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Mental Illness Within Families and It’s Effect

Claudette Carter is a writer that conducts free home Bible studies that teaches others how to love God and your fellow man like Jesus.

Normal Families Throughout the World Struggle With Mental Illness

Mental illness is described in Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: “any of a broad range of medical conditions (such as major depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, or panic disorder) that are marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, or emotions to impair normal psychological functioning and cause marked distress or disability and that are typically associated with a disruption in normal thinking, feeling, mood, behavior, interpersonal interactions, or daily functioning.” Today it is normal that we experience various forms of these medical conditions which can cause mental illness. When some individuals lose a mate depression can become severe. I experienced that and immediately sought help through prayer and therapy. Each of us have possibly experienced some form of sadness. Do we associate shame with these forms of mental illness which keeps us from seeking therapy or some form of help?

When our family member was severely depressed to the point of murder and suicide, we were shocked. Nothing had ever occurred like that within the family. The shame and mental anguish caused me not to talk about it for years. It was only through prayers to Jehovah God in the name of his son Jesus Christ, Bible reading and meditation, along with therapy which inspires me to not only talk but write about these things. We are a normal family of various races and cultures like any other family. Yet, mental illness has and continues to affect our family as well as other families throughout the world. We have even loss loving cousins to the dreadful Alzheimer disease. Still we remain strong in our faith to God as a family.

The saddest point sometimes due to mental illness is that some family members act abusively toward other family members due to depression, schizophrenia or other disorders. They refuse to seek help because of pride. These individuals can be the worst because they destroy relationships between family members and even their children. God’s word the Bible gives a clear description of these individuals at 2 Timothy 3:4,5 “betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.” Mental illness is exactly that an illness and when you are experiencing an illness we normally seek medical help. Please seek the help you need mentally and pray to God for the elimination of pride.

Mental Health Is A Struggle For Many Adult Americans

The pain and suffering by so many Americans is quite prevalent today. To hear expressions of agony some adults are experiencing is heart wrenching. We do have a tendency to look at athletes as having it all with fame and fortune. They should never complain or have problems. Three athletes were interviewed by Anchorman Nate Burleson of the newly revised CBS Mornings. “NBA Superstar Kevin Love who has spoken openly about his anxiety and depression. Also six time NFL Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall. Back in 2011 he shared that he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. And WNBA Rookie DiDi Richards who is part of a new generation of athletes speaking up about injuries that go beyond the physical. Richards was temporarily paralyzed during a college practice in 2020 and she said she’s dealing with it emotionally...I sat down with all three who wants everyone to know it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be vulnerable.”

This interwiew by Nate Burleson was intriguing because nobody enjoy admitting that they are vulnerable which opens them up to judgment or criticism. Brandon Marshall described what Borderline Personality Disorder was by explaining, “The best way to describe Borderline Personality Disorder is emotional disorder. Most people who are living with Borderline Personality Disorder, they don’t have the skills and tools naturally to be able to cope and manage, self-regulate. For me I had to go through self assessment to pick up those tools and skills to be able to communicate what I was feeling. I didn’t have that naturally. It was just all about reacting not responding.“

During the interview Nate asked this powerful question that had an effect on every human being during this pandemic. He asked, “l want to speak on isolation. Now with the pandemic and people finding themselves alone. Do you think that exacerbated the struggles and have you guys been in situations where you were alone and maybe your depression or anxiety got the best of you?” The explanation given by WNBA Rookie DiDi Richards was quite enthralling, “It happened so fast. Like you said in the blink of an eye something you loved and that you do everyday was the reason why you’re sitting in this hospital. So it took a toll on me mentally as soon as I got hurt that’s all I could think about was basketball. So it took some time. I’m still going through it.“ DiDi thought carefully to herself throughout this difficult experience. “DiDi you’re still hurting from this. You never allowed yourself to really cooe with what you went through. As athletes they think we’re robots. You get hurt. Okay they’re just hurt. They’ll be back. And l started thinking like that. Yes l got hurt. Yes but l’m coming back. Instead of thinking, l’m hurt. I need to figure out how I’m going to deal with this. And how I am feeling deep down inside. Because as a black female you are taught to swallow and you figure it out on your own...Forget the world feeling sorry for you. That doesn’t mean anything. And now you have missed 38 days being paralyzed. Now it’s time to go back to the gym and train harder.”

