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by Khing Ceaze

Mental illness is something that plagues Americans in each and every state within the country.  Depression, anxiety and PTSD are silent killers. They may not cause physical death, but they do cause each and every individual affected by them to lose a piece of themselves. As an individual who struggles with depression as well as anxiety, I myself am on the battle field in this fight against mental illness.

Whether the trauma has been caused by life events, or things such as incarceration and military duty, many people in this world are unable to live what most would call a normal life due to thoughts and memories of painful experiences.

Some find an outlet to help them cope with the struggle. Art, meditation, or in a negative aspect, drugs and alcohol help to keep the nightmares away. Without having a shoulder to lean on or other people around to help us out when we are experiencing what I call episodes, many of us don’t know where else to turn. I found my security in music.

As an Independent hip hop recording artist I found peace in the ability to convey my thoughts and emotions with words.  Music provided me with an option to privately write my thoughts and experiences down on paper, and go to the studio and deliver it to the world. For me, my music is a journal, each project being a glimpse into my perspective and opinions. 

Many people who struggle with mental illness don’t have a platform to speak on the things that haunt their minds and lives. We try to communicate with the people around us and the majority of the time we are simply told that its not that bad or that we need to let go and move on. Much easier said than done!  Having these responses forces most to become introverted and distant from the common society. 

I aim to use my platform to bring to light the issues that are faced every single day by millions of people across the globe. With great power comes great responsibility and being an entertainer, my goal is to help those who don’t have a voice by letting them know that they are not alone. Sometimes all we need is an understanding ear to simply listen, not judge and comfort us during our times of hardship and emotional overload. 

My fan base, which I call the AlienNxtion, is filled with the misunderstood, the overlooked and the under appreciated. I've been through a lot in my life which has played a major part in how I live day in and day out. The biggest thing I’ve  learned is that the power we hold comes in our honesty and authenticity of who we are as an individual. Use that power to shape your life and live it to the fullest. Don’t allow the ignorance and lack of empathy of today's society to limit you from being everything that God created you to be. Hold your head high and know that you are not alone. Your existence is our universe. Find an ear, express your thoughts and allow them to see you for who you are. Vulnerability opens a lot of doors for help, and once that help is discovered, the sky is no longer the limit. 

We may be different, we may be misunderstood, and most of all we may not know what to do next. The answer lies within, and once that power is harnessed, the sun will shine through the darkness and shed light on the beauty that each and every one of us possesses! 

I reached out to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America so that I can become a representation of what can be accomplished. My music helps me fight my battle with anxiety and depression, and I hope these words inspire you to seek help and take the needed steps toward a life of peace and progress. 

Together we can #BreakTheStigma
 

Khing Ceaze: Hip Hop Recording Artist