In the Black community there are several things that we refuse to discuss, one of which is mental health. The stigma surrounding mental concerns as being a “White problem” frequently keeps people within the Black community from coming forward and when they do, their concerns are met with criticism. We say things like “You’re just having a bad day,” or “Man up” while simultaneously encouraging one another to check on our strong friend. So which is it? We owe it to ourselves to talk about the dark cloud of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more or we’re doing our community and ourselves disservice.
I lived in denial
Mental health can encompass many things and for Mariah Carey, it’s tackling her Bipolar II disorder. For those of us old enough to have witnessed the unedited moment firsthand on MTV’s TRL, Mariah Carey had a breakdown in front of adolescents in July of 2001. She entered the set dressed in an oversized T-shirt and pushing an ice cream cart, only to shed her clothes and pass out treats while eating a popsicle seductively. Carson Daly stood in awe, uncertain why she arrived as she rambled “You’re my therapy session right now, Carson. Every now and then somebody needs a little therapy, and today is that moment for me.” She would soon be treated for “exhaustion” shortly after the ordeal, all while being ridiculed during her absence. I empathized.
I thought it was a severe sleep disorder
In an interview with People magazine, Mariah laments, “I didn’t want to believe it.” She believed her mental disorder was career-ending and lived in fear of someone exposing her. Speaking from experience, it can be an unmanageable burden to suffer in silence with a mental disorder, diagnosed or not. It can ruin job opportunities, relationships, friendships, and cause irreparable rifts in families. I mean, no offense, but look at Azealia Banks. The girl is fully capable of writing a bop but her outbursts and history of controversy keep her career in the shadows instead of the spotlight. Even in the midst of recognizing she needs help, her fan base and detractors alike withhold empathy because of her mouth. While this article isn’t intended to critique the shift of empathy based on one’s status as legendary, I will say this. It is *mighty* strange how Azealia has been open about the need for discussion and acceptance of those struggling with mental health issues for a while, but people are collectively deciding that empathy ends where problematic begins and I think that’s counterproductive.
It can be incredibly isolating
Like many Black artists who have struggled publicly and privately with depression, Mariah Carey hopes we can reach a point where the stigma surrounding mental health issues in America is lifted. She’s reached a point of comfort allowing herself a moment of clarity to express she’s in a good place and encourages others to seek treatment. “It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.” I wholeheartedly agree.
For anyone who is suffering in silence and needs help, you can reach out to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance at dbsalliance.org. If you would like support via text message, you can text HOME to 741741 and a Crisis Counselor will respond. If you need to talk, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotlin
Rolling Ray Undergoes Surgery After Wig Catches On Fire
Social media star Rolling Ray underwent surgery Tuesday morning to treat serious burns on his body after his terrible wig accident last week.
In a series of IG stories, he let his audience follow along as he prepped for surgery.
Last week Rolling Ray announced he was hospitalized after his wig caught on fire! During a January 13 Instagram Live session hosted straight from his hospital bedside, he showed his severely burnt and damaged face telling viewers his “whole skin, legs, arms, feet, and everything” were burned.
In a more recent Live, Ray explained the incident that led to his whole wig catching on fire: an unfortunate smoking accident. “It just, like, lit on fire when I tried to light the cigarette,” he recounted. “So I get to trying to snatch the wig off. B***h, the fire goes to my f*****g shirt, to my feet, to my legs, to my back. It’s a fire everywhere, it’s a fire in the whole room.”
Of course the internet trolled him in a disgusting display of ableism and heartlessness. Comments like “Rolling Ray should have stopped, dropped, and rolled” and “karma’s a b***h” had social media conflicted in its feelings about his accident. His sensation comes from his harsh and, often, below-the-belt reads (just last month he told Yung Miami to “dig (sic) up” her dead baby father. However, the criticism didn’t stop him from responding on Twitter.
Rolling Ray might be problematic as all get-out, but we do not tolerate ableism here. We wish him well as he heals.
Fantasia Reveals Gender of Baby On the Way!
On Tuesday singer-songwriter and “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino took to social media to reveal that she is having a baby girl, her first child with husband Kendall Taylor.
In a series of Instagram stories, Fantasia showed pink fireworks being shot off during a gender reveal party, to her and her hubby’s excitement! She continued by sharing what her daughter-to-be’s name will be: Keziah London Taylor.
The news comes after the couple revealed they had struggled to conceive since their 2015 marriage. During a November episode of her IG Live show “Taylor Talks,” she described continuously praying for a child with her husband. Fantasia, a deeply devout Christian, was obviously elated when she shared the news.
“God I Want To Thank You!” she said in an Instagram caption. “You Gave Us A Seed even when the Doctor said that one of my Tubes [was] Closed you said Different. @salute1st I Love You King and I can’t wait to see who He or She acts Like.”
We can see Fantasia and family are all super excited to be welcoming a baby girl into their lives. All congratulations to her.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Getting Divorced, Report Says
In a story published Tuesday evening, Page Six is reporting that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are getting divorced, with the two already in settlement talks. The news comes after the couple spent the holiday season separately – Kanye at his ranch outside Cody, Wyoming, Kim and the kids with her famous family in southern California.
A source close to Kardashian was quoted saying, “Kim got Kanye to go up there so they could live separate lives and quietly get things sorted out to separate and divorce. She’s done.” Kardashian, 40, and West, 43, are said to be splitting because of marital problems directly related to Kanye’s very public mental health struggles.
For several years the rapper’s various antics have caused fans to worry. After coming out as a Trump supporter, West then announced his own 2020 presidential bid under a new political party: the Birthday Party. At a campaign rally in South Carolina, he was seen rambling, debating individual audience members, and at times, crying. In various interviews, he has rambled on almost incoherently, and his tweetstorms are now infamous.
For her part, Kim has always supported her husband and has openly discussed the difficulties of their marriage. Back in June, she shared on social media, “Anyone who has [bipolar disorder] or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand… People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual (has) to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”
It appears she has finally reached her limit in the union with the unnamed source saying, “She is serious about taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer, she is serious about her prison reform campaign. Meanwhile Kanye is talking about running for president and saying other crazy s**t, and she’s just had enough of it.”
Separately, a source close to Kanye alleges the rapper is sick of his wife and her family, which might have some truth to it since he has tweeted some pretty nasty things about them in the past. “I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Warldolf [sic] for ‘prison reform,’” he said in a now-deleted July tweet. Recently, he hasn’t been featured on his wife’s Instagram and has largely remained out of the public eye.
With the news yet to be confirmed, the “divorce is imminent” reports are just rumors for now. We’ll be following the news as more information comes out.