J. Cole: “It’s OK To Not Be Okay”

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Depression is a serious problem that will worsen over time if not treated. I mean, anything that negatively affects your brain needs to be eradicated because it affects your whole outlook on life. They always tell us that the first step towards solving a problem is admitting that you have one, right? But, what if we do not know? Depression can sneak up on any one of us with no warning and without us even realizing. Even hip hop artist J. Cole, whose platinum selling album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, has dealt with this issue.

But, the difference between J. Cole and many other hip hop artists is that he opens up about it.

While discussing the depression he experienced while recording his second album Born Sinner in an interview with the “Ok Not To Be Ok” campaign, Cole describes:

j cole mental health“That’s the dark place I’m talking about, like, self confidence kind of shattered, and trying to fight against that- writing my way out of it…I wasn’t a depressed child, so when I had to deal with that type of mind state, I wasn’t speaking on it. So then when I tell people, ‘You know I was messed up for this whole album, like, you know I was doubting myself this whole time’. They were like, ‘What?! Are you serious?’ But it was real to me…Pressure is pressure.

LeBron James had pressure. He makes millions of dollars, but when he wasn’t winning those championships, please believe he was stressed. He had to be because that pressure is real, and sometimes the pressure is so strong, you can’t even see what you got in front of you. You can’t see that you got a real life in front of you; you got friends that love you, family that loves you, kids that love you. You are so worried about this that it dominates all your thoughts, and now it interferes with your life. That’s when people end it. You got college students that end [their life] just because of the pressure and competitive nature of school is too much for them to take. We know, ‘Yo it’s just college man, you’ll be alright.’ [But] pressure feels the same no matter what situation you’re in. It’s OK to not be okay.”

So, what are some ways that depression disguises itself?

    • Your friend: Once in your head, depression follows you everywhere you go. It knows exactly how we feel about certain people or situations. We always listen to what it has to say, and we truly value its opinion.
    • Your doctor: Depression tells us it may be better to stay in bed all day. It tells us to..