Tag: Depression

How Women End Up Hurting Their Own Feelings

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A lot of times women get their feelings hurt when they’re dating someone and unfortunately, it may just be the woman’s fault. I know it’s happened to me before. I’ve set myself up for failure quite a few times all because I got ahead of myself.

I’ll meet a guy, decide that I really like him and that he should really like me. By our 3rd or 4th date I’ve already got our wedding planned and the colors of our newly decorated kitchen in my mind. I’ve even imagined what I would wear the first time I meet his parents and what his siblings might think of me. I’ve forethought how he would propose and what time of the year we were likely to be married based on the length of engagement.

And I know I’m not alone. A lot of women get hyper excited when they meet a guy that they think could be “the one”. They think about what kind of ring he’ll propose with, what their new last name will be, and the “perfect” little life that they’re going to live together. And why wouldn’t they? If you already know that you’re a good catch & you meet a guy who’s a good catch, where is the harm in thinking about your future together? While it may be a bit presumptuous, it’s natural to get excited about the prospect of love.

I happen to do this all the time. I have recently discovered that this is a way of me hurting my own feelings. Every time I get excited about a guy that I’ve just met, I am always expecting the best from him. I am expecting that he won’t break my heart, I’m expecting for him to be the one and I’m expecting that he will soon figure out that I’m the one for him. I know it doesn’t always happen like this, but this is what happens when logic meets emotion. So when things don’t happen that way, it means I have set myself up for failure.

When I daydream about my future with a man I barely know I am setting myself up for failure. The thing is, you don’t need a long time to know if you really like someone or if they’re a good fit for you, but all that daydreaming & fantasizing about your life together can end up hurting you if things don’t work out. It especially hurts when the man doesn’t even know how you much you liked him in the beginning. And this is exactly how women hurt their own feelings.

The question is how can I stop all of this? I can’t help it! I can’t help the fact that my brain takes things further then it should when I meet someone I really like. As much as I’d love to dial it back, I’m only able to do so after my feelings have been hurt.

Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through expectations. So, ladies what do you do to NOT hurt your own feelings?

You Never Really Know What Someone Else Is Going Through

There is this mean-looking guy who works at my local grocery store. He works in the produce department and mainly works the evening shift which is usually when I go grocery shopping. He’s probably in this late 40’s and has a lot of tattoos all over his arms. He’s a little shorter than me & not a very big man so he doesn’t look menacing or anything like that. At first glance he appears to be very “scruffy looking” and just not the type of person you’d want stacking the same fruit that you’ll eventually be putting in your mouth. He never looks up and when I look at him he doesn’t crack a smile, let alone speak. He is definitely not the poster boy for customer service.

I’ve asked him for assistance once or twice before – mainly to find out when the new fruit would be unloaded or to figure out which fruit is currently in season – and he was pretty curt with me every time. I’ve never done anything to him & felt like the way he spoke to me was rude enough to bring it to his manager’s attention.

Last week I was in the grocery store picking out my usual assortment of fruits for my smoothies when there he was – the rude produce guy. When I looked at him to see if he was going to snub me for no reason, I was surprised to hear him greet me. Over a mound of oranges, he actually spoke to me. I couldn’t believe it! Was he talking to someone else around me? Nope he sure wasn’t, he was talking to me! After I said hello back I told him how taken aback I was by his greeting to which he explained that he hadn’t been himself in a while and was just now starting to feel better.

At this point in the conversation, I’m intrigued and want to know exactly what he’s talking about. It turns out that his mother recently passed and he was grieving her greatly. He went on to say that he just couldn’t seem to get past it and was doing the best he could just to show up at work every day and to keep himself together. He said he wasn’t a mean person by nature but he had no reason to smile since his mother died. Then he flashed me the biggest smile I’ve ever seen in a grocery store!

Boy, did I feel bad! Here I thought that he was a disgruntled fruit-man who hated his job, hated his life and could go “postal” at any moment. Clearly I was wrong. He was just a man that missed his mother. His rough exterior was a mere facade for the pain he was feeling on the inside. You can’t fault anyone for that.

The moral of this story is that you can never judge a book by its cover. You never know who is going through something so be nice to as many people as you can!

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Mental Health In The African American Community

 “He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.” – Ethiopian Proverb

African American communities across the United States are more culturally diverse now that any other time in history with increasing numbers of immigrants from African nations, the Caribbean, Central America and other countries. To ensure African American communities have access to adequate and affordable care, a better understanding of the complex role that cultural backgrounds and diverse experiences play in mental disorders in these communities is vital.

