Jeezy has revealed he suffered from depression and anxiety for years before coming to the realization he was dealing with mental health issues. The admission comes amid his divorce from estranged wife Jeannie Mai.
The rap icon, 46, — real name Jay Wayne Jenkins — made the revelation during a Tuesday, October 17 appearance on Tamron Hall’s daytime talk show. “I learned that vulnerability is power. I thought something was wrong with me, thinking I come from poverty, this is just how it is,” he explained, not realizing that he was dealing with depression while growing up.
“I didn’t understand trauma and all these different things so when I started to get the words for it, I started to understand and grab tools, I started to become better,” he continued, adding, “I started on my journey and that’s why I’m expressing it and putting it in the book because I didn’t know I was depressed for like eight years of my life straight.”
Jeezy released his book, Adversity for Sale: Ya Gotta Believe, on August 8, where he shared stories about how he was able to turn his life around and the lessons he learned on his way to becoming successful.
When Tamron asked what he was feeling during those eight years, Jeezy replied, “You wake up and you want to go back to sleep forever.” He added, “I was leaning into my vices. That’s what street life does to you.”
The “Soul Survivor” artist described how violence in his community while growing up in Atlanta affected him. “When you lose 200, 300, 400 people like gone forever, you just, you get numb. And I wasn’t able to get in touch with my emotions and I was wondering why,” Jeezy explained.
The entrepreneur said he was grateful for his four children, including 22-month-old daughter Monaco, whom he shares with Jeannie, 44. “Thank God for my kids, but there was a time I was just cold. That’s when I was Young Jeezy,” he revealed, referring to the stage name he started his rap career with. Jeezy dropped “Young” from his professional name in 2010.
Jeezy stunned fans when he filed for divorce from Jeannie on September 14 in Fulton County Superior Court in Fulton County, Georgia, according to court documents obtained by Life & Style. The documents revealed that the music executive and The Real alum had separated and that they had a prenuptial agreement in place. Jeezy claimed their marriage was “irretrievably broken” with “no hope for reconciliation.” The former couple wed at their home in Atlanta in March 2021.
Jeannie broke her silence about the split during an October 12 appearance on Sherri Shepherd‘s daytime talk show. “I’m not going to lie, it takes every day, to just really sit and just be quiet in your thoughts … take care of me,” the former Style Network star revealed, before saying that she’s taking things day by day.
The TV personality shared that she “turned off every single device” in her house when Jeezy filed for divorce. “I really needed to tune into the voices I really needed to hear, which was me and the truth,” she said, receiving applause from the audience.