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One Latina Talks About Breaking Down The Walls Of Stigma In The Latinx Community

In an ideal world, we would all play active roles in breaking down the mental health stigma. Dinner talks would be filled with

 “¿Mijo, cómo te has sentido?” 

“¿Cómo vas con tu medicina?” or

“¿Sigues yendo a yoga?” 

Showing emotion would be encouraged and vulnerability would be praised. 

But you and I both know, this isn’t the case when it comes to the world we live in. Growing up in the Central Valley, surrounded by what seemed like endless tomato fields, with two farm-working parents, I will be the first to admit that conversations about mental health were non-existent. Up until my last year of undergrad, I believed that anxiety attacks were an over-exaggeration of weak, pitiful people who couldn’t handle a little stress. Until of course, it happened to me. I suffered my first anxiety attack one night during my last semester at Fresno State. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced, and it changed my life forever. 

During the years that followed, I fought against cultural norms. For me, nothing else had worked, so I said ‘yes’ to therapy and anxiety medication, even when my family opposed it or didn’t quite understand it. It was hard. I felt misunderstood and out of place. I was conflicted about how people would judge me and my family if they found out that I sought outside help. 

But I am happy to report that things did get better. Therapy and medication helped tremendously, and my parents eventually came around to supporting my decision to seek help, primarily because they began to see the progress I was making. 

So yes, even though these conversations are tough, I believe they are absolutely necessary to ensure the wellbeing of our families and our future generations. Mental health conversations have to become an integral part of our families, especially within the cultural context.

There’s no doubt about it, the Latinx culture is beautiful! Its richness is felt in the music, food and strong family values. However, many aspects of the culture are not conducive for growth. Not being able to comfortably talk about our mental health because of the ensuing stigma is definitely one of them. Truth is, if we want to move our Latinx families forward, we must find ways to play a role in normalizing mental health conversations within our traditional families. There is no room for inaction. 

The good news is, you don’t have to be a hardcore mental health advocate to help! 

Empowered Bystanders Matter

We can choose to either be an empowered bystander or play an active role in this. Both can be equally important in normalizing these conversations. First, we must acknowledge that not everyone wants to be outspoken and actively pushing change forward. Regardless, empowered bystanders can still make a difference with what may seem like small insignificant acts. 

Here is how you can help as an empowered bystander: 

Withdraw from toxic dialogue.

Oftentimes within traditional family dynamics, we witness ideologies that are toxic for people experiencing mental health issues. Conversations in family reunions can sometimes be offensive and discouraging. As an empowered bystander, you have a choice to partake in this dialogue or completely withdraw from it. By simply choosing not to laugh at an offensive joke, for example, you take a subtle yet firm stance that you are not here for this, you do not agree with this behavior. 

Compare apples to apples.

You may not suffer from a mental health issue, but you can still observe and pinpoint opportunities for conversation. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say one of your siblings is contemplating taking medication for their mental health but is discouraged by your parent who says things like: 

“¡You don’t need that, you are not crazy,” or

“¡Que locuras! Mejor ponte a limpiar tu cuarto, es lo que debes de hacer!” 

As an empowered bystander, you have the power to respectfully interject and propose an idea like:

“Pa, how is that different from you taking your daily blood pressure medicine, you take that every day for you to function.”

In doing so, you suddenly propose a new thought, a new perspective. You don’t force change; you simply ask questions and initiate thoughtful conversations.  

For those of us who are personally impacted by mental health issues, and feel strongly about creating change, here is how you can help as an active participant: 

Embody and embrace the rebel persona. 

Within the cultural family context, we must acknowledge that taking an active role in breaking the mental health stigma often comes with feeling isolated. We will not always fit in. Understanding this upfront will make it easier to cope. We have to understand that our immediate family will not always be our frontline cheerleaders. This is 100% okay. Whether we receive support within our family or not, it is vital that we seek some type of support, through friendships or support groups. 

Be the example.

Do you suffer from a mental health issue? Do you take medication? Do you go to therapy? Living without shame and using your experiences to offer insight and a different perspective in conversations with folks is key to normalizing this subject within our families. Own your experiences, so they become the shining light for others struggling to find their voice. Showing them that you can thrive with your condition is the best type of education we can provide to our families.

To check out Your Story to Tell Academy’s Instagram go here.

Salice Rose Gave Her Family A Vulnerable Look At Her Mental Health Struggles: “I Was Asking For Help”

Entertainment

Salice Rose Gave Her Family A Vulnerable Look At Her Mental Health Struggles: “I Was Asking For Help”

salicerose / Instagram

Influencers, they’re just like us; they have their good and bad days. And they struggle with mental health issues too. Salice Rose just gave the Rose Family a very vulnerable inside look at her life, and mental health struggles over the last year. And fans are flooding her comments section with messages of support and empathy. 

We’ve all been guilty at one point or another, of imbuing influencers with seemingly mythical powers. 

They can boost brands, they offer authentic opinions and reviews and, they seem to live amazing lives with no problems at all. So when Salice Rose posted a video titled ‘How I Almost Ended My Life In 2019’ last September, we were shocked, to say the least. 

At first we see Salice alone in a room, saying how she’s re-recorded the video many times in an attempt to get it right. 

“I think I’ve started this video over and over like 6 times already, because I don’t want to say the wrong thing,” she says with a serious face. “But I’m just gonna be me.”

“It’s very hard for me to make this video because you guys know I’m a very strong person.”

“I stand for strength,” Salice affirms. “It sucks that this past year, 2019…I got so mentally unstable and weak, that I tried to end my own life.” The youtuber and influencer didn’t go into details about what triggered her, or what happened to her during that year that got her to this stage, but she wanted to tell her story to help other people who might be going through the same. 

Depression is on the rise among American teens and young adults, with adolescent girls showing the greatest vulnerability, a national survey reveals.

Back in 2005, the risk of major depressive disorder for teenage boys was pegged at 4.5 percent, and 13 percent for teenage girls. By 2014, however, boys’ risk of depression rose to 6 percent, but for girls it soared to more than 17 percent, the survey found. “These are episodes during which the adolescent experiences five or more depressive symptoms for a period of two weeks or longer,” explained study author Dr. Ramin Mojtabai. He is a professor in the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

More American teens and young adults appear to be struggling with mental health issues, and experts believe a number of cultural trends may help explain why.

A closer look shows that teen depression risk only started to edge upwards starting in 2012, with risk weighing more heavily on teen girls throughout the survey period. Mojtabai said the findings “are consistent with recent data on trends in suicide in the U.S.” A new study found the percentage of teens and young adults with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues has increased sharply over the past decade. The same pattern was not seen in older adults.

In the video, Salice wanted to retell the happenings of the night when she got close to taking her life. 

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“I was going through this wave of sadness, depression, anger…I forgot how to be strong.” She goes on to explain how one night, she took her keys and went out for a drive. At 9pm at night, she started driving to church —even if it was closed, she wanted to sit outside to regain herself. “The emotions I was feeling as I was driving to church…it wasn’t ok,” she says, “I felt like I had lost my mind, and I felt like what I was going through was never going to go away or stop.”

“If this is never gonna go away, maybe I should.”

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Salice’s never-ending negative thoughts filled her with a sense of impending doom and hopelessness. Experts warn that everyone should educate themselves on the warning signs of depression and get their loved ones the help they need before it gets to a point of no return. 

Symptoms of major depression vary from person to person but can include:

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Outbursts of anger, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating

And, as it turns out, Salice isn’t alone. She’s not the only one having these thoughts. 

The rate of young adults with suicidal thoughts, