24-year-old rapper and songwriter, G Herbo, has gone through a lot during his lifetime. The musician (real name: Herbert Wright III) recently chatted with Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, M.D., about his journey with post traumatic stress disorder after having witnessed a murder at just nine-years-old. By the time he was older and realized he suffered from PTSD, he knew he needed to seek help from a therapist—but it wasn't easy.
“I had to calm myself down,” he says of his first therapy session. “I was real nervous the first time, but I wanted to find a solution to the problem. I wanted to stop carrying a gun and realize what it is about myself, or talk to somebody where they could understand me… I’m not a criminal. I’m a family man, a businessman. I’m all of the things above, and I am a human.”
G Herbo also expressed that Black men, in particular, often seem afraid of seeking help, the result a lack of role models growing up, he says. “We feel like we’re strong enough to take on the pain, anger, frustration, and everything we’re up against on the day-to-day,” he adds. “We think it’s normal to just hold it in.”
One way the rapper has been able to combat his mental health is to write music. It’s in the studio where he writes songs that help him get things off his chest.
“A lot of things I can’t properly communicate to the world or people around me, I used to communicate through my music,” he says. “When people heard a song, they applied it to themselves, because I was actually talking about people in my life that have affected me and I may have affected, but wasn’t able to communicate verbally.”
And while he might’ve endured a difficult childhood, G Herbo wants to impact to the next generation with his initiative, Swerving Through Stress. He’s hoping to bring together 150 kids from different parts of Chicago and provide them with free therapy sessions (and more, if it's successful), so they can discuss what's happening in their lives and how to build themselves a better future.
“When I was a kid, I went through a lot of things and didn’t have anybody to talk to,” he says. "I think the key to take from this is that there actually is someone who can help... I was one of those kids. I've been outside for a long time, experienced life a lot of different levels. I'm going to try to help people and help myself while doing it."
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