By Socrates Redux
I read an article today about Kid Cudi. The only thing I knew about him before I read the article was that he is a recording artist. I did not know what he looked like, I don’t know any of his songs or raps. Literally, I did not know anything about the man. However, I was drawn to the headline indicating that he had checked himself into a facility because he suffers from deep depression. The article quoted him as saying that he feels embarrassed and ashamed that he concealed this from his family, friends, loved ones and fans for so long. He mentioned that if he did not seek help at this time he was afraid he would do something harmful to himself.
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know anything about him, except that he seemed fairly successful in his chosen field. Yet, he is deeply depressed. His story deeply moved me. I don’t know if there are other factors that impacts his self esteem, but clearly he needs professional help, and he finally took that step.
In my eyes, Kid Cudi is a REAL HERO. He had the courage to admit he needed help, and sought out that help. He has the courage to explain his action publicly. Hopefully, his public announcement will enable other people who are in need of help to become REAL HEROS and seek help.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in this arena, but I believe the first step in being able to help individuals plagued by mental illness is for the individual to acknowledge the need for professional help. Mental Illness! There, I said it! Those words carry an indelible stigma in our society. Others brand ill individuals with an indelible mark of weakness, of inequality, and of a weird sickness. I attribute this as a natural reaction of those who are uninformed, and uneducated regarding the nature of mental illness.
In the face of shroud of misunderstanding and stigma, it takes great courage to stand up and say “Yes society, I have a mental illness and just like any other illness, I need help to treat it.” Many people can lead extraordinarily productive and happy lives once they acknowledge that fact and get the help that they need.
So, Kid Cudi…YOU are a REAL HERO! Brandon Marshall…YOU are a REAL HERO! For the many other public and private people who have made the acknowledgement,…YOU are REAL HEROS! And for those of you who remain fearful of society’s stigma, who are afraid of backlash and scorn…my hope is that you will find the courage to become REAL HEROS. Finally, to those of us who do not understand this important issue, who are uninformed and unaware, my hope is that we will find it in our hearts to become more aware and informed, that we can approach this issue with understand, compassion, love and gentle encouragement in order to enable more people to become REAL HEROS!