Monday, May 16, 2011

Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues are near and dear to my heart. I have lived my entire life in the shadow of clinical depression. My mother has suffered her entire life. My grandmother would talk about what a happy young girl my mother was, but from what I have learned from my aunt, mom's older sister, my mother clearly was depressed by the time she reached high school. By the time my mother was about 30 she had a small child, me, and had tried to end her life. My father bailed.

Even as a small child I understood that my mom was ill. I also understood it was an illness no one talked about. I was embarrassed by what she'd tried to do. I didn't feel like it was my fault, but I did feel like I was the only person in the world who could stop her from trying to end her life again.

As a child I would sit up in the wee hours of the morning playing solitaire while my mother screamed about how awful her life was. I sat right there, in front of her to be sure that she didn't go into the kitchen and grab a knife.

This post is about hearing about the Peter C. Alderman Foundation on the radio this evening. They work in developing nations helping people with mental health and PTSD. Mr. Alderman talked about the stigma of mental health, and although he applied it to a different experience, I am so grateful that their foundation brings awareness, which is invaluable.


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