Mac Miller, a Pittsburgh native and well-known rapper, died on September 7th, 2018. According to PEOPLE Magazine the cause of death is still undetermined. However, many speculate his death was drug related. TMZ was one of the first news sources to report Miller’s death as a drug overdose and given Miller’s history with drugs, as well as depression, it would not come as a surprise to hear drugs were involved.
Drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States and around the world. Many people become addicted to drugs after using prescription pain killers prescribe to them legitimately. However, for others drug use is an escape from mental health issues. Mac Miller has written many songs describing his struggles in life and experimenting with drugs as a way to remove himself from reality.
Most people self-medicate in some way. Whether it is an addiction to caffeine, a daily run on the treadmill, or a glass of wine with dinner. Humans need time to relax and turn off their minds once in a while. The problem I have seen in our culture is that mental health is often ignored. Americans are pressured to work all day and night in order to become successful and make money. As our economy has become weakened, Americans have had to put more time in at the office and have less time to find healthy ways to escape their stress. Unfortunately, Mac Miller worked in a 24/7 industry and grew up in an environment which encouraged recreational drug use. If you listen to his music, there has been a clear struggle with mental health for several years. A struggle those close to him seem to have recognized. And yet, it was ignored.
As a society, Americans need to be openly discussing mental health. Whether it is simply checking on a friend who seems stressed out at work, or not being afraid to share with others you are struggling with depression or anxiety. We need to be more supportive of those in our lives seeking help, and encourage those who may be afraid to reach out, to do so. We live in a very harsh world. Humans can be extremely cruel to each other and not even know the consequences of their actions. We should all look at Mac Miller’s recent passing as a reminder to be kind and take time to listen to each other. Every human goes through good and bad mental health days. For some it is worse than for others.
I do not believe it is our responsibility as human beings to necessarily cure our friend’s anxiety or depression disorders. However, it is our responsibility to be kind. To simply respect each other as human beings and be understanding when someone isn’t at their best. Sometimes all it takes is a little support from a friend to turn your day around. And hopefully, by becoming more aware and understanding of mental health, we can create a society which offers more affordable and accessible mental health services.