Mac Miller’s Depression (The story)

In this article, we will talk about Mac Miller’s depression. We will get more acquainted with the life of the American rapper named Mac Miller, the struggles in his life that drove him to an early death. We will also look at ways in which we can help ourselves and others with addiction and depression. 

What is the story of Mac Miller’s depression?

Mac Miller revealed his struggles with substance addiction and depression publicly. Like many musicians and rappers, he used his music to talk about and express some of his most draining fears. 

Below are some excerpts from his music and interviews where he spoke openly about his struggles.

In May 2014, in his rap song said “a drug habit like Philip Hoffman will probably put me in a coffin,” the rapper mentioned his use of cocaine, codeine cough syrup, and angel dust. 

In 2015, Miller told Larry King that his depression and drug use were like they were linked in a loop. “I had a drug problem for a long time. It wasn’t just in music, but I definitely was going through a drug problem and I think it was more my state of mind. I was just pretty depressed,” he said. 

Miller said he was worried about dying because he was “doing a lot of drugs” — which he had tried to keep more under control. “It just eats at your mind, doing drugs every single day, every second. It’s rough on your body. That was the plan with Faces’ [closing song]. ‘Grand Finale’ was supposed to be the last song I made on earth. I don’t feel that way as much anymore.” 

About the initial states of his depression, he said “I think it started [with success], It’s funny because you talk to people, and they say, ‘What do you have to be depressed about? You have money.’… Fame is tricky because you read what’s said about you, and you know what you know to be true, and the lines start to blur.”

Feeling much healthier after seeking help, he stated that he wasn’t completely sober but doing much better than before. His suicidal thoughts and tendencies were also gone and he looked forward to living life fully in the moment instead of being obsessed about living a legacy behind when he died. Unfortunately, he died in 2018 at the age of 26, because of an alleged drug overdose.   

Who was Mac Miller?

Malcolm James McCormick, famously known as Mac Miller was an American rapper, songwriter, record producer. He began his pursuing his passion for hip-hop and music while he was still in school. He learned musical instruments at a young age too. He became a national hit right after his first album titled ‘Blue Slide Park’ which made it to the Billboard 200 chart. In 2013, he launched his own record label named ‘REMember Music’ with a distribution agreement with the producer giant Warner Bros. All his works were huge commercial successes.

What is substance overdose and addiction?

Overconsumption of substances like alcohol, medicinal drugs, or psychoactive drugs like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, meth, angel’s dust, etc can lead to either dependency on the drug for everyday functioning which would be termed as addiction to the substance or it could lead to single instance overconsumption can cause lethal consequences. Addiction itself can have consequences like liver cirrhosis, obesity, other mental/psychiatric difficulties apart from everyday living challenges that hamper the family, social, spiritual, and financial status of the person.   

What is depression?

Very often drug use/ addiction symptoms can imitate the symptoms of depression, it can be difficult to diagnose depression when a person is dependent on drugs or alcohol for functioning. Depression differs from individual to individual depending on the causes, external situations, personalities, coping methods used, etc. Some may exhibit more easily identifiable signs like fatigue and low mood, others may appear more irritable or angry. Other signs of depression can include:

  • Lack of interest or enthusiasm in everyday activities
  • Lack of sleep or changes in sleep patterns
  • Poor or increased appetite
  • Feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, guilt or despair
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating on tasks
  • Suicidal thoughts

Recent research studies show that up to 1/3 of people with depression also have a comorbid diagnosis of a substance use disorder. This dual diagnosis can be linked to an increased risk of suicide, social/personal impairment, and other psychiatric conditions.

It’s difficult to point which comes first- substance addiction or depression. The causes and prognosis differ from person to person. Some develop alcoholism or drug addiction first and then because of the negative effects of it on their lives they develop depression. 

On the other hand, people who have depression may abuse a substance in an effort to self-medicate and treat their mental discomforts.

The moments after the “high” often referred to as the “comedown” from cocaine and other stimulants oftentimes worsen the initial depression. Cannabis has been linked to a decrease in depression; however, the quantity of consumption is a point to be kept in mind. it’s only effective in small amounts and large doses may worsen the symptoms of depression.

How to deal with substance abuse?

