Johnny Crowder began exhibiting symptoms of mental illness at the ripe young age of 3, and it didn’t let up for a decade or two. His abuse-ridden adolescence was sprinkled with suicidal thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and some pretty eye-catching acne. In short, it wasn’t pretty—and neither was he. Crowder pursued a degree in psychology from UCF—that is, until his band, Dark Sermon, got signed and he left campus to tour the universe. Although he finished his degree on the road, he learned more about the human psyche through his travels than he ever could in a classroom. After years of intense therapy and heavy medication, Crowder is now functioning healthily without the use of either. In their place, he’s developed effective strategies that allow him to maintain a sound mind and body throughout his journeys with his new band, Prison, whose music addresses his difficult past and encourages others to persevere.