NBA Superstar Kevin Love was interviewed by Burleson as well. He asked Kevin a question that is a major factor in dealing with mental illness. “Now Kevin, you’ve said there was times you were concerned about what other people thought. When did that shift happen?” Kevin explained, “The shift happened probably in 2017. I had to have a major moment in my life. A very public emotional and mental health moment which was a panic attack on the floor...l thought l was having a cardiac moment, honestly. The oxygen just wasn’t going to my brain, my lungs. I just wasn’t getting you know nothing was alleviating the panic I was feeling. So I actually ended up on oxygen. So after that I went to the Cleveland Clinic and I was thinking what the hell just happened. I was taught to compartmentalise. I was taught to not speak about it. Not to show weakness. I think as athletes we can all confide in that and understand. And it’s funny because every few years I kind of see myself. I look in the mirror and I wasn’t passing the mirror test. Now I’m doing a little bit better. More confident in my own skin. Now I can say. ‘hey listen if I’m feeling triggers. lf I’m feeling something. I know what I can go to when you think about this entire thing.’”

Some final but interesting points given during Nate Burleson‘s interview where NFL Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall mentioned, “Sports is a microcosm of society. Think about 2020 the pandemic. For the very first time we were all dealing with the same things and having these conversations. Anxiety, depression there was so many people dealing with that for the very first time. Had no clue what that was. I think that’s the huge takeaway. Connect with the trauma. So I never dealt with anxiety ever. I had my first panic attack in the pandemic.“ Brandon continued to explain how he had gotten Covid-19. He was hospitalized and put on a ventilator. None of his family could visit. Brandon wanted his wife to visit but that was impossible. He continued, “lf she could just come in here and let me just hold onto her leg. I just needed someone to touch me. I just needed someone to be here with me.” Brandon finally acknowledged that he was not dying and needed to use his thought process to get through that time. He continued by stating, “We have to understand that social anxiety is a real thing. Naomi Osaka, she’s the real thing. So is the sport bigger than her life? How many more athletes or entertainers. Or just people you know are going to continue to be isolated because of their truth-of what they are dealing with. There are people that are struggling. Struggling in silence...” Nate Burleson agreed and shared this information. “Athletes just parallel with what is going on in society...And speaking of that. lf you or someone is seeking mental resources. You can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness help line at 800-950-6264. Or in a cr text NAMI to 741741.”

l saw myself, family members and friends during these interviews. I not only get therapy twice a month but l also stay in constant prayer to Jehovah in the name of Jesus Christ, when l feel triggered by life experiences. Reading God’s word daily gives me his thought process and feelings to help me survive. People are struggling with mental illness in silence due to pride and not wanting to be vulnerable. These are critical times, so please seek the help through prayer and therapy so you can avoid dumping your mental illness on your family and friends.

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Mental Well Being Is A Genuine Concern for Celebrities As Well

The award winning news television program, Good Morning America featured a powerful story by Anchor and News Correspondent Amy Robach concerning Simone Biles. Amy reported, “We know Simone Biles is considered pretty much by everyone to be the greatest gymnast of all time doing things no one else have ever done in that sport. A four time olympic gold medalist which made her sudden withdrawal stunning that much more and now we are learning why.” During an interview Biles mentioned, “l just never felt like this going into a competition before. l tried to go out here and have fun... No the mental is not there... l did not want to do something silly out there and get injured. So l thought it was best that these girls took over and did the rest of the job which they absolutely did.” One news reporter said “After a shaky vault experience Simone decided to put mental health first rather than battle through it.”

The US Gymnastic team mentioned their support for Biles as well, “After further medical evaluation Simone Biles has withdrawn and we wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well being.” I respect Simone‘s decision because people in these last days are looking for heros to worship just as they were doing in the days before the flood of Noah’s day. Only Noah and his family survived because the rest of the people took no note of reality. There were men of fame which were disobedient angels and their sons the Nephilim based on the entire chapter of Genesis chapter six. Jehovah God gave Noah direction to build an ark to save himself and his family along with a variety of creature. God then destroyed that world through a deluge. Today are we repeating history by still looking for heroes which puts pressure on our young people to fulfill our dreams of heroism? Are these dreams that we could not fulfill as parents but now we lay them at the feet of our children to fulfill?

