Mental Health - It's a Huge Issue That is Getting Worse by the Minute
The nation, no, the world, is in crisis and it is getting out of control. Our brains are so complex, and have so much information packed into them every single day. They are simply amazing but sometimes, things don't work the way they are supposed to and then, well, things can go wrong. Things can go very wrong.
WedMD has a pretty good listing of everything that is covered by Mental Health. You can click here to see the various types and what they have to say about them. Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Eating Disorders, Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders, Personality Disorders, Obsession-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders and a few smaller ones too. Just take a minute and read this over and then come back, and I'll give you the rest of my thoughts.
Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders. Maybe that's all I need to say? Maybe not. This one area of Mental Health alone is so crippling to so many. Some will read this and say, "See, it's not a disease, it's a disorder." What is the big deal with the terms anyway. Some thing is seriously firing wrong inside of someone's head and we need to find a solution.
I want to take a moment and talk about Addiction Disorders. While Heather chose suicide as her way away from the internal pain from Mental Health, many others, myself included in the past, chose alcohol and drugs. I grew up in a nice area. It was a lake community with it's own golf course, beaches, sailboat docks, etc. I went to good schools. Back then, things weren't talked about. Things got swept under the rug. Now, it's ok to talk about it, but so much still gets swept under the rug. When it is talked about, people are still judging! It's so sad.
Alcohol was everywhere in the 70s. Valiums were being handed out in prescriptions like candy. Most people I knew at least knew someone that smoked pot. It was a different world. Yes, chemicals were there too, legal and illegal. Actually, even back then, some of the best "chemicals" were pharmaceutical drugs. The schools were overcrowded. I remember growing up, waiting for the next school to be built or to have the new addition built, in order to hold us all. Those same schools taught us all that drugs are bad.
Not everyone that did drugs and drank alcohol was a bad person. Not everyone that did drugs or drank became addicted. Some did. I remember my Mom going to bed at night. The last thing she did every single night was take her Valium. Some nights, those Valiums were washed down with a shot of Vodka. Now, please, I'm not judging my Mom or blaming her, what I am saying is that they were acceptable choices of the time. My Mom listened to the doctor. He prescribed her to take them at bedtime, and she did it. Now, my father drank (he has since quit drinking - WTG Dad!) but some nights would be worse than others and she would wash down her prescription with a shot. He didn't prescribe the shot, but well, as she said, it helped her sleep soundly.
Some people will tell you that there are two types of drunks in the world. There are mean drunks and there are happy drunks. While that is true, I think the kind we need to worry about are the stupid drunks. Let's face it. Most of the stupid decisions in our life are alcohol related. If you want to drink, you can get alcohol. I think, if I had to choose a gateway drug, it would have been alcohol. Most of my stupidest choices were alcohol-related. Alcohol stopped the fear. Alcohol gave freedom. When the police told us Heather took her life, they also told us there was copious amounts of alcohol involved. She drank for courage.
Anyway, I was hurting from holding in too much of things that hurt. As I said, I was raised to hold them in. (Bad advice by the way!) So, I was educated, I knew all the bad things that could happen on drugs, but well, after a few drinks, sure, why not. I'll give it a try. I knew I would always be able to have control. The drugs help you drink more alcohol and triggers MORE stupid in your brain. Again, true then as it is now, the easiest drugs to get were the pharmaceutical ones. Pot was easy to get then too. I have to say, though, most of my bad decisions while smoking pot included eating too much and passing out and falling asleep.
My favorites were the little diet pills that were also prescribed like candy. Now, this really helped with the munchies, I had the energy I needed to do things and plenty of energy for more stupid alcohol decisions. Anyway, one thing led to another and next thing I know, I was snorting a gram of crystal meth just to wake up in the morning. It wasn't a conscious decision to one day start doing speed - I lost control. I let the impulses take over. I gave away their control.
I have a good friend to this day that helped me take my control back, and until recently, she never even knew she played such a huge role in my life. She bet me, probably very drunk, that I couldn't NOT do speed for one day. Anyway, that one day was the hardest day of my life. While she didn't know it, I accepted the challenge and made the decision right then and there that I was going to stop. Yes, I had my ups and downs, but I made it through.
I have to admit, I didn't really go the rehab route. People really talked about you A LOT back then if you went to rehab. Today, while some will still talk about you, some at least give you credit for trying. Anyway, my reason for not going rehab was because the ones that seemed to have the rehab success stories, were the ones that said that they used a prescription to get clean. Wait a minute. How is that clean? Yes, they changed an addiction to an illegal drug for a legal drug that just doesn't get you high. So, you still have your addiction. (In some cases, the addition for the cure is more painful to get off of than the original drug - think methadone!) Anyway, more times that I liked hearing, this was so and so's 4th trip to rehab. Rehab didn't seem like the cure - it seemed like a revolving door that was going to never end. Yes, please, there are good rehabs out there. There are good rehabs out there that get you off of drugs completely.
So, I didn't want to use rehab, I was going crazy just wanting some speed. I was exhausted, but the day without speed was not going to beat me. I kept expanding the day without speed for quite a long time. You see, I really am very competitive by nature. I remember when I was little, I hated getting 2nd place. I just tried harder and harder until I could get the blue. For quite some time, speed held the blue ribbon from me. Yes, I fell sometimes. I just never forgot the challenge for me - to get the blue ribbon.
How did I do it? I changed me. I hung out with people that didn't party. It was too hard to say no. Eventually, the invites stopped happening. I always had an excuse. Like I said, not everyone that partied had a disorder that would just make them want to keep going and going and going. Some do. I do. I made the decision back then that I would not let drugs ever control me again. Sometimes I had a back-slide, but I didn't it let it win. I would dust myself off and start all over again. I have the blue ribbon and I am never letting it go again! Every single day for the rest of my life, it's my CHOICE to beat my Addiction Disorder. I don't buy lottery tickets, I rarely drink and if I do, I limit it to one because I have learned that I am strong enough to do that. I stay away from drugs. I do smoke now and then, but that isn't in my budget anyway. However, I have never found that I was addicted to that. A little bit now and then would just keep me moving better, without all the aches and pains.
My friend and I? We're still friends, but there are times that we see each other and there were always those times that time and visits seem to get away from us. So, let's stop judging and let's stop worrying about the terms we use - whether it's a disease or a disorder. Either way, it's crippling our nation and our world. We need to help stop the pain!