By Marcia E. Smith Founder of Helping Hurting Hearts Heal International
Your brain is an organ just as your heart (Right?) When we have
heart problems we schedule an appointment with a cardiologist or
our Primary Care Physicians to obtain an evaluation of the
symptoms and signals that our bodies are displaying and often
begin taking prescribed oral medication to ensure proper health
and the function of that organ. Your intestines are organs (Right?)
When we have digestive problems we schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist to evaluate digestive issues and again often prescribed medications along with a recommended dietary plan to ensure better health or improvements.
Sooooo, let’s use our brains a little here; if your brain is an organ and you never have a mental health check-up when your brain is releasing chemicals indicating signs of stress, depression, fatigue, overthinking, grief,
emotional pain, burn out, hurt, pain or even painful traumatic
experiences that have never been discussed or evaluated, can you
IMAGINE the years of damage being done to that particular
People are literally dying in their heads due to social stigmas
accepted culturally that mental health means your mental and
would much rather pretend to be okay with a fake smile holding
back tears because they don’t feel safe enough to say I NEED
HELP or I’M DROWNING OVER HERE!
Ask ME how I know! I’m waiting….so glad you asked, even if it was in your own head at least you thought about the question. I know because I’ve LIVED IT! Yes, ME….traumatized as a child from many devastating life events, some never disclosed or discussed yet inside of my head I fought every day with low self-esteem, poor self-worth, mountains of fear and rejection from being raised without my biological father, sexual abuse as well as physical abuse and emotional abuse in relationships.
A teen mother at the age of 14, looking for love in all the wrong places, an outburst of anger, behavior issues, insecurity, paranoia, childhood suicide attempts, running away from home, you name it…. I was a broken,
damaged child on the run full of amazing potential and purpose but guess What?
Nobody ever stopped to evaluate WHY I was behaving the way I was behaving but rather judging WHAT I was doing even in the church. My freedom has come by OWNING MY TRUTHS! YES! I’ve struggled in my mind. YES! I’ve wrestled with fear. YES! I’ve pretended to be happy when I was internally sad. YES! I’ve pretended even in church to have it ALL
TOGETHER when I was falling apart…..saving the world but I
couldn’t save myself A public success but a private mess! The
TRUTH is setting me FREE!
The Mental Health stigma in the African American community as a whole is very disheartening, specifically from the female psychological and emotional perspective.
Also, the stigma to address mental health in African American churches is even more disheartening as people are judged or made to feel certain types of ways upon the discussion of this very much needed subject such as:
“they are crazy”, “their messed up”, “they need help or they become a categorized classification case which often leads to internal states of fear, shame, guilt and more mental stress.
Have you ever felt like giving up but your IMAGE or EGO was too BIG?
To tell the truth that could have actually released another person from mental bondage letting them know they are not alone.
(To Be Continued)