I am still heartbroken about what I experienced yesterday and I’m thankful my mom @mslemonrose
was here to fight for me. Everyone knows that more & more black women are dying before, during or after childbirth. My high-risk pregnancy has shown me that even though I’m vegan & live a healthy active lifestyle that even I can experience issues like anemia and gestational diabetes. #swipeleft
to hear how I felt about what happened to me yesterday after a black (male) OBGYN doctor told me to my face, “There’s nothing wrong with you so we will take you off of IV meds and put you on pills so we can send you home!” Then an Internal Medicine dr came in and my Mom snapped on her because she was rude & each dr wanted to just sign off on me to send me home so quickly. About 4 out of the 6 drs making decisions & requests for tests were minorities. No one believed me and none of them properly assessed me. My mom angrily made ONE request that honestly I feel like saved my life. She asked that they send Physical therapy to my room to take me for a walk assessment & see what they had to say about me being mobile enough to go home. In that assessment my oxygen levels were extremely low. So guess what? I couldn’t go home. Then that same OBGYN who told me nothing was wrong with me told us well we need a CT SCAN of her chest now. The results came back that there was a pulmonary embolism on the left side of my chest. “We can’t watch Black women die” is something I thought of immediately because they were willing to send me home to see if I would be back after another episode or worse off dead on arrival. It’s so critical that I have family & my support system around me at this time. If I didn’t I don’t know what would’ve happened #breakofdawn #maternityhealth #healthylivingbipolar #pregnancy #blackmamasmatter #healthcare #sickandtired
About a week & half ago I had a seizure like episode & @cmastudio
took action, got help & an ambulance arrived to take me to Northside Hospital Labor & Delivery emergency. It took a MRI to rule out the seizure, but in five minutes I thought I died. When I woke up a hospital rep asked me a lot of “living will/advance directive” questions. I already had a living will in place, but didn’t edit it after my divorce. This entire hospital visit was about a week long and the experience scared the shit out of me. So I calIed my Attorney to my bedside. I couldn’t stop thinking about my boys & my family. I was grateful that my Aunt @phyllislorena
(POA) could mobilize my cousins @moniquealexiswalke @mississippiraisedme
to assist me, get my Mom @mslemonrose
in town within hours & even @thanksnikki
showed up immediately at the hospital. Estate planning isn’t fun, but it is NECESSARY! I finalized edited details for my living will, advance directive & POAs on this past Friday. I am not a millionaire, but IF anything happened to me tomorrow my POAs would know what to legally do on my behalf. At 35, I never thought I would be pregnant again (post divorce) let alone it be high-risk. This episode woke me TF up. While I was in the hospital my Mother was there with me every single day. Imagine the black women who don’t have anyone to be there let alone speak up for them while in severe pain. I think about the black mothers who die while giving birth & although I’m scared of that I know God will see us through. Just in case that doesn’t happen I know I’ve lifted a huge burden off of my family regarding my arrangements if I die. Period. Pregnancy isn’t all GLAM, cute or fun for a lot of women & I just want to share what I’ve been going through. Baby Grace is fine & I am still not well. Early Saturday AM my cousin had to call 911 because I had another seizure like episode. I am hopeful we will find out what’s going on with me, but deep down I’m terrified #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #pregnancy #healthcare #estateplanning #maternityhealth