My heart went out to the talented tennis player Naomi Osaka as the news headline stated, “Taking A Break. Tennis Star Makes Announcement After U.S. Open Loss. Naomi admitted, “l honestly don’t know when I’m gonna play my next tennis match. I think l’m gonna take a break from playing for awhile.” News Correspondent Janai Norman of Good Morning America announced, “Over night a tough loss for Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open. Her frustration was on full display for delivering this full admission during an emotionally charged press conference. Osaka’s decision coming after a grueling three-set defeat in the third round at the U.S. Open against teenager Leyah Fernandez. The superstar seen slamming her racket to the ground. Now she says, she needs a break from the pressures of the sport. Naomi said, ’When l win l don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when l lose l feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal.’“

Naomi Osaka‘s decision to look after her mental health is so commendable. It is vital when we can honestly admit that we are having mental illness issues and then actually seek help through prayer to God along with professional assistance. Osaka would not allow her pride to key it a secret as she destroys herself and others who have to deal with her. She is revealing this truth before the world. Young woman that is so meritorious. Janai Norman also reported, “Osaka‘s struggles with mental health dates back to 2018 when she was victorious at the U.S. Open withdrawing from Roland Garros in May. Osaka the tennis player telling Roland Garros in May, ‘l communicated that l want to skip press conferences at Roland Garros to exercise self-care and preservation of my mental health. I stand by that. Athletes are human.’ (...) Naomi’s statement was revealed within an article in Time Magazine. Osaka also acknowledged, ‘Perhaps we should give athletes the right to take a mental break from media scrutiny on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions.’”

News Correspondent Janai Norman presented a little history on Osaka by explaining, “Her U.S. Open loss marks Osaka’s first competition since the summer Olympic games when she participated in the opening ceremony for Japan, her home country. Now unclear what the future holds. And the 23 year old saying, Right now tennis isn’t fun for her. The announcement now opens questions as to when Osaka will return to the court. Even raising the question if she ever will.”

The anquish on Osaka’s face was unbearable. Where is her parents or individuals who really love her? Naomi is crying out. Why can’t someone rescue this child? Playing tennis is not worth her life.Today parents must carefully consider what is more important. Should we serve the true God and gain everlasting life in a world without competition, sickness and death or focus on this temporary world? Should our children focus on how to fulfill our dreams which create mental illness due to stress? Look to God’s word the Bible for the answer and you will be amazed to see how effective it can be in our lives. It is Jehovah God’s spirit that gives us knowledge about the world we live in today. May we continue to put trust and faith in Jehovah’s word as we meditate on it daily which can help us discover answers to such issues as mental illness.

A Solution to Mental Wellness in These Last Days

Former Miss USA Commits Suicide Due to Mental Illness Chri

l sat and watched in horror as Gayle King talked about the beautiful and talented former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst killed herself. I felt as if someone had gut punched me even as Gayle explained. I first heard the story on the news series CBS Morning with Gayle King serving as anchorwoman. I can honestly admit that l did not know Cheslie. I still felt as if l did know her because of dealing with mental illness sometimes myself and having so many family members and friends struggling with mental health issues. Gayle acknowledged that this young woman was an advocate of therapy. I appreciated that Cheslie was but even that did not save her life. Regardless of this outcome, therapy has been a lifesaver for millions today along with our faith in God. Without faith and talking things out sometimes with my therapist after my husband’s tragic death, it would have been very difficult for me to survive. At times when we are going through difficult trials in life, we just need someone to listen. Are we there to help each other through stressful times?

l really appreciate and agree with Gayle King on what Nate Burleson said during their show. He also works as co-anchor on CBS Mornings. Nate knew Cheslie personally because he worked with her on the television program Extra. Nate said, “Check on your strong friends. Don’t assume.” Those powerful words brought to my mind Jesus Christ’s illustration of the Neighborly Samaritan at Luke 10:30-37. Do we stop to bind the wounds of a mentally wounded person or do we ignore them and keep walking? From personal experience sometimes it is difficult to help individuals who maybe experiencing mental challenges but we should still try. Once we have tried to do what we can for that individual, we have to leave them in Jehovah God’s hands by keeping them in our continuous prayers in Jesus Christ name. I pray someone was doing this for Cheslie Kryst.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Claudette Coleman Carter

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