Mental Health Fact #7: In any given year, it is estimated that 60% of people in need of mental health care will not seek treatment.
-Unlike our response to a broken leg, mental illness is often considered a health issue that can wait or is merely a sign of weakness—something that may fix itself.
Mental Health Fact #8: In 2015, an estimated 3 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 12.5% of the U.S. population aged 12 to 17.
How do you talk to other people about the most intimate details of your daughters life, knowing no matter what you write, people will judge, and criticize, and not understand?
As I sit here and try to come up with the words to tell you my daughters story, with her permission, I hesitate.
I hesitate because I know that mental illness is so greatly misunderstood by so many people. I was one of those people before my daughters experiences taught me otherwise. Living with, and caring for a loved one with mental illness is draining at times. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. But the main reason it’s draining is because there is so little support and acceptance in the school systems, in the medical facilities, in the workplace, and in our communities.
I recently had an eye opening experience. My daughter who has struggled with depression and anxiety since middle school, was prescribed a medication which made her feel suicidal, and she overdosed on some of her meds. We didn’t know that it was this certain medication that was causing her to feel this way and we were scheduled to see her doctor the next day.
But my daughter, in a very bad frame of mind, was frustrated and took a handful of pills because she was tired of feeling like she would never get better. She said she just wanted the pain to go away. We’re lucky that she told her boyfriend right after she took them and he came over to the house and told me.
As I got my daughter in the car to bring her to the emergency room, she was very scared and immediately regretful of what she had done. I assured her she would be alright, and luckily she was.
But spending a week in the hospital with my daughter was such an eye opener to how over looked patients with mental illness are. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the adult psychiatric wing of a hospital but I got to see one here in our Capital Region and I was appalled. We dehumanize and stigmatize mental health patients at every level. I refused to leave my daughter there when I saw the conditions, and they agreed to allow her to stay in the adolescent wing with a chaperone, since she is age 18. It wasn’t much better.
You know, you walk into a hospital and see all the fancy wings with the names of local sponsors, usually firms or companies we’ve all heard of and who like to give back to the community. But then you see the floors where no one is donating and no one is helping. Because no one’s going to see your companies name on the wall of the psychiatric wing, behind a locked door.
If you were to meet my daughter, you would never know that she struggles with depression and anxiety. She is bright, articulate, bubbly, energetic, and very funny. She has the most caring heart and she is sensitive to others needs.
We’ve been fortunate to finally have found her an excellent therapist who is teaching her how to deal with the trauma from her past which triggers a great deal of her anxiety. We also seem to have found the right balance of meds that work for her right now.
But that isn’t enough for me. My experience as a mother of a child who struggles with depression and anxiety has shown me all the ways we make it harder for people with mental illness. And I want to help change that.
I would be willing to bet that many of you reading this blog interact with someone with mental illness every day and you don’t even know it. What if you could help that person to feel more at ease, less judged, more accepted, just by being open to reading the signs?
There are things my daughter experiences that I cannot ever fully understand. I have had to learn how to be there for her, without judging or being impatient. Every day is a step in the right direction but her path over the last several years has been an arduous one and I’m so proud that she’s my daughter. And I am incredibly grateful that she is still here.
Help us Lift Away the Stigma of Mental Illness! It’s time this topic was addressed with greater acceptance. Go here to REGISTER for our Lift Away the Stigma, Circuit Training Marathon event, which we’re holding on Giving Tuesday, November 28th, from 4 – 8pm at our real [FIT] life gym in Albany, NY. You can get all of the details, and register by going here. Thank you for your support.
Let’s remember why we’re all here and why I’m investing so much time to bring you these Fitness Tips. It because I want ALL OF US to help raise awareness and money to Lift Away the Stigma of Mental Illness. All of the money we raise goes to the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANY’s) and supports their mission to take away the Stigma of Mental Illness through education campaigns, classes, workshops, and all sorts of other great stuff.
Here’s Tips #7 and #8 of 30 Days to Lift Away the Stigma, Anti-rotation hold and Kneeling ring pull ups.
Today’s video is just under 7 minutes.
Fitness Tip #7 and #8, Anti – rotation hold and Kneeling ring pull ups
Here are some visual reminders. Click on the photos to enlarge.
This event is suitable for all fitness levels. At real [FIT] life we want everyone to feel capable and like they belong, and I promise, this event will have something doable for everyone. I’ll be sharing more details about the actual workout we’ll be doing at Lift Away the Stigma over these next 30 days. Many of the exercises I’m showing you in this 30 day video series will be IN the Circuit Training Marathon so if you follow along, you’ll know how to do them!
If you’d like to participate in our Circuit Training Marathon, and help “Lift Away the Stigma” go HERE to register online or download your registration form and mail it in! And if you can’t attend, we’d still love your support. No matter where you live, this is an important matter that affects all of us.
100.9 The Cat will be joining us at our Circuit Training Marathon on Giving Tuesday as well, and they’ll broadcast live from our real [FIT] life studio.
Founder, real [FIT] life
“Helping people live happier, healthier, longer, stronger lives,
one lift at a time.”