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Can Kid Cudi Give People with Depression and Mental Health Issues Hope?

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Whenever someone in the public eye triumphs over mental health issues, depression, or addiction, it can give a lot of people in the world hope that they can recover as well. Kid Cudi is one such hip-hop artist. He has been speaking out about dealing with depression, and how he’s now “living in the light.”

 

“It’s Been Difficult For Me to Find the Words…”

On October 4, 2016, Kid Cudi made a posting on Facebook where he confessed he needed help. “It’s been difficult for me to find the word to what I’m about to share because I feel ashamed,” he wrote. “Ashamed to be a leader and hero to so many while admitting I’ve been living a lie. It took me a while to get to this place of commitment, but it is something I have to do for myself, my family, my best friend/daughter, and all of you, my fans.”

 

Cudi finally admitted, “I checked myself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. I am not at peace. I haven’t been since you’ve known me. If I didn’t come here, I would’ve done something to myself.”

 

That was over two years ago now. Cudi is telling a much different story today…

 

“Living In the Light”

Two years after getting help, Cudi put together a new album, Kids See Ghosts, with Kanye West, who has mental health struggles as well.

 

Cudi checked himself into rehab to deal with his depression, and he was also contemplating suicide (if you’re not familiar with the term suicidal ideation, it means when someone is thinking of ending their life.)  Today he tells GQ, “I’m not battling any demons right now. Thank God.”

 

In writing music after he got help, Cudi says, “I chose to write the light. Me and Kanye both agreed that we wanted to create a spiritual album. I know kids are used to hearing me talk about darkness, but I’m living in the light now.”

 

Once the roadblock of depression got moved out of the way, Cudi was more creative, “with more love in my heart for what I’m doing and for myself,” he told Billboard.

 

He also realized that feeling bad can be a necessary part of life we all have to endure. “I was chosen to endure those, too. And I’ll have to explain my darker moments again to my daughter one day. She’ll want to know, and I’ll have to explain, but she’ll understand.”

 

While many people go on social media to share their troubles, Cudi got scared when he realized his posting was all over the news several hours after he posted his cry for help. Cudi then checked with his manager to see what the response was, and he saw that “the response was all love and support, and it really touched me.”

 

Cudi was especially brave coming forward and sharing his troubles with the world, explaining, “I needed to be honest…I couldn’t live a lie. I couldn’t pretend to be happy.”

 

Now that he’s thankfully made it to the end of the tunnel, Cudi is a much better and happier artist and person, and he’s also providing inspiration for many who are ready to get help.

Finding Comfort with Your Mental Health and Fighting Anxiety in Horror

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With Halloween being the number one movie in the country for several weeks, a lot of people are looking at the relationship between horror movies, anxiety, and mental health. Contrary to what a lot of people may initially believe, horror films can help people deal with trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety and more.

 

Healthy Horror

There have indeed been studies about how people have used horror movies to heal and deal with mental health issues. While many people don’t like horror films because they don’t like being scared, many can enjoy them because you’re being scared in a safe environment, and you know what’s scaring you is ultimately not real.

 

Horror has been around in one form or another for many centuries. Even before we had movies, we’ve enjoyed the spooky tales of Edgar Allan Poe,  being spooked on Halloween and so on.

 

The site Well and Good reports that if you want to settle in and watch a bunch of scary movies, it’s “an expert-approved way to boost mental health.” The story even spoke to a “fear scientist” who explained, “We have four basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. Fear is there to keep us alive, and it’s something that is so inherently part of just being human, but we have this really kind of dysfunctional relationship with fear.”

 

And indeed, many times we see people wearing t-shirts saying NO FEAR, and people encouraging the world to be fearless.

 

But as this doctor explains, “The horror genre gives us a safe space to express our fears, to talk about our fears, to say ‘I was scared!’ without having the kind of personal obligation to say that you are a fearful person.”

 

How Horror Can Help

Much like when you’re riding a rollercoaster, there can be great fun in being scared. It’s cathartic to scream your head off, and at the end of a wild ride, your knees may be wobbling, but it can be an incredible release as well. Same with seeing a scary movie. You’re with a group of people all screaming and letting out their fears in a large group. You look around you and realize everyone else is scared too, and it’s okay to be scared.