LITERALLY PREGNANT!Late September I got sick after leaving my Managing Editor position at Atlanta Voice newspaper. I didn’t think anything of it because football season was starting for Fans Favorite Fan and it was time to travel. Next thing I knew I was at my dr office & he told me I couldn’t travel for one weekend. The following weekend after that would be the last college football game I would cover for the season & hell on this journey began for me. When I got back from Tampa & seeing Sean B I knew something wasn’t right. My divorce was finalized by now and I was ready to move on to my next chapter & then I found out through an ultrasound I was pregnant. GOD had other plans for me. I found out at my 2nd doctor’s visit with my OBGYN that because of my age (35) my pregnancy is high-risk. I laughed, but come to find out it was true. I had to start seeing 2-3 drs per week because they didn’t know if I could carry this baby or if WE would survive. One diagnosis was triploidy and it scared the shit out of me. Options were discussed, but abortion was not an option because when I found out it was a girl I said I had to have her. Because of my health & history, I told my OBGYN & Perinatal dr that IF God wants me to have her I will. So they made sure to monitor to me weekly & ever since then I’ve been in the hospital for at least twice a month since with complications or issues. Today I’m just tired. This journey has taught me a lot about myself & God’s “GRACE”. We have two more months to go & if we make it I have a story to tell. So many women deal with this process alone mentally & physically. Therapy has helped. Friends & Family have helped me, but I still feel alone. I pray I get to see her face because out of everything I’ve been through the hardest decision was choosing her. I chose love & that’s exactly what I have left to give #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #pregnancy #blendedfamilymatters
Last year I didn’t even bother posting a throwback picture, but this year I had to. I am 35 years old today 🎉and all I can think about is in a few months I’ll give birth to a baby girl who hopefully isn’t like me in some ways. I’ve worked through a lot of hurt & pain from my childhood & teenage years in therapy (in the last 4-5 years) and then God said, “Here you go. I trust you with this gift!” I’ve questioned why and I pray hard every night that she doesn’t have to go/grow through the same shit I went through in life. Yes it made me who I am, but breaking generational curses, BS & trauma shouldn’t be a part of her story. I’m terrified and nervous AF about raising a girl & I have to thank my Mom @mslemonrose
for raising me the way she did. Today as I celebrate another year around the sun I can’t help but think that God finally chose me to raise a queen because he found me worthy. I am fully accepting this role in my life. My sons (kings) are my everything and she will blend right in with her half siblings as well. I mean just look at my fist in this picture 🤣 I do hope she has some fight in her because this momma doesn’t play about her children while fighting for my life daily. Happy 35 to me. By the “GRACE” of God I made it #breakofdawn #happybirthday #healthylivingbipolar #mother #blendedfamilymatters #FOE #blackgirlmagic #continues
this year I started out married (separated) and ended the year divorced. This year I started out with 3 jobs (two different industries) and by the end of the year I kept one. This year I trusted myself more & did what I wanted to do as God spoke to me along the way. This year I saved more and changed my life financially while meeting personal goals. I have a testimony that I will share in 2019 and right now at the end of this year I’m still afraid to share it. Every moment, every person, every lie and every failure was needed to get to this point because what God has for ME in 2019 no one can stop. It’s funny that these are considered my best nine because in real life this doesn’t even count as my best. I just looked good through the mess of 2018, remained professional & GRACEful while keeping my head up through it all. God I thank you for my life & my children #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar
I can’t do this life without them. I pray for them every day and sometimes our #blendedfamilymatters
gets really tough for me. I know it’s hard for them too, but as hard as WE work to make sure they’re okay this world will have them thinking otherwise. I want to protect them. I want to shield them. I don’t want them to go through what I’ve gone through in life. This is where faith steps in to help ease my bipolar mind. I need to rest. I haven’t been sleep because I miss them. I heard from both of them yesterday (which is shocking when they’re both not with me right now) and I was worried that I am not doing enough. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll die trying to make sure they know why. Why I’ve been fighting for them and why I fight for my life every damn day #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #imissmyboys #thisisok #blackboyjoy #throwback
Thanks to everyone who has supported me in my role as Managing Editor at @theatlantavoice.
