I am a firm believer that I cannot be a good advocate for mental health, unless I speak my truth.
I’ve always been told, “you don’t have to tell people your business,” or “everyone doesn’t need to know, xy and z.” It is this belief that holds us back from being true to ourselves. Mental health is bigger than depression, ADHD, schizophrenia, and bi-polar. Mental health is everyday life for some people, people you would least expect to be having problems.
Mental health for me is PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), anxiety, and depression. PTSD is was learning at 7 that my father was murdered during a robbery and growing up with the mind frame that being outside too late or in unfamiliar surroundings, I too will suffer the same fate. ADHD is what I didn’t want to accept but knew I had and struggled to make it through college because of. Anxiety is losing my best friend in 2016 and being plagued by the thought of when I will lose someone else dear to me. Depression was waking up on random mornings crying over the loss of my best friend, not effectively doing my work duties, feeling too heavy to move out of bed, and not wanting to be social with anyone. This was, and still sometimes is, my reality.
I believe that it is my duty to speak up about these things because if I don’t, who will. We all know someone who has or is going through due to unforeseen life events. This is reality for a lot of people and it is not talked about enough, especially in the black community. It is time that we begin to end some of these stigmas. Seeking help and utilizing counseling services does not make you crazy, and speaking up about what you’re going through does not make you a weak individual. In fact, it makes you a role model for those who are too afraid to speak up themselves, or may not have the appropriate support system to tell them what it is that they need to hear. Sometimes all it takes is that one person to speak their truth! #SpeakYourTruth