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The Tragic Addiction That Changed PewDiePie's Life Forever

Depending on who one asks, there are different ways to view longtime streamer and internet personality PewDiePie. He'd probably prefer that fans forget a few of his more sensational feuds, during which his shady side was on full display. On the flip side, PewDiePie is an undeniable success story. Years after he first arrived on the streaming scene, PewDiePie is the richest YouTube Gaming star of 2021 with over 110 million subscribers. He has fans around the world and seems, for the most part, happy.

After a stunning transformation in the last year, fans began to notice that PewDiePie appeared healthier and happier. While he said at the time that he'd stopped drinking and snacking, the YouTuber didn't discuss one of the core differences in his life: He'd battled addiction and changed for the better. 

PewDiePie recently opened up about his struggles with whiskey, which first started as a hobby and turned into something much more dangerous, in a YouTube video on his channel titled "I can quit whenever honestly." While some fans thought the title meant that PewDiePie was planning to stop producing content, he really just wanted to share his experiences with drinking, and to explain why he won't be drinking alone again. In a moment of frank honesty, PewDiePie ended up sharing one of the most intimate parts of his life. 

PewDiePie's addiction and recovery

PewDiePie began by saying, "Whiskey. I love whiskey... The aroma. Just sniffing a good whiskey makes me feel things, man. I'm never drinking again." He went on to explain that he noticed he had a problem with drinking once he tried to cut back. Even though he still enjoyed drinking, PewDiePie had also begun to work out and become more interested in his health, which led to his difficult discovery.

After a brief period of quitting drinking entirely, PewDiePie began reasoning with himself in order to drink. He said that this period was the worst for him because he was also experiencing heightened anxiety at the time, and drinking provided an outlet to blow off steam. That only made separating himself from whiskey more difficult.

PewDiePie mentioned that in addition to whiskey, he might have been addicted to YouTube. "I was so scared of losing YouTube through all these controversies, that I was fueling one addiction out of my fear of losing another one," he explained. PewDiePie was careful to say that he didn't want to portray his situation as worse than anyone else's, but that he feels it's important to destigmatize addiction in all its forms.

"I've only really spoken about these things [in the past] because people asked me," he revealed. "But in reality, I never really talked about it because I was really embarrassed about it." PewDiePie tried to wean himself off of whiskey by using nicotine patches, which some viewers saw in his videos. Even that, he said, proved to be difficult.

Fans congratulate PewDiePie on the other side

Now, PewDiePie says that he doesn't "feel anything" when thinking about whiskey or nicotine, but he acknowledged that addiction is something many people — himself included — could struggle with for their entire lives. For PewDiePie, embracing Stoicism and other philosophic practices helped him come out of a dark place, but he said that everyone has to make their own decisions about what sort of life they want to lead. In the end, PewDiePie didn't speak out in a judgmental way. Instead, he brought light to a serious issue he struggled with and gave context to some of the darker moments in his career.

Fans saw PewDiePie's honesty as a good thing, for the most part, and many thanked him for sharing his experiences. One viewer said, "I'm sure it was tough but if it gets more people to understand addiction, it's worth it." Another hoped that PewDiePie "talking about this will help a lot of people and not just addicts but also the people around addicts to understand addicts and addiction better." In the end, maybe something good came out of PewDiePie sharing his story with fans, as difficult as it may have been.