Following his father's sudden death in May, the singer who became famous at the age of nine spiraled out of control. Carter ultimately decided to check into a rehab facility in September after he got arrested for a DUI and marijuana possession in July, broke up with his longtime girlfriend in August, and got authorities called on him four times within a 34-hour period to check on his safety.
"I dealt with a lot of trauma, a lot of loss, a lot of loneliness," Carter said in a new interview with Us Weekly. "I just feel like I needed to get away."
See what Carter had to say about life after rehab (and life, in general, since he's surprised to be alive), what he has in common with Taylor Swift, and why he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
Life After Rehab
Looking back at the time he spent in a rehab center, Carter said his goal going into the 90-day program was "to be the phoenix that rises from the ashes."
And now that he is in a better place the "Don't Say Goodbye" singer said he is "shocked" that he just celebrated his 30th birthday.
"I thought I would die by 30," Carter said. "Even when I was 13, 24, I thought, 'Oh my God. I'm going to die.'"
Carter checked into the rehab center weighing 115 pounds as a 6 foot tall man. Now, Carter is weighing in at 162 pounds and is ready to put the pieces back together.
"It's time to act like a frickin' adult," Carter said. "I have new aspirations. All of those require my attention for music, and I'm telling you, I live in the studio. It's the safest place for me and very therapeutic."
Carter uses songwriting as an escape from his reality, which the 30-year-old singer said is very similar to Swift's process.
"I'm kind of like Taylor Swift," Carter said. "I produce music when I feel depressed. It's just my way out, my way of resting my mind. That's how al these songs came about. They're about [my] ex-girlfriend that didn't work out. I wrote songs about them while I was with them, trying to get them to understand hat they were doing to me."
Carter continued to explain that his newest song "Hungry for Love" was inspired by the heartbreak he felt in rehab.
"My therapist Chris wanted me to write letters about my ex because it was killing me," Carter said. "I was having nightmares every night. They had me on Prazosin and Remeron and certain medications that make it so you can't dream because they were that vivid. I would wake up sweating. So I wrote a letter and it's called 'Hungry for Love.' I'm going to record it and put it on my next album."
Carter says he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder because of the environment in which he was raised.
"I wasn't able to go to school, have normal friends. I wasn't allowed to have friends over," Carter said. "They had to sign waivers that said if they killed themselves, we weren't responsible."
"I was always working and flying to different countries," he continued. "One minute my dancer's my tutor and the next minute my grandma is my tutor. I was lonely even though I was performing for millions of people."