Angel Haze Talks About The Epidemic of Youth Depression
"I feel like I would probably be advised not to write about this on the internet..."
Angel Haze has got a new column with Noisey. This time, she discusses the epidemic of youth depression.
A few months ago, I was going through some very crazy shit. I feel like I would probably be advised not to write about this on the internet. But I feel spritely as shit right now because I sat down and talked to someone.
Growing up, I had an eating disorder. For years I just wouldn’t eat. I couldn’t speak to my parents about it. I tried, but they basically said, “This is too fucking much, if you want to act like an asshole we’ll send you away and they’ll force feed you through a fucking tube and we’ll see how you like not eating when you come back home.”
Mental health problems are like a stain, once they happen in your life you’re scarred by it forever. You have to wake up every single day and make the decision to be better, and that’s not easy. No one understands what a big step it is for a self-harmer to say: “I almost cut today but I didn’t, because I made the choice that I wanted to go on and I shouldn’t hurt myself.”
It took me a long time to understand that life hurts enough, people hurt you enough, you don’t need to hurt yourself. You have to make the decision to take care of yourself. I know I sound a bit like a motivational speaker when I say shit like that but sometimes that’s what it takes. (I actually think I’d be a good motivational speaker, holla at me if you wanna book Angel Haze for your school assembly).
That’s why I hate when parents say Justin Bieber is a role model for their children. They get angry at him for behaving the way he does because their kids like him. But they ignore what their kids are actually doing. Parents: you control your child, you’re the person who enforces the rules in your house. You have to coach your child, steer them in the right direction and help them get stronger. Parents shouldn’t reprimand someone for having an illness?
Teenage depression is becoming an epidemic. So many fans have written to me about self-harming and anorexia. Read the Twitters read the Tumblrs, see the messed up thoughts that go on in this generation. Yet at the same time, music has become relentlessly upbeat, with things like “We Can’t Stop” and “Timber”. It’s like going to church and watching the pastor preaching about how God is going to make your life better if you just pray to him and then going home and praying and seeing nothing happening. It feels like you’re in an environment where everyone’s going “yaaaaaaay” and you feel like “Holy shit my life could actually change, I’m happy right now, this is great I’m gonna go home and apply this” and nothing happens. It’s very much a social thing, you go out to clubs you have a fucking blast with your friends, then you go home and fucking hate yourself.
I guess I look at all of this shit because I’m overly observant and I go out with my friends and I stand on the wall and I watch everybody do what they do because I can’t dance. You know it’s just me being very unfortunate as a person that’s led to me like discovering this shit.
A lot of people think that fame is a cure for depression. Everybody wants to be like the stars and half the time the stars don’t even want to be themselves, You have to look at like the drug stories, the Whitneys, all those people that are so severely unhappy that they wake up everyday depending on a substance to keep them alive. I mean I look at my friends and they’re all suffering from depression. In the past three years, three of my friends have attempted suicide.
I haven’t starved myself for years now, and although I have ups and downs, it’s not as bad as it was. I didn’t get better because I’m famous, I got better because I got help and started to learn how to be happy. I just want others to do the same.
Angel Haze is on Twitter - @AngelHaze
Related: Angel Haze : Waiting to Release My Album Would Have Killed Me