As I sat on the bus on the way to work this morning, I wrote out a few goals I wanted to accomplish during my winter break. One of those goals is finding a therapist and permanent mental health care. Although I haven’t been diagnosed, I have been suffering from (what I suspect is) anxiety and depression for a while now. Earlier this year, it got so bad that I ended up withdrawing from classes last semester mere weeks before my final exams. It was bad. I entered temporary individual therapy during the summer and I entered group therapy after the individual was over. Group ended on Monday and now I have to figure out what I want to do to take care of my mental health.
I decided not to go back to group so I’m on the hunt for something outside of GSU and I’m terrified.
Between all of the horror stories I’ve heard and the stigma that comes with mental health issues, dealing with my own stuff has been a struggle. Even writing this blog post and publishing is proving to be quite a task but I am adamant about using my experiences to help others and I think I am honoring that by writing this post. Mental health and illness is something that needs to be discussed especially in light of recent events that have been popping up in the media. I’m sure most of you have heard of Jovan Belcher. That story has been all over the news for the past few days. It has sparked discussions about domestic violence as well as a few murmurs about his potential mental state. Various reports have said Belcher suffered from head injuries due to his pro football career and he had been experiencing relationship issues with his girlfriend and murder victim Kasandra Michelle Perkins. All that aside, I’ve wondered what his mindset was like as he gunned down the mother of his child. As he drove to the his team’s practice facility. As he turned the gun on himself. Then I wonder, were there signs? Could something have been done?
Then I think about another person that has been making media waves for a different reason. I’m sure plenty of you have heard of Katt Williams’ antics that included getting arrested for fighting at a restaurant and slapping a Target employee. Plenty of people, myself included, have joked about it and laughed it off as if this was one of his stand-up routines. But as I thought about these incidents and his behavior, it didn’t seem funny to me anymore. Especially after I saw this video:
It made me really sad. He needs help. His behavior has been dismissed and he has been made into a spectacle but no one seems to be reaching out to him. Even the newscaster dismissed him, calling him “unpredictable” in a flippant tone. Yes, he’s a comedian but he’s also someone’s brother, son and father. That video worries me and it should worry everyone else. As I searched for this video, I scrolled through the comments section and saw this:
Hopefully, Williams will get the help he needs before it’s too late.
As a society, we need to figure out how to handle mental illness. We need to erase the stigma. No one should feel ashamed to seek help nor should they be made into a spectacle when their illness flares up. I suck at conclusions and I’m in my feelings so let me go ahead and just end this post. As usual, I would love to hear your thoughts.
What do you think about these stories? How should society address mental illness? What are your experiences with mental illness?