Monday, August 11, 2014

Mental Health Challenges and Addictions are Real

Robin Williams R.I.P. to a Talented Actor and Comedian.

I first heard it on Facebook. Just a few minutes ago. My friend from England posted about it. I just, I was stunned. I had no words. The great Robin Williams, who gave millions of children a reason to laugh every day just from his one Role; "The Genie" in Aladdin. And he made adults laugh too. The way he would deliver lines and the many hilarious voices and impersonations he could do. It was just endless. I had no idea. He battled Depression? Really? A Billionare can battle Depression and Drug Abuse, Subtance Abuse and he can want to escape real life? He had a hard time with Drinking? Yes, everyone has their vices, their Pandora's Box. It doesn't matter if you are a Billionare, and you seemingly have the world at your fingertips- or you have the clothes on your back.

Addiction is real people. It is sad, but it is a real life story of this man. And many millions of unnamed others who do not seek help. Depression numbs you. I've had it. I've felt it. It can debilitate you, leave you in such a dark place that the lines are so blurred between reality and doom. The doom you are feeling, the emptiness you can feel is so stark and bleak, it is mentally real and conceivable. You can almost touch it. It's seemingly tangible.

You know what.  I have to say this, I've been in that dark place, I've almost succumbed to the darkness that says do it, end your life, what are you waiting for? It was years and years ago, I was 15. I was emotionally in a deep abyss. My parents were fighting, for hours on end. I couldn't sleep. I stayed up for hours outside their door, listening to them attack each other. Verbal Abuse. Crying. Yelling. Screaming. I heard it all.

The anxiety and fear, the depression and "what if's" that I had were unfathomable for most people at my age. I felt empty. My whole soul felt pointless. I wondered why I was here, if I had a future. If I would have a future like my parents' did at the time. I didn't want that. I wanted a happy family who never fought who never hurt one anothers' feelings. Let me tell you something. That's not reality. I wanted an ideal. Normal people have arguments. That's okay, it's how you argue and if you know when to stop and say sorry that is the issue. Back to my story.... I wanted a way to be rid of all the negativity that I was feeling at the time. I was too scared to reach for it to even try, so I thought about giving up. Really contemplated and planned how to give up. I was seconds away from taking my own life when I heard a voice in my head stop myself. What about my family? What about my future children? What about my future spouse? I was being utterly selfish. I wanted a way out that would hurt only me. Would taking my own life really only hurt me?

 When you are in that dark place you can't see clearly how that act will hurt all those who love you and who you cherish. Your reasoning systems are out of line you are in that deep dark cloud that overtakes you and oftentimes people are overcome by panic and by the darkness they feel. It is real inside them. Even if no one else can sense it. It hurts. It's hard to wake up and get going everyday. It's challenging to do mundane everyday tasks, that seem somewhat meaningless to sufferers with Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and those with a huge list of possible Addictions. Addictions can be overcome! And So can Mental Health problems!You can take medication or a combination of medication and counseling to help treat you. You can have an amazing support system. You can go off medication and try to regulate yourself with vitamin and mineral supplements and herbs. You can go to AA Meetings, or 12 Step Programs that are Similar. You can talk to a Professional. You can talk to a loved one, or a willing friend. But, you know what- you can't go through this alone! You need love, you need support and you need EMPATHY. This pain is real. It's not imagined. It's not just in someone's head. It can be from real life experiences, time overseas in a war, or it can be from your childhood surroundings and others' poor choices, it can also be from your poor choices. Your pain can be from seemingly good decisions gone sour by someone else's actions.

But, you can get over this! Please do not succumb to the darkness- reach for the light. Reach for God, reach for your Spiritual Higher Power. Whatever you believe in. Lean on it. Rely on it. Reach for a Friends' hand. A Pastor's hand. A Teacher. But, please do not fall into the darkness! We want to lift you up into the light and carry you! Please let us help you!

So, when you read news reels like this;

Please Don't Judge! I have personally been in the darkness and it is hard. It is sour. It is stark. And it is real. Our friend Robin is only human. He was overcome by so many things in life it seems. I hope no one else feels that way again! Please get help do not let darkness claim you!

Let me just explain that I am not saying the person or sufferer of Depression or Anxiety is Selfish- and I'm not shaming or blaming them. I'm saying the act hurts so many people- including themselves- and it is not the answer. It is a Tunnel Vision Way of thinking. Reasoning tells us that the act is not a solution in and of itself at all. It is more hurtful to themselves and all their loved ones and friends and the world- than they can imagine. This is not shaming them though or blaming, or calling them selfish. When one is in the deepest, darkest recesses of stark Depression- reasoning is not functioning clearly. Cause and Effect have not occurred to many in this state. The Blur of helplessness is ever surrounding you. Try to find a way out without harm. To remember love. To think of a true Friend. Remember God. Remember Family. Think of your Future Family, your Future Goals and Accomplishments. A Talent you have. Remember Hope. Try to think of a Happy Memory. Of your celebrated accomplishments. I know I can snap out of it because I have. It can be done. It is not an easy process. It takes time, understanding and hope. EMPATHY and LOVE. Reach for a Brighter tomorrow above the clouds of sadness. You can do it! Seek Help, don't suffer alone!
Let me help, I will listen.

The Stigma of Depression and Anxiety and Mental Health Problems needs to Dissapear. Depression doesn't Discriminate it can happen to anyone in any life situation at any time. Understanding, Education, love and empathy will help Suicide Prevention.

Mental Health Agencies in Utah Hotlines and Contact Info.

What is Psychosis?

By C.B. Merkley August 11, 2014

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