 

This article listed three other ways that horror films can be beneficial, and the first one was very surprising. They can boost your confidence. When you go through extreme fear then come out through the other end, you know what extreme fear can feel like, and know that you can survive it.

 

“There’s a lot of stress before encountering something scary,” one source explains. “But once it’s encountered, you reset the bar at a higher setpoint. Now nothing else seems like a big deal.”

 

Horror films can feel euphoric because fear can release a lot of powerful chemicals in your body, like adrenaline and serotonin, much like when you’re exercising like a maniac in the gym.

 

Scary movies aren’t for everybody, and they can be very disturbing for people who aren’t horror inclined. But like a lot of things in life, when you walk through your fear, it’s wonderful to learn that in many cases there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place.

A New Look at Addiction and Recovery in the Jewish Community

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Religion can be an important component for many in recovery. You don’t have to have God as a higher power, but many have turned to their religious beliefs to help them get sober.

 

In many religious communities, addiction is often still a dirty little secret, which is why it’s now something that is being confronted head-on in the Orthodox Jewish community.

 

The Religion, Addiction, Recovery and Rehabilitation Connection

 

NBC just ran a report on addiction in the Orthodox Jewish community, and as one rabbi told the network, “The Orthodox attitude about drug problems is to stay quiet on the issue,” which is something that clearly has to end.

 

At least one person in recovery told  NBC, “The more Orthodox Jews that end up seeking help, it just raises awareness in general in the community.” This source came back from a hideous heroin addiction. A year and a half after she hit bottom and got sober, she made it her mission to raise awareness in the Orthodox community. She also wants to break down the wall of denial that exists between those suffering from addiction, and those who don’t want to acknowledge the problem.

 

One rabbi who is working to turn around attitudes about addiction said, “If we can even just save one life, as the Talmud says, you’ve saved an entire world.”

 

This rabbi launched his own support group that helps people in the Jewish community deal with addiction and mental health trauma. His organization helps people from the ages of 13 to 71, and he’s also noticed a generational shift in attitudes towards addiction and recovery, saying that younger rabbis “get it.”

 

Religion, Addiction, and Awareness

There are many rehabs and recovery programs that are geared towards people of all walks of life. And when you Google search Jewish recovery programs, it’s remarkable how many will pop up.

 

While the twelve-steps are the foundation of the recovery process, other rehab programs are also geared towards the Jewish Orthodox traditions.

 

As one rabbi noted on My Jewish Learning, treatment helps tackle a person’s addiction, while a rabbi can address a patient’s spiritual needs.

 

As this rabbi explains, “The pastoral caregiver can frame addiction in a spiritual context by using biblical and Midrashic images,” like telling stories from the bible in the context of addiction and recovery.

 

“Addiction to substances is slavery,” this rabbi continues. “Addiction is a state in which one is powerless and out of control. The story of the Exodus from Egypt is also the personal story of each addicted Jew emerging from his or her narrow place, tempted repeatedly to backslide, but struggling always to reach the promised land of recovery, serenity, and spirituality.”

 

Analogies can certainly help people visualize the recovery process, and get many to get their heads around the concepts of the recovery process. Thankfully addiction, sobriety and recovery are now things that are spoken about openly in many areas of the Orthodox Jewish community, and while being religious is not a requirement of recovery, it is indeed helping many who need to turn their lives around.

Lil’ Peep’s Family Speaks Out About Addiction

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It’s been nearly a year since rapper Lil Peep died at the age of twenty-one. He’s back in the news because a new posthumous album, Come Over When You’re Sober Part 2, is being released, and because so many hip-hop artists are speaking out against addiction and are crying out for help for their mental health as well.

 

As Variety reports, at a release party for Come Over, Peep’s mother spoke out about the loss of her son from opioids.

 

The Message of Lil Peep’s Death

Lil Peep died nearly a year ago at the age of 21. It’s too young for anyone to die, and when a young artist passes, it can be especially tragic considering how much music they could have continued to give the world.

 

Come Over When Your Sober Part 2 premiered in New York, and the listening event was tastefully handled in Lil Peep’s memory.

