I’m tired of staying silent about mental health issues. Poor mental health is running rampant in our society and too many people are suffering in silence. Yes, even people like me in the black community too...No, struggling with mental health issues isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness. No, people with mental health issues aren’t "just seeking attention." Mental illnesses are chronic debilitating illnesses that, if not properly managed, can wreak havoc on a persons well-being in mind, body, and spirit.
MY PERSONAL STRUGGLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
I've struggled with chronic depression, social anxiety, substance abuse, and disordered eating for years. I speak from personal experience when I say that poor mental health can be just as devastating as any physical ailment or disease. A typical depressive episode for me is marked by extreme social withdrawal, low energy, excess sleep, poor eating habits, poor hygiene, and suicidal ideation that can last for days, weeks, months, or even years if left untreated.
WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?
Mental disorders encompass a range of illnesses from mood disorders like depression & bipolar, to eating disorders, addictions, ocd, schizophrenia, & even intellectual & developmental disabilities like adhd & autism. Although a person might not have a diagnosed mental health disorder, they can still suffer from poor mental health. Just as well, not everyone's mental health issues are of the same severity. Like physical ailments, they can range from mild, to moderate, to severe. It all depends on many factors including genetics, environment, what types of coping skills a person has, and a person's overall physical health.
PREVALENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year.
Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.
CONSEQUENCES OF LACK OF TREATMENT
Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.
Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.
Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.
An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–14, and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.
I DON'T WANT TO END UP AS JUST ANOTHER STATISTIC
That's why I created this blog. If my mental health issues have taught me anything, it would be just how important a good daily self care regimen is to a persons overall well-being, mental illness or not. My struggles with mental health have also taught me that taking care of the body is just as important as taking care of the mind. This includes eating higher quality foods that nourish the body and getting in more daily physical exercise, both of which have been proven to not only have a positive impact on physical health but also on our mental health as well.
HOLISTIC (MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT) HEALTH AND ENERGY HEALING - THE NEW MEDICINE
Like many people who've struggled with chronic mental health issues, I've tried everything from individual therapy, group therapy, antidepressants, to even inpatient treatment when the demands of coping with life became too great for me. None of those treatments helped long term and actually they ultimately dis-empowered me from realizing my own power within to heal myself. Unlike western medicine, holistic health isn't about popping a pill and hoping for the best. It isn't about focusing on one aspect of health (mental) and neglecting the others (physical and spiritual). It isn't about treating symptoms rather than root causes. Instead, holistic health is a form of healing that considers the whole person, mind, body, spirit, and emotions, in the quest for optimal health and wellness. Holistic health is about creating a daily atmosphere of healing that consistently nourishes, refines, and balances one's mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy to promote overall health.
I created this blog for a few reasons. Firstly, to share my own recovery towards optimal health using a holistic approach. Secondly, to be a voice for other people living with mental illness. Through this blog I hope to help eradicate the many social stigmas related to mental illness. I also hope to spread awareness about the devastating effects of mental illness and empower those suffering to take back control of their lives using a less invasive multifaceted approach towards healing that not only empowers mental health, but physical and spiritual health as well. Lastly, I created this blog as a resource for all beings, mental illness or not, to learn more about the power of energy healing and holistic health to empower themselves and improve their lives.
Welcome to my blog and thank you for being a part of this journey towards greater awareness in mind, body, and spirit with me. I believe that with patience, good daily habits, and a lot of self love, those of us who are suffering won’t have to end up as just another statistic.