After finishing a historic moon mission, Aldrin struggled to find direction. He called his entire experience as “magnificent desolation” and struggled to find direction in the months and years following the Apollo 11 voyage. 1
After landing on the moon, Buzz Aldrin’s mental health floundered and he struggled with symptoms of depression. He felt that no other projects compared to his previous mission, and he did not find solace in the hero’s tours NASA and other agencies had brought him through. Instead, Aldrin’s mental health struggles led to deeper problems with heavy drinking and alcoholism.
In 1972, Aldrin publicly published an article in The LA Times that discussed his challenges.2 This was a brave move at the time, as many of the celebrities in recovery did not discuss their struggles. The support Aldrin received from the worldwide community encouraged his recovery.
Buzz Aldrin’s mental health took a dive after his moon mission, as he felt that he didn’t have a place in NASA or the Air Force anymore.
“I don’t think the Air Force knew what to do with someone who went to the moon,” Aldrin said in one interview, “I was an outsider.” 3
Aldrin cites the isolation he felt after getting back from the moon and his own predispositions to addiction as factors in his alcoholism. Buzz Aldrin’s alcoholism became all-consuming in the 70’s, but he sought help from rehab professionals to get sober.
Buzz Aldrin now has over 22 years of sobriety on his side, and he’s proud to continue to stick to his recovery. Even astronauts can face the trials and tribulations of addiction, alcoholism, and other disorders. Social factors and personal predispositions can create the perfect storm for addiction to form. But with professional drug addiction treatment, sobriety is possible.
At Banyan Treatment Centers, we offer dual diagnosis treatment for patients who are struggling with addiction and mental health disorders. You don’t have to struggle alone, we’re here to help you heal.