 

At the event, Peep’s mother, Liza Womack, told the audience, “This album is an important album because it is the work of a young, creative, honest, trailblazing artist. This album is also important because [Lil Peep] is dead. But this is the album he would have made if he were living.”

 

Womack continued, “Young music artists in this field are dying too often. The posthumous release of a young artist’s music is a problem you are all going to have to face. You are facing it now: What do you do when a young artist dies long before his time, leaving behind a legacy of finished and unfinished work and a legion of heartbroken fans?”

 

She concluded, “This is the album he would have wanted.”

 

The Opioid Crisis Hits Hip-Hop

The U.S. opioid crisis has hit all walks of life, and there’s been a more intense focus on drug abuse in hip-hop than ever. It’s not just opioids that hip-hop artists are hooked on, Xanax has also been a major problem as well. These days there are rappers that are proudly sober, while others still struggle and are looking for help.

 

The death of Lil Peep hit the hip-hop community hard, and musicians of other genres also felt the loss as well. Right after he died, one rapper tweeted, “Even if you don’t know who [Lil Peep] is this bring up a HUGE issue we NEED to discuss. Hip hop has a drug abuse problem! Too often do we promote things that will literally kill us and say nothing when something like this happens. WAKE up ppl.”

 

Another rapper tweeted, “Depression isn’t trendy, it’s an awful rotting feeling. Lil Peep deserved a happy ending.”

 

Thankfully the stigmas around mental health and addiction for hip-hop artists are disappearing, and more are seeking help. And perhaps the music that Lil Peep left behind will also be a cautionary tale for people who many who are suffering from addiction and are looking to quit.

 

Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 will be released on November, and the first single from the album is “Cry Alone.” Rolling Stone is calling the song “bittersweet, somber and haunting,” and it features lyrics that are indeed haunting to hear today: “I don’t wanna die now, I just did a line of blow right now…”

Rock Legend Joe Walsh On Addiction and Sobriety

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Joe Walsh is the legendary guitarist of The Eagles, and he’s had a strong solo career as well. Like many rock stars, he’s also had major bouts with alcohol and drugs, but he’s been sober twenty-five years now and is living to tell the tale of his rehabilitation and recovery.

 

Life’s Been Good?

Walsh spoke out about this recovery and rehabilitation for a non-profit event. Another fellow rock star with many years of sobriety under his belt, Ringo Starr, also attended the event.

 

Walsh wrote one of the funniest songs about being a rock star, Life’s Been Good, and while it was a great parody of the rock star life, some wondered if it really was a parody. But Walsh, like many rock stars, learned the hard way that the sex, drugs, rock n’ roll lifestyle wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

 

As a kid, Walsh had mental health struggles. He reportedly struggled from attention-deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Asperger’s syndrome. The awareness around mental health problems in the fifties wasn’t like it is today, in fact, Walsh told the Associated Press, “There was no awareness of what that was…You were just difficult. I was difficult.”

 

Walsh had serious social problems, but he would get courageous after a few beers. “That planted the seed,” he says today. “I thought alcohol was a winner.” He then discovered cocaine and other drugs in college.

 

When his albums did well, he mistakenly thought it was the booze and drugs that fueled the hits. When an album didn’t do well, he thought, Well obviously I’m not drinking nearly as much as I need to.

 

Walsh told Rolling Stone, “The worst part of success is that a lot of things come along with it that you didn’t really know you were going to get in the package…Money, drugs, women, partying. …When you’re young it’s really easy to lose your perspective, which I did…It was a real challenge to stay alive and end up on the other end of it.”

 

Hitting Bottom and Getting Back Up

Walsh then said that vodka and cocaine were his “higher power,” and he “turned into this godless, hateful thing.” As many discover once they get into rehab, Walsh realized his problems weren’t so special. “Gradually they showed me that I’m not a unique individual, one-of-a-kind person. I’m just an alcoholic, and for the first time in my life I felt like I was somewhere where I belonged.”

 

Walsh even wrote an album about the recovery process, The Confessor, and while he was often considered the clown prince of rock n roll, it was one of his first truly serious efforts as an artist.

