Dr. Ardeshir Mehran

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“Can’t Help Falling in Love.” —Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was loved.

Yet, he felt lonely.

He died at the young age of 42. Doctors said that he died of a heart attack, likely brought on by his addiction to prescription barbiturates, a class of drugs for help with depression, sleep, anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures.

I believe he died of a broken heart, not a heart attack.

I grew up listening to his music just like millions of adoring fans. Even as a distressed and lonely boy growing up in a small town in Iran, his soulful and calm voice touched my heart. His music felt like lullabies to me; of someone far away yet so close to me. I would often hum his songs. I still do.

Elvis once said: “When you cannot say the hard things, sing.”

Years later, when I came to the US for graduate school in New York City, his music helped my future wife and me spark the initial attraction. We both worked in the same company, where we met, fell in love, and got married. I used to walk down the corporate headquarters corridors, lost in my thoughts and gently singing, humming, or whistling Elvis’s tunes, especially, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (aka Only Fools Rush In). I did not know that a beautiful young woman from Buffalo, NY, recently hired in another group, was also hearing my voice and taking notice. The same Elvis song happened to be one of her favorites as well. As she told me later when we started dating, through my singing, she saw me as a romantic and expressive man and someone who was comfortable in his own skin.

The recent “Elvis” movie by Baz Luhrmann is just mesmerizing. I saw it twice. The movie brought back all those memories, melodies, and emotions. The turbulent life of the legendary Elvis also came into focus for me. The movie helped me better appreciate the human story behind Elvis’ melodies, as well as a peek into his private struggles.

As the developer of The Bill of Emotional Rights – to be introduced in May 2023 to the world through my book, “YOU ARE NOT DEPRESSED. YOU ARE UN-FINISHED.” I could clearly see the emotional patterns behind Elvis’ life story and his slow decline toward death. I have prepared the following analysis for your review based on my hunch and what I have learned about Elvis over the years.:

I BELONG: Feelings of emotional bonds, connection, love, grace, ONENESS

Elvis: Very Low. Besides his mother, who died early, he was lonely apart from his marriage. A throng of fans and business associates surrounded him as an icon. Prolonged loneliness leads to depression, anxiety, addiction, and self-harm.

I AM BOUNDLESS: Being physically active, energized, body agency, engaged & aligned with nature

Elvis: A Mix. Poor physical and diet regimens. Yet during his performance, his body, mind, and spirit were all one. 100% agency and wholeness.

I AM COMPLETE: Feelings of being present, whole, untethered from past struggles or traumas

Elvis: Risk Factor. His past haunted him. He struggled with reconciling his private identity of a young boy from a poor Memphis neighborhood and troubled family with his stardom.

I MATTER: Feelings of being authentic, being oneself, respected, dignity, and appreciation

Elvis: Very High. He saw his music as a divine gift. He mattered to his faith. He was in a state of grace when he was performing.

I MAKE: Feelings of authorship, potency, impact, control, mojo, making your mark

Elvis: A Mix. He was fully alive when he was performing, consumed in his art. It was the backstage deals and people dramas that crushed him. 

I AM: Having a sense of the meaning of your life, work, identity, gusto, ONLYNESS

Elvis: Very High. When he performed, he was transcended. His voice, melodies, and delivery of his music were pure bliss.

I SOAR: Stepping into your life’s calling, purpose, destiny, abundant growth, and breakout

Elvis: A Mix. He soared to heaven when he performed. He sank into the abyss off-stage. That’s why he needed painkillers.

I still hum Elvis’ tunes.

For me, the KING lives forever.