Method Man Opens Up About Battling Depression In His Early Career

The actor and rap star talked candidly about his fitness routine and why he's not a 'sex symbol.'

As a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man enjoyed undeniable success beginning in the mid-90s. His turn as a solo artist and his appearance on the now-classic Mary J. Blige hit, "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By," made him increasingly popular among female fans—even catapulting him to sex symbol status. A designation that he rejects.

"I’m not a sex symbol," Meth told Men's Health, "Put the words together. Sex and symbol. What’s the symbol? I’m not doing anything. So what’s the symbol?"

He added that he appreciates his female fans' affection but that the love he had to learn to accept was of himself.

"Looking yourself in the mirror and honestly saying that you love yourself," he said about his personal journey. "But it’s one thing to say and then another to go and do it. Show that you love yourself. That’s all I’ve been doing. What people see now is just happiness."

Related: Fat Joe Details His 200-Pound Weight Loss

The legendary rapper and actor, 52, who has been starring on the hit Starz show, "Power Book 2," explained that he battled depression and anxiety even at the height of his career. The symptoms were exacerbated by a busy lifestyle imposed.

"I was just being irresponsible, with many things coming back to bite me all at once," he explained, adding, "I wasn’t taking care of my finances in a proper fashion. The admiration wasn’t the same. I didn’t think it would bother me that much, but it did—people’s opinions. I was just angry. It went from this childhood joy to this euphoric feeling of celebrity to feeling inadequate and not good enough."

He added, "That’s where the depression and stuff came in. I didn’t even know I had been depressed since I was a youngster before I started doing music and moved to Staten Island."

The actor told the magazine that it was a bout with insomnia that lasted nearly two years that was the catalyst to his journey for better mental and physical health--starting with hitting the gym at 4 a.m. "I didn't know what to expect going in there, but I had been working with a trainer prior to that, so I said, 'I'll just go in there and follow this routine.' And that's how it started."

As far as improving his mental health, he adds that he also recognized that he had PTSD from how he grew up and being "miserable people" in his youth, he said, "I took control after that. I stopped valuing other people’s opinions, and instead of being my biggest critic, I became my biggest fan."

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