Access to Care
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these and other diverse communities are underserved by the nation’s mental health system. For example, one out of three African Americans who need mental health care receives it. Compared to the general population, African Americans are more likely to stop treatment early and are less likely to receive follow-up care.

Despite recent efforts to improve mental health services for African Americans and other culturally diverse groups, barriers remain in access to and quality of care from, insurance coverage to culturally competent services. For those with insurance, coverage for mental health services and substance use disorders is substantially lower than coverage for other medical illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes.

Historically, mental health research has been based on Caucasian and European based populations, and did not incorporate understanding of racial and ethnic groups and their beliefs, traditions and value systems. Culturally competent care is crucial to improving utilization of services and effectiveness of treatment for these communities.

Cultural Issues
Culture, which is understood to be a combination of common heritage beliefs, values and rituals are an important aspect of racial and ethnic communities. African Americans are a resilient people who have withstood enslavement and discrimination to lead productive lives and build vibrant communities. Throughout U.S. history, the African American community has faced inequities in accessing education, employment, and health care. However, strong social, religious, and family connections have helped many African Americans overcome adversity and maintain optimal mental health.

Many Americans, including African Americans, underestimate the impact of mental disorders. Many believe symptoms of mental health, such as depression, are “just the blues.” Issues of distrust in the health care system and mental health stigma frequently lead African Americans to initially seek mental health support from non-medical sources.

Often, African Americans turn to family, church and community to cope. The level of religious commitment among African Americans is high. In one study, approximately 85 percent of African Americans respondents described themselves as “fairly religious” or “religious” and prayer was among the most common way of coping with stress.

Because African Americans often turn to community – family, friends, neighbors, community groups and religious leaders – for help, the opportunity exists for community health services to collaborate with local churches and community groups to provide mental health care and education to families and individuals. Studies have shown that family participation in a support group or a church group can improve the family’s ability to care for family members with mental disorders and cope with the emotional distress of being a caregiver.

Rates of Mental Disorders

Rates of mental health in African American communities are similar to those of the general population. Most individuals are able to maintain good mental health. However, many are in desperate need of mental health treatment. Culturally diverse groups often bare a disproportionately high burden of disability resulting from mental disorders. This disparity does not stem from a greater prevalence rate or severity of illness in African Americans, but from a lack of culturally competent care, and receiving less or poor quality care.

For some disorders, such as schizophrenia and mood disorders, there is a high probability of misdiagnosis because of differences in how African Americans express symptoms of emotional distress. And while the rate of substance use among African American is lower than other ethnicities, alcohol and drugs are responsible for more deaths in the African American community than any other chronic disease in the U.S.

Conclusion
Cultural identity encompasses distinct patterns of belief and practices that have implications for one’s willingness to seek treatment from and to be adequately served by mental health care providers. More research must be done to better understand mental health disparities and to develop culturally competent interventions for African Americans. With proper diagnosis and treatment, African Americans – like other populations – can increasingly better manage their mental health and lead healthy, productive lives.

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RESOURCES

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers an array of support and education programs that help build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Find the support you need:

NAMI HelpLine

The Information HelpLine is an information and referral service which can be reached by calling 1 (800) 950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., EST or by email at info@nami.org

Education, Training and Peer Support Center

NAMI State Organizations and local NAMI Affiliates offer an array of free education and support programs for individuals, family members, providers and the general public. These include Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, NAMI Support Group, In Our Own Voice and more.

State and Local NAMIs

NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.

Discussion Groups

Browse through hundreds of NAMI’s interactive group forums. With topics ranging from illness management, to job-hunting, to relationships, it’s never been easier to connect with others who’ve shared your lived experience.

Social Networks

Connect with NAMI through Social Media Channels on Facebook and Twitter or NAMI’s network for young adults, Strength of Us.

NAMI on Campus

NAMI on Campus provides information and resources to support students living with mental health conditions and to empower them to take action on their campuses.

Veterans & Military Resource Center

NAMI is proud to provide the following resources for veterans and active duty military members, as well as their families, friends, and advocates.

Multicultural Action Center

The Multicultural Action Center focuses on eliminating disparities in mental health care for diverse communities and offers help and hope to individuals of diverse backgrounds.

NAMI FaithNet

NAMI FaithNet is a network of NAMI members and friends dedicated to promoting caring faith communities and promoting the role of faith in recovery for individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Missing Persons Support

Resources and support for locating missing persons with mental illness.

NAMI Legal Support

The NAMI Legal Center provides lawyer referrals as a service to our members and the general public.

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

Mental Health America (MHA) has developed unique materials for African Americans.

Brochures

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“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

*For more information on Blogging for Mental Health, please visit Canvas of the Mind.

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