How Big Sean’s Mental Health Affected His Ability to Work on New Album 'Detroit 2'
What happened: The week following the release of Big Sean’s fifth studio album “Detroit 2,” the rapper opened up about his recent struggles with his mental health. In a string of candid tweets, the singer revealed that he started losing interest in making music and grappled with suicidal thoughts.
I had never gone through wanting to kill myself, give up on my life until the past few years, and I didn’t realize how important it was to embrace the ups ‘n’ downs of life and enjoy (in joy) taking active steps to better it. It’s the journey. — Big Sean
I thought doing what I loved would always make me happy and satisfied, so when I got tired of it, I was confused and it drove me insane. Later i realized I was just growing n had to gain a new mentality and foundation on many levels n re-discover my passion! And try new things..
— Sean Don (@BigSean) September 7, 2020
Big Sean began questioning his life path while making “Detroit 2.” He said he started losing interest in music, the thing that once gave his life meaning, which left him “confused.” Ultimately, the star was forced to “gain a new mentality and foundation,” but healing doesn’t happen overnight. The process caused a ton of anxiety for the rapper, whose mental health struggles essentially put his career on pause. He feared no one would care about the album when it finally did come out.
“That’s one of the hardest things to do as an artist was to be on my time and not the time everyone kept telling me is right for me,” he wrote. “I had to learn my timing isn’t everyone else’s timing ‘n’ that’s fine.”
The Frontlines: Depression is increasingly common in the United States, and — like in Big Sean’s case — it does affect people’s ability to perform in the workplace.
- 1% of adults in the United States experienced a major depressive episode in 2017, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
- According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, suicide was the second leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 34.
- Depression causes $44 billion a year in lost productivity in the United States.
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A Mighty Voice: Like Big Sean, our contributor Meagan Bojarski also lost interest in her passions while living with depression. She opened up about her struggle, writing, “I used to always have passion. For the things I loved, I would go to the ends of the earth. Even for the things I hated, I would still put in ridiculous amounts of effort to make sure I’m doing well. These days, I seem to put forth all of my effort into doing things, and yet nothing gets done … I am 19. I have depression. I have a future, and I have dreams for it.” You can submit your first-person story, too.
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Other things to know: Depression is exhausting, and it does make it difficult for people to perform at work or school like they did before their diagnosis. If you feel like you’re slipping, be gentle on yourself. You’re not alone. Check out the following:
- When Depression and Anxiety Affect Your Ability to Keep a Job
- To Anyone Not Working Right Now Because of Depression
- What It Feels Like to Lose the Will to Live
- 8 Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic May Be Affecting Your Health
How to take action: You can check out Big Sean’s new album on Spotify. If you or someone you love is experiencing depression, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline (which is also known as its treatment referral routing service) at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Header image via Big Sean/Instagram