The dubstep pioneering legend has once again shed light on his mental health issues that caused him to leave the music industry last year.
Earlier last month Benga announced on twitter that he had been dealing with some mental health problems and had finally come to be able to shed light on the subject. Now, in a recent interview with The Guardian he goes into detail on how the issues were brought on and what led to his retirement from the dance music scene.
“Part of me opening up and talking with people about mental health is a way of moving forward,” Benga voiced to the Guardian. “This industry is all about perception: a lot of people wouldn’t want anybody to think they’re weak, or that they can’t do what they do, or that they’re not cool,” said Benga. “Nobody wants to come clean, let alone an artist.”
Drug use, among a multitude of other aspects, is known to been linked to mental health issues and Benga explains that this may be what caused his disorder. He got his start in the music industry fairly early on in life and the club scene where he grew up had a drug culture within. “I’d been taking [drugs] since I was 17 years old, but it really started to affect me when I was about 22, 23. The majority was ecstasy but I also discovered ketamine when I was 25. I started to get anxiety and paranoia, but it’s always been in my nature to carry on and think that everything is going to go away.”
For many people who experience these problems, hitting rock bottom is the only way out and Benga experienced this when he was arrested in March of 2014. “I don’t want to scare people but it was an extreme situation and I’d become aggressive,” he told the Guardian. “I was seen by a doctor and he decided that I should stay in the intensive unit. It took a while for reality to settle in but the more I spoke about my breakdown, the more I realized that it was common.”
Benga hopes that speaking out about mental health issues with help raise awareness for people to understand. Most people don't think this could ever happen to them and Benga was one of those people. “I never thought it would happen to me,” he states. "We think of mental patients in films; we need to see people like myself. People need to see that I can function and I’m not manic now, and that this can happen to anyone.”
It's true that these symptoms can happen to anyone and that there are indeed ways to avoid the onset of things like schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Benga knows that recognizing the problems before they become severe is crucial. “I would plead with anybody who sees anything wrong with their mates, their family members, to act on it straight away.”
Benga is 100% right with this claim and we at Magnetic will reiterate this. Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mind.org.uk and sane.org.uk provide emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness.
(Source: The Guardian)