Living with Mental Illness is a continuous struggle for millions of people daily. It’s taken this long for me to rise above the negative stigma that comes along with it. I find that honestly checking in and staying present with myself works well for me. If you feel you’re in need of help, please don’t hesitate to get some. Be kind to everyone, because you never know someone’s struggle. Every story might help another’s journey.
Ingesting daily doses of illness, death, violence, racism, and civil unrest has everyone on edge and seeking relief. It feels as if life’s changes are happening faster than the world is spinning. Moment by moment, we must change with these trying times and refuse to be defeated by them. We are much more powerful and stronger than we think or believe.
For some people, the joy, cheer, and merriment the holiday season brings won’t be enough to lift their spirits and overall emotional state of being. Try as they might, their constant cloud of anxiety, depression, and sadness won’t allow them to. Genuinely show care and concern and treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated because there are some people dealing with serious issues internally that don’t physically show on the outside.
Being sequestered at home on a daily basis can begin to weigh on anyone’s psyche. The most important thing we can all do is learn how to relax in order to reduce our stress and anxiety levels. We can do this by: Focusing – which is simply deep breathing for 1-2 minutes while focusing only on your breath. Meditation – which is sitting quietly and breathing deeply for an extended period of time. Imagery – sitting in silence and imagining a relaxing place in your mind.
I respect law enforcement at all levels. But sadly and madly, since the pandemic, we’ve witnessed what happened to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd; may God bless them and their families. Going forward, our purpose should be to NOT lose any more African-Americans to senseless violence, but if and when it happens again, the officers committing these murders MUST be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Mental health should be a serious issue for everyone, but especially for minorities. We can no longer afford to look the other way, bury our heads in the sand, and pretend it doesn’t exist. It deserves our utmost attention, advocacy, focus, and action because none of us can afford the steep price of ignorance and inaction regarding mental health treatment for minorities.
Increased support, understanding, and interaction with those suffering with mental illness could help awareness to spread immensely. Let’s use the month of May to to become even more aware and vigilant about mental illness.
To me, mental health is just as important as physical health–if not more vital. Sometimes, to those of us affected, they effect each other, but the preconceived notions and underlying stigmas associated with it can easily influence those diagnosed to suffer in silence.