The day before Thanksgiving, acclaimed songwriter and lo-fi master Daniel Johnston was hospitalized near his home in Tomball, Texas. Johnson has a history of severe mental illness and takes lithium to aid his manic-depression. According to the Johnston fansite, Rejectedunknown.com, Daniel’s father, Bill, surmised that Daniel’s symptoms — general incoherence and the inability to walk — were due to lithium poisoning. Johnston is also borderline diabetic, and his blood sugar might have been an element in his hospitalization, his father said.
Johnston has been thrust back into the spotlight as of late due to the new documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, which was screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and is slated for a March 2006 public release. Johnston recently cancelled a slew of European tour dates due to severe depression. Daniel’s father said, “There was just no way to stay on top of it if Daniel could not get regular clinical attention.”
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