Jill Janus fought cancer alongside depression
Huntress singer discusses lifelong mental health battle as she recovers from surgery
Huntress singer Jill Janus has discussed her lifelong mental health battle as she recovers from cancer surgery.
She's reported that she's doing well after a hysterectomy for deal with a tumour in her uterus.
But she'll continue to face bouts of schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder – which have left her in a suicidal state on a number of occasions over the years.
Janus tells Revolver: “During the process of writing and recording our third album Static, I began to feel like something bad was growing within me. When we were on tour with Amon Amarth, I started to bleed heavily between my periods. I had a procedure, and my doctor found early stages of cancer in my uterus."
But she says: "I know I’ll survive – I’ve survived much worse."
That includes schizoaffective disorder, diagnosed when she was 20, after she'd been showing symptoms for several years.
Janus is now cancer-free following a succesful hysterectomy a few weeks ago.
The singer is also opening up for the first time about her lifelong struggle with mental health issues. “I was suicidal constantly," she recalls. "In my mid-20s it shifted to full-blown mania. I can’t really remember much of my 20s. I lost my long-term memory and can’t remember names, faces, or even places."
People around Janus saw signs of dissociative identity disorder, a condition previously known as multiple personality disorder. “I was developing these other personalities, almost as protection," she says. "That’s also why I started to change my name – I was slowly not wanting to be who I was.
“I took on this persona Penelope Tuesdae, which helped me go out into nightlife and conceal my other life as an opera singer. I really wanted to split the two lives. Penelope Tuesdae started to take on a life of her own."
Guitarist Blake Meahl helped her deal with the latest attack, which took place once Static had been completed. “Once a Huntress album is done, it’s almost like I slip into a postpartum depression," says Janue. "I have to be hospitalised so I don’t hurt myself or anyone else around me. It can be very dangerous.
“This time I was forced into the hospital by Blake. He called an ambulance. I spent some time in the hospital so I could be re-evaluated. I’ve been prescribed new meds, so I’m feeling more stable.”
Static is due for release on September 25 and it's available to pre-order through the band’s PledgeMusic page and via Napalm Records' online store. Huntress begin a US tour next month and set sail on Motorhead's Motorboat Cruise on September 28.