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Lil Wayne has spoken for the first time about attempting suicide as a child. In a recent conversation with Emmanual Acho, the rapper shared his experiences of being depressed "at a very young age," describing the intrusive thoughts that led to him making the attempt with his mother's gun when he was 12.
"I start thinking I had to get myself mad, and noticed that I didn't have to, that's what scared me," he said. "How I knew I had mental health problems was I pulled the trigger."
"I didn't feel it, aimed for my heart, and didn't feel a thing though, so I wasn't going through any pain, it was the shock," he continued. "I woke up to boom, boom, boom, to the police knocking, and that's what woke me up... It took too long, meaning dying, death, took too long, I was still just laying there. I said shit, I must be here for a reason."
Wayne explained that growing up, he had never really felt able to speak about how he was feeling to his mother, but that afterwards, their family changed forever, and that ever since his mother has been much more open and communicative. "All I know is from that day forward, I have never met or seen that lady again."
It's a story that he felt was important to share, so that the friends and family members of people who are depressed or struggling with mental illness know just how life-saving their support can be.
"What I wish they knew is that it's real... and there is no bar to measure how real," he said. "It's so real that if someone even has the guts, the heart, the bravery to admit that they have something going on that they're not sure about, it's so real that we should only react in the realest way possible... And if you are a parent of a kid with a mental health problem... react with the realest reaction."
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