“CNN – The vast majority of Americans of all ages, races, generations and backgrounds say the US has a mental health crisis.“
Stigma is at the roots…
The worst of the mental health crisis in America, in my view, goes to guilt, shame, and ego. Men in particular, all too often grow up in a home culture of denial. “I’m not crazy. It’s everybody else, not me,” most who suffer will say. Or, they often fear being seen as weak.
To be sure, it takes a strong heart and loving soul to navigate the painful symptoms of PTSD. It takes strength to survive, not weakness.
Most Americans agree…
It’s been over a decade now since I published my first book, Reconciliation a Son’s Story, In the beginning, many shied away from my story. I believe fear of mental illness and a lack of awareness prevented us from learning about our own suffering. We know now, to be sure, awareness is the first step in healing your mind and body together.
The Pandemic & Mental Health…
In the past few years, especially during the pandemic, mental health is increasingly a popular topic of discussion. Families more often than ever engage in conversation about their emotional challenges, especially trauma.
People in all walks of life, especially veterans and 1st responders, suffer and live with mental health challenges, along with other more visible illnesses. Families also suffer from the secondary effects of living with and caring for a loved one suffering from post trauma stress, major depression/anxiety.
If you are recovering from a serious illness, mental health is front and center. Both need to be treated at the same time. Holistic treatments are at the center of America’s health care strategies in the 21st Century. The goal is to integrate physical and mental health illnesses to address whole patient needs.
Kids inhale emotional pain from parents and other loved ones who suffer with post trauma symptoms. I did, for sure, growing up as a post-WWII military child. Many young people, predisposed to PTSD as kids, enlist in the military or join the ranks of 1st responders.
Many men and women who enlist in the military don’t know they are predisposed to PTSD as military kids. This means there is a higher probability of being triggered all over again with exasperated symptoms.
As we age, mental health is a whole new ballgame. It’s a very tough battle for me, like countless others, I believe. My mind was in denial until I couldn’t take it anymore. It was like drowning in emotional turmoil, unable to breath, and not knowing how to get help.
I’m not alone to be sure. My work in behavior health pointed this out to me very clearly. We all need help, but that’s easier said than done for most folks old and young. Even those of us who know how to navigate the complexity of accessing health care services, find it extremely difficult.
The best way to manage health care needs is to search for a good primary care physician to help address your symptoms more effectively. Don’t try go it alone!
The next challenging step is to find the right fit for a therapist. For me, finding a trauma informed therapist was essential. Finding a psychiatrist to help with appropriate medications is critical, as well.
Once telehealth was approved during the pandemic, finding the right therapist was a true gift. She helped me learn energy therapy techniques that are very effective to this day.
Healing is a work in progress, no doubt, from my experience. Stay with it. Engage with peer groups who help each other in a safe place. Find a good primary care physician to help navigate mental health care therapies that work for you.