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Mac Miller, the Stigma on Mental Illness, and Addiction

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By September 20, 2018
Mac Miller overdose

“No matter where life takes me, find me with a smile.” These famous lyrics to Mac Miller’s popular song ‘Best Day Ever’ could not have been further from the truth for the popular rapper who died of an apparent overdose on September 7th, 2018.

It is no understatement that Mac Miller’s music influenced a generation of teenagers and young adults. This musically gifted, middle-class kid from the suburbs related to this generation in a way that many other rappers, whose lyrics often mirrored the impoverished upbringing that tragically inhabits most of the genre, could not. Miller’s music was about optimism, growing up in the suburbs, and enjoying the average life that a typical high-schooler or college student could relate to. The rapper himself was presumed to be happy, which is why it came as such a shock that Mac Miller’s recent death was the result of a drug overdose.

Breaking The Stigma

Miller’s early music hit home with many teenagers in the average suburb home. He rapped about a life that certainly had its difficulties, yet mostly revolved around going to house parties, passing time with friends at the park, and so on. Unfortunately, his later music revealed Miller’s deeper struggle with addiction and depression.

Despite these lyrical clues, Mac Miller’s death still came as a shock to the nation. The reason for this surprise is unfortunately due to the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction. These struggles often hold people hostage in their own minds, keeping them in the dark to suffer alone. If you are struggling with an addiction or mental illness, there are plenty of ways to get help today.

Hard Lessons

Mac Miller’s overdose provokes society to examine some hard lessons related to meMac Miller overdosental illness and addiction. The first thing we can learn from this tragedy is that this struggle does not need to be kept a secret. While many rap lyrics might glorify drugs and substance abuse, most of these same artists actually struggle deeply in silence. Many may not even be aware that their behaviors actually reflect those of an addict.

Miller’s ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande revealed that the two did not talk about his addiction publicly for the most part, but it was still a very difficult situation. Addiction is a disease that needs to be cured, not a sinful taboo that shows weakness. If there is anything we can learn from Mac Miller’s overdose, it is that being open and real about the disease that addiction is can lead to a cure rather than an early death. Without open dialogue, there is no solution.

It Can Happen to Anyone

Another important lesson that we can learn from Mac Miller’s overdose is that it can happen to anyone. Miller was not alone on the night of his overdose. In fact, he was with friends watching sports the night of the tragedy, yet even those who are surrounded by many people may still be feeling a deep sense of loneliness and emptiness. Unfortunately in today’s world, we cannot assume that overdose will not affect us or our loved ones. We must be aware.

Despite these seemingly hidden negative feelings, there were certainly warning signs in Mac Miller’s music. Miller’s death shocked the world because his most recent album explored these issues of his inner demons that were over-powering. And yet, we assumed these were only lyrics.

Mac Miller influenced a generation of people, so there are likely plenty of people struggling just like him, and maybe just like you. It is unfortunate that it took Miller’s tragic death to produce outspoken honesty regarding addiction and mental illness, but the fact remains that addiction is often kept a secret until a tragedy occurs. You do not have to let this be the case for you.

Mac Miller’s career was one that fought for speaking out about addiction and mental illness, his tragic death woke up this generation to do just that. Recovery is real and treatment is available. Don’t let yourself become the next overdose story.

Getting Help

If you are experiencing a mental illness or a drug addiction, it is imperative that you seek help today. Contact Discovery Institute today by calling (844) 478-6563 and get the help you need to get better. Our team of compassionate counselors are available 24/7 to speak with you in complete confidentiality.

Please, do not hesitate to reach out. Break the cycle of addiction, and take your life back today. Let us help you recover from your disease.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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