Earlier this morning, a fb friend posted Nina's song, "Feeling good (see link below)," which prompted me to comment about her "hauntingly beautiful voice," as well as what a big fan I am of this most creative and talented of souls. I also mentioned how I saw her heart wrenching Bio on Neflix while vacationing in my native Kenya, last year, and, after listening to the song more than once (some tunes are like potato chips or chocolates, you can't have only one), I got to thinking about how unfortunate it is that, so many great talents are also incredibly tortured souls.
I don't know whether their fame makes performers seem more susceptible to mental disorders than the rest of society, or that they actually are. Nina Simone, like many superbly gifted artists, wasn't spared mental illness. She's said to have suffered from bipolar, which wasn't diagnosed until very late in her life. In a response to my text which I sent my daughter after I listened to the song, Wanj, who'd introduced me to Simone's Bio in the first place and watched with me that day in Kenya, wrote: "Rly sad because she never got the help she needed on account of ignorance and culture."
These days, nary a day goes by before we hear about a celebrity confess to years spent battling bipolar, derepression, etc., and/or an announcement of someone who died too soon. Recently, it was Michelle Williams of the former Destiny Child, who revealed years of struggle with depression, which almost led her to commit suicide. Fortunately, today we have more information and, to a degree, are increasingly becoming enlightened about mental disease and suicide. Still, a lot of ignorance and cultural beliefs continue to hinder progress. The truth of the matter is, mental illness and its often accompanying suicide transcend race, ethnicity, gender, social class economics, IQ, talents and geography. Yes, the entertainment world is pervasive with people struggling with all sorts of mental diseases and suicides; but so is the rest of society. A look at the statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) attest to this fact as a click on the third link below, will reveal.
For mental illnesses facts closer to home, please click on the fourth link below.
Let's work together to eradicate the shame and stigma of mental illness and, in the process, ease the incredible pain and suffering, as well as the numbers of suicides, that the victims endure/face.
Wishing everyone robust mental and physical health.