Today was my last day and I’ve done a lot over the past year there. Won @nnpablackpress
award for my story on @jasminecrowe
, helped organized an internship program for AV after completing my task with @nnpadtu
, mentored at least 10 black students who will work in the media industry, learned more about advertising & closing deals while writing/telling countless stories that were the result of my genuine connection to the people in the city of Atlanta. I am grateful that now I can focus in on @fansfavoritefan
, my blended family and my new projects/business ventures to come in 2019/2020. I had an anxiety attack yesterday because I was fearful about what’s to come. That’s normal and my #mentalhealthmatters
. This is a #bigleap
for me and I have to figure it out as I go. It’s a new day and a better Dawn ready to go after what’s for her! Time to really #trusttheprocess
and strengthen my faith as I grow. I was told at the age of 15 that I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing in life now. God got me here and he will make sure I’m good. For that I am grateful 📸 @picturemane
courtesy of @jmpr_llc #media #blackgirlmagic #breakofdawn #blessed #healthylivingbipolar
Fact: I’m getting older and my skin has drastically changed over the past three years. I can say that I know why, but I can also say that I’m going to do better. Between going through this separation & divorce to traveling more in the past year than I have all my life to being stressed out about work & my children to my hormones to just it’s life I realized what I needed to do. Recognize there’s a problem and seek help! This is the only thing that I’ll agree to using certain chemicals on my body & @cmastudio
gave me time to do my own research. All I wanted to do was get my full GLOW back and come up with a consistent regimen I can maintain while traveling. Just because I’m VEGAN doesn’t mean my skin will always be perfect. My skin started to dry out because of coffee & travel. So now that I know better I can BE BETTER. In pictures you couldn’t tell, but it wasn’t because of a filter. I have good skin but I also know it was great a few years ago. I know how my skin used to be and in the past 6 months it’s had a mind of its own. So here I am making time for me & making sure I can still be the FINE MILF THAT I AM. Cause imma be that anyway 😘 Song by: @tasiasword
“Truth is” #breakofdawn #skincare #facial #blackgirlmagic #blackownedbusiness #cmastudio #healthylivingbipolar
Two words: Somebody’s Mama 🤣 Only folks who follow @hbcugameday
know where that came from, but I am that. That’s one role in life I am most proud of and if you met my sons then you know WHY. Christopher turns 7 tomorrow and Sean B turns 13 next week. I can’t believe how much they’ve grown, but I remember how they changed my life when I brought them into this world. So here’s to me (MILF status went up) before I celebrate one son’s birthday and the two men who helped me make our children possible. For someone who’s been through so much and folks have left me for dead I look damn good to be still standing. LIVING ON PURPOSE AND I KNOW YOU ARE MAD 😜Grateful for our #blendedfamilymatters
👗@msfe @theassemblylineco #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #clapforyourself
to when I drove home 6 hours to be with my Mother @mslemonrose
on her birthday to fulfill one of her wishes. My sister @delysemjones
& I took her to the #TwoMississippiMuseums
and was able to see a part of our family’s legacy on display #swipe
to see. I know my history. I love my VOICE. I’ll never forget where I’m from nor where I am headed. I contributed to the #MississippiCivilRightsMuseum
and you guys they got it RIGHT! Every detail in there was amazing & as hurtful as this experience was I was grateful that my Mom wanted to share this with us. #FACT
My mom loves history and she made us do book reports on EVERYTHING! (She still does 🤦🏽♀️) Her love for history & making sure we know our family’s past has helped us educate our children so that they know who they are. I don’t wait on anyone to define ME for ME. You can’t deny me. You can’t dim my light so you can shine. God has me covered & what’s destined for me NO ONE CAN STOP #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #Mississippi #VernonDahmer #Hattiesburg
Before I left town again (mind you I’ve only been back in ATL for 48 hours lol) I went to see my TeeTee Phyllis who is my second mom. She’s my mother @mslemonrose
’s sister and she has always been there for me. Between my TeeTee, my grandmother (RIP) and my Mom I am always covered with love NO MATTER WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MY LIFE. This woman has helped me when I had meningitis 3 times, when I went back to school & moved back to Atlanta back in 2007 and even when I had to admit myself at Northside Hospital for a #72hourhold
back in 2013. My TeeTee inspires me to be a better woman and being who I am caught the eyes of @perrierusa.
