Monday, March 18, 2024

Three Pro’s and Con’s of Writing about Mental Health

Many of my songs are mental health themed. I oftentimes get away with this because I am managing a mental illness. And if I were to stop and think about the pro’s and con’s of writing in this fashion, these might be it: First Argument Pro - I’m making myself vulnerable in my lyrics. This works a lot of times because I have created a complementary bed of music that allows for an easier “so-called acceptance” of the frankness of some of my spoken word. Con - I’m making myself vulnerable in my lyrics, which, due to the nature of the topic, can turn some people off. So, while it’s true that as a whole, society is more open about talking about mental health, we still have a long way to go — Think stigma. Second Argument Pro - I’m raising awareness for people who may or may not have a diagnosis. I’m not anyone’s “savior” (thank goodness) but I have been managing a serious mental illness for over 20 years. Not to mention, I greatly care about other people’s suffering, and understand a lot of what individuals with ongoing issues go through - with and without a diagnosis. Con - I’m opening myself up to some amount of “shunning” and potential criticism of me and/or my approach. But again, I will reiterate that I’m "no stranger to being in the trenches” and know a bit about what people sometimes go through. Third Argument Pro - I get to know other people “like me.” That’s not to say we’re all battling the same things, but there’s “an understanding” present, sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken, which supports the idea that everyone suffers — regardless of circumstances. Con - Not everyone is going to like you (or me — as the case is). So, I just buckle up for the ride and “do my best.”