#MentalFitnessTalk: Kid Cudi + Our Views on Mental Illness

Photo from datnewcudi.com.

Photo from datnewcudi.com.

This morning when I got on Twitter, the first tweet I saw said, "Oh my God. Everyone please pray for Kid Cudi" and it had a screenshot of a long Facebook status. My first thought was maybe someone died in his family or something of that nature, but when I read it, my heart sank. This is what he wrote: 

My heart sank because here is a man who is apologizing for his mental state. Here is a man who feels ashamed because he is not mentally okay. Here is a man who has held this in for so long because he feels that as an influential artist in the industry, it is shameful to deal with mental illness...

What strikes me the most is that this entire Facebook status gives us a firsthand look at how society views mental illness. If we dealt with it the proper way, no one would feel ashamed for battling with these feelings. A large amount of our society, especially within the Black community, views mental illnesses as someone being crazy or dramatic. A lot of Bible-beaters in our society sees having a mental illness as not having a relationship with God or not trusting Him (yes, I've heard this plenty of times from "believers"). Neither of these assumptions are true about mental illness. When people come to these conclusions about people dealing with mental illness, it makes it hard for people to seek help or to even acknowledge what they are feeling. 

"My anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember and I never leave the house because of it. I can't make new friends because of it. I don't trust anyone because of it and I'm tired of being held back in my life. I deserve to have peace." -Kid Cudi

Photo from HerCampus.com.

Photo from HerCampus.com.

True healing begins with acknowledging that there is something wrong and seeking help for it. It saddens me that our society does not make it comfortable for people to express how they truly feel. Kid Cudi let's us know in this status that he has dealt with anxiety and depression for a long time and it's caused him to isolate himself from the world. How many other people in the world, including notable figures, are isolating themselves because of mental illness? A LOT. However, we will never find out about most of them because a lot of people do not feel comfortable with sharing their feelings. Ask yourself this: how many people close to me feel this way and has not expressed it...and why? Is it because they are simply a private person or is it because the world has made it so difficult for them to share their true feelings? 

What also broke my heart about Kid Cudi's post is that he admits that he has been in a suicidal state of mind, which makes me think about all of the people who go through with killing themselves and do not get the chance to heal mentally. So many people do not even live long enough to deal with their mental illness because they can't take living any longer. Kid Cudi is one of the few that recognized their need for professional help before it was too late, but just think about all of the people who don't... Society says, "oh that person is just crazy or messed up in the head," but it is way deeper than you can even imagine. When someone is at the point of wanting to take their own life, you can't just write that person off as being crazy or dramatic. You can't just say, "they'll get over it." Some people do not allow themselves to live long enough to "get over it..." 

I am writing this hoping that someone sees how real mental illness is. I am writing this hoping that someone who is dealing with a mental illness (or more than one) will now know that it is nothing to be ashamed of. I am writing this hoping that someone changes the way they view mental illnesses and the way they treat those who are dealing with them. We have to check on each other, let each other know that we are here and we actually care. We can't allow narrow-minded views of mental illness to cause people to become ashamed of their feelings. This will lead to an increasing number of people that will deal with mental illness in an unhealthy way and an increasing number of people who will eventually take their life

 “Its time I fix me. Im nervous but ima get through this." -Kid Cudi

Photo from alchetron.com.

Photo from alchetron.com.

To Kid Cudi and anyone else battling with any form of mental illness: you do not have to apologize for this and you do not have to feel as if you let anyone down. Please focus on getting healthy for YOU. I know how it feels to give so much of yourself to others because you do not want to let anyone down, only to find out that you do not have anything left for yourself... Acknowledging the problem and getting help may not easy, but it is necessary. We have to find ways to make seeking help a lot less shameful and a lot more beneficial for our society. 

-m.

**If you or someone you know needs help, prayer or simply wants to talk; feel free to contact me at hello@adashofmichaela.com. I will respond in a timely manner and will respect your privacy. Also, if you do not know of any resources nearby or want to seek help anonymously, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).