 

Today Walsh loves his family and has learned to control his emotions so his emotions don’t control him. As he told Rolling Stone before he got sober, “I would fly into rages or I would just feel extremely sad. In settling down and just living life, I can experience emotions but I don’t become them…Man, being in the moment is where it’s at.”

Teletherapy Can Be a Great Boon for Mental Health

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One of the hardest steps for many people with mental health issues is to open up and trust someone. Yet some believe that many people can feel more comfortable seeking help with teletherapy, and it could be another crucial step forward for this technology.

 

Opening Up With a Therapist Online

Many are now looking into the benefits of telemedicine, where you can consult with a doctor online and get virtual help from practically anywhere in the world. And telemedicine is not just a boon for physical wellness, it can also potentially do wonders for mental health as well.

 

In fact, an article on Greatist has called teletherapy “the one great tool changing mental health.” One example this article points to is our increasingly hectic schedules. Having to work as hard as we do is stressful enough, but without seeking therapy, we can run the risk of running ourselves into the ground.

 

With teletherapy, it’s easier to set up an appointment without having to travel to a doctor’s office, and people in rural areas can get easier access to help as well. (Remarkably, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tells that that there are no psychiatrists in 55% of U.S. counties, which can make teletherapy an even more important necessity for mental health in the future.)

 

And while many would think it would be hard for some people to open up through teletherapy, in today’s technology age it could indeed be easier. (Think of it like talking to your therapist over the phone.) As one doctor explains, “Psychiatry is uniquely suited for telemedicine services since psychiatrists don’t typically perform physical exams.”

 

Mental Health Breakthroughs with Teletherapy

In technology terms that people today can understand, one doctor called Teletherapy “FaceTime on steroids,” and many patients are excited about the possibilities of teletherapy.

 

In addition to being able to hook up with a therapist if you live far away, and being able to make time for therapy when it’s convenient for you, there’s also the aspect of what is called the “impossible task.” When you suffer from serious depression, everyday things we all have to do can become “impossible tasks.” If people become paralyzed with mental health issues, a therapist can reach out through a video conference, and help people in the privacy of their homes.

 

As for the confidentiality aspect of therapy, this report tells us, “the video chat systems that psychologists and psychiatrists use have to meet security requirements that are extremely stringent,” making your session with a psychiatrist as private as an in-person visit. (the technology is already in place with many mental health apps that keeps patient sessions safe and confidential.)

 

While teletherapy is still in development, there is tremendous potential for it to grow and help people all over the world. Already therapists and patients alike feel it can be a powerful tool in improving people’s mental health, and it can also make it easier than ever for people to hook up with the right treatment, and get the help they need.

Teens and Vaping

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You see commercials for it all the time, public service announcements warning teens against vaping. Concerned parents should always be watchful about what their teens are ingesting, but how seriously should they take warnings against vaping? Should a teen with an addictive personality stay away from vaping? Should teens seek treatment if they are vaping a lot? Well according to the FDA, we should take teens and vaping very seriously.

 

An “Epidemic”?

As USA Today reports, Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, is calling vaping among young people an “epidemic,” and a crackdown could be imminent. Vape manufacturers have been given a strong warning, and they have sixty days to come up with a plant to help prevent youth vamping. If the plan isn’t strong enough, the FDA is threatening to step in and take charge.

 

The companies being targeted include Juul, Vuse, MarkTen Xl, Blu and Logic. These companies make up over 97% of the American market for vaping and e-cigarettes.

 

Gottlieb took a look at the current data, and was alarmed by what he discovered. Over two million kids in middle school, high school and college are vaping, and he said, “Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing. We’re going to have to take action. No one can look at the data and say there’s no problem.”

 

Vaping and Addiction

One parent who spoke out to USA Today said he has two kids in his family who are addicted to vaping, and another parent said his teen bought Juul vaping cartridges using a parent’s name online, and he got them shipped to a different address so the family wouldn’t find out. While Juul says they require age-verified signatures when vapes are delivered, parents are demanding more, and the FDA is getting tougher than ever.

 

As Vox explains, teens who vape are often “Juuling.” One teen who spoke to Vox said it didn’t take long for him to feel addicted from Juuling. “After about a week, you feel like you need to puff on the Juul. To some people it is like a baby pacifier, and they freak out when it’s not near.”

