Monthly Archives: May 2015

Mental Health Awareness Month: My Story

I thought this was very well written and if you have a mental illness, I know you will be able to relate. It’s kind of long, but once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. Check it out.

opinionatednautilus

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May is mental health awareness month. It isn’t getting much visibility, at least where I live or the online places I frequent, but its still nice that discussions about mental illness are happening outside of some horrible event like a school shooting. So to add to the discussion I thought I’d share my own personal struggle with mental illness.

My struggles with mental illness began when I was in high school. It was my senior year and depression started to creep in. I isolated myself, lashed out at those closest to me, my school and work performance started to suffer, it was a bad time. I rarely slept and felt like a wet blanket was always draped around me. This culminated in a unsuccessful suicide attempt I kept to myself.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I received a diagnosis. My illness flew beneath the radar of my…

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Living Sick for The African American: Denial of the Existence of Mental Illness 07/15 by The Lundyn Brown Show | Culture Podcasts

If you listen to the show, make sure you read the entire blog post and see my comments below. I would love to get your reaction and opinions. Your voice makes a difference in how we allow people to portray mental illness.

Living Sick for The African American: Denial of the Existence of Mental Illness 07/15 by The Lundyn Brown Show | Culture Podcasts.

I almost didn’t post this show, because I didn’t want to promote the show; however, in light of the subject matter, I’m going to give my piece of mind.

This has to be one of the most ridiculous and stigmatizing posts on mental illness that I have heard and I am seriously troubled and insulted. There is the host Lundyn Brown and her ‘panel’ of cohosts. I believe one was named Erica and the gentlemen was K.B. (who is an older man, but they don’t say just how old.

If you listen to the show, they give statistics on mental health and how it relates to the African American community. However, the gentlemen (K.B.) makes these outlandish statements such as;

  • No one wants to be in a relationship with a bipolar person
  • Generic meds, who knows what’s really in them
  • Poor people get the bottom quality care
  • We can’t save everybody
  • We have to adjust, what’s in the past is in the past, ‘snap out of it’
  • The white man couldn’t put me on an antidepressant
  • The legalization of marijuana is so important because it can solve depression. No one would be depressed anymore
  • Getting on medication is worst than the symptoms they are supposed to treat
  • Would only see a therapist if he was ‘really screwed up in the head’ and couldn’t get out of bed
  • If I was able to operate at all, I wouldn’t go see a therapist
  • All needed was him, God, and a bag of weed

Ok, where do we start?

  1. No one wants to be in a relationship with a bipolar person, as if you can’t maintain loving, respectful relationships with someone who happens to have a mental illness. Sure, it may be trying at times, but what relationship isn’t. People, who are taking care of their illness, are more than qualified to maintain a happy and fulfilling relationship.
  2. Generic medications have the same ingredients as the name brand. Why would I say don’t take the generic because who knows what’s in them. Brand medication is patented and when the time of the patent is up other company’s are then able to manufacture the product. If you take the generic you are getting the same quality of medication.
  3. People can find quality care. People in ‘poverty’ can receive quality care. It is true that some people in this case don’t seek help for a variety of reasons, but I would tell them to seek help because you can find good care and people who genuinely want to help you get better.
  4. People with depression or any other mental illness are not ‘screwed up in the head.’ They have a chemical imbalance that has a variety of symptoms. Some people have a tough time getting out of bed, taking a shower, maintaining a balanced life. But are we really going to tag them as ‘screwed up in the head?’ Isn’t that just promoting the stigma that your show is trying to decrease?
  5. Whether you can get out of the bed or you are noticing other symptoms of depression that haven’t proved to be as devastating, you should get help and any state when you notice that You are having a problem.
  6. Legalizing marijuana is up for debate these days. No, marijuana is not the end all cure for mental illness. If it was, there would no longer be these disorders. Pharmaceutical companies would have gotten it legalized, put it in pill form and sell it to the world. While it down have a numbing feeling for some, some even say it makes them happy, but we can’t discount that many people use marijuana as a way to self medicate and therefore do not seek the help of licensed professionals who can make a diagnosis and help you find better coping mechanisms.

I think if they were going to say no one wants of seek mental health assistance, they should have given out some websites like NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) or DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Alliance), MHA (Mental Health America)  or the Suicide Crisis line (1-800-273-TALK) for people to find information and start the process. They do say to check with your physician or ER doctor. But, I didn’t feel enough direct information was given

Listen to the show and leave your comments. I’d be very interested in hearing what you think.

Legina Deaver, Founder/President – CSMHA