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Nancy Schimelpfening

Astronaut Speaks About His Battle With Depression and Alcohol Abuse

By April 8, 2008

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In 1969, Buzz Aldrin made history when he and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first people ever to set foot on the moon. Today, at the age of 78, Aldrin is still making his mark on the world, speaking about his struggle with depression and alcoholism in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this past Friday.

Aldrin spoke as the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for Broward Housing Solutions, an organization which provides affordable housing for homeless mentally ill people.

During his address, which was reported by The Miami Herald, he said he was unprepared for the fame that followed his return to Earth after his iconic space flight and he struggled for years, dropping in and out of treatment programs.

Aldrin's depression and alcohol problems were inherited, he said. His mother, whose last name ironically was Moon, killed herself. So did her father. Both parents drank.

Although he has been sober for 29 years, he called his recovery "a never ending process." "I'm an engineer, and I understand a few things and how you can come pretty close to a near optimum solution," he said. "Spirituality and human relations may not be the highest on my list of talents."

Describing his motivation for sharing his story, Aldrin said he wanted to share the message that no one is immune from depression and alcoholism and that help is available.

Photo Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images

April 10, 2008 at 2:06 pm
(1) Jim Blaha says:

Too short. Any other current info on Buzz? Does he have a web site?

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