 

And as Vox reports, “E-cigarettes have quietly eclipsed cigarette smoking among adolescents. The possibility of another generation getting hooked on nicotine is a nightmare scenario health regulators are scrambling to avoid.”

 

Juul is incredibly popular these days among teens, half the vape sales in the country are Juul and one source at an academy school says, “Ninety-five percent of the disciplinary infractions we dealt with in the fall and continue to deal with into the spring are all connected to the Juul.”

 

Some who run schools are glad to see teens staying away from smoking, but teens don’t understand the risks that come with the vaping. While it’s still not clear how addictive aping is, it could eventually become a very addictive habit with teens.

 

Why Parents Should Be Concerned

If your teens are vaping, you should open up a discussion with them about the risks involved. As one source told WebMD, “Nicotine is a prime ingredient in these devices. Studies show nicotine is more addictive than heroin and cocaine. And there’s a growing body of evidence that nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain.”

3 Unpopular Psychological Disorders That Are Affecting Thousands

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As sad as it seems, it isn’t bizarre for one to know at least one person who is diagnosed with a certain mental disorder. A study reveals that approximately 18.5% of adults living in the US experience mental disorder. While this percentage doesn’t even reach a quarter, there is no doubt that this percentage sums to a large quantity of the population. Mental disorder awareness grows throughout each year, spreading awareness through social media, billboards etc. The main goal for mental disorder awareness being spread is to show that a mental illness is not something that should be held as a secret and to message those who suffer that they shouldn’t be afraid to seek help. Even with all the awareness going on, there seems to be a “mainstream” of mental disorders that are known much more to the public than other mental disorders. Schizophrenia, Major depressive disorder, and psychosis are examples of “mainstream” mental disorders that seem to be among the popular disorders that are known the most. There are thousands out there, affected by unpopular mental disorders that inflict damage to one mentally and even physically! Spreading the message about these unpopular mental disorders is just important than the more known ones, which is why we will be discussing 3 examples of unpopular mental disorders.

 

Trichotillomania

The names of these disorders come as chilling as they affect one’s body. Trichotillomania is a mental disorder where one has an unstoppable urge to pull hairs off of his or her body. The urge can come when one is overwhelmed by a negative emotion, under stress, and under anxiety. Some get the urge to pull hairs without even realizing it, causing this mental disorder to be often misinterpreted and underrated as a bad habit. The damage is mostly physical and has to do with personal appearance, leaving some with large patches of hair on the scalp, as opposed to their bald spots.

 

Alice in Wonderland syndrome

Just as it sounds, this mental disorder affects one’s perception, just like the main character in the Disney film, Alice. One diagnosed with the Alice in Wonderland syndrome experiences abnormal visual perceptions of the world around him or her. Objects that seem to be smaller or larger than they really are and size distortions are common examples of the effects of this mental illness. Common causes for the disease come from brain tumors, lack of sleep and migraines. People diagnosed with this mental disorder can often experience disturbances in their hearing perception and sounds being misinterpreted, often causing paranoia.  

 

Aboulomania

People diagnosed with Aboulomania experience trouble making decisions, ranging from the simplest of decisions to the more serious ones. This disorder is often associated with stress, anxiety, and Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anyone trying to live a normal life comes across times where they have to make a simple decision, as simple as taking the dog for a walk or staying at home. As simple as they come, people diagnosed with Aboulomania are mentally handicapped at making the simplest of choices, causing a major effect on the way they live their lives.

SUICIDE AWARENESS MONTH: WHEN AT RISK TEENS NEED HELP

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It’s one of the most uncomfortable conversations you can have with your teen, but it’s also one of the most important to have: suicide. There has been a lot in the news recently about suicide, and in recent years we’ve lost a lot of great entertainers who ended their lives much too early.

 

While it’s a hard subject to talk about with your teens, now that it’s Suicide Awareness Month, this could be a good time to speak with your kids about how they’re feeling, and if they’ve ever had suicidal thoughts.

 

Opening Up the Discussion Around Teen Suicide

 

There’s a stigma among suicide and people experiencing suicidal thoughts. Many people are afraid to get help because they don’t know how to ask for help. Just like many are trying to destroy the stigma around addiction, others are also trying to get rid of the stigma around suicide.

