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(Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The legendary Darryl "DMC" McDaniels opens up about his decades-long struggle with depression and alcoholism.

In the Men's Health essay DMC admits he was a functioning alcoholic for over 20 years. He says he believes he was drinking to medicate undiagnosed depression and anxiety.

DMC writes, "For 25 or so years, everybody told me to go to rehab. But I was the functional alcoholic. I was never late. I never got in a car accident. I never threw up on people, never got into a public intoxication incident. There was never tragedy on the outside. Those are the signs that tell world you’re messed up. But I always said, "Man, I can handle this."

Darryl admits "I had anxiety that I didn’t know was anxiety. I had panic attacks that I didn’t know were panic attacks. Any time I felt something I considered abnormal, I just reached for the bottle."

He also says he never faced his emotions about Jam Master Jay's death. "I never accepted or faced my emotions about that. That New Year’s Eve, DJ Hurricane of The Beastie Boys invited me to Las Vegas — one of the worst places I possibly could have gone. I was sitting in the suite of the hotel, and I had just drank a fifth of Rémy Martin, by myself. I sat there in this room alone, drinking a bottle that maybe 30 people could share. I looked at the bottle, and something in my head said, “D, you can’t get higher than this. If you keep drinking, you’re gonna kill yourself.”

After the Vegas trip, DMC entered rehab and started going to therapy. He says, "In therapy, I was diagnosed with suppressing my feelings. Therapy is the most gangster thing anybody can do for themselves. Going to therapy is the most powerful move that you can make that will help you heal, solve, or alleviate the stress and struggles of the battles with depression."

As far as hip-hop goes DMC closed his letter with an encouraging message to stop stigmatizing mental health problems and solutions like therapy. He writes, "Admitting that you have a mental health issue is not being soft. It’s the hardest, most powerful thing you can do for yourself. If you don’t admit how you feel, whether good or bad, you will never heal."

 Read the full letter here.

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