This July marks the 14th anniversary of the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month, also known as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Mental Health Month (BIPOC MHM). In a world that seemingly revolves around race, it's nearly impossible to ignore the stark disparities deeply rooted in minority and historically oppressed communities regarding mental health accessibility and stigma.
A parade celebrating Independence Day turned deadly when a barrage of shots rang out into the crowd. It was yet another trauma-causing mass shooting, but this time it was in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb just a few towns north of me on the North Shore.
The road through self-harm recovery isn't always an easy path to walk, and it's often full of unexpected twists and detours.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working on a new character trait -- being more assertive. Low self-esteem often makes me feel like being assertive is a bad thing. It can feel like I'm outright mean when that's not the case.
When I struggle with disordered eating behavior, specifically binge eating disorder (BED), I am usually fixated on thinking about the future. Fear and worry dominate whenever I try to control my food intake or comfort myself with food. The fear of the unknown triggers my binge eating disorder symptoms.
I recently went through a challenging period and didn't realize the seriousness of the events on my mental health until I physically reacted to my borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms. It's not uncommon that my body knows something is up before I do.
Not long ago, my therapist asked me to think about my anxiety triggers. I thought about the multiple triggers that lead me to feel anxious, and I realized that one of them is illness, whether it is my own or that of someone I care about.
Like almost everybody else on earth, I seek out like-minded people to interact with. Sometimes, I find like-minded people by accident. Sometimes, I encounter people afflicted by adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and we share our ADHD experiences.
Many days I suffer from what feels like an endless urge to cry. I wake up, and the first thing I may have is an urge to cry. I make coffee -- same thing. I sit down to work, and the urge is still here. You'll note that, at this point, nothing has happened in my day to cause this; I simply have an undeniable urge to cry.
If you have a past riddled with verbal abuse like me, you may know how difficult it is to find happiness in your life. Prolonged abuse may have changed how you perceive the world and the actions of those around you. You may be hesitant when someone is nice to you or feel unworthy of love and affection. However, everyone deserves a life of happiness, and it is possible.