I found out today that I’m a part of the #PerrierLeCrew
as a #PerrierAmbassador
now. I’m thankful I could share this moment with her while wishing her #happymothersday
as my second mom. Y’all see she grab some, Lol! Here’s to finding your flavor inspiration with @perrier @perrierusa
now let’s DRANK #breakofdawn #perrier #brandambassador #mentalhealthawareness #healthylivingbipolar
(yesterday) I was invited to a dinner that I would normally pass on because I would be in my feelings about my personal #mentalhealth
story on this day. So many times I’ve shut myself off because I can’t deal with everyone’s energy. I’ve also shut myself off because I am reminded on this day of the many times I’ve attempted to take my own life BUT I AM STILL HERE. Last night I gave someone else an opportunity to cover an event so that I could show up to support someone else. I ended up supporting myself because I realized that life does go on. I am a survivor of many things, but I don’t thrive off those narratives anymore. It’s okay to have gone/grown through things and MOVE ON. There were SEVEN women at this table, present (not on social media the whole time), NO EGOS, no competition but just wanting to know more about each other and how we all can help one another. The only person not pictured is @anamdesigns
who put this together and unselfishly caught a moment that we shared as we got to know each other better. Asia, thank you for giving me a seat at the table. I know you were thanking us for supporting you, but I have to thank you for supporting me after all of these years. The food & service at @kinganddukeatl
was PHENOMENAL and the energy shared between us all was electrifying #breakofdawn #mentalhealthmatters #healthylivingbipolar
Thank you @mariahcarey
for sharing your #mentalhealth
journey. Mariah stated that she was diagnosed with #BipolarDisorder
Type II back in 2001. I was a junior in high school & dealing with my diagnosis during that time. During my junior year I was bullied for a lot of things that no one really understood because no one in our community talked/knew about #mentalillnesses
. I turned to music a lot during that time and I’ve shared with you all how MUSIC IS THERAPY FOR ME. This is by far one of the most amazing things Mariah has done for someone like me #healthylivingbipolar
and she is one of the greatest artists EVER. Her music is in my #BipolarTherapy
playlists and TWO of her songs that instantly lift me out of a depressive episode is “Ill Be Lovin’ U Long Time” ft @troubleman31
(who co-wrote it) that was co-produced by @iamdjtoomp
AND “You Don’t Know What to Do” ft @wale
co-produced by @jermainedupri
& (my favorite producer) @bryanmichaelcox.
This particular album “ME... I AM MARIAH” alone has songs on it that really hit me hard and I couldn’t explain it. Now I can. Listen to Camouflage, Heavenly, The Art of Letting Go, You’re Mine & Make it Look Good. Mariah you are so beautiful and you are a phenomenal woman for standing in your truth. Thank you for sharing your angelic voice with us for decades and now sharing this part of your life with us. I pray that you will find treatment that helps you to be #healthylivingbipolar
and that your support system uplifts you during this time 🙏🏽✨ #breakofdawn #mariahcarey #mentalhealthawareness #silencetheshame
: Uncomfortable. Shoes didn’t fit. Learned new poses on set. Frustrated because I was overlooked for modeling jobs because I didn’t fit their definition of beauty. Oh but GOD had something for that. Grateful for the opportunities this one photo shoot gave me afterwards. Grew as a model and then entered another chapter in my life. Still uncomfortable, but I pushed through. This is one of my favorite images of me from my Modeling career and I have to thank my best friend Designer @charlesfd
for always seeing something in me I didn’t understand nor see myself. LA & NY Agencies came calling afterwards and before I could sign anything I decided to take another path with my life. @hdtheagency
has always been there and I’m excited about what we are working on during this chapter in my life. Thanks Photographer @robertector
and MUA @latashawright
because I’ll never forget the MAGIC we created on this day and how this helped me face life head on afterwards. We you have IT you don’t have to convince others. I never have and never will try to convince people I’m something I’m not. This image is just breathtaking and it just so happens to be during the most uncomfortable time in my life yet I was able to pose through it #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #throwback
vintage 2012 🤣
In life you meet people and go about your way. However, there are people God will place in your life for a lifetime. When I had the modeling world “not so figured out” I was able to speak with @breakofdmg
and now in this world of entrepreneurship I’m able to grow with her in a new lane. Thankful for you and forever appreciative of you. ❤️.
