Kehlani, Depression, and Why It’s Time to Stop Belittling It
If you haven’t been reading the celebrity gossip blogs and celebrity and entertainment sections of the news, then you’re out of the loop about the infamous Kehlani, PartyNextDoor (PND), and Kyrie Irving love triangle.
Kehlani, a 20-year-old R&B singer from Oakland, dated PND, 22-year-old rapper and singer from Canada signed to Drake’s OVO label, but they called things off last year during a very public breakup, which resulted in PND’s song Kehlani’s Freestyle. Months later Kehlani began to date Kyrie Irving, a point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Monday, PND posted a picture on Instagram with the caption “After all her shenanigans, still got the R&B singer back” alluding to the rekindling nature of his and Kehlani’s relationship which brought up questions around the relationship of her and Irving’s relationship. Through social media, the buzz must have ignited some personal, intimate feelings within Kehlani. So much so that she attempted to end her own life.
She posted a picture on Instagram that was later deleted; with a needle in her arm that captioned:
“today I wanted to leave this earth. Being completely selfish for once. Never thought I’d get to such a low point. But.. Don’t believe the blogs you read .. No one was cheated on nd I’m not a bad person… Everyone is hurt and everyone is in a place of misunderstanding.. But as of today, I had no single wish to see tomorrow.. But God saved me for a reason, and for that… I must be grateful.. Cuz I’m not in heaven right now for a reason… On that note.. Bye Instagram.”
Shortly thereafter, she deleted her Instagram, only to have it reactivated and set to private.
And as sad as it was that the media was perpetuating an issue that should have stayed private which lead to an attempted suicide, I think it’s even sadder that people are calling her attempted suicide a call for attention (like you, Chris Brown).
The simple question is: Why is it that Blacks are continuously struggling to understand that it’s not only our physical bodies that require maintenance?
I decided to look at statistics for this.
Did you know that 63 percent of African-Americans believe that depression is just a personal weakness, while the survey average is 54%? Did you know that only 34 percent of African Americans would take an antidepressant for treatment of depression if a doctor prescribed them? I mean, that explains why Black Twitter was extremely divisive on this topic. There was a host of people who were belittling her experience, making jokes about how PND and Irving “messed her up” just like there were other people who were saying that this was a call for attention, not necessarily a cry for help.
Who are we to tell someone what he or she is going through, especially when they are at the point where they want to end their own life?
It’s time to change the narrative around mental illness, especially in the Black community. It’s time that we discuss why we feel like we shouldn’t be taking mental illness seriously. It’s unacceptable that we treat mental illness like we can simply ignore it until it goes away. It will never go away, and it is time to discuss how we, as a community, can better our minds and ourselves.
Regardless, we wish Kehlani all the best, and we hope and pray that she gets better soon.
(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)