Justin Bieber was recently caught smoking weed (Marijuana) and it has made news headlines the world over. The news comes after a young paparazzi died in a crash while chasing Justin down to get a picture of him smoking a blunt. In addition, Selena Gomez, his girlfriend, has allegedly broken up with him for the gazillionth time resulting in over 100 calls a day from Justin to Selena.
Let’s talk about artists and mental health.
The mental health of artists is simply something we do not discuss both Stateside and certainly on the African end of things. However, it is probably one of the most important topics we ought to be talking about, often. Last I spoke about mental health, it was in the context of D’banj’s Mo’Hits breakup with Don Jazzy. There were many allegations, at the time, for the cause of the breakup. One allegation was an alleged mental health issue brought on my continued use of marijuana. The refusal to take his alleged medication that he was on which resulted in rather sporadic and crazy actions ultimately leading to the breakup.
Irrespective of the allegation, it is no surprise that artists use Marijuana, rather frequently, especially when you get to the music genres of hip-hop and rock and roll. Who could forget when Nigeria’s own Wizkid, usually compared to Justin Bieber, surfaced on a You Tube video seated in the passenger seat of a vehicle, smoking a blunt and rapping gleefully about how high he was with his blunt and his blissful enjoyment of the blunt?
If you work in the criminal justice system and represent criminal defendants as I have had a chance to do for a long time now, it isn’t that difficult to spot those who use drugs on a habitual basis. Either way, ultimately, drug use, regardless of where you may fall in the debate of legalization of marijauna, can and does adversely affect the mental health of a person.
Indeed, majority of the artists I have met tend to be very emotional beings who create out of deep emotion. They regulate their emotions best when they express themselves through their songwriting and performing abilities. Outside of that, whatever mental health issues they have remains and it is particularly hard when all eyes are on them for them to grow and learn how to regulate their emotions well. A case in point includes Chris Brown who has now allegedly moved in with his ex- Rihanna.
It is wise, AML artists, for you all to understand that your talents do nothing to solve your underlying emotional and psychological issues. You can run away from them for so long but ultimately, they do catch up with you and you have to deal with them. It is wise to begin dealing with those issues now, out of the limelight so you do not becoming the focus of every tabloid and newspaper, for the wrong thing. You should seek counseling and psychiatric/psychological help, support from family and friends and make a strong commitment to yourselves, regardless of how difficult the road ahead seems, to overcome the mental troubles that prevent you from enjoying and living life to the fullest. Expect to “fail.” It is okay. It is what will build character and resilience over time. When you finally get to the other side, you will be glad you went through the challenges you did which forced you to grow/mature.
I’ll keep discussing these type of issues as they come to remind you all of the big picture.
Have a great day.