Thank you Tiffani for your kind words! You know I feel the same way about you as well. Many people doubted you & myself! You’re from Alabama & I’m from Mississippi and no “MODEL” has done what we set out to do years ago. The point here is we’ve empowered each other through every chapter of our lives. From Modeling to Motherhood to Marriage to Getting our Degrees to Divorce to Business Owners to Women who just want to see others win! We’ve used our PAIN to birth our PURPOSE and we continue to GROW THROUGH IT. Thank you for being a shoulder for me last night. I love you and your children so much. Bless you 🙏🏽✨ #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar
📸 Christopher 🤣
Don’t watch me falling and say, “Oh you got this girl!” Don’t lend me your hand why holding your phone in the other to take a picture of how you helped me & then post it online. Don’t act like you support me when you hate to see me rise above every obstacle that comes at me & wonder how I did that. Just Don’t. God is there. He has me. A few family members & friends are consistently there. I don’t rely on anyone’s word anymore because honestly I know it’s more folks out here that would rather see me fall so they can have something else to talk about. It’s been that way all of my life and I can’t wait to yell “VICTORY” again while you sit there trying to figure out how I got back up from almost losing it all. Don’t be that bird #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar
One of my go-to spots around Minneapolis has been @freshii.
I eat to live and not the other way around. My mind, body & soul are energized when I consistently eat what’s good for me. Traveling is more fun when I know I won’t fall off of how I eat daily, don’t have to go out of my way to get things I need & there’s places like this that cater to me. BTW, @mallofamerica
is too DANG BIG but it’s nice though 📸 @brizbee2u #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #vegantales #EatEnergize
Testimony: “If you allow it your narrative will hinder you so much so that you will end up using your own story as a weapon against yourself”— Minister @mnakery
said this last night at @bigbethelthrives.
This hit me hard. I’ve been telling my story for over 15 years and only a few things have changed in my story. Now that a lot has changed because I have evolved I have to tell a different story. A new story about this new me. I know “New Year, New Me” gets old, but honestly it’s the truth for me. As I deal privately with one major change that I held on to because of security & it being a huge chunk of my story I know that God gave me all of this to deal with because of how I’ve used my voice to share my life. Many people try to ignore me. Mental illness isn’t cute and how dare I give a face/voice to bipolar disorder. A lot more people try to silence my voice. A woman in sports... that created her own lane... I made a space for me & others to thrive in an industry that wants us to hide. God continues to place me where I need to be so that I can help someone else along their journey speak up. I am more mindful of the words I speak. I still curse (work in progress) and I know that there are other areas of myself I need to work on as well. I never said I was perfect. I never said that anything that happened to me didn’t hurt me. Pain has birthed purpose in my life and shedding those illusions allowed me to reveal this version of ME. I’m not ashamed of who I am and what I’ve been through, but I can’t keep telling my story the same way I have been. This new ministry created at @bigbethelamec
has been something I’ve dedicated time to because I needed to be closer to God. Serving God has never been something I had to question but understanding my purpose & how to stand firm in it had me confused. “Well they don’t want to hear me God?” “Well they don’t care that I went through that” “What am I to do now?” Change the narrative. Do his work. Live on purpose in my purpose. Know that God will continue to make a way for me. I trust him & this process. This is my journey #breakofdawn #healthylivingbipolar #bigbethelthrives
So why are people suffering in silence?
Shame, lack of trust, socioeconomic status, lack of information, misunderstanding of mental health, faith, spirituality, access to healthcare, stigma, community judgement -These are a few reasons that prevent people from speaking out, seeking treatment and receiving quality care.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Services, African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious psychological distress, such as major depression, suicide, PTSD, and anxiety than non-Hispanic whites. Yet a study by the American Psychological Association found that young adult blacks, especially those with higher levels of education, are significantly less likely to seek mental health services than their white counterparts.
