The Australian Actor Harry Hains has Died Tragically at 27 After Battling Mental Illness and Addiction

The Australian-born actor and musician Harry Hains passed away on Jan 7, 2020, aged only 27

His mother, fellow actor Jane Badler, confirmed Hains’ death on Jan 10 in a heartfelt post on Instagram, within which, she informed the world that;

“On Jan 7, my beautiful son died. He was 27 and had the world at his feet. But sadly, he struggled with mental illness and addiction. A brilliant spark shone bright too short a time. I will miss you, Harry, every day of my life…

Hains was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1993 but had subsequently lived in London, New York, and most recently Los Angeles. In 2015, he played a victim of Jeffery Dahmer’s in the Hotel series of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story. In 2018, Hains appeared in I, Matter alongside Alexis Nicholas, and in 2019 he appeared in Netflix’s The OA. 2020 had many exciting promises on the horizon for Hains, with roles in quite a few films still in post-production. Hains was also a model and musician, performing as his alter-ego character ANTIBOY which he defined as a “gender fluid robot from the future.”

Hains spoke publicly about his gender fluidity, once noting that “I know that I am born male, but I don’t think I represent what it means to be a man. I believe we should be whatever we want.” In that same interview, he highlighted that he had a self-destructive tendency and suffered from severe insomnia as a child. Since his untimely passing, many have flocked to social media to give their condolences, and a funeral service took place on Sunday, Jan 12, at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. The exact cause of his death remains unknown.

Are Creative Individuals More Predisposed to Mental Illness?

Hanis’s death is, unfortunately, another addition to the ever-growing list of artists who have passed away before their time because of addiction or mental health struggles. It spans across the world, and the numbers continue to rise, for example, as found in the growing number of K-pop star suicides. However, all too often, the cultural stereotype of a ‘tortured artist’ that pervades our society fails to articulate the depths of these individual’s emotional exhaustion and isolation. For instance, research (2007) has found that creative individuals may be more genetically predisposed to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, studies (2019) continue to show that mental illnesses and substance abuse are frequently co-occurring. Fame and living in the public eye can exacerbate these underlying issues because the constant pressure to perform for the public can increase isolation, as their public persona continuously overshadows the individual’s private self. At the same time, the intense work-schedules of both actors and musicians can sow the seeds for potential burnouts. Tragically, many stars turn to substance abuse to cope with these challenges, which, if left untreated, can lead to addiction, and potentially, overdose.

Davies, H. American Horror Story actor Harry Hains dies aged 27. The Guardian: Television. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jan/10/american-horror-story-actor-harry-hains-dies-aged-27.

Menjivar, B. (2018). Interview: ANTIBOY. The Young Folks. Retrieved from: https://www.theyoungfolks.com/music/125313/interview-antiboy/.

Paracelsus Recovery. (2015). Celebrities in treatment and confidentiality issues. Paracelsus Recovery Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.paracelsus-recovery.com/en/blog/celebrities-in-treatment-and-confidentiality-issues/.

Paracelsus Recovery. (2015). The Concept of Harm Reduction: A Pragmatic Approach. Paracelsus Recovery Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.paracelsus-recovery.com/en/blog/the-concept-of-harm-reduction-a-pragmatic-approach/.

Paracelsus Recovery. (2019). The Link Between Addiction, Mental Illness, and Fame. Paracelsus Recovery Blog. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@ParacelsusRehab/the-link-between-addiction-mental-illness-and-fame-caf414836163.

Paracelsus Recovery. (2019). The Underside of K-Pop: A Harrowing Example of the Toll Fame can Take on our Health. Paracelsus Recovery Blog. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@ParacelsusRehab/the-underside-of-k-pop-a-harrowing-example-of-the-toll-fame-can-take-on-our-health-d1904fb285bc.

Paracelsus Recovery. (2019). About Paracelsus Recovery Luxury Rehab. Retrieved from: https://www.paracelsus-recovery.com/en/about-us/about-paracelsus-recovery/about-us/.

Sussman, A. (2007). Mental Illness and Creativity: A Neurological View of the “Tortured Artist.” Stanford Journal of Neuroscience. 1:1. Retrieved from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/892c/aa15e19b00cc0e56ae825959ce905d2fed94.pdf.

The National Bureau of Economic Research. (2019). Mental Illness and Substance Abuse. NBER. Massachusetts, USA. Retrieved from: https://www.nber.org/digest/apr02/w8699.html.

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