Mental Health Awareness Questions ( Kim C.)

Instagram: @Loveinthesky
Twitter: @sweetestelaine
Snapchat: awayy0ugo

1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?

· In my childhood, I’ve witnessed certain things but didn’t know there was a term for it. Once I got into high school, I found myself in a very dark space. I had never really been so low and down and out until then. I remember not being sure how to explain myself and when I did, no one understood me. My family didn’t get it, my friends didn’t get it, and my teachers didn’t get it. Once, my aunt tried to have a talk with me because my mom was at her wits end and I can tell she was disappointed in me but at the time I sincerely didn’t know how else to explain the sadness, darkness, and anxiety I felt. When I realized that no one would ever understand, I made the decision to hold it to myself. Sadness was meant for bedtime which meant my nights were going to be long. Full of pain and crying.

· I took Introduction to Psychology as an elective when I transferred high school. It wasn’t until then that I realized that there was a term for what I had been feeling all along. Depression. Anxiety. By then it was too late for me to tell my parents. I didn’t trust anyone at this point. So I held onto my own thoughts, my own feelings, and I would still let the nights take over.

· When I was a sophomore in college, I began therapy. I had 1 teacher/counselor who I was able to talk to and it was solely because he saw the signs. He saw me struggling to keep it together. He called a meeting with me and reached out to a therapist he knew personally. I ended up doing sessions at least once a week and it helped me get better. It was difficult, but it was the best thing I could have ever done.

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge?

· Yes! In fact, I found out that mental illness is in my family. I have close family members who were diagnosed with clinical depression, schizophrenia, OCD, and a few other illnesses. I’m very much aware that there are some mental health issues within in my family which is why I do my best to reach out and speak up when I feel myself spiraling downward or am simply mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. I even check up on them from time to time to make sure they’re doing ok.

3. If so, how was it growing up?

· When I was a child, I wasn’t aware that mental health was a thing. I didn’t know there was a name for it. When things were great, they were great. When they weren’t so great, then it just wasn’t great. I’ve had many of days/nights of crying and not understanding why and what was wrong. I’ve witnessed certain behaviors as a child that left me clueless at the time. Overall, my childhood was ok but when mental illness isn’t treated, those around you suffer with you. So if you’re a parent, friend, or partner, please seek the professional help to get better for those who truly love you and most importantly, for yourself.

4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental intact?

· I’m into so many different things but something that helps the most is reading. I read self-care book, fictional books, or story boards. Reading books or stories gives me access into another world. It temporarily takes me away from my reality. I listen to music that is uplifting, I write (poetry, stories…), play games, and recently I’ve been getting more into the fashion and cosmetology world. Learning a new skill keeps me on my toes. It’s safe and fun for me.

5. What does mental health awareness mean to you?

· Acknowledging that everyone is not ok and that is ok. Being conscious that someone’s “funny acting” behavior can potentially be a cry for help or a symptom of a mental illness. Be patient. Be kind. Be empathetic. Be sympathetic. If it were you, you’d want and need those things too.

So Far, So Good Guys ❤️

Submissions for the #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth questionnaire has been coming in . I’m really grateful for those who’ve participated so far. The goal was to post one story a week but since the request has been rapid I’ve moved it to three stories a week. At this rate I might post more than three a week. That’s insane! I never imagine so many people would support and open up about mental health especially in the black and Hispanic community. I’m proud of us ❤️❤️ Questionnaires, videos etc are still being accepted if you’ll like to support! If you submitted already, your time is coming and I’ll alert you when your entry is being posted. The goal is one a day so everyone has their day. Two if the request keep going up. Thank you !!! #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike ❤️❤️❤️

Mental Health Awareness Questions ( Anonymous #1)

1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?

⁃ 12

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge?

⁃ My mom has anxiety and depression

3. If so, how was it growing up ?

⁃ It was hard cause when she was diagnosed I was old enough to see the change in her and I wanted to make her feel better and I wanted the “old her” back but I had to realize that its not that simple and it takes way more than anything i could do by myself. I had to accept that those feelings were selfish of me and that the best thing i could do was to support her in whatever ways I could.

4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental in tact?