Despite the increased awareness of mental illness and the reduction of stigma against people like me who live with a mental illness, it is still difficult to be open about what it is like to live with a mental illness. Brain disorders have a stigma that other illnesses do not have and yet there is no health without mental health. We would be terrified to know the kind of deep suffering the happiest looking people are able to hide inside themselves. A cultural shift is needed to foster a climate in which friends and loved ones can seek non-judgmental support for a mental health condition. This could make the difference in helping others feel empowered to get the help they may need. Don’t suffer in silence…✅💚
#MentalHealthMonday #MentalIllness #MentalHealthMatters #BlackManBipolar #Awareness #BreakTheStigma #HealthyLivingBipolar #MentalHealth #EndTheStigma #BipolarDisorder #Health #Wellness #MentalHealthAwareness #Life #Support #Anxiety #Depression #Advocate #Education #Stigma #Suicide #BPD #OCD #MentalHealthAdvocate #schizophrenia #Advocate #DontSufferInSilence #SilenceTheShame #YouAreNotAlone
When you struggle with a mental illness, whatever kind, there is a feeling of shame that often accompanies it and it is easy to get into the habit of not addressing your needs. Because of that core foundation of shame, It easy to adopt the habit of saying, “I’m fine” when you really are not fine. I personally felt like I knew 200 ways to say, “I’m fine” and to paint a rosy picture of life. There were times I wanted to be 'fine' so badly I tried to force it. I would lie through my teeth in hopes that the more I said it, the truer it would be.
We, as people, are so often apologizing for being human, fallible and imperfect. We say we are OK when we aren’t because we don’t want to burden others with the truth. It’s easier to lie. The reality is I’m not always fine. I struggle. I need help. I have doctors and a therapist and I need medication. I will not be ashamed of that. I am not a victim nor will I pretend to be. I expect the same things of myself I should expect: I expect to work hard, regardless of how I feel. I expect to take an active part in my own joy and happiness. I expect to work to improve my relationships with others. I expect myself to be a functioning adult member of society. But, I need a little help to do that…and that’s OK. Never apologize for being human. Never lie because you are ashamed of the truth. Because, in the end, it’s the truth that sets us free. I am learning to accept my different states of being. At the end, or at the start…✅💚
#MentalHealthMonday #MentalIllness #MentalHealthMatters #BlackManBipolar #Awareness #BreakTheStigma #HealthyLivingBipolar #MentalHealth #EndTheStigma #BipolarDisorder #Health #Wellness #MentalHealthAwareness #Life #Support #Anxiety #Depression #Advocate #Education #Stigma #Suicide #BPD #OCD #MentalHealthAdvocate #schizophrenia
If you had a cold or the flu, you’d likely need to stay home and rest — and no one would call you "weak" for getting the flu. In fact, people would prefer you to stay inside to keep from getting others sick. Mental health rarely gets the same respect. Instead, people are told to “get over it” when they’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or similar issues. But mental health is part of your overall health. If you don’t proactively address it, you won’t be able to perform at your best.
Just like electronic devices need recharging, it's important to take time to charge your own batteries. A little alone time or an opportunity to practice some self-care can help you perform better. Also, take a day when you need to attend appointments to care for your mental health. Whether you need to see your doctor to get your medication adjusted or you need to schedule an appointment with your therapist, taking a day off to address your mental health needs is instrumental in helping you be at your best.
Mental health is a continuum, and we all likely have room for improvement. Taking a mental health day every once in a while could help you build mental strength and improve your mental health.
TAKE A DAY! ✅💚
#MentalHealthMonday #MentalIllness #MentalHealthMatters #BlackManBipolar #Awareness #BreakTheStigma #HealthyLivingBipolar #MentalHealth #EndTheStigma #BipolarDisorder #Health #Wellness #MentalHealthAwareness #Life #Support #Anxiety #Depression #Advocate #Education #Stigma #Suicide #BPD #OCD #MentalHealthAdvocate #schizophrenia
When someone shares their story, you need to understand something – it’s not just about them. It’s not something you do because you had a free afternoon and just casually felt like it. Letting people in on the uncomfortable details of my life is not ideal. However, it is necessary. It is necessary for people to understand how mental illness affects my everyday life. It is necessary that people understand how, at times, it has made me question my self-worth and purpose. It is necessary that people understand how anxiety and depression affects friendships and relationships. It is necessary that you know and understand what a bad day is versus a good day in the life of someone with a mental illness. It is necessary that you understand how at times I feel as though I exhaust people by simply existing. It is necessary that you know I’m (as well as others are) still fighting all of it. It is necessary that you know there is hope. It is necessary you know you are not alone. Every time I sit down to write, my focus is on how I can add my story to the larger narrative to move it forward to help people. I feel an obligation to promote understanding and acceptance. Together we can work to remove the stigma.✅ 💚
#MentalHealthMonday #MentalIllness #MentalHealthMatters #BlackManBipolar #Awareness #BreakTheStigma #HealthyLivingBipolar #MentalHealth #EndTheStigma #BipolarDisorder #Health #Wellness #MentalHealthAwareness #Life #Support #Education #Stigma #Suicide #BPD #OCD #MentalHealthAdvocate #Anxiety #Depression #Attention
There are a lot of men who struggle silently with mental health issues without bringing them to anybody’s attention. According to studies, the prevalence of mental illness is higher among women than men (6 percent of American women have a serious mental illness, compared with 3 percent of men) but because of the stigma; that is due to the large underreporting of mental illness in men.
