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"Emotional Illness"..... Let's talk about it!


Get over it. It's all in your head. Don't focus on it and it will go away. You don't need to talk to anyone. Pray about it.

After hearing these things over and over and over again, I've come to realize why people don't talk about their emotional (mental) illnesses. In the black community, I can say from experience, that it's taboo to say you have one of these disorders. But why? These illnesses are real. They require attention. Why should I be embarrassed? Why should we be made to feel like they don't exist? Nobody ever talked to me about mental illnesses when I was younger....heck not even when I became an adult. I only learned about them through research and my own experiences.

After having my first child, a week postpartum, I experienced a series of seizures due to a spike in my blood pressure. I had no issues during my pregnancy and had a pretty easy labor and delivery. I found out that I had postpartum eclampsia which was extremely rare and I was hospitalized on bed rest for a week. When I left the hospital, it was almost 2 years before I could sleep peacefully at night. Yes, 2 years!! I became addicted to checking my blood pressure. It wasn't because I had a newborn that I couldn't sleep. It was because I was scared. I thought I would go to sleep, like I did that day, and would wake up on a stretcher again. I kept hearing it was a slim chance to none that it would happen again but I was still scared. I didn't realize at that time that I was experiencing PTSD...a mental health condition triggered from a terrifying event....but I was!!

Anxiety.... whew!! If you haven't had a panic attack in the middle of the night with no warning, then don't tell me to get over it. It's the scariest feeling in the world. The feeling of not being able to catch your breath. Not knowing if you are going to stop breathing. Feeling trapped. A feeling of death. The first time I had a panic attack, I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was going crazy. I told my doctor what was going on and he immediately told me I had anxiety disorder. Ugh!! Why does this keep happening to me? Am I crazy? What the heck?!?! I am too young to be dealing with this. Will this last forever or will I eventually "get over it"?

After struggling with both disorders for many years, I decided it was time to talk to someone. I was tired of dealing with it alone. I was tired of people telling me to get over it. I didn't care if they thought it was all in my head, because I knew it was real. I knew I wasn't alone in this. I knew others were dealing with the same issues but didn't know how to handle it. I realized it was more embarrassing to try and deal with it than it was to talk to someone who would understand. I am here to tell anyone that is dealing with emotional "mental" illnesses of any kind that it is okay. Don't be embarrassed. I shared my stories, you can to. Go talk to someone. Get the help you need. There are people who specialize in giving you the treatment you need and I promise they won't judge you. Stop thinking you are different. You are you and that's ok!

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