Don’t Ignore Mental Health

There is so much more to mental health than this piece. Don’t ignore the growing epidemic.

The current mental health system in the US is chaotic with the general treatment of unfortunate mental health  patients in America being ignored. Needing treatment is a far cry from getting it. And then there’s the fact that the frenzied system is facing a massive mental health epidemic.

We are finding that many people suffering from conditions cannot find the help they need and are ending up stranded on the streets begging for help. In 2014, it was an estimated that 200,000 were homeless, and 350,000 were incarcerated. It’s unfortunate. Communities tend to reject the serious mentally ill to shelters, prisons and the streets. States have been begging for funding and better training for years.

All of this indicates the journey to substance abuse and violence for comfort.

RibbonI

Mental disorders affect thinking, feeling, mood, or all with each person having a different experience. It is argued that the connection between the underlying causes are genetics, environment and lifestyle are the key to wellness. When it’s brought up, depression, anxiety, panic, schizophrenia and PTSD are usually mentioned. These conditions radiate through America with 1 in 17 people living with a serious mental illness. 50% of these mental disorders begin by the age of 14 rising to 75% by the age of 24. Additionally, coping with stress can create a person’s disorder.

So where could have we adverted the crisis?

A great example would be mental health and teens. 1 out of 5 live with a mental illness developing between 14 and 24. At a time of self-awareness, many teens try to cope with their issues independently sometimes turn to drugs to settle their disorder If the aftermath Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons why’ told us anything, it’s that mental health is still in the dark ages of its causes, actions, and reactions. That alone sheds light as to why those with mental illnesses get the cold shoulder. The fact that normal behavior and the progression of personality during adolescence mimic and mask symptoms makes it all the more critical.

RibbonII.png

Treatment

America has heavily relied on medications for relief from mental illness for generations and generally, the intention is to be beneficial. They influence the brain cells and have brought humans forward from a sadistic past saving many lives. Allowing patients to deal with depression, psychotic episodes, anxiety, and extreme mood swings while living a wealthy life was now possible.

However, many medications hold severe side-effects: memory loss, severe fatigue, isolation resolution, changes in personality to name a few. Ignoring the fact that more that stronger prescriptions is needed in most cases to maintain wellness. It paves the way when it comes to the risks in relieving mental symptoms. Doctors don’t address the underlying issue. Not to mention with rogue doctors exploiting a situation. Many medications are abused to the point when where the current situation begins to leak into many other circumstances.

Like Jail.

It is being shown that many of the inmates incarcerated are suffering from mental problems. The prison system has many flaws. Throwing mentally ill patients behind bars is one of them. It is estimated that 14% of the inmates in federal prisons and 26% in state and county jails met the levels for serious psychological stress. Between the state and county, about 40% were told they have a mental disorder. 31% of those reported a major depressive disorder. Something to think about: There is a higher percentage of females incarcerated with mental health issues. Prescription medication is the common treatment. An overseen issue with the treatment is that many inmates already have addiction issues.

A study in Iowa state prison showed almost 50% of their inmates had a serious mental illness with 29% suffering from substance abuse. 90% is recognized by the 6th year of incarceration and almost all felons were diagnosed while doing their time. Unfortunately by the time all of this happens, the damage is done.

RibbonIII

Suicide

Sadly, those who are subjected to be tortured by their disorder may face their own demise by their own hands. The main risk includes depression and substance abuse. Linkage to this seen as suicidal ideations, social withdraws, mood swings, and reckless behaviors. Sound familiar?

And what happened to patient’s rights?

RibbonIV.png

While issues with mental health policy have progressed it still has ways to go. Patients being discriminated and rights are denied, lack of access to resources, not being able to make their own informed decision, and overcrowded state hospitals has been ground zero to the chaos in treating mental health. 2/3 of children with mental health issues do not have access to care and the criminal justice system just tosses them in jail at the prime age of treatment. For something so important, there a lot of obstacles.

