PTSD @ HOMEGOODS!

I went to Homegoods with my friend, and now I haven’t step foot in my Homegoods story here in Williamsburg before today. All the bad memories of spending hours upon hours in Homegoods connecting T.J. Maxx, watching my mother dearest buying out the store and piling up my cart with things that I needed to buy. With my own money that I cannot afford. I was very unconformable and broke out in sweat looking around the story with my friend, yet it was the first time in a Homegoods since early 2016. My friend didn’t find what she was looking for, so we were in and out.

When I called my grandma, telling her what happens. She told me that she had the same feeling when she went. It made my grandma sick just thinking about her daughter did to us. We can’t step in a Homegoods without triggering our PDTD. I want to cry for what my mom had put my grandma and me through.

The next day I read a newsbreak that says that; “Milwaukee Mother Tied Up Son With Autism And Set Him On Fire.”  It’s not the first time that I read something sinful like this happen. Years back, in 2015, I learned that they found a Philadelphia man who was 21 with Cerebral Palsy in the woods. “About 100 yards off the roadway here, laying in leaves. He's got a blanket over him and a Bible on his chest. He has a wheelchair about 10 feet from his body."

I just hate this! 🤬🤬🤬 I want to cry and wonder why? Did my biological mother, Linda Conant try this to do this to me? Sadly yes. That summer of 1999, One morning, my mom came in on me, taking a bath and almost killed me in the bathwater after she beat me by washing my hair. It was a terrible memory of my mother’s outrage. At first, I was dumbfounded for her being mad at me.  I made a mistake using the last of her bath salt. I was sorry and gave her no lip. When she told me to wash to the shampoo out of my hair, she held my body underwater with her hands pushing down drowning me. Then I was too scared, too young to realize what the hell was going on. I was lucky that she stopped and acted as nothing happened. Later on that day, she confessed that she was the worst mother ever as she apologized to me. Mom made me swear not to tell a soul, not even my dad.  I pushed it far, far, far now in my mind to forget it.  All because I spilled her bath salts by mistake? Why what up with that? Just bath salt that one can buy for one dollar at Dollar Tree.

I never told a soul until 2014 long after my dad had passed away.  I don't hide things about what had happened to me NOT ANYMORE!!! I speak out against child abuse and rape as a survivor. I speak out now from domestic violence not as a victim but as a survivor. I BLESS GOD EACH DAY TO BE ALIVE!!

 

Disability Meets Depression

Depression is not something you hear a lot about within the disability community, but the more I thought about it the more I began to see the connection.  Being disabled can cause one to have to face many ups and downs and obstacles, hurdles, uphill battles, and valley experiences throughout our lives, the upside to all of these experiences, they have shaped and continues to shape who God has created us to be. For example, a person who has a disability typically deals with low self-esteem, lack of direction, feelings of not belonging,  These same feelings can also be connected with depression. Before I continue any further I think it's important to understand what Depression is and also there is a difference between being depressed and suffering from depression. Being depressed is usually when something does not go as planned and you become a down about it, it does not usually last long, whereas depression is defined as a mental disorder characterized by depressed, low, or “blue” mood that lasts more than a few days. People who suffer from depression often lose interest in activities they formerly found pleasant, feel hopeless and sad, and suffer from low self-esteem.  Depression and disability oftentimes go hand and hand, depending upon the support system that an individual may have. But then the question becomes why does disability lead to depression:

Why does disability lead to depression?? 

 I don’t think depression is directly related to the disability itself but related to the emotions and fears connected to the disability. These are common emotions that a person with a disability may experience and because of that experience, there may be some depression. 

