“Our strength lies in our vulnerability. There is nothing wrong with that.”

With these words, New York Rapper Donny Goines joined the #MindfulAllies series at Mashable.  Listen to his story here:

In a 2014 Huffington Post article Donny Goines explained:

When my depression or anxiety built, I would take more medication. If I was supposed to take two pills, for example, I might take three or four. I didn’t understand.

I began to suffer seizures as a side effect of all the medications, and I was hospitalized over a dozen times in 2012. My family had begun to worry for my well-being. I was back in that lonely place, struggling with paranoia and anger. I was losing control both personally and professionally, so I decided to go back to New York and seek help. Early in 2013, I had a very violent seizure, which left me in the hospital for about a week, where they finally discovered the medications were most likely what was causing the seizures.

I decided then and there that I would never take any medication, and, with my psychiatrist, we devised a plan to remove all the medications from my system. At first, my psychiatrist was reluctant and apprehensive, but I explained to her that I’m a man of very strong will, so if I decide I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. I’m not saying medication is not a smart option for some people. Truthfully, that medication might have saved my life. Had I been more responsible and more consistent with therapy and not gone through those dramatic issues with the side effects, I would probably still be taking medication. I just had a very bad experience, personally…

I think many of us suffer in silence. Depression can become so overwhelming. We kill ourselves slowly with drugs and alcohol, lash out at others or are afraid to speak to someone in fear of stigma and ridicule. I know many will judge me harshly or look differently at me, but I hope this may help someone out there who might be dealing with similar issues. You’re not alone.