I have been saddened lately by all of the news of men and women who have been so despondent and full of despair that they opted to take their lives as the only way of freedom from the torment of mental illness and depression.
The latest was the suicide of Titi Branch Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Miss Jessie’s hair care products which happen to be available at over 422 Target stores. At the height of her career, she still felt alone and I am certain believed that no one really cared. Or, maybe we can talk about a very prominent young blogger by the name Karyn Washington who started the popular For Brown Girls blog to encourage young ladies to accept and appreciate themselves unconditionally. Karyn was a young and intelligent champion for Black women and a powerful voice we needed in this earth.
Finally, one of the funniest men on earth, Mr. Robin Williams made the earth stand still on the day it was announced that he had given up all hope and succumbed to suicide. Though we do not know the circumstances surrounding these suicide death’s, one thing is for certain, if we lived in a world that was more accepting of individuals how they are, they would most likely have sought out the help needed and shared more openly.
It is time to break this taboo about mental illness and challenge all of the belief’s about the illness. It is time to challenge all of the views, perceptions and even discriminatory practices against the millions of people who suffer openly and the millions who suffer silently.
Having grown up in the African American community, I must say that it was (is) damn near impossible to really get the true support that one will need. We have been taught that we are stronger than that! Pray about it! Shake it off! and Get over it! When the truth is that we all have intricate and delicate brains that are seeking compassion for not only others but from ourselves. Yes, we are too hard on ourselves and push ourselves to do and be too much which ultimately disappoints us. It is this belief that ultimately triggers depression and other forms of mental illness.
Though I do not understand the pain of ‘on-going’ mental illness, I know the pain associated with clinical depression and suicide ideologies first-hand. The thing for me is that I am not ashamed and will tell and share my story whenever I am prompted if I know it will make someone stronger and help them to continue to fight until their deliverance comes.
My hope is that everyone will realize that each person we encounter is suffering from something and even though we may not be able to see their pain, be gentle and realize that they may need a kind word from you to make it through. This is something that I’ve had to get back to as I allowed the actions of others to make me react in a way that can be destructive. Thank God for second chances and the ability to realize one’s wrong in order to get it right.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or any other form of mental health, seek help. Contact t 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Other national and international groups such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Freedom from Fear provide lists of resources and ways to find help for depression and mental illness.
We’d never say, “It’s just cancer, get over it!” so, let’s treat depression and mental illness the same way we’d treat any other disease.
Move Forward In Righteousness XOXO ♥