My mother warned me to NEVER tell anyone I was taking anti-depressants for anxiety. It was no one’s business she would say, and not everyone would be understanding. Continue reading A Hidden Pain: Anxiety & Depression
“ I think I’m depressed”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well, I am sad all of the time, I don’t want to do sh*t, and this isn’t like me”
This is a conversation I had with myself a few years ago. Yeah, this was one of those conversations you have in your head, but some of questions you answer out loud. For months I knew something wasn’t right because I’d been feeling down. I’d have periods that I felt OK, but my overall mood for months was sad. Outside of being sad, I just wasn’t feeling like myself. I was irritable, and always tired (more than usual). I would either overeat, or not eat at all and I had difficulty focusing on my job. For months I felt like I couldn’t get a grip on my life and I began to feel the affects. I gained weight, I quit pursuing my Master’s degree, lost my desire to go out with friends and I eventually got fired for my low performance.
What brought on my depression?: The short and simple answer is I was trying to handle all that life was throwing at me on my own. (This is my opinion before therapy) What I learned in therapy was all that I had been through led me to believe certain things about myself. In addition to learning how to ask for help, I had to unlearn a lot of shit, and learn a new way to look at myself and how I responded to life. Continue reading “SPEAK OUT: Christina shares her story about Depression.”
Author Kendra Bell host the podcast “Calming Sense” where she discusses mental health related topics. Kendra reached out to find out more about Speak Away the Stigma and what led Christina Lattimore to become a Mental Health Advocate. Check out Calming Sense and find out more about Christina, how mental illness has impacted her family and the future plans for Speak Away the Stigma. Kendra’s … Continue reading The Founder of Speak Away the Stigma shares her story
I choose to Speak Away the Stigma associated with postpartum depression because I don’t want another woman to have to suffer in silence. I was 27 years old when I became pregnant with my son. The news brought forth feelings of joy & guilt. My joy was due to me growing up knowing I wanted to be a mother. Still, my joy was overshadowed by the guilt of feelings that I had more to accomplish before becoming a mother. I was more concerned with the plans I made for my life than embracing the plan God was unveiling.
During my pregnancy, I began to alienate myself from family and friends. I felt like they were secretly disappointed and wouldn’t understand my depression. I was irritable, cried a lot and stopped praying. I felt like I let God down and wasn’t worthy of His love since I couldn’t obey His Word. My mother was the first to notice a significant change in my behavior. I knew she was worried but I hid a lot of what I was going thru from her. She encouraged me to get out the house and enjoy my pregnancy. My son’s father had a hard time accepting my mood swings and spent a lot of time away from me. Our relationship, which I planned to last forever, became toxic. This made me feel alone and caused me to question why God was allowing me to go through this.The birth of my son didn’t catapult things into a better direction immediately. I had to adjust to the physical changes my body went through, the freedom I gave up for my son and balancing day to day activities. I knew I needed help. A few times I worked up the courage to make appointments to see a therapist. Once I couldn’t afford the $25 copay and another time I felt like they would see me as an unfit mother. Throughout my depression, it was so important to portray being a good mom even though I didn’t always feel like one. I loved my son but felt guilty and like I wasn’t enough. I was in a dark and low point in my life. So, what changed? I began to get back into my routine of praying, journaling and speaking to other mothers. After speaking to so many women who were close to me I saw how common this illness is. I heard stories of so many extremities from just being sad, to being suicidal and even wanting to harm their babies. I encourage anyone who is going through this to seek the help I was too ashamed to ask for. Your children deserve the very best version of you! My son is almost two years old and is the light of my life. He will be two years old in June and he is smart (he can count to ten) extremely goofy and loves Mickey Mouse. We pray together, read and do the Chuck E. Cheese dance. My experience has taught me that Gods plan is better than my own. He will always turn your pain into purpose and your test into a testimony! “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”(2 Corinthians 4:17)
The facts about Postpartum Depression on this post are from the National Institute of Mental Health. You can read more about the symptoms and treatment options here .
Thara Gould Edinburgh, UK Full diagnosis: Depression, anxiety, EDNOS/OSFED, and Insomnia. Medication-Why I hated it & What changed my mind Hey Guys, Recently on social media, I have seen negative posts surrounding medication, and while it’s not always the solution, I believe it is an option that should be explored. During my 8 month stay in a Psychiatric Unit, I refused my medication, this was … Continue reading SPEAK OUT: Medication-Why I hated it & What changed my mind
I walked into the classroom, sat down and stared at the other 20 people. The first thing I noticed was I was that almost everyone was older than me. There were about 3 of us that appeared to be early to mid-thirties, everyone else was 20-30 years older. Next, I noticed that about 5 of the people were Black. Some people looked rich, some looked poor, some looked happy, and others looked stressed. Do I belong here? Can I quit this class without being harassed via email? I hope I don’t fall asleep. These were the thoughts in my head as I sat waiting for the class to begin. Two hours later and several tear drops later all I saw were people who understood my struggle for the last 25 years. Continue reading “Shame. Hurt. Anger. Confusion. And the Power of Sharing Your Story.”
Do not give your past the power to define your future.”~ Unknown
I only remember her face, not her name, so I will call her Jane. She looked like a Jane. When I first met Jane she greeted me with a glimpse of a smile; that would be the most emotion she ever showed me. I would be OK with that because Jane changed my world.
The afternoon I first met Jane, I left work early. We had a 5:30 pm appointment, and I didn’t want to be late. I wasn’t thrilled to meet Jane, I was very reluctant and nervous, however, I wanted to respect her time so I didn’t want to be late. It was a sunny fall afternoon, and I took the 20-minute drive in silence, that’s how I knew I was really nervous. The drive entire I wondered what she looked liked. We spoke briefly on the phone, but I could not begin to assign her facial features based on our short conversation.
I arrived at the address, parked, and stayed in my car. I was about 10 minutes early and sat there for nine minutes before getting out of the car. I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t completely sure why I was even doing this. I wasn’t sure what I’d say to Jane, or what she would say to me. I felt so uncertain in this moment, but I was here so I had to at least meet Jane. Right?
I found the door, it was red. The blinds in the window looked a little tattered. I immediately thought this was a mistake, because, well her blinds were tattered. Yes, I judge people based on how the blinds look from their window. I always have and probably always will. I rang the bell and I waited. I rang the bell again and waited. I was growing impatient with Jane and her tattered blinds. I rang the bell one more time, and she opened the door right away. She was old. Her face was soft yet wrinkled and her hair was gray and frizzy, somehow the tattered blinds fit. She invited me in, and I stood staring at this older lady with old hair and an old face, thinking THIS is my therapist? Continue reading “Her name was Jane”
When you first look at these pictures of Kris you may see a beautiful young Black woman. In speaking to Kris, you will sense she is sweet, intelligent and kind. What you won’t see are the scars that are healing, from several suicide attempts. (Yes there were several) Kris had been diagnosed with depression, sever panic attacks and anxiety. She has been admitted to what she refers to as a “Psych Prison.” Dealing with all of the things that life can throw at us is difficult. Dealing with all of these things while suffering in silence with mental illness can take a toll on even the strongest person. On August 11, 2011 there was another suicide attempt, however after this one Kris made a decision to fight and fight Continue reading “@KrisNichole Celebrates Her Life Anniversary!”