AceGawd tells all! - Artiste opens up about his battle with depression
At first glance, recording artiste AceGawd strikes you as a fresh act that embodies the type of 'New-Age' entertainer the current landscape is welcoming. His image, his lyrics, his flow, make him stand out in the highly competitive industry.
But even as he trades in a life of poverty for the glitz and glamour of fame, which includes unlimited 'backaz inna Mark X', the 22-year-old struggles with depression.
In a tell-all interview with THE STAR, AceGawd revealed that from as young as age seven, he began battling the monster that is depression. He said that even at that age, he knew what he was experiencing was not normal.
And, try as he did to outrun his demons, the entertainer said he couldn't help but feel sad and alone, even in the midst of a crowd.
"Normally, I would find myself zoned out, even around my best of friends. Nothing was wrong with the company and nothing was wrong with the party or the vibe, I was just detached. I could be around a million people, I would still feel alone," he said.
"Music and talking to those I could trust about what I was going through really helped. Counselling also started for me from primary school, so even though I was telling my friends, I was still going to counselling. It's important to talk to people and get things out. The pumped-up emotions can lead to a whole lot of trouble.
"Most persons who are depressed have suicidal thoughts because it gives you an empty kind of feeling. People who self-harm do it because dem feel numb and they want to feel again. They want a rush, and when they do that they get a high kinda feeling," he continued, pointing out that talking out one's issues is always better that glossing over them.
"It 200 per cent better to face your issues than to hide them. When you hide things, that's what it (depression) feeds off of. Yuh have mental and physical pain in depression. The physical pain will fade after a while ,but the mental pain keeps on coming back. If you don't confront it, it a guh keep on haunt yuh and lead you to do something bad."
AceGawd went on to say that as celebrities, he believes artistes are at a higher risk of falling into the pits of depression.
"In our world, people forget say you're human. Some a di time people overlook the fact say yuh just wah be normal. For instance, yuh deh Devon House wid your family and yuh just wah chill and forget fame and everything else, and people come and dem wah take pictures, dem wah autograph, dem wah yuh freestyle lyrics, and all yuh just wah is chill time."
AceGawd, having seen the benefits of counselling in his own life, is urging people who are battling depression to go and get help.
"Me wah invest inna some private counselling because me know the benefits of talking through your issues. As a dancehall artiste, dat will be my contribution. We nah sweep weh this matter again. As an artiste, we affi show the good and the bad side of everything. Some nuh wah do dat. Dem wah yuh see dem a pop champagne pan balcony all the time, and a nuh dat alone to this. This life nuh perfect, because me know fi a fact nuff artiste a go chu hell."