As far as the issues with mental health and prisons, to ignore it is to prove that the function of incarceration isn’t to rehabilitate, but rather, as we thought, just to hold. Can people really say that the proper treatment is provided in prisons? Should we turn our backs? Assume someone else will deal with it? Mental health professionals are still working on progressing the proper way to treat individuals with conditions as they are finding out generalizing may not be the right way to go about things. Is prison or without shelter the place to be to do that?

Advertisements

24/7 Challenge

I wrote this three years ago and it recently popped up in my memory (digital). I was a realist when I posted this, but still had a little hope. 

Now, in 2017, fake news is the campaign our current president is holding on to as his ignorance clings to his uneducated fan-base. It has been intertwined in real news since and it’s to a point where many don’t trust the difference between what’s real. It’s crazy when you can pull something up from years ago and that shit is still relevant. See what happens when you don’t share?

On a brighter side, I am glad to see some of the media finally pushing back.


 

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an article that was reporting the acquittal of an NYPD officer. It was said that a baby was dead due to a confrontation the officer had with its mother. My heart sank. On top of everything going on with police officers across the country, how could a small baby die at the hands of those who serve and protect?

Until I really thought about it. Things in the article just didn’t add up. I decided to do my own research. It didn’t take long for me to find out it was a hoax.

Great timing.

Seriously, kudos to the person that snuck that fake article in amidst the chaos between civilians and law enforcement. Sad part is, while it helped fuel the fire, it’s only a small portion compared to the influence the internet has on us. No longer are we fueled by information, rather how information can get a rise out of us. Most don’t check. Most just assume.

There has been a lot going on today. Rape, murder, war, the annihilation of ever satisfying the smallest part of us. The assumption that every human thought should be the same when clearly it won’t. The use of social media to purposely spread lies. While it is nothing new, we can no longer turn a blind eye to anything as even the blind can’t ignore it.

This is no longer just about slanted views. That will never change. We are humans. We will never be perfect. Therefore our objectivity will never be perfect. We shouldn’t expect someone who depends on a job to live to choose your thoughts over their income.

Remember, covering news stories is a career. Do you really think a person could look their child in the eye and say ‘No dinner tonight. I chose to go against what my boss believes makes my company successful so now I’ve been replaced.’

No. While some people do take a stance, that kind of thing is usually only seen in movies. And please look at that statement relatively and realistically.

The reality is it’s just that easy to find someone eager to be in their place. And people know that.

Ask analysts of CareerBuilder, Indeed, Sologig, Robert Half Technologies, to name very few. They could tell you that someone wants a job all the time.

So why do we assume everyone with no job or in need of assistance does not want to work?

Who am I to assume I know your life better than yours? I ask you the same question. But we do it every day. We assume that everyone with a healthy income chooses not to be a good human and work hard for their life, just as we assume that the poverty stricken human spends their time trying not to be efficient with their time. Can we agree on each side that that is not always the case?

We conclude that because of social media and the news, we know exactly what’s going on. Almost as if all humans were privy to the information that keeps us alive. If that was the case, we would never fear for our lives. But is that the case? Ask yourself can that really be true. Then ask yourself how you know.

Print

Why is it when we suspect race played a hand in a crime, someone assumes a race card has been played? Has it really worked in our favor yet? No. If you saw a dangerous pattern, whether the conclusion was true or false, would you ignore it? If your answer is yes, I am disappointed.

More importantly, why when we feel an injustice has been served we resort to injustices in our own community? We are here for you. Why are you here only to exploit? Does violence bring a final solution? If so please point me in the right direction.

Please don’t let the actions of ignorance cloud the actual problem. We don’t want your pity. We want your understanding. Why is it so hard to believe that racism still exists even if it is a smaller percentage than the past? And please don’t assume that we don’t have a slight understanding as to why the fear is still prevalent.

I get scared too. I pass judgment before I know. So I can conclude other people do too. My saving grace is that my reaction against someone will never be based on an assumption. I know we cannot say the same for some.