Looking at the degree of underreporting, there is little dispute mental illness is a major issue for men as well as women. For example, suicide is far more common among men. Around 90% of people who die by suicide have risk factors such as mental or substance-abuse disorders. 78% are by men. Psychotherapy traditionally has been used more with women than men, largely because men tend to hesitate to talk to mental-health professionals. It is more common for women to talk about relationship and interpersonal issues.
The high rate of male suicide points to a concern that men are less willing to seek counseling than women. Experts agree that it is likely to be a combination of factors, from society's expectation of 'men' to a desire to solve one's own problems. Mental health initiatives and advocates have looked to change the stigma surrounding mental health and particularly the stigma of asking for support. The truth is, all of us need the support of others at some point in our lives - regardless of gender.
Talking to a professional is a way to take back control. This will help towards establish healthier ways of thinking and devise coping mechanisms. It has been shown to help with many of the key mental health issues experienced by men, including stress, anxiety, addiction and depression. The key is recognizing that you need support and seeking help before these problems get on top of you. ✅💚
#MentalHealthMonday #MentalIllness #MentalHealthMatters #BlackManBipolar #Awareness #BreakTheStigma #Men #HealthyLivingBipolar #MentalHealth #EndTheStigma #BipolarDisorder #Health #Wellness #Anxiety #Depression #PanicAttacks #MentalHealthAwareness #Life #Support #Education #Stigma #MentalHealthAdvocate #Suicide #Awareness #Counseling
Maia C. Campbell…. I pray that GOD places his arms around you to comfort, strengthen and guide you. I pray that HE enables you to take steps for recovery and bless you with the persistence to persevere in the fight to be free. To give courage and hope to you and your family, drawing yall close together in the power of HIS love, which can transform the living. “Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.”
I refused to share/repost the video of Maia at her worst. I chose this video because it showed a part of what seemed like a step towards admittance, acceptance, and understanding of her life's choices and paths. And although Iyanla's approach can be brash at times, I appreciate her for she doesn’t try to control people but she get individuals to admit the root of the issue. Most people have a long story as to why they do what they do but there is a truth and fact as to what it is. When you get people to admit and speak on what it actually is; they can begin to heal. She stirs them so they can face the issue head-on.
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. It runs an unpredictable course of ups and downs. When left untreated, these ups and downs can be devastating. The recurring manic and depressive episodes that characterize the disease make it difficult to lead a stable, productive life. Successful treatment of bipolar disorder depends on a combination of factors. Medication alone is not enough. In order to get the most out of treatment, it's important to educate yourself about the illness, communicate with your doctors and therapists, have a strong support system, and help yourself by making healthy lifestyle choices.
I pray that Maia finds the help and the love that she needs. My heart truly goes out to her. 🙏🏾💚
This has to be one of the worst things to say to a person with bipolar disorder. It’s so unbelievably dismissive and invalidating of a medical illness that I can barely fathom it. My response to this statement is “NO.” a thousand times no. Seriously. To suggest that everyone is a little bit bipolar shows an absolute ignorance of bipolar disorder and of mental illness in general.