Join a support group 

Alcoholics Anonymous is a popular support group running for alcoholics worldwide. Similarly, there is Narcotics anonymous for people dealing with drug abuse. The idea of a support group is to help substance users notice that they are not alone on the road to recovery. Fellow members in the group can give them a sense of companionship and mentorship. People who have been responding well to the 12-step counseling system followed in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, which essentially is a spiritual approach to counseling, will guide the sufferer towards a better life by being role models and motivators.     

Get admitted into a rehabilitation center

A rehabilitation center is ideally equipped with a team of professionals who help a person with addiction recovery. The team can include doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, counselors, social service professionals, other patients in recovery who can provide a sense of belongingness during group counseling sessions, etc. A person in a rehabilitation center is expected to live in the center at least till the time all the overpowering symptoms of their dependency are reduced significantly, which could take several months.  

Get hospitalized care

In case of alcohol/drug overdose, it is best to rush the person to a hospital without any delay. Hospitalized care could stabilize the immediate severe reactions like puking of blood, frothing in the mouth, increased heart rate, drowsiness or unconsciousness, etc.    

How to overcome depression?

Consult a psychiatrist 

A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, for example, antidepressants based on the severity of the condition of the person. Antidepressants are an important part of recovery and going to a professional should not be delayed. 

Seek mental health therapy 

Consulting a counselor/ psychotherapist is essential in mental health issues. This, most often, goes hand in hand with medication based on the severity of depression. 

A counselor can bring in newer ways of perception, help the person to emote better while engaging in healthy boundary-making. The counselor can also help the person eradicate irrational thoughts and beliefs that inhibit the person’s well-being. The counselor and the client, together, also work on and construct healthier coping mechanisms against stressors for the client. 

Improve lifestyle choices and work towards good health

Health is a concept with many interlinkages and it is also all-encompassing. One can’t expect to have good mental health if their physical health is deteriorating and vice-versa. Exercising, healthy eating habits, good sound sleep, and practicing mindfulness, along with any medication/therapy if need be, can help attain victory over any condition, including depression.


In this article, we talked about Mac Miller’s depression. We got more acquainted with the life of the American rapper named Macmiller, the struggles in his life that drove him to death. We also looked at ways in which we can help ourselves and others with addiction and depression.

Frequently Asked Questions: Mac Miller’s Depression 

Did Mac Miller actually die?

Yes, Mac Miller died on 7th September 2018 in California. He was 26 years old at the time and an alleged reason for his death was a drug overdose. 

What happened between Ariana Grande and Mac Miller?

Both the celebrities were involved in a romantic relationship between 2016-2018. They parted ways months before Mac passed away. She described her grief over Mac’s death as “pretty all-consuming”. She also said, “He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming… less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.” 
People blamed Ariana for Mac’s spiraling down but she reacted back to those people saying that it was bitter of them to just point fingers at her for Mac’s difficulties, she said they were far from perfect and it was best for both of them to part ways. 

Which medicinal drugs can cause depression?

Many prescription drugs can trigger depression as a side effect. Some medicines are Beta-Blockers, Stimulants, Corticosteroids, medicines causing changes in hormonal level, benzodiazepines, Parkinson’s drugs, anticonvulsants, statins, and other cholesterol-reducing drugs, anticholinergic drugs. Sometimes even other medications like acne medications, pain relievers, allergy medications, thyroid medications, antibiotics can cause depressive symptoms to arise.   

How do psychoactive drugs reach the brain?

Psychoactive drugs exert their effects on the behavior, actions, and mental health states of a person by altering neuronal communication in the brain. This is done through neurotransmitters and the majority of drugs reach the brain by traveling in the blood. The time taken to reach the brain depends on the type of drug, the dosage, and the personal tolerance levels of the person. The tolerance levels of the person is influenced by the frequency of consumption and other bodily traits.   

How do psychoactive drugs affect your brain?

Psychoactive drugs are essentially chemicals combined together to alter our state of consciousness. They target the neurotransmitters that our brain releases to influence our moods, motivation levels, etc. Using psychoactive drugs may help you feel lighter, calmer, and happier when you reach ‘a high’, it will create better tolerance for the time being but when they are no longer use it, it will cause worse lows and make you dependent on it for further highs. Staying away from it can cause struggles with withdrawal because who does not want to be in a state of high perpetually, right? Addiction may result from tolerance and the difficulty of withdrawal.


6.2 Altering Consciousness with Psychoactive Drugs

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