Christian artist Lecrae is opening up about his own struggles with mental health.
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
"I want to talk to you about how I dealt with depression and anxiety. It is a serious topic," says Lecrae on his YouTube channel.
During his time of severe depression, Lecrae says he tried to find help through other people's experiences online, and he had a hard time finding anything to relate with. He's hoping his video helps people who can relate to his situation.
"How in the world do you manage regular life when you feel crippled by these things? Here's what I learned," he says.
The Christian rapper goes on to explain his own experience.
"Depression and anxiety is not something you can just snap out of. You can't just will yourself out, I've tried it. Literally what is happening is that an organ in your body is not working properly, and that's your brain."
He shares that when you create a new neuro pathway in your brain, it takes a minimum of 21 days. Lecrae encourages people dealing with depression or anxiety to have grace for the process and time it takes.
"What was really helpful for me was a combination of things. The combination will probably work for you and I say probably because everyone is different."
Lecrae shares that the first thing that helped him was physical exercise.
"It treats your brain like you're taking an anti-depressant. At least 30 minutes a day, get some physical exercise. What that's going to do is create a dopamine effect, endorphins that will help you in the process of healing your brain."
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The second thing Lecrae talks about is taking note of the foods people are consuming, once more talking about the chemicals that the body creates when digesting food.
"Therapy is phenomenal. Talking with a professional is probably one of the most beneficial things you can do because they're literally trained to study how your brain functions."
Lecrae has turned his experiences with depression and anxiety into songs on his latest album, Restoration, released in 2020. He published a book titled I Am Restored shortly after the album release.
"You may need medication and there's nothing wrong with that," he says, stripping away the stigma of Christians taking medication for ailments.
Prayer is the last practice hLecrae talks about, as his faith was a big component of getting through his depression.
*If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or thinking of suicide, please call the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566. For emergencies, please call 9-1-1.