‘Get through the struggle and cope’: Rapper urges those in need to speak out about mental health
- Credit: Archant
A Lowestoft rapper with paranoid schizophrenia has relived his experience behind bars and how his relationship with music pulled him through his darkest time.
Shane Harvey, who now lives in Great Yarmouth, brings together music for a global audience drawing from his experience in jail and his time in a psychiatric hospital.
Under the name Creepzmusic, Mr Harvey creates original tracks and collaborates with artists from London to Africa.
At the age of 15, he was sent to prison for robbery and, after he was released, he re-offended on a dangerous weapon charge and was sent back to prison.
Now aged 23, he said: 'Being in prison as a kid wasn't the best experience when you have never been in that situation before.
'But to be honest, you have to get through the struggle and cope whichever way helps you and you feel comfortable doing whatever, whether that's writing music, lashing out or stay calm and relaxed.
'I don't advise kicking off because I spent weeks and months on end in solitary confinement which is not healthy for anybody - you get treated like an animal.'
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While he was behind bars, the teenager was soaking up his surroundings to pull together lyrics - a strategy he had used for comfort since he was aged eight.
But his mental health deteriorated while he was in prison, and he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia - a chronic mental disorder where people lose touch with reality.
He was then moved to a physiatric hospital for four years and was placed on life-long medication which prevents him from working.
'Being in hospital at first it was really weird, some people in there were just not meant to be in the community. So much stuff happened in there that I just don't want to mention just because it was so bad,' he said.
The rapper is working towards more collaborations and shows in the New Year and hopes anyone dealing with their mental health will speak out.
'Anybody can battle anything, they just have to have a strong mind and ask for help. You have to be strong minded and powerful enough to ask for help.'