The ultimate stigma

As a child I was used to being the black sheep of the family. Everyone in my immediate family suffers from some form of mental health issues. From my mom, to my brother, to both his sons and now finally all three of my children.

The reason that I say that I’m the black sheep is because I’m the only one willing to talk about it and get help for it. Everyone else just kind of sweeps it under the rug. That’s fine, if that’s the way they want to live, however I will seek the help I need and still talk about it. When I talk to my mom at all about it I get silence or one word answers.

You might be wondering why I’m thinking about all this now. Well my daughter woke up and you can still see the cuts that she has on her arms. I wonder if there is enough talk about mental health that the stigma may be falling away. I know that from when I was a kid till now it’s gotten better.

The help still isn’t where it needs to be, however there is more talking. #bellletstalk is cool. It should be more then just one day a year though. Everyday there should be talk about it, bring awareness to all the different mental illnesses that are out there so that people aren’t ashamed to ask for help when needed.

It pisses me off that in our region there is little to no help for my daughter. That’s not to say there is much more options for me as an adult, however I know where to look and ask. My daughter has one place that she can get help and the wait list is huge. So now I have a daughter that is on Zoloft (not many options out there for 14 year olds as far as medication) and no other real services in place to help her deal and cope better. I have tried to offer some suggestions, but what works for one does not necessarily work for another.

She needs to learn to seek help when she needs it and she is not to that point yet, which I get this is all new to her.She has seen me go through my cycles of ups and downs (I’m bi-polar) but, to feel the depression is different then seeing it.

I know that I can’t be the ultimate saviour for her and I can’t protect her from the hurt that this world can cause, however I can block as much as I can from her. There are just some battles that she has to face alone, such as seeking help when she needs it. She needs to learn that no one can help her if she is not willing to ask.

I don’t know if it’s because this is all new to her or if it’s just that she doesn’t know much about it.

One of her major issues is that she has no interest in learning anything. Last night we were talking about Trump, she had no idea where Yemen was. She thought it was a made up place. Then she turns around and asks how we knew about it, and I simply put it that we look things up that we don’t know.

She has access to the internet, yet instead of being pro-active about anything she doesn’t care. Now is that the 14 year old in her, or just her personality in general. I strive to learn new things. If someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer to it, I’m looking it up right away. You are never to young or to old to learn something. She expects that the school will teach her everything. Sadly that is not the case. She barely knows anything about Canada or even Ontario (where she has lived most of her life) because she waits to learn it in school.

I’m finding it hard to figure out the difference between teenager and mental health right now. It’s frustrating to say the least. Again though I can only do so much without her asking me for help.

I feed her, do her laundry,  make sure she takes her pills, set up her appointments. When it comes right down to it however, she has to make the choice to reach out to the people that have offered her support and take it.

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