By Dre from Jerz | Featured Contributor
As a man in his early 40’s, coping with bipolar disorder and manic depression has been a major struggle. But through an open understanding and a willingness to learn, mental health issues can become manageable.
It all started in my late twenties. I was sitting on my twin-sized bed listening to one of my favorite hip hop CD’s. After a breakup with a young lady at the time and in between menial jobs, my mind was in a fragile state. I would play this particular CD on repeat from evening to morning. Not realizing it at the time, but internally I had snapped to the point my brainwaves shifted into an altered phase.
Later that morning, I began acting quite strange and started seeing things that weren’t there. I remember going to a golf course where I had worked off-and-on as a caddie during the summer. Someone there who I was familiar with offered me a cigarette even though I wasn’t really a smoker. Almost immediately afterwards, for some odd reason, I left the golf course and drove home. From there on, life changed for the worse; things went downhill at that point.
Heading into my thirties, I began to develop severe mood swings. Add in some delusions of grandeur and a mild case of schizophrenia, and you get a bad mix for a mental cocktail. The stories would play out in my mind that either I was famous or that I knew someone famous. Like clockwork, I had suffered from many anxiety attacks which warped into manic episodes. Every other year I would have to be hospitalized—but luckily—only for a short period of time.
It appeared that I was fighting an uphill battle with invisible ‘demons,’ but my belief in a higher source kept me going. Even till this day, my ‘demons’ tend to rear their ugly heads and constantly test my faith. But now, I am attempting to educate myself as well as better understand this mental affliction. With the help of my family and staying on top of my medications, I will either defeat or at least keep this unseen monster at bay.
Keep in mind that my story has less to do with the negative effects of hip hop music and more so with where I was at mentally during my youth. If you are also having a difficult time dealing with your mental health, you too can find a solid piece of mind.
Determination and a strong will to persevere is required. Don’t give up on your journey to find inner peace—you owe yourself that much.
I hope this helps anyone who reads this…
Some helpful mental health resources:
Dre from Jerz™ is a creative who writes song lyrics, stories, and poetry in his spare time. He is a blogger at Rhorie Drey Fashion Blog as well as a radio personality on Stationhead.
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