i'm really angry. i've taken a couple days to sit on this, so that i don't say things that i have to apologize for, or back peddle on.
okay, a few days ago, there was an article about a comment made by a public figure about military veterans who have PTSD can't "handle it". i wasn't very upset with the person who said it, because i wasn't really surprised. i was so angry with the people the AGREED.
22 soldiers are lost to suicide every day. EVERY DAY. let that sink in for a second.
i am a processor; it takes me a couple days to think of a rational and coherent response to things somethings. the rage is real, yall.
mental health, PTSD, and anything related to that is not a sign of WEAKNESS. it's an immense sign of strength to admit that there is something beyond your control that you need someone to come alongside you and deal with.
my first experience with a therapist wasn't very good. he was kind of odd, for me, and wanted to talk about things that i wasn't ready to talk about. i was 16, it was right after columbine, my school administration thought that some depression might be leading to some problems (i wasn't depressed....i just didn't talk to many people). i wasn't really in a place where i was ready for therapy. but i had to do 8 sessions. i did 5 and fired him. i told him he was wasting my time and my family's income, we both know that i'm fine and didn't need to be there.
my second, and current, experience with therapy has been great. i used to see him about twice a month and it moved to once a month. i have anxiety issues, and there were some things i need to process with someone not in my daily life. my therapist has an unbiased opinion on my life, and i am so glad that he has been there. i have been shamed for having a therapist. and i shouldn't be. i'm not "crazy" and you don't have to make any excuses for wanting to maintain and improve your mental health.
we need to stop shaming people. period. but especially for seeking out mental health needs. if your arm is broken, you go to the doctor. if your teeth hurt, you go to the dentist. if there's something going on in your life, from the past or the present, that you need to deal with, go to a therapist. there's nothing wrong, shameful, embarrassing about it. if you find the right therapist, and you open yourself up to the experience, therapy can be an enlightening experience.
i feel like the responsibility for advocating for removing the stigma around mental healthcare is on us, the people working in the field. we need to take a better stand for our clients and for the ones of the future.
how? i've personally been part of conversations when people were shaming someone (or myself) for seeing a therapist. stop it there. educate those people. we need to vote, we need to talk to our local officials (because that's really how things get done) about issues, we need to be more of a presence in our communities.
mental health is such a complicated issue, and i think that's what makes a lot of people so scared to deal with it. but we need to, to make any changes we have to do something.
this month is #vlogtober, which usually implies that i'm supposed to make a video/post a day....but we all know that's not happening. so, i've put a pause on some discussions i started about body image and this transition back to america. i'm going to make more than one video and post a week (most likely two) and i'm going to focus on mental health issues that have been dragged through the media and have a public misunderstanding. i'm trying to channel this rage towards something more meaningful.