@PharoaheMonch Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Breaking The Silence on Mental Health @nursingclio

Phar­oahe Monch released his fourth album—Post Trau­mat­ic Stress Dis­order (PTSD). In the album, Monch high­lights the inter­sec­tions of the stresses of inner city life, drug use, sui­cide, and the struc­tur­al and cul­tur­al bar­ri­ers to pur­su­ing men­tal health care. PTSD just might serve as the per­fect open­ing to a con­ver­sa­tion on Afric­an Amer­ic­an men­tal health.

PTSD fol­lows Monch’s third album, W.A.R. (We Are Reneg­ades). WAR was more of a meta­phor­ic­al con­cept album that fea­tured Monch per­form­ing from the per­spect­ive of an inde­pend­ent rap artist waging a war with­in and again­st the cor­por­ate music industry. PTSD marks Monch’s sym­bol­ic return to “civil­ian” life after his trau­mat­ic battles with the record­ing industry.PTSD-  i am hip hop

‘I went to the dent­ist and had to fill out forms and list all of the med­ic­a­tion that I was tak­ing. The doc­tor came out and called me in to his private office and told me that he didn’t mean to pry into any­thing, but he was going over my list and noticed the com­bin­a­tion of my med­ic­a­tions. He then informed me that one of the side-effects of a cer­tain one included severe depres­sion. As he said that, I melted into the chair I was sit­ting in and a thou­sand mon­keys jumped off of my back. I star­ted bawl­ing right on his desk. I hadn’t put it togeth­er before that point…*

Sev­er­al songs on PTSD address Monch’s exper­i­ence with pre­scrip­tion drug-induced depres­sion and his sui­cid­al thoughts. On “The Jungle,” Monch ref­er­ences the list of drugs he’s taken to treat asth­ma: “I’m talk­ing epi­leptic epis­odes off that Epi­neph­rine, that Alb­tuter­ol and them oth­er pre­scribed medi­cines, a zom­bie in insom­nia freak­ing the Amphet­am­ines.” Monch reflects on his sui­cid­al thoughts on “Los­ing My Mind” and the title track, “Post Trau­mat­ic Stress Dis­order.” The artist con­tem­plates on “Los­ing My Mind,” “No Medi­caid, no med­ic­a­tion. Think­ing you’re bet­ter off dead. Instead should’ve been ded­ic­a­tion to edu­ca­tion. I spin, the cyl­in­der on my revolver, I spin, the cyl­in­der…” Monch’s sui­cid­al thoughts are also evid­ent on the album cov­er, which depicts him hold­ing a gun to his head while wear­ing a gas mask. When reflect­ing on his darkest moment, Monch stated,

It’s true. You go to friends and fam­ily and people are like, ‘Fuck it.’ You just need to go get some help and shit.’ At the time, I was con­fused and befuddled on what happened all of a sud­den, and I couldn’t put my fin­ger on it. Cats ended up com­ing to my apart­ment and tak­ing things away from me. They told me that I seemed to be going through some things and that I shouldn’t have these weapons around.

Monch’s ref­er­ence to the lack of access to Medi­caid on “Los­ing My Mind” points to another under­ly­ing theme—the racial and eco­nom­ic bar­ri­ers to pur­su­ing men­tal health care, espe­cially for Afric­an Amer­ic­ans. “My fam­ily cus­toms were not accus­tomed to deal­ing with men­tal health. It was more or less an issue for white fam­il­ies with wealth,” Monch raps. Accord­ing to the 2012 Nation­al Health­care Dis­par­it­ies Report, a little more than 50% of Afric­an Amer­ic­ans who endured a major depress­ive epis­ode received treat­ment where­as close to 75% of whites received treat­ment. And between 2008 and 2010, white Amer­ic­an adoles­cents and adults were more likely to receive treat­ment than Afric­an Amer­ic­ans. Monch’s obser­va­tion about Medi­caid also high­lights the polit­ic­al bar­ri­ers to afford­able access, espe­cially for Afric­an Amer­ic­ans. In an effort to res­ist imple­ment­a­tion of the Afford­able Care Act, Repub­lic­ans in twenty-one states have blocked expan­sion of Medi­caid. Sev­er­al of the states where Repub­lic­ans have res­isted the expan­sion are loc­ated in the South—Alabama, Mis­sis­sip­pi, Louisi­ana, Geor­gia, to name a few.

Where States Stand on Medi­caid Monch also points to cul­tur­al imped­i­ments to explain why many Afric­an Amer­ic­ans refrain from talk­ing about their men­tal health openly. Afric­an Amer­ic­ans, espe­cially black men, are often expec­ted to endure the depress­ive epis­odes arising from life’s dif­fi­culties without med­ic­al or psy­chi­at­ric help. “Tough” black mas­culin­ity requires black men to con­front stress triggered by daily social, eco­nom­ic, and polit­ic­al struggles without show­ing any signs of emo­tion­al and phys­ic­al “weak­ness.”

Bad MF pro­duced by Lee Stone is the first look from this highly-anti­cip­ated fourth solo-LP, “PTSD” (Post Trau­mat­ic Stress Dis­order). Phar­oahe Monch re-emerges with a new con­cept pro­ject which finds the ground-break­ing emcee tack­ling PTSD; a severe anxi­ety dis­order that can develop after expos­ure to any event that res­ults in psy­cho­lo­gic­al trau­ma. Through­out the dur­a­tion of the LP, Monch nar­rates as an inde­pend­ent artist weary from the war again­st the industry machine and through the struggle of the black male exper­i­ence in Amer­ica.

Find more inform­a­tion @ http://www.pharoahe.com/
http://nursingclio.org/2014/05/06/hip-hop-breaks-silence-on-mental-health-pharoahe-monchs-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rish­ma Dhali­wal has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rish­ma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.

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