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'It's OK to Get Help': SWV’s Coko Gamble Has Message for Fans About Mental Health
Cheryl "Coko" Gamble recently opened up about her bipolar diagnosis on SWV x XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B.
“It’s OK to get help. Get whatever you need,” Coko told The Daily Dish. “If it’s medication, take it. You can take medication until you’ve tackled this. [You] don’t have to worry about what others think of you. You just have to take care of yourself and … you matter, you know?”
By speaking out about her own challenges with mental health, Coko is hoping to reduce the stigma and empower others to put their own health first.
“A lot of people don’t wanna get the help ‘cause they don’t wanna feel crazy, but you gotta do what you gotta do for you,” she said.
More than three decades after SWV (Sisters with Voices) burst onto the scene in the early ‘90s, the R&B group is still going strong, recently joining forces with XSCAPE for a special concert. The often dramatic road to the one-night event serves as the backdrop for Bravo’s limited series SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B.
When the ladies of SWV — including Coko’s bandmates Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons — aren’t collaborating with others, they are still busy touring on their own, performing their long-running hits like “Weak” and “Right Here” to a slew of fans.
For Coko, balancing the busy schedule and taking care of her own health can, admittedly, still be a struggle.
“It’s been hard, but this is what I wanna do so I have to make sure that I’m good, you know?” she told The Daily Dish. “So I can get out here and … do what I have to do.”
The mom of two was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017 after years of suffering dramatic mood swings.
“I could be happy one day and I feel like a wave and then I’m really sad and deep in depression,” she explained in SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B.
According to Coko, she realized she was at her breaking point when she started to have some dark thoughts.
“My final straw for me seeking help was I was thinking about killing somebody and I knew that it was an issue,” she said. “It was deeper than I ever understood.”
No one was ever harmed, but it pushed Coko to address her mental health head-on and find a way to better manage the mood swings.
“I’ve come a long way. I am slow to anger, as long as I’m taking the medication, because I like being in a good place. I take my meds when I don’t want to beat your a--,” she said with a laugh.
Today, Coko still has “good days” and “bad days” but has found a healthy balance.
While the medication may have helped her find stability, it hasn’t dimmed her larger-than-life personality.
“I haven’t changed,” she told The Daily Dish. “I’ve become better.”
Any health-related information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, or before embarking on any diet, exercise, or wellness program.