More Artists are Opening Up to Destigmatize Mental Health Issues
Since the tragic passing of EDM legend Avicii, more artists have been speaking up regarding mental health. So many common, startling threads run through many of these messages. “The constant touring takes its toll.” “Drugs and alcohol are so prevalent, you’ll do anything to escape.” “I’m always exhausted and mentally fatigued.”
Today, 26-year old American DJ Ookay stepped up to say something before it was too late. Posting an intimate message for all to see on Twitter, Ookay opened up about his personal battles with drugs, alcohol, and the toll rigorous touring schedules have taken on him. Most powerfully, it’s easy to forget – this kid is only 26. Speaking in the somber tone of someone much older, it’s hard not to be sympathetic.
Ookay is brave in his statements, talking about cocaine overuse, alcohol abuse, and not being able to feed himself due to exhaustion. He also recounts countless times he wanted to end his own life. Ironically, he also discusses how he could not imagine doing or being anything else – quite a tricky paradox. The hope is to use his status to reach out to anyone, or everyone, in need. The message is simple: you are not alone. Take care of yourself before it is too late.
It’s also addressed as a “taboo” topic, something nobody wants to admit to or talk about. So many recent incidents involving high profile names like Hardwell, Illenium, Ekali, Capa, Mac Miller, and countless others provide a sobering fact – the system is broken, and artists’ well being are at high risk. It seems that as fame and the money-machine grow, personal happiness and health are sacrificed.
John 00 Fleming also urges all of us to not get caught up with only the “famous” DJs. Hundreds of artists don’t have the financial means to take time off, and we need to provide support any way we can. Here is his social media plea from Instagram:
As more mental health issues come to light, remember this can affect anyone. While celebrities get publicity, millions of others are suffering in silence behind closed doors. Let’s do everything we can to try and take care of one another.
Checkout Ookay’s mental health post below from his Twitter account.
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