I’m not Alone

Think about your last doctor’s appointment; not THAT appointment. Just your routine check-up. Well, while you were there did you notice that doctors are asking more about the mental health of their patients.

I was in with the doctor back in July. When the nurse seated me in the room she began asking the routine questions: how have you been feeling? Are you still taking your meds as prescribed? Have you been depressed within the last 6 months, a month or maybe within the past few days. I’m sure this is not the first time you or I have been asked these questions; I think it’s the first time I noticed. Without even thinking I responded “no.” But that was a lie. At that very instance I was missing my sister. She would have been with me at that doctors visit. She passed away over a year ago. It still feels like that day in March. I mentioned this to my doctor right after she passed. She quickly recommended therapy. Without hesitation I said “no.” Why was I (we) still so hesitance to seek counseling? I know for myself I couldn’t admit that I needed help. I am the STRONG one in the family. I’m the one that everyone comes to for help. Then there is the stigma attached to seeking professional. I can just hear my sisters, “just pray about it.” I did, I am, I will continue. I know God is with me. Seeking help is still a very daunting task.

I attended a class this past Saturday on mental health and wellness. The course is designed to help me become a Community Life Coach (CLC). It was a very interesting class; that is until I realized that I needed the help I would be offering. I was shocked to learn that 25% of all Americans suffer with anxiety and depression in some form; One in five adults have a mental disorder in any one year, (Mental Health First Aide). So i’m sitting here there were five people sitting on my row, BINGO! The statistic is right; I was the one in five.

Why can’t I tell my family that I am still struggling with our sister’s death. I thought about this, and it all has to do with perception. I am the strong one. I’m family member that everyone comes too when they need help. I’m also they one that is suffering in silence. Well, needless to say I have a very different perspective after the class. I am going to counseling. It may be a while before I discuss the issue with my family, but that’s OK. When i’m better I can help them.

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