People have a notion that being bipolar is about being “happy” and “sad” and about having “mood swings.” Yeah. Comparing bipolar moods to “happy” and “sad” is like comparing a sun to a flickering candle. So people make the outrageous assumption that because some people are moody, because some people really are, happy and sad at intervals, these people are somehow a little bipolar. Depression is not “sadness.” Sadness is when you break up with your significant other – real and normal – depression is about destroying everything in your life including your will to breathe. It’s about painful, physical symptoms along with a persistent psychological reality that can drive people to death. And mania (or hypomania) is not “happiness.” Mania is a state of such grand mood that it endangers the life of the person experiencing it or those around them. It destroys judgement and can induce psychosis. In addition, happiness can be the furthest thing from a person’s mind if they find irritability to be the major feature where other people simply breathing air ticks you right off. So, are people a little bit suicidal? Are people a little bit psychotic? No, they’re not. They’re normal people have normal experiences that vary within a normal range at normal intervals. Variance is normal. Illness is not.
What it says to someone with Bipolar is that bipolar isn’t real. It says bipolar isn’t that bad. It says that bipolar isn’t a serious illness. Tell the families of all the people who have died from it. Bipolar is real and serious. So let’s stop comparing and educate ourselves and others on the seriousness of this and other mental health issues. “I guess our work fighting stigma isn't done yet" ✅💚
It's often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that alone doesn't capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests that depression doesn't spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, there are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. It's believed that several of these forces interact to bring on depression.
To be sure, chemicals are involved in this process, but it is not a simple matter of one chemical being too low and another too high. Rather, many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life. With this level of complexity, you can see how two people might have similar symptoms of depression, but the problem on the inside, and therefore what treatments will work best, may be entirely different. ✅💚
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Like many relationships, dating someone with a mental illness can be challenging. A common mistake many people make when entering a relationship with someone with a mental illness is they want to fix them. You cannot fix someone with a mental illness, as a relationship doesn’t cure a mental illness. If you get into the relationship thinking you can save them from themselves, you may find yourself putting in so much effort to try to make them happy and get disappointed when they aren’t.
Although mental illness affects the brain, people with mental illness are people first. They have interests, strengths, and weaknesses, and aren’t defined solely by their illness. Trust your partner first and foremost, both about themselves and about their mental health. Different people with the same mental illness may have different needs, and almost certainly have some different experiences.
Understanding, respect and healthy boundaries are important in relationships. I always advocate for straightforward discussions about these things, but it’s particularly vital for a healthy relationship when one person (or both) has mental illness. While mental illness can make relationships tough, everyone comes into a relationship with some sort of baggage. Any relationship is difficult, but with someone with a mental illness, you have to be more careful, but it can work out. If you communicate well with your partner and do your part to learn about mental illness, respect your partner, and establish boundaries, mental illness alone does not need to be a deal breaker in your relationship. 💚✅
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One of the biggest pet peeves of people who suffer from real psychological problems is the fact that people use mental health diagnoses as adjectives in everyday language. It is almost always used inappropriately and has the potential of hurting those who truly suffer from illnesses like OCD, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD etc. If you were not diagnosed with a psychological disorder by a professional; do not use these terms in that context. You may not think it's a big deal, but to those who suffer, it is demeaning. If you find yourself doing that, just apologize and try to do better next time. Changing behaviors and attitudes takes time- Awareness is key! ✅💚 #MentalHealthMondays #MentalIllness #MentalHealthMatters #Awareness #BreakTheStigma #HealthyLivingBipolar #MentalHealth
Taking these 5 steps can significantly help reduce symptoms of anxiety, trauma triggers, and other unwanted emotions or thoughts. With any type of trigger, emotion, or thought that needs coping skills, it is important to always remember to breath! Slow, deep, long breathing can help maintain a sense of calm or help return to a calmer state. Start with deep breathing as the introduction to any coping skill. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Continue this pattern until you find your thoughts slowing down or until necessary. I suggest at least 5 rounds of these sets but more is of course allowed and encouraged. After you are able to find your breath, go through the numbers in order to help ground yourself in present thinking through external factors. ✅💚
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"We don’t fear the illness, we fear the stigma." ✅💚
We’ve created this stigma where it’s socially acceptable to ask for help when you’re physically ill—but when your mind needs help, it’s best to bury it. Leave it hidden. Pretend the problem doesn’t exist. What we fear the most isn’t the dark place that we’re in. What we actually fear the most is that our families won’t understand. That we’ll lose our friends, or our boss will think we aren’t capable of doing our jobs well.
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