Breaking down the stigma through awareness…Case in point…

by | Nov 21, 2012

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Patrick Kennedy
By Mark Roth / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy told a national psychiatric nurses convention Downtown on Wednesday that if the nation could focus on the brain injuries and post-traumatic stress afflicting returning military veterans, it might finally break down the stigma that has hobbled mental health treatment for decades.”

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Once denial and stigma sets in on a person and society as a whole, it is a most difficult challenge to break it down…  But we must try!

As a case in point,  I was age 64 when there was suddenly a breakthrough!  It was a journey and process of awareness for so many years until researching and writing, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  I grew up in a home with a mental health disorder epidemic…  My father’s emotional struggles from severe combat exposure during all of WWII and the Korean War took its toll on him and our family.  We had no idea why we were so dysfunctional as a family.  It was never clear to me until recently.  All the years of wondering, the pain of a knot in my gut, the anger, persisted while trying to cope as a trial and error process.  Maturity certainly helped, and learning how to control the triggers, including getting my arms around the use of prescription medications and alcohol helped a great deal.  But the shock of finally learning the truth at age 64 was the key to healing my soul…

Read my book and experience what one family lived with for 70 years before we really understood moral injury and PTSD.  The journey of healing continues for my family, but peace of mind knowing the root causes is a gift.  Making a difference by helping others with self discovery and soul feeding helps me each and every day to keep my feet on the ground…

Happy Thanksgiving!  I feel much gratitude for the support and love from my family and friends…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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