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James Blake pens an essay on depression and toxic masculinity

james blake

James Blake has penned an essay for a collection on mental health, titled It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (And Other Lies).

Curated by Scarlett Curtis, the book features a number of essays from “inspirational people”, and is the second in a series by Curtis, titled And Other Lies.

james blake

James Blake has written a heartfelt essay detailing his struggles with depression for a new book titled It’s Not OK To Feel Blue (And Other Lies).

In the essay, titled How Can I Complain?, Blake paints a picture of himself as an introverted boy who grew up into someone with extreme struggles with depression and anxiety, who felt the need to hide it from the world:

“The guy with the “Pitchfork best new music 8.0+” was also experiencing daily panic attacks, hallucinations and an existential crisis.”

Blake explores how systemic toxic masculinity can lead men to feel as though they shouldn’t have such issues, and in turn, feel shameful for doing so. It wasn’t until Blake’s girlfriend, Jameela Jamil, told him to stop comparing his pain to others – and stop feeling like he wasn’t entitled to what he felt – that he realised the impact of such societal expectations.

Blake cites that he wanted to show with his essay the reality of how a “privileged, relatively rich-and-famous-enough-for-zero-pity white man could become depressed, against all societal expectations and allowances.”  Whilst emphasising that he is in no way privileging his own pain over others, Blake documents his process of realisation that pain is pain, and everyone is entitled to experiencing it.

Read the full essay via Penguin here.

Check out Retrograde by James Blake below.

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October 14, 2019

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