The unstoppable Chance the Rapper is having a great start to 2017. With three Grammys under his belt, an adorable daughter taking over his social media, and what he considers an official debut album on the way, the Chicago MC appears to be on cloud nine. However, Chance opened up about having anxiety to Complex, as well as unwavering faith in God. The Coloring Book artist explained that coming to terms with his anxiety has been a new process for him, particularly because of the lack of discussion about mental illness in the black community. He told Complex,
I think anxiety is also something that I’m just now being exposed to. A really big conversation and idea that I’m getting introduced to right now is black mental health. ‘Cause for a long time that wasn’t a thing that we talked about. I don’t remember it. I don’t remember people talking about anxiety; I don’t remember, when I was growing up, that really being a thing.
The interview brought up the fact that part of his anxiety may stem from seeing friends die in front of him as a teenager. However, when it comes to coping, he admitted to Complex that he’s apprehensive about taking medications. And he also said he puts his trust in the Lord. “I think I could to a certain extent have PTSD,” he said. “But, nah. I don’t got no PTSD. I don’t ever want to convince myself that I’m hindered by any of my experiences. I also believe in G-O-D. Everything that’s happened in my life, [someone] already knows that that happened, and what’s going to happen, and put things in place for certain things to happen.”
The rapper’s fears touch on an unfortunate reality for many black Americans. National Alliance on Mental Illness cites several reasons why some African-Americans are hesitant to seek treatment and receive optimum care for mental illness. These reasons include: “lack of information and misunderstanding about mental health”; “faith, spirituality, and community”; “reluctance and inability to access mental health services”; negative side-effects from medications; “provider bias and inequality of care”; and “lack of cultural competence” in mental health care. Chance’s Complex interview highlights two of NAMI’s aforementioned mental health care hinderances: faith and lack of information.
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