A very well respected community leader committed suicide last week. I attended his memorial service and I was so moved, confused, and sadden. This was a man that has served people globally and yet decided it was time to go. I can't say that this person had some underlying mental illness. I don't know. I don't know what was on his heart and why he chose this time to leave but he did.
Mental wellness is the last frontier of health. Even with the mind, body, spirit concept, the body and the spirit get much attention while leaving the mind left alone as if its not a part of the equation. We think about our bodies in terms of what the scale says and we think about our spirit in terms of what god we serve but miss the connection with the mind. Being mentally well effects everything we do, believe, and how we live.
It is easy for me to fall into a depressive state. I don't have problems admitting this battle because I'm very aware. I have to do affirmations. I have to pray and mediate. I have to be purposeful in seeing the LIGHT of life instead of finding comfort in the dark alley ways of my thoughts and mind. It can be a battle because I still fight with the concept of HOPE. If you've followed my blog, you know its been a long road with this thing, HOPE but I address it.
African Americans and some other cultures in which spiritually is so much a part of the way of life, dealing with mental illness is a taboo subject and yet something so prevalent in our communities. Sometimes God wants us to go sit in a chair and deal with ourselves. We need therapy. We need to stop saving face. We need to be stripped down and deal with the mess. I know I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and so many people do.
"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat." - National Institute of Mental Health
We must learn that its not a sign of weakness to admit to having a mental illness or that we're just not feeling mental well at some point. I try to be transparent so that others will be ok with admitting they are suffering on the inside and that they need help. Its ok. First of all, be true to yourself. Start the process of healing by being honest and then asking for help. Get ya mind right.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline