Monday, 3 February 2019
Let me start by saying… I love going to therapy!!
It has been a wonderful process and it has helped my daughters and myself tremendously. I recommend it for anyone whether you think you need it or not. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. We should never neglect it.
There was an article in Psychology Today that talks about how some African Americans view therapy. A 2008 study, by Alvidrez et al., found that, “African Americans, who were already dealing with mental health issues felt that to talk about their problems with an outsider (i.e. therapist) may be viewed as airings one’s dirty laundry, and even a quarter of those consumers felt that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate even among family.” The article goes on to explain that some are embarrassed about being labeled one of “those people” and this keeps them from getting the help that they need. The article talks about other concerns regarding the therapist themselves, the treatment process, and of course the cost and lack of insurance coverage. (Psychology Today, Nov 2011) (www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking/201111/why-african-americans-avoid-psychotherapy)
I am sure other ethnic groups have some of the same beliefs about therapy because of the growing rate of suicides in our nation, and I know in my home growing up and homes of others I have heard these phrases many times:
“What happens at home stays at home”
“Don’t put my business out in the streets”
“Nobody needs to know”
“WE can handle this”
“Just give it time, it will get better”
“This is a secret”
Well theses secrets are killing us. Depression, Grief, and Suicide is real and it is on only becoming more prevalent in our society.
You must realize that any type if mental illness in NOT a personal failure. Seeking the right counsel is imperative to our overall health! If anything is a right step forward to your own personal growth!
There are some judgmental people will say and did say, “Well you said are a Christians, just pray about it.” Yes, this is true, I am a Christian and I did pray about it but I truly believe that GOD placed my therapist in my life has a vessel to be used by GOD to pull me out my depressed state. I knew that, when was researching a therapist for myself, I knew that she had to be a Christian and have a love for God. Proverbs states, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” My therapist helped to pull me out of the dark place that I had been living in for months. She reassured me that GOD was not done with my yet and HE had a plan for me and that HE is with me and HE will always be with me and gave me practical guidelines on how to deal with my grieving process.
Therefore, when I hear that the suicide rate is up among active duty military, teens, and veterans I get alarmed. Why is this happening? What can we do to stop it? We have to check in on each other especially if you know someone has been dealing with difficulties in their lives.
Now with all of that being said, I can only speak from my own experience. When I heard about circumstances regarding the death of Christopher St. John, brought back to my remembrance where I was 2 years ago, and I could have slipped easily! However, God said to me in the midst of my despair… “You are stronger than this!” Yes, you had better believe I am still in therapy after almost 2 1/2 years. When I first started going to therapy after I loss Michael I went every other week, crying sobbing, but never kicking and screaming because I knew it was something I needed. I prayed for GOD to send me a Christian therapist who loves HIM as much, if not more than I did. I said, “if not more,” because at the time God and I were not seeing Eye to eye. I had many questions and I was very angry, sad, disappointed, and depressed. It was very hard for me to see God. I knew that He was there, and I still had a deep love for him.
Imagine if your parents and they love you more than their own life and you love them. You asked or you begged for something for months, and then when the day comes for you to get what you asked for… you get nothing.
Your sister asked your parents and got it.
Your brother asked your parents and got it!
Your friend from down the street asked your parents and got it!
Your parents never outright said you were going to get what you asked for you just considered their record and you knew you were going to get it, but you did not. How do you feel?
That is exactly how I felt. I did not love God any less, I did not hate Him, I did not stop believing in Him, I was just disappointed, for me that disappointment turned in to depression, desperation, and fear and once all of that set in I could not see anything ahead. I knew God had a reason and a plan for all that had taken place, but I could not see that and I felt there was no future for me just death. I prayed for God to help me. I did not want to leave my daughters, but I was too busy thinking about feeling and myself from all the pain. But I knew that God was stronger than what I was going through.
My PCM (Primary Care Manager) suggested that I see the on staff social worker. I saw him a couple of times, it helped a little, and he suggested that I seek out someone more long term. I told Him it had to be a Christian therapist. I saw a couple of therapists but no one I saw was the right person. There was one more on my list and I went to see here. At first, it was the typical visit. We sat down and she said tell me what has been going on (which is how she starts all of our sessions.) Well we get out the tissues and I start talking. There was something different when I started talking with her. When I finished talking, she said, “Lolita, first thing I want to tell you… God loves you and He is always with you”. I knew she was the right therapist for me. Now two years later it is like talking to an old friend once a month. She is helping me reevaluate my life and navigate the new life I was forced to live. Now it does not seem so forced I am discovering many things about me that I like and some I need to work on. I believed that the enemy would have loved to keep me my depressed little ball casted out to the darkness! But I knew that God made me STRONGER than anything that he tried to throw at me!
Therapists are here to help us. They have training and tool that can help us navigate what going on in our head. It is important to see the right therapist. You may have to see a few before you find the therapist that is right for you. Just as you did research to find your family doctor, or a surgeon, it is imperative that you do the same for your therapist.
Suicide is NEVER the answer!
Suicide is preventable, but everyone’s help is needed.
If you or someone you know:
- Feeling depressed
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Shame or humiliation
- Mood swings
- Isolating from others
- Not communicating with friends or family
- Giving away possessions or writing a will
- Driving recklessly
- Increased aggression
- Increased drug and alcohol use
- Searching about suicide on the Internet
- Gathering materials (pills or a weapon)
- Experience bullying
- Lose someone close to them
- Experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
- Abuse drugs or alcohol
- Have a history of mental illness
- Feel uncertain about their sexual orientation
You are NEVER ALONE… Please reach out….
Have a Blessed Day in the LORD
I love you all!