,” Stapp told ABC. “My wife was trying to save me. She was trying to help me. And her efforts to help me in my delusional state, I interpreted as part of the grand conspiracy to harm me.”
When Stapp’s wife Jaclyn discovered he had been abusing Adderall, she reportedly asked him to leave, as she did not want the singer’s volatile behavior around their three children. Stapp said that is when he checked into the Holiday Inn, stopped taking his medication, and uploaded the bizarre video to Facebook, which he now says had “no basis in reality.”
“I was in severe pain,” Stapp explained. “Everything that I thought, I believed in the bottom of my heart… Your delusion has told you that you have no money, you have no home, you have no family and everyone that you love has been trying to harm you, and you believe it.”
Jaclyn filed for divorce in 2014, claiming the singer’s drug use was harming their family. Shortly afterward, Stapp told ABC his psychosis began to wear off. His wife reportedly flew out to Los Angeles to meet him, and urged him to seek treatment. Finally, after years of struggle, Stapp was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began receiving proper treatment.
The singer told People magazine that he is now sober, involved in a 12-step program and that his wife is still standing beside him.
“Nothing is more important than my sobriety,” he told the mag.