It’s Madness by Marvin Gaye

This week’s Song of the Week was recommended by MIA Reader EZELL BATTLE: “The lyrics to this song are haunting. When you first listen, you think about someone whose romantic relationship has ended. However, if you read the lyrics and listen to the words, there’s a hidden message of pain, suffering, near insanity, and the loss of one’s mind. Marvin Gaye, a talented singer/songwriter under the Motown label, had a history of trauma and loss. Gaye had adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Media reported that Gaye’s father abused him as a child and murdered Gaye when he was just one day shy of his 45th birthday. Unfortunately, Marvin suffered from drug addiction. During his meteoric musical career, he sang with Tammy Terrell, a singer whose life was cut short at the age of 24 due to brain cancer. Many who knew Gaye stated that he was never the same after her death and became depressed. Gaye’s childhood trauma, his grief over the loss of Terrell, and his drug abuse affected his career. Studies reveal that ACEs can impact the brain and cause unhealthy stress responses leading to challenges in relationships and health. Marvin’s pain seeped through each line he sung in “It’s Madness,” a reminder that we need healing for our minds.”



Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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