Originally published on blackdoctor.org
Jeezy recently talked about his mental health and said that he had suffered from depression for years without knowing what to call it.
On the “Tamron Hall Show”, the 46-year-old rapper discussed how his past trauma affected his mental health and led him to discover he has suffered from depression.
During the interview, he talked about seeing his friends die and coping with substance abuse that caused him to hold on to trauma, despite rising to fame. “When you lose 200, 300, 400 people like gone forever, you just, you get numb. And I wasn’t able to get in touch with my emotions and I was wondering why,” he told Hall.
He explained that he had difficulty identifying what he was experiencing. His trauma-related issues were common where he was raised, so he had no desire to seek treatment or speak with a professional. Jeezy explained that some days he just found himself wanting to ‘go back to sleep forever.”
“I learned that vulnerability is power — I thought something was wrong with me, ‘cause you’re thinking, ‘I come from poverty, this is how it is,’” the “Put On” rapper told Hall. “I didn’t understand trauma and all these different things so when I started to get words for it, I started to understand and grab tools, I started to become better,” he continued.
The rapper has been open about his mental health struggles before. The rapper talked about dealing with suicidal thoughts during his teenage years in 1994 in his memoir, which he released in August. He was caught with drugs after attending the National Guard’s Youth Challenge program. Later, he believed suicide was the only answer.
“So it was all this stuff in my head. I just remember standing there and it was for a brief moment, I would say at least about 10 minutes, I actually contemplated jumping in the water,” the “Soul Survivor” rapper told People Magazine. “I had never had suicidal thoughts, but I [thought], well if I just jump in the water, I ain’t gotta deal with this. I ain’t gotta go back home. I gotta do none of these things,” he continued.
He ultimately decided not to go through with the suicide attempt and returned home. Even though he returned to the environment that also triggered other traumas, he was glad to be back.
“I remember standing there and saying to myself, ‘Man, if you go back home and you don’t figure this out… because I don’t want to end up like my friends.’ My friends became junkies and they were getting killed and all these things,” he said.
Many Black celebrities have been talking about mental health struggles recently, including several rappers who recently discussed their struggles with anxiety and depression with Men’s Health. As anxiety and depression rates among Black men continue to rise, this conversation must continue.
According to a 2021 JAMA study, Black men had a higher rate of suicide attempts than any other group. There can be a significant benefit to having more discussions around this subject, as they will help people understand that some of their shared experiences and traumas can have a direct impact on depression.
While it is sometimes difficult to put a name to depression, it is crucial to be aware of some often missed warning signs like physical pain, constant fatigue, and avoidance that can be signs of depression. In the event that you ever find yourself struggling with these issues, it is important to reach out and talk with someone who can help you.