⁃ Bingeing horrible/ classic scary movies, loudly listening to music, spending time with the people I love and the people that love me back.

5. What does mental health awareness mean to you?

⁃ It means paying attention to your own sanity. For me personally I am too giving with my time and energy and sometimes I don’t really realize it until I’m burnt out and don’t have the motivation to do anything. So Im getting into the habit of constantly checking in with myself and making sure I’m mentally okay enough for anything i sign up for and I’m practicing saying no more (with hopes that the world won’t end lol).

Mental Health Awareness Submission (Sonia R. )

“The first time I felt like killing myself was when I was 10 years old. I’ve struggled with my health since I was a baby and I remember being angry at God cuz he made me suffer so much, I was constantly in & out of clinics and any kind of healers my parents came across. I remember telling my mom I wanted to die and wanting reassurance and support from her, to be told I was loved. Instead, she told every family member she could that I wanted to die, not sure what she got out of doing it. From then on, I knew I didn’t have anyone else to support me emotionally, I guess that’s when I realized mental health was a thing.

My dad was always working. My mother was a stay at home wife until I was 15, she was always occupied with things that weren’t me. That was normal to me. I didnt see it as if my parents had any mental issues growing up. They were good providers, I never went hungry, always had a roof over my head and clothes on my back. They just lacked emotional intelligence but that also had to with how they were raised.

As an adult, I struggle with depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts when stressed. I hate antianxiety meds cuz they make me feel too suicidal to function. I take mental health days as often as I can and keep in touch with the few close friends that I have. My creative outlets include sewing, painting, cooking/baking, and I work on learning new ways to create with different mediums.

Mental awareness to me means being mindful about your own mind and your actions. I can only speak for myself but I’m constantly in my head so i try to check myself. I like to think that my conscience keeps me in line. You gotta be the change you wanna see in the world right?”

Sonia R.

IG & Twitter: @sony_is_awesome

Mental Health Awareness Questions (Ariel P.)

Instagram: @_naturallyari__
Twitter: @TheNormalGirl2

1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?

⁃ “I Honestly Cant Remember How Old I Was When I Realized Mental Health Was A Thing. It’s Always Been Around But Never Really addressed Time Be Honest All The Information & Understanding I Have on Mental Heath Come From Me Bring Old Enough To Research & Going To Find Answers.”

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge? 3. If so, how was it growing up ?

⁃ “So My Dad Has bipolar He Was Diagnosed When I was A Baby. He Actually Went In & Out Of Mental Institutions While I was A Small Child & Constantly Had Mental Break downs Throughout my child hood I really didn’t know something was wrong with him because it just wasn’t talked about in our house hold at all. I remember when I was like 11 he woke up in the middle of the night taking our common house hold items like you know our iron & like vacuum & told me & my mom he was gonna sell it & we were gonna be rich that’s when I really realized he was different before that he was just my dad I mean he was in & out but that was normal for me.”

3. If so, how was it growing up ?

⁃ “growing up with my dad was so much fun when he was there he’s the reason I love the beach so much he was always taking us somewhere he’s was always funny he cooked a lot but I mean him & my mom together was a lot so much so I preferred him when he was gone. Yeah He Had His Manic moments but I think having kids young, him & my mom not getting along, & him not always making good money in addition to him self medicating & not taking his medication like the doctors prescribed really took a toll on him”

4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental in tact?

⁃ “Now Knowing All That I Know About Mental Illness’s & Mental Health I Make Sure I Listen To Myself Taking A Break When I Need, Distancing When I Need Too, Reaching Out When I Need Too. I Make The Effort To Take The informations I Have & Teach My Kids so They Don’t Have To Guess Like I Did. I’ve Been To Therapy I’ve taken my oldest son to therapy & I take great pride in that. It’s a dark cloud in the black community. We’re scared to talk about it to acknowledge it to find solutions & I try to stop that cycle by doing better in my family.”

5. What does Mental Health Awareness mean to you?

⁃ “Mental Health Means Community To Me Because That’s What We Need To See It Through To The Other Side. We Need To Stick Together, Support Those In Need & Most Of All Not Sweep It Under the Rug Like We’ve Done So many Years.”