How do you conclude something you can’t fully understand? How can we assume our success in a position we’ve never been in? Better yet how can we do all that but have no valid suggestion in how to change something for the better? How can we complain when we do nothing to help? Why when we no longer have facts to back up an argument we result to naming calling and superficial ridicule. Are we not adults? Is this what we call leading by example?

So many tragic events going on everywhere, whether shared on our electrical God or ignored because it wouldn’t satisfy the financial appetite of an organization. But are we helping or just arguing why our position is the correct one? Then ask yourself is it working.

I challenge us for the next time we come to a conclusion, to ask ourselves, do we know all the facts? Are we confident that there can be no flaws? Do we really know or do we internet know? There is a difference. Please keep that in mind when you share.

This is not a 24 hour challenge, rather an everyday challenge. Take the lead and stop this nonsense the world continues to bring upon themselves. It’s only killing us. Literally.

Even if a few people continue to challenge themselves to use knowledge to brainstorm and not resort to lies and name calling we will move in a better direction. I challenge us to make sure that sharing the facts supersedes the sharing of same-side information.

The people that have to clean this up are begging you.

Cannabis: Mixing Business and Pleasure

Photo Credit: Michael Joseph.

While states like Ohio and New Jersey suffered another night of endless overdoses and opiate arrests, a group of Cannabis leaders and lovers came together to enjoy a great Friday night and the ‘SENSI Night Event.’

Thousands of people, women and men alike enjoyed one another’s company as they laughed and shared information on philosophies, creations and future ideas of the Cannabiz nation. All this and cotton candy!

One thing to mention, this event was completely free. $5 parking charge for the City of Denver and a 3 minute walk was all it took to meet great people, enjoy great music, and learn. Vendors enjoyed each other’s company…while spreading their mission of course.

Julian Marley – Photo Credit: Michael Joseph.

A Botanist from I&I Wholesales approached enthusiasts as they entered the bottom level to discuss his love for his creations. He uses his cultivation for both medical and recreational plant growth and is delighted that he could finally share his concepts with a growing audience.

As new benefits of Cannabis comes to light, leaders have spent tireless nights creating new ways to express them. The night proved many things, but once most pronounced: Cannabis can open doors to business in addition to wellness.

Doctors were raffling off free medical exams to receive the deserved benefits of Cannabis. Across from the medical experts, vendors offered help treating someone’s health without them having to face the stigma still pertinent with judgements and life-changing reactions. Relief from illnesses like anxiety, seizures, and anti-inflammatory issues had been showcased as e-cigs, rubs and delicious food fusions. Businesses used their products to collaborate on ways to keep bringing everyone together.

Thousands of people were raveled up someway in the heroin and opiate epidemic Friday night. Thousands of other people decided to network with Cannabis leaders and broaden their horizon on thoughts alliance of the Cannabis brand. Business owners, entrepreneurs, and just plain ol’ Cannabis lovers. Guess what? It wasn’t just a bunch of potheads sitting on a big couch.

Ignoring National Attention Begets Trickle-Down Effect

PrintBoth money and power have been proven to be devastating together and as they stand alone. Destructive in many areas or life quality. Think about it. After centuries of being told that money does not buy happiness, we actually have valid arguments to prove otherwise. 15 minutes of fame has been a steady trend for a couple of decades. Those in power make life-changing decisions and look where we are currently headed.

And while no one deserves to be violated, those who exploit the two are gaining ground to do so. We ignore it though. Money provides that power to do so and if the justice system told us anything, any indiscretion can be swept under the rug. Just check the world’s history.

It seems that we have no choice as an average middle class citizens to watch it happen and wait for it to hit home. And it’s getting ready to collide.

Of the many areas where money and power exploits both a circumstance and its outcomes, one has gotten a lot of media attention due to the delayed attention of human trafficking issue the world has: sex abuse.

It is said that there is a staggering 30.5% of women and 15% of menPrint experience sexual abuse at some point in their childhood. Most are violated by people they trust. With children, it’s easy to manipulate them into believing if they don’t fulfill this adult’s request, their lives’ will be affected. Make them understand the power of money, you have someone who is willing to make an authoritative figure happy as hell.