 

Dr. Renee Solomon, a clinical psychologist, says, “A lot of times people worry that if you talk about suicide, we’re going to make people do it. I find it’s the opposite. If you make it taboo, your kids will get the information another way…[Teens] need to know that they can talk to someone, and that it’s okay to talk about.”

 

While there has been a lot of awareness about suicide in the news with many celebrities recently taking their lives, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that over 40,000 regular people a year take their lives, and it’s the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

 

Solomon continues, “Increasing awareness of these issues by putting them in the spotlight for a month is important and helps society see this as a real issue. People go through their day and don’t think about it, but if there’s this awareness, it might make them reach out, or it may create an avenue for people who are depressed to reach out and not feel alone.”

 

Accessing At Risk Teens

 

While it’s important to keep an open dialog with your teens, parents can’t spot every signal or sign that their kids are in trouble. It’s a good idea to get your teen to a therapist that can assess if they’re really in trouble. “Has the person attempted suicide before?” Solomon says. “Do they have the means or a plan? That affects the level of intervention There is help available; it’s just a matter of finding it.”

 

At the most basic level, it’s important to talk to your kids and get them help when they need it with the right doctor or therapist. Solomon also lists these important keys to keep in mind with the mental health of your teens:

 

Ask. Keep them Safe. Be there. Help them connect.

 

Keep the dialog open with your teens, make your home a safe place where they can discuss anything with you, and let them know there’s help if they need it. There is a strong world-wide effort right now to reduce the stigma around mental health problems and suicide, and reducing the stigma can start right at your home.

 

ROCKERS AND MENTAL HEALTH: LIFE AFTER CHESTER BENNINGTON

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With a lot of high profile celebrities ending their lives, there has been more emphasis than ever on people at risk for suicide. For many rock fans, it was a big shock when Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington ended his life.

 

Bennington committed suicide several months after Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell ended his life, and Bennington ended his life on what would have been Cornell’s fifty-third birthday. A year later, the families and bandmates of both musicians are still trying to pick up the pieces.

 

Linkin Park Mike Shinoda Paying Tribute to His Fallen Comrade

Linkin Park guitarist Mike Shinoda is currently on a solo tour where he’s hoping to celebrate Bennington’s memory, and he told The Guardian, “Each night we’ve been creating this forum for people to get together,” and as this report explains, “Striking a balance between reflective and celebratory [on Chester’s life] is important to [Shinoda].”

 

The fact that Shinoda still carrying on creating music is important to the fans. When he meets fans backstage, “The sentiment is usually, ‘Thank you for the music, thank you for carrying on, the new album is helping me, seeing you on stage let’s me know that I can carry on…Different people deal in different ways. My coping style is staying in motion, through music and art.”

 

Raising Awareness

Earlier this year, Bennington’s widow Talinda launched her own mental health awareness campaign, and one of her biggest goals is to help break down the stigma that many have about mental health issues.

 

She told the New Music Express, “The passing of my husband cannot be in vain. His passing was a catalyst for opening up dialogue with respect to emotional and mental health…It’s up to us to change the way we think of mental health, to acknowledge that everyone has their own mental health to care for, and to end stigma and shame when we need to seek help for it.”

 

The Music Business Reacts and Musicians Seek Help

Thankfully anxiety, depression and addiction no longer have to be a secret shame, and these days more musicians have been speaking out than ever.

 

For far too long, the mental health of musicians has been overlooked. But with many musicians struggling with their mental health and succumbing to depression and addiction, the industry can’t look the other way any longer.

 

In recent years, there have been efforts made to get musicians the mental health help that they need. After two hip-hop artists died, Avicii and Lil Peep, music manager Nick Jarjour told Variety, “The music industry needs to do a better job at treating mental illness among musicians, artists, writers, producers and professionals.”

 

An organization formed in England, Help Musicians UK, also found that out of 2,000 musicians they polled, 71% of them have trouble with anxiety, and over 68% of them struggle with depression.


Awareness if the first step. A lot of artists have been very candid with the public about their mental health struggles, and this will hopefully continue to reduce the stigma, and embolden more people to get help and get better.