Mental Health Awareness Month

I was made recently aware that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal is to spread positive messages and end the stigma of mental health issues. This obviously hits home as I have several issues, and a history of mental illness in my family. So I wanted to spend a little time this month to discuss.

I’d like to talk a little bit about my mental health. I am doing better. In the last couple weeks, I’ve had some difficult conversations and some really tough times over the last two months, but I’m feeling better. Neurotypical is not going to happen. But being okay is the goal for now. If you’ve been following a while, you’ll know a bit more, but I have C-PTSD (or complex trauma). The following is a list from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Emotional Regulation. May include persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, explosive anger, or inhibited anger.
  • Consciousness. Includes forgetting traumatic events, reliving traumatic events, or having episodes in which one feels detached from one’s mental processes or body (dissociation).
  • Self-Perception. May include helplessness, shame, guilt, stigma, and a sense of being completely different from other human beings.
  • Distorted Perceptions of the Perpetrator. Examples include attributing total power to the perpetrator, becoming preoccupied with the relationship to the perpetrator, or preoccupied with revenge.
  • Relations with Others. Examples include isolation, distrust, or a repeated search for a rescuer.
  • One’s System of Meanings. May include a loss of sustaining faith or a sense of hopelessness and despair.

I, unfortunately, exhibit each and every symptom on that list to a larger or smaller degree, but they are all present. It is very difficult to talk about, but have a name for it helped me gain some ability to deal with it. Another thing from their website mentions an inability or reluctance to remember traumatic events, and this is certainly the case for me. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been working on poetry that touches on this very topic. It’s not reliving, but I hope it opens up the possibility to reconcile my past and learn to empower myself so that I don’t have quite so crappy a future.

Please use and share #stigmafree stories and support this month. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. You never asked to be treated in a way that left you scarred. You never asked to have this and should not be shamed for seeking support and a way through.

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