So we know it’s there, but why is it so rampant? While minorities seem to be slain over miscommunication, a trend of rich and powerful people have been getting away with sex abuse right in our faces with known children crying out for help. It’s hard to ignore the obvious.

Can I point out that this issue has been in our face the entire time?  It’s allowed because the people who we believe are to prevent it, are enabling it. Let’s take a look at the recent news. Millionaire financial advisor, Jeffrey Epstein was charged with allegedly engaging in sexual abuse with 40 minors.

This man was allowed to plead guilty to solicitation of underage girls serving 13 months and paying restitution. Current Labor Nominee and US Attorney Acosta was afraid of prosecuting him because of his powerful defense team even though he had growing evidence against the man. Have you ever heard of an attorney express fear of a public defender? Police Chief Michael Reiter expressed the fact that he got off easy. I’m sure he’s still enjoying life even with this bump on the road.

Things like this will continue to happen especially if we keep with the criminal justice system aligned to dis-proportionally and arguably illegally prosecute people on such a bias scale. While talented lawyers deserve to be paid for their time, the lack of ability to afford great work shouldn’t be life threatening as well the ability to afford to do so should not buy a get out of jail free card. Anyone convicted of raping their three year old daughter thought to rightfully go free? Then you should ask why an heir to DuPont was put on probation and not on a pitch fork to feed hungry lions. The power of money and the greed behind it, allows it.

PrintThen you have celebrities coming forward as childhood sex abuse survivors in one of the perfect situations to get away with it. Cliché Corey Haim was laid to unrest with extreme signs of the result of what we chose to ignore directly and indirectly: substance addiction, guilt, and other self-destructive behavior. He didn’t go peacefully in the night and he tried to point out the obvious. For every Corey Haim, think of all the unnamed children having their outcry’s masked as mere bad behavior.

Elijah Woods makes a claim that child actors are often preyed upon. The trafficking system is organized and protected. Common denominator if you haven’t seen a pattern: money. They can’t speak as loudly as people with power.

Corey Feldman, Corey Haim’s right hand man and the person who was persecuted for a recent performance corroborated his friend’s claim that he was abused. These children trusted these adults in power. These adults with money. Money that has proven to control outcomes in certain financial favor. Industries with money remained protected by power and those who are victimized remain silent because of their lack of control of ironically, their own money.

These people come out and express their reasons for being silent about their battered and senseless situation and they are disbelieved and called coward for not pressing head on in their cavalry. Ignoring that each step on the way down the rabbit hole of sex, money, and power. Ignoring that children are easily manipulated to believe anything adults say.

And when they throw money into the mix and feel that someone should risk their
livelihood when no one else would hear them cry. Forgetting that the same reason that the abuse was allowed to continue is the same reason why they can’t find peace in admittance.

And to wrap this conversation up in a spiky blanket. We watched Printcelebrities parade in front of us knowing what was going on behind the scenes accepting it because we couldn’t tell for sure. Financially powerful people have been brought up before our eyes and the accusations wind up somewhat normalizing it. So where does this leave our everyday people who are violated behind closed doors?

 

 

Growing Up White

Print
Yes I’m black. To some though, I wasn’t. To some, I wasn’t good enough. No real explanation. Just blanket statements.

Some people spend part of their lives shaping themselves to commit to an already planned out existence. But each step was like a needle to the arm: you didn’t die, but you felt it and you remember what happens the next time you encounter it.

Here’s just one of many stories that left a bad taste in my mouth. The culprits may not have realized, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.Print

Growing up black in a white neighborhood in itself is interesting, but it made traveling outside of it confusing. I already knew that people were called colors that they were in fact not, but outside of the suburbs there were also levels to this said color.

While playing outside on the streets of Ilion Avenue, my siblings and I were always told we talked white. I would see my sister’s eyes bulge like their death was gaining pressure. She hated it more than I did.

I never understood why telling us we talked liked a color and that talking that way should be shameful. But hey, most of them barely left the burrow and always asked to play with my Skip-it so who’s ashamed now?

As we got older Printand more color escaped the depths of a government controlled cycle where only a few were okay with their outcome, the criticizing began to change a little. The preteens have now lived life and could tell me a few things. And now were telling me I wasn’t black enough.

First, I sounded white (ew, I guess is what was supposed to say). Now, for some reason, I wasn’t black enough. Almost like a secret timeline they kept track of for final judgement. Sad, I had no clue I was being tested.

Again, wasn’t sure how I was really supposed to take that. I know how I did take it and have a journal for a year in high school to prove it. But here I was, black, sounding white, not being black enough.

Skip ahead to adulthood. After years and years of being told  I sounded like the wrong color, and my color was not enough to be a part of the color group, I was now beiPrintng told the color I was supposed to be and sound like was no longer the latest tea.

That tasted like shit.

A long monologue about love, and many of us got the cliff notes: “You’re too loud, angry, and independent.”

I don’t care who you love, just don’t beat down someone else to justify it.

The Irrelevance of Modern Politics

whitehouse

As the presidential campaign begins creeping out the dark corner, many of us are excited to see the jumble of idiots trying to convince us that their rich background can understand what the middle class and lower class is actually going through. But it should be funny. The big problem with any political campaign is that the drive to go into politics revolves around…guess it! MONEY! Not current overwhelming conditions. Money has been the foundation of political power for generations and those who don’t have the money or the right networking affiliations, but has the drive, knowledge, and passion for the progress of America, usually never stands the chance. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at it from a few angles.

Money Drives Professional Gain Like I described in a previous blog post, money is a huge part in campaigning for yourself or a mission. If you don’t believe that, ask yourselves why millions of people and businesses pay into marketing profusely. It’s why you will always see multiple types of marketing positions available. When you have an endless amount of money to pour into a campaign, you can focus less on fundraising and more on being one step ahead. More than likely, you will have access to highly qualified campaign managers, better financial assistance, better potential fundraisers, etc. While this may not be the case 100% of the time, let’s come together and realize that money gives a good push in the direction you want. Try moving to your dream destination with no money. Try buying your favorite car with no money. Try raising a family with no money. Try advertising your skills to millions with no money. (except for the irrelevant people who desire is to exploit). Money has a huge control on most decisions. Denial is why the middle class in tipping towards the lower class. Many lower and middle class citizens who have a passion for forward thinking and change for the positive couldn’t even dream about the money that pours into standard political campaigns let alone receive anything close to what the 1% does and because broke=dumb in this country, people rarely decide to choose what the broke person is trying to explain because, money.

Money Provides Reason Do you really think middle class Marcy could raise anywhere close to the politicians we come to love (on opposite day)? Most politicians will never understand the current condition of the middle and lower class. This is a sad admittance, however, we are in an era and in a generation of adult from broken homes, volatile situations, deprived school systems, extremely ignorant held beliefs passed down. Reasons for change but no money to prove validity. We are also a generation of adults who are more opened minded and willing to change coupled with experience dealing with the lives of middle and lower class people. Add being one of the most financially repressed American generation relative brings us to 2015 confirming that what we have been told over the years has been a lie. As for the high class, why change if there’s always gain? Doesn’t their money prove that?

Money Provides a Stable Flatline (ignorance sometimes included) Having the born-in wealthy control the current conditions is like having a general manager from a retail store invited to become a head coach in the NBA. Yes you may have some management experience and your work attendance is perfect, but do you really understand the concept and the situation? Most Americans are not born into easy opportunities and must experience much in order to evolve. Our political power should reflect as such. When it comes to change, relative to the American spectrum, few are open to big ones. There’s a reason why the phrase “he’s set in his ways” will never go away. There’s much less persuasion when you have more information available. But when these current politicians take what they’ve learned many wealthy, uneventful years ago and announce them, you tend to forget that we are supposed to be the country of forward thinking and future planning. When you sift through the internet babble, you will find many people who actually want and are willing to help change the direction of this country and have good reason to. Unfortunately, many of them are broke (hint). Meanwhile those with financial stability can say the most ignorant of things and have people justify their words.

Want to Play a Game?

Web

Money Drives Influence – But Not Always The Answer Let’s talk a little about climate change. I am not a scientist and I will not claim that I know it all (or much) when it comes to that subject. I know that the scientists who accept the change in climate are arguing whether or not the changes occurring are natural or man-made. But if you listen to politicians, they already have the answer and instead of finding a solution, they continue to argue who’s right. Meanwhile, there’s a drought in California, floods in Texas, melting ice in Antarctica, but we have to get down to the nitty gritty: Who’s winning the debate. During their political campaign, I can guarantee the redundancy speeches of the current issues going on with this country with climate change being a button to push. It’s a wonderful argument to debate. But the current political process will not address the solutions, rather point why their opponent bi-proxy shouldn’t be president. And we’ll listen not because they are providing solutions, but because we will be reminded over and over again who they are through the marketing techniques they spent thousands upon thousands…upon thousands to shove in our face. We’ll listen to our favorite media organizations backing the politicians because they help pay their salary. We’ll ignore those who are speaking solutions into the world because…well we probably didn’t hear them because MONEY GIVES YOU A LOUD ENOUGH VOICE TO BE HEARD! Now if the rich used their superpowers for good then I wouldn’t be writing this. Could you imagine if Superman was secretly Bizarro?

Print

Offensive? Maybe. But Lets Confirm Before We Whine.

I watch TV a lot (thanks Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime). It’s my background noise while I’m at my computer doing everything I possibly could do to advance my career…and borderline obsess over social media observing. I suck at keeping up with the latest shows, so I usually have oldie but goodies playing while I work.

Fortunately, as an adult, I get to re-watch certain shows as if I only saw a trailer the first time. As an adult, I get to understand the smart remarks and lingo that cleared my head the first time and wow, actors got away with saying a lot of offensives things. And it is hilarious.

Things I’m sure today, you’d cry about. Thank goodness social media is only in its infancy and we haven’t always been bombarded with its presence. Movies and TV shows would have never been able to start their paths to being two of the most common things in America.

Back to my point. Throughout history (at least close to my history), people have poked fun and insulted someone in some way. Mocking Native Americans, Blacks, Spanish, Irish, Italians, blondes, fat people, nerds, the list is endless. Sometimes a joke can be just that…a joke. Sometimes something can just be entertainment and not the assumption that a result in one entertaining scenario goes across the board of specific groups. Today however, the thought of not being able to make someone laugh is frightening.

It seems the new trend is to take everything to the extreme. No longer can we say something funny and expect the very least to just stare silently. Today, we have to worry about internet backlash. Everything gets taken out of context and next thing we know, feeds are becoming virtually critical of what the entire world is doing. How many of us has already read something about a group being offended and think ‘Damn, I do that too! I guess I offend them.’

This is way too often for a lot of people.

 offensive jokes3

Yes, people thread that line where you question whether you should laugh or punch a wall. This is not the blog for that scenario, however, if all you’re going to shame and name-call something trivial as a joke, know that you’re negatively judged and criticized profusely by many. It’s silly and insanely pointless.

I have to stress the fact that people can’t see the difference between a joke to help people burn calories and something that is said or done with an undertone of prejudice is insulting as a human. So much time has been wasted these couple of years getting offended just because it gives you something to comment about. The irony is this would be a perfect time in life to take a look at ourselves and JUST. LAUGH.

This is coming from a short, fat, black woman from Jersey who hasn’t had a stable job since 2012. The internet should be one big offense to me!

And if you can’t laugh at yourself, take a trip to TV land and get your mind blown…maybe another thing to get offended about.

I know it’s hard but here’s how I make it without taking everything I see so personally.

  1. Ask yourself: Are they trying to offend, or are they just trying to make me laugh?

It actually should be quite easy to figure out if you pay attention and not just use a paragraph as a word jumble.

And if you’re truly offended, try making a difference. Even if it seems small.

Web