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Rocker Was Vocal About Her Mental Illness, Dies by Suicide

Huntress frontwoman Jill Janus was 43
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2018 8:38 AM CDT
In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, Jill Janus of Huntress performs at Ozzfest 2016 at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, Calif.   (Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – The California heavy metal band Huntress shared the news with "crushed hearts": Frontwoman Jill Janus died Tuesday at age 43. "A long-time sufferer of mental illness, she took her own life outside of Portland, Oregon," the band wrote on Facebook. It added that "Janus spoke publicly about these challenges in hopes of guiding others to address and overcome their mental illness." People elaborates, citing a July 2015 interview with Revolver magazine in which she spoke—apparently for the first time publicly—of her diagnosis of bipolar disorder at age 20. "I started to show signs of it when I was 13, though, and I struggled with it through high school. It started to get dangerous in my early teens. By the time I was 20 and living in Manhattan, it was very, very difficult for me."

"That’s when I was admitted into a mental health facility and was diagnosed bipolar with schizoaffective disorder, which progressed into schizophrenia and dissociative disorder." The struggles didn't end there. She noted that after completing the band's third album, which dropped a few months after the interview ran, she had to be hospitalized. "... I spent some time in the hospital so I could be re-evaluated and medicated properly." She also had a hysterectomy in June 2015 following the discovery of cancer in her uterus. Revolver describes her legacy as a two-part one: She'll be remembered for "her powerhouse operatic vocals" as well as "her courageous openness." (Read more obituary stories.)

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