The month of May is coming to an end and as we wrap up Mental Health Awareness Month I want to plant some seeds in the hopes that you as a reader will grow your knowledge on the subject. I think it’s funny that we’ve discussed mental health before but never during the month of May. Mental illness is something that plagues all of us as we try to cope with life. Your personality is derived from your family’s genetics and the environment in which you develop, learn, and grow. Every instance that involves a decision of some sort comes with a level of stress and anxiety but how you cope is a testament to the strength of your mental health. Some people cope by writing raps, using drugs, drinking alcohol, having sex, or exercising. They are afraid to feel their feelings and as a result they are able to develop mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Being a celebrity, athlete, or a Rapper has the potential to exacerbate a person’s mental health and it becomes apparent to the fans and the media. Mental illness is a behavioral science that is fairly young compared to other sciences so there is no exact method to the madness so to speak. In the Black and Brown communities we have been oppressed and depressed for hundreds of years after slavery and on top of that we’ve never been able to afford mental health treatment. We’ve been taught to keep quiet because we didn’t want CPS at our door or the police or anything that could disrupt the current family dynamic. Rap/Hip Hop has always had their experiences with mental illness with Scarface, DMX, Joe Budden, and now Kanye West is the poster boy for “crazy.” Rappers aren’t smoking, drinking, and popping pills because they want to. They are doing those things to mask, forget, or repress the anxiety, depression, and the stress of being in the limelight.
Money doesn’t fix everything and we’ve seen how that plays out. Support is a key element for an improved mental space. Enabling and support are two different things. Enabling is your wife supporting your “free thinking” instead of holding you accountable for the things you say. Some people don’t like to be held accountable for their actions so they begin to associate with enablers better known as “yes wo/men.” All the while they are trying to hide their illness for fear of being ridiculed. Still trying to be cool still trying to look ill and style on folks. (Swagged out and drippin for my young readers LOL) It is important to talk to someone. It is important to listen without responding. It is important to check on your friends and friends it is important that you be honest about your feelings. More importantly it is important to feel your feelings or you will be left feeling nothing at all.
“I know everything that shine ain’t always gold.” – Kid Cudi [Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)]