Canadian DJ and music producer Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known by his stage name Deadmau5, shared how he deals with frequent panic attacks while live streaming on Twitch.
During a June 17 Twitch broadcast, the musician was asked if he ever had panic attacks on stage, and revealed that he experiences them quite often.
In fact, he believes that he undergoes one every five shows or so – which is definitely a high amount, considering how stressful they are. Luckily, he’s developed a trick to help deal with the attacks, and it’s been working for him very well.
If you’re not familiar with what a panic attack is, Deadmau5 explained it all quite well. “The best way I can describe it, it feels like a sense of impending doom,” he said, amusingly as he cut up foes in Diablo.
“It’s not specific. It’s not like I have a fear that I’m going to have a heart attack or something like that,” he added. “It’s anything. You don’t know what it is. If I had a fear of something directly that I can put a tangibility to, I would address it.”
As for what helps him overcome the panic, Zimmerman has a method that, while he claims is “dumb” and works for him, it probably wouldn’t work for anyone else.
“I have a really vivid memory of sitting on a jet ski. I went out to Lake Ontario and just went a quarter mile out from the land, and I was kinda by myself… what I did was I shut off my jet ski and I was f**king sitting there and it was so quiet,” he thought back.
Basically, the memory of sitting on the jet ski smoking a cigarette in peace is vivid for the artist, but just thinking back to that feeling of harmony can help him overcome panic attacks.
“When I’m having a weird sense of impending doom on stage, I literally put my mind in that exact same spot and I think about the situation,” he said. “I recall the colors of the jet ski, the number of clouds in the sky, the overall feeling of just total relaxation.”
It’s definitely clear why Deadmau5’s technique for dealing with panic attacks wouldn’t work for everyone, but the fact he can transform a bad situation into one of comfort on stage is quite an impressive feat.