Thursday, July 28, 2005

Issues: Life's Equalizer

"Manageable unresolved teenage issues become potentially explosive adult issues."

Around age 14, I remember battling with thoughts of suicide. As a recent transplant from the Island of Trinidad & Tobago in the West Indies; I combated homesickness, family dysfunction, social dysfunction and the onset of bi-polar disorder (a/k/a manic depression).

Being a product of the West Indies, hard work was expected, dysfunctional family situations accepted, superstition prevalent and mental illness overlooked or attributed to witchcraft.

Add to that the strong-black-woman mentality, habitual silence, the Christianity quandary and the result was a conflicted, suicidal teenager.

In retrospect I realize that everyone has issues...some folk take them in stride, others allow their issues to become a crippling force in their lives and others deny their existence.

I have tried all of the above at some point in my life. And come to the realization that they won't go away unless I face them, learn about them and seek help and/or assistance for what is above my capability to assist or handle by myself.

If you feel as though you're going down for the third time without a lifeboat in sight, I've provided a short list of hotlines and websites so that you may either find the support you need or the information you need. No need to go it alone, reach out, click and latch onto what's yours for the taking.



angela said...

Hey Dee,
I guess we have some thingsin common. I, too, am from Trinidad, and although I've never struggled with mental illness, I had relatives who did, and of course, in Trinidad the popular culture was "somebody do him something." this gave me a deep interest in mental health and I now work in a psych unit-something I find both
rewarding and emotionally draining at times. But yes, there is help here inthe US but I find the ultimate help comes from God, who created our minds.

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