No life direction or purpose – Many individuals who happened to have a disability, they often feel as though because they are disabled they have no purpose which causes them to feel lost and out of place.  Then there are the individuals who become disabled later in life, they have worked hard to achieve a certain career goal. Acquiring a disability that no longer allows you to work at that job has a significant impact on your direction in life and may also impact your sense of purpose. For example, an airline pilot whose vision becomes seriously impaired is no longer able to fly. Such a devastating loss can easily open the door for depression, particularly if that was the only career he or she had ever had  Another example is someone who suffers a stroke, as we know people who have strokes sometimes loses the use of the right side of their body as well as the ability to drive and they speech sometimes become altered. This drastic life change can cause depression sneak in because this person has gone from having a pretty normal full of independence to having a life of restrictions and limitations.  

The painful loss of a sense of purpose affects many disabled individuals who were formerly the primary breadwinner in the home. When you’re no longer able to provide for your family, it’s not unusual to develop the lingering helplessness or frustration that leads to depression. 

Feelings of worthlessness, another common symptom of depression, can begin to take a firm grip. This is seen commonly in a lot of disabled vets.

A decrease in self-esteem – Being disabled affects how you perceive and feel about yourself, as well as your place in society. A study of individuals with traumatic brain injury revealed they had lower levels of self-esteem and higher levels of depression than healthy individuals. Some disabled individuals lack confidence in their ability to control their body and manage their life adequately. The loss of autonomy can take a severe toll on self-esteem.

Sadness, anger or frustration – A disability can sometimes prevent you from having your dream job or your dream career, but it isn’t always serious enough to keep you out of the workforce entirely. Feeling forced to take a job that isn’t as challenging, fulfilling, prestigious or well-paying can elicit negative feelings such as sadness, anger, frustration or resentment. 

The struggle of living with a disability – Quality of life often decreases after a significant injury or illness, especially when it limits the ability to perform normal daily activities. A serious brain injury, for instance, requires a person to relearn any number of tasks, from how to speak to how to button a shirt. In some cases, he or she simply isn’t able to relearn important functions. Likewise, a disability such as vision loss completely changes how someone lives. A newly blind person must learn how to navigate a dark world, losing at least some independence in the process.

Feeling bored – Some disabilities leave a person housebound, with few opportunities to interact with others. You may find yourself at home alone all day while your spouse is at work or confined to an assisted living center where community activities don’t match your interests. Boredom fosters negative emotions, including loneliness and frustration, which can trigger symptoms of depression.

Disability definitely raises depression risk; however, depression can also make the disability worse. For example, depression can make it more difficult for you to take proper care of your health. You are more likely to miss important appointments, such as a doctor visit or physical therapy. You may neglect to take your medications as directed. The result is a cycle in which the injury or illness triggers depression, which, in turn, makes the disabling condition worse.     

Signs of Depression

The following are signs of clinical depression:

  • Difficulty remembering things, concentrating or making simple decisions
  • Feeling tired all of the time despite getting enough sleep
  • Feeling helpless or worthless
  • Feeling pessimistic
  • Having insomnia frequently or sleeping more than necessary
  • Frequent irritability and having trouble calming down
  • Loss of interest in things that you previously enjoyed doing
  • Increased appetite or loss of appetite
  • Frequently feeling ill, such as having headaches, digestive problems or other unexplained aches and pains
  • Constant feelings of sadness or anxiousness
  • Frequent suicidal thoughts or attempts at suicide

How to combat depression

  1. Learn to speak positive words over yourself and over your life:  The Bible tells us that the power of life and death lies in our tongue, the more you start to speak positively about yourself the more positive you will start to feel about yourself.

 

2. Learn speak those things as though they are true….despite how you feel at the moment: So many times we allow our current situations or circumstances to dictate how we value ourselves, you have learn to speak positive even if you don’t feel like it or even if it feels like the world is crashing down around you and remember your disability has nothing to do with your value because situations change by your value will not.

3. Learn to surround yourself with like-minded people.  Surround yourself with positive people who can also be encouraging and see you and not your disability, they are comforting when they need to be when you need them to be but will not join your pity party.

 4. Read your Bible  See what God said about you, what has he promised you because at the end of the day that’s all at matters is what God said about you, you are beautifully and wonderfully made in His image this by the way has nothing to do with physical appearance, The plans he has for you is to prosper you not harm you (Jeremiah 29:11) Be confident in that He that has begun a good work in you shall see it to completion (Phili 1:6)

 

These are just a few tips on how to learn to defeat depression, this is an area you find yourself struggling I would love the opportunity to connect with you to see if maybe I could be of some assistance to you its 2019 we can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results it's time that you get serious about where God is trying to take you but you can’t go if you inner man is not together. 

The same way you take care of your body you have to do the same for the thing for your inner man.

If you would like to discuss this topic more in-depth with me feel free to send me an email at coachlatreawyche@gmail.com

Depression is not something you hear a lot about within the disability community, but the more I thought about it the more I began to see the connection.  Being disabled can cause one to have to face many ups and downs and obstacles, hurdles, uphill battles, and valley experiences throughout our lives, the upside to all of these experiences, they have shaped and continues to shape who God has created us to be. For example, a person who has a disability typically deals with low self-esteem, lack of direction, feelings of not belonging,  These same feelings can also be connected with depression. Before I continue any further I think it's important to understand what Depression is and also there is a difference between being depressed and suffering from depression. Being depressed is usually when something does not go as planned and you become a down about it, it does not usually last long, whereas depression is defined as a mental disorder characterized by depressed, low, or “blue” mood that lasts more than a few days. People who suffer from depression often lose interest in activities they formerly found pleasant, feel hopeless and sad, and suffer from low self-esteem.  Depression and disability oftentimes go hand and hand, depending upon the support system that an individual may have. But then the question becomes why does disability lead to depression:

Why does disability lead to depression?? 

 I don’t think depression is directly related to the disability itself but related to the emotions and fears connected to the disability. These are common emotions that a person with a disability may experience and because of that experience, there may be some depression. 

No life direction or purpose – Many individuals who happened to have a disability, they often feel as though because they are disabled they have no purpose which causes them to feel lost and out of place.  Then there are the individuals who become disabled later in life, they have worked hard to achieve a certain career goal. Acquiring a disability that no longer allows you to work at that job has a significant impact on your direction in life and may also impact your sense of purpose. For example, an airline pilot whose vision becomes seriously impaired is no longer able to fly. Such a devastating loss can easily open the door for depression, particularly if that was the only career he or she had ever had  Another example is someone who suffers a stroke, as we know people who have strokes sometimes loses the use of the right side of their body as well as the ability to drive and they speech sometimes become altered. This drastic life change can cause depression sneak in because this person has gone from having a pretty normal full of independence to having a life of restrictions and limitations.  

The painful loss of a sense of purpose affects many disabled individuals who were formerly the primary breadwinner in the home. When you’re no longer able to provide for your family, it’s not unusual to develop the lingering helplessness or frustration that leads to depression. 

Feelings of worthlessness, another common symptom of depression, can begin to take a firm grip. This is seen commonly in a lot of disabled vets.

A decrease in self-esteem – Being disabled affects how you perceive and feel about yourself, as well as your place in society. A study of individuals with traumatic brain injury revealed they had lower levels of self-esteem and higher levels of depression than healthy individuals. Some disabled individuals lack confidence in their ability to control their body and manage their life adequately. The loss of autonomy can take a severe toll on self-esteem.

Sadness, anger or frustration – A disability can sometimes prevent you from having your dream job or your dream career, but it isn’t always serious enough to keep you out of the workforce entirely. Feeling forced to take a job that isn’t as challenging, fulfilling, prestigious or well-paying can elicit negative feelings such as sadness, anger, frustration or resentment. 

The struggle of living with a disability – Quality of life often decreases after a significant injury or illness, especially when it limits the ability to perform normal daily activities. A serious brain injury, for instance, requires a person to relearn any number of tasks, from how to speak to how to button a shirt. In some cases, he or she simply isn’t able to relearn important functions. Likewise, a disability such as vision loss completely changes how someone lives. A newly blind person must learn how to navigate a dark world, losing at least some independence in the process.

Feeling bored – Some disabilities leave a person housebound, with few opportunities to interact with others. You may find yourself at home alone all day while your spouse is at work or confined to an assisted living center where community activities don’t match your interests. Boredom fosters negative emotions, including loneliness and frustration, which can trigger symptoms of depression.

Disability definitely raises depression risk; however, depression can also make the disability worse. For example, depression can make it more difficult for you to take proper care of your health. You are more likely to miss important appointments, such as a doctor visit or physical therapy. You may neglect to take your medications as directed. The result is a cycle in which the injury or illness triggers depression, which, in turn, makes the disabling condition worse.     

Signs of Depression

The following are signs of clinical depression:

  • Difficulty remembering things, concentrating or making simple decisions
  • Feeling tired all of the time despite getting enough sleep
  • Feeling helpless or worthless
  • Feeling pessimistic
  • Having insomnia frequently or sleeping more than necessary
  • Frequent irritability and having trouble calming down
  • Loss of interest in things that you previously enjoyed doing
  • Increased appetite or loss of appetite
  • Frequently feeling ill, such as having headaches, digestive problems or other unexplained aches and pains
  • Constant feelings of sadness or anxiousness
  • Frequent suicidal thoughts or attempts at suicide

How to combat depression

  1. Learn to speak positive words over yourself and over your life:  The Bible tells us that the power of life and death lies in our tongue, the more you start to speak positively about yourself the more positive you will start to feel about yourself.

 

2. Learn speak those things as though they are true….despite how you feel at the moment: So many times we allow our current situations or circumstances to dictate how we value ourselves, you have learn to speak positive even if you don’t feel like it or even if it feels like the world is crashing down around you and remember your disability has nothing to do with your value because situations change by your value will not.

3. Learn to surround yourself with like-minded people.  Surround yourself with positive people who can also be encouraging and see you and not your disability, they are comforting when they need to be when you need them to be but will not join your pity party.

 4. Read your Bible  See what God said about you, what has he promised you because at the end of the day that’s all at matters is what God said about you, you are beautifully and wonderfully made in His image this by the way has nothing to do with physical appearance, The plans he has for you is to prosper you not harm you (Jeremiah 29:11) Be confident in that He that has begun a good work in you shall see it to completion (Phili 1:6)

 

These are just a few tips on how to learn to defeat depression, this is an area you find yourself struggling I would love the opportunity to connect with you to see if maybe I could be of some assistance to you its 2019 we can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results it's time that you get serious about where God is trying to take you but you can’t go if you inner man is not together. 

The same way you take care of your body you have to do the same for the thing for your inner man.

If you would like to discuss this topic more in-depth with me feel free to send me an email at coachlatreawyche@gmail.com

What is a Support System? Do I really need one?

Let me start by saying that everyone needs a support system in their life. A support system is a network of people in your life who provide just what it says “support.” This can be in the form of emotional, physical, social or otherwise. This network of people are the ones who help you through times of turbulence, celebrate in moments of joy and are just there when you need them. Needless to say, when you suffer from Mental Health issues, a great support system is a must-have.

Some people are leery about telling people they know important details about their lives. The most important thing to remember about having a support system is to make sure it includes people who are really concerned about your well-being. A support system does not have to include family if they are not conducive to your mental wellness. Only people who are authentically concerned for you and want the best for you should be included in your support system.

People who are constantly negative, are never there when you need them, judgmental, slow to appreciate your efforts towards progress, or a plain hindrance to your goals should NOT be included in your support system. The whole purpose is to have the necessary support when the time comes. Some supports come in places you most likely have never thought of like church, work, social organizations, and your doctor’s office. Yes, your doctor can be part of your support system if they are the type who is truly concerned about you and are willing to help you achieve your best life. So basically, a support system can include a therapist, doctor, friends, family, co-workers, sorority/fraternity, church members, among others.

Get people who will sit with you and listen to you vent, someone who will help you clean your house if you need it, sit at the hospital with you, babysit your kids or even treat you to a spa day. The most important thing to remember is please make sure the people you surround yourself are truly in your corner.

IEP’s

Today, as I prepare to go to my son IEP meeting all I can think about, is, how much they will say he can’t do. I am so tired of hearing that mess. These meetings are always stressful because of the negativity that comes along with it.

I received a copy of what will be discussed at the IEP and as I read through it I saw that my son Jaylen isn’t going to be eligible for a Highschool diploma, however, he will be receiving some type of credential. I can’t remember the name of the particular type of credential, however just knowing that he will not have what typical children have at the end of their high school years, put me into an instant depression. 

The more I think about this IEP meeting, the more I realize I’m not ready for it. Between the negative feedback, goals, etc. It makes me wish IEP’s didn’t exist. 

It’s Okay to NOT be Okay!

It’s okay not to be okay!  A lot of parents who care for children with special needs suffer from depression and anxiety.  The stress that comes from taking care of a child with special needs causes high anxiety, depression and sometimes PTSD.

Parents sometimes will not speak up about what they are experiencing in fear of their children being taken as well as the stigma that comes with the potential diagnosis.  Parents may not even tell their family and close friends because they don’t want to be judged.  Sometimes family and friends may think you aren’t stable enough to take care of your child.

Here’s great news, you are not alone. You are not the only one that suffers from anxiety and or depression.  I try to explain what’s going on inside of my head, however, it’s difficult when you are explaining this to those who don’t walk my journey.  This lifestyle that I lead is very stressful and the emotions are unpredictable and are a moment by moment thing. We could literally be ok and the next moment something could go left. 

It’s hard to make plans while in this particular type of lifestyle.  If you are able to keep plans, that’s considered to be a HUGE accomplishment lol. Typically, we have to depend on others in order to conquer the plans we’ve set and unfortunately, we all know how that is relying on others!  Typically when we aren’t able to keep plans, it’s due to someone else not coming through or the child becoming suddenly ill forcing you to stay home.

Sometimes folks don’t understand why I have to cancel so soon and sometimes that causes me to shutdown. It’s not like I do not want to go out and enjoy myself, however, there are times when it just doesn’t permit.

What people don’t know is, each time Jaylen gets a new diagnosis, it sends me into a blank space and I am forced to work through it.  What I’ve come to realize is, those feelings are okay to have and I should allow them to send me to a dark place. Now, I don’t stay in the dark space I just acknowledge what I am feeling so I can move forward with healing. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to be NOT ok.  

It takes me time to remember that I have been chosen for this task and I have no right to quit as long as long as Jaylen isn’t quitting. Jaylen doesn’t allow his diagnosis to stop him, I will not allow my anxiety and depression stop me. I know with professional assistance I can conquer depression and anxiety. I encourage anyone that has depression and anxiety to seek medical attention so you can get on track and led a peaceful life. 

Intro 2 Tidbits with Maria

Tidbits with Maria is a snapshot of my professional views related to Mental and Behavioral Health. I will be covering a variety of topics from everyday self-care to personality disorders. Mental Health issues are such a stigma in our community because people are afraid to acknowledge that they and/or someone they know is suffering from a mental health issue.

Generally speaking, people tend to take care of their physical ailments faster than they will any mental health problems that come up. Why is that? Why do we feel that our mental well-being does not need as much care as our physical health? Mental, physical and spiritual well-being go hand in hand. If we falter in taking care of one of these areas, the others will tumble just like a row of Dominos.

The questions we need to ask: how do we end the stigma of mental health? How do we approach the topic of mental illness concerns with a friend or family member? What do you do if you feel you are drowning and need help? These are questions that can be answered with the right people. All you have to do is ask. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

Tidbits with Maria is a blog that will address issues for a community that has traditionally felt ashamed, afraid, unidentified, and helpless. This is a forum for people to feel free to express themselves and discuss topics that are significant to them. Let’s make changes by allowing ourselves to be free to ask for help, free to get help, and free to receive help. I’ll see you on the blog!