Andre Jonson, also known as Christ Bearer, is a rapper who has become famous these past few days not for his music but for the fact that last week he, apparently, cut off his entire genitalia, according to an article on Radio.com. He then attempted suicide by jumping from the second story of a building.
Initially, it had been reported on Policymic.com that no drug use was involved and that this was clearly not a publicity stunt by a “‘drug-crazed’ rapper” but a call for help by a person seemingly suffering from some form of mental health issue. But now that there are reports of drug use, should this story be treated as anything less than a possible case of co-occuring problems of substance abuse and mental health disorders?
WebMd.com points out that “self-mutilation” can occur in individuals experiencing “co-existing problems” like substance abuse or obsessive-compulsive disorder. The website also states that reasons which may lead to self-mutilation can include “Asking for help in an indirect way or drawing attention to the need for help,” and “Temporarily relieving intense feelings, pressure, or anxiety.”
What could have been the deciding factor that led Christ to mutilate himself and attempt suicide? It would be overly simplistic to point to the fact that he was allegedly high on PCP a.k.a Angel Dust, even though this factor would significantly weigh in on the possible causes of such seeming temporary insanity. But the fact is that (having worked within the mental health sector I can attest to this) people who suffer from serious mental health problems such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, or other issues, often also struggle with problems of legal and illegal substance use and abuse.
It remains to be seen if Christ did have a pre-existing mental health disorder. At this point, it may be too late for even a professional diagnostician to make this assessment. Much less should we, the general public, attempt to make a diagnosis on his situation even if we had his psycho-social historical narrative stemming from his childhood.
The best we can do is reserve our judgement and comments. This is obviously a man experiencing something intense. Hopefully he will recover and seek the help that he needs, which may have been lacking in his life. His failed suicide attempt, therefore, could be his second chance at a more balanced, healthy life.