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Diddy Says He Wanted to 'Give Up' in Vulnerable Video About Depression

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I never take it for granted when a celebrity or major public figure uses their platform for a cause I deeply believe in. In this case, celebrity/producer/entrepreneur/mogul Diddy rocked social media when he spoke out about his experience with depression in 2019.

In an Instagram video posted on New Year’s Day, he disclosed he experienced a state of “dark depression” last year, and at one point felt like he wanted to “give up.” He offered support for anyone else who had been through a tough year, and said he wouldn’t have gotten through it without support from other people. 

“I’m telling you all this because I had so many people to help me, to help lift me up,” he said. “It’s just that word… so many people are dealing with depression. No one’s immune to it.”

If you haven’t viewed the video yet, stop reading, check it out, then come back. 


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Powerful, right? 

It was especially impactful for me due to personal experiences. Here are five things that came up for me: 

1. Mental illness almost made me want to give up, too.

Last winter, it was a chore to shower, eat well or even go for a walk. I felt like I was walking through mud as I came down from my first major manic episode. Diddy shared that he almost “gave up” in 2019, and I was convinced that the world would be better without me too. It was a scary time for my family, and one of the lowest places I’ve ever been in. 

2. Diddy reminded us that a new year isn’t always met with excitement.

Don’t get me wrong, I too have shouted, “new year, new me!” while watching the ball drop. But it’s also important for us to hold space for those who aren’t feeling empowered, motivated or driven to live their best lives. We can still bring our joy to the table while being open to support others. 

3. Our words hold power.

In the video, Diddy encourages us to uplift each other, and I want to stress how simple it is to answer this call to action. When I was at my lowest point last year, one thing that helped was receiving messages from friends and loved ones. Just a simple “I’m thinking of you” text reminded me of my worth and helped me push through incredibly challenging moments. Who have you been meaning to reach out to and encourage? Keep it simple, and send a quick text that lets them know they’re deeply cared for. 

4. I felt called in as a Black man.

We’ve seen an uptick in the number of spaces conversations about mental health are taking place. But, I hear the message better and it sinks in deeper when it comes from someone who’s had similar lived experiences that I’ve had. Growing up, conversations about mental health were met with dismissiveness or shut down. When I first saw a therapist in high school, a family member asked, “Why would you tell others about our family business?” So, it’s highly beneficial for me to see other black men — like Diddy, Charlamagne Tha God, Demo Taped and others — speaking out about the places where they’ve struggled, especially when these conversations are often feigned so one doesn’t seem weak or unworthy.

5. We’re not alone in our fight to end mental illness stigma.

It’s easy to forget that we’re not the only ones working to create a more equitable and inclusive world. Whether it’s by working to get policies passed, attending a first group therapy session or just having awkward and difficult conversations at the dinner table, the work matters. Your effort matters and we’re out here with you. None of us are alone. 

Like Diddy said, depression — and I’d add mental illness in general — impacts us no matter how much money or influence we have. So, no matter where you are and no matter what you’re going through, this is your reminder from the CEO of Bad Boy Records himself that your life matters and that you get to find peace and restoration in 2020. 

Image via Creative Commons/mikewoods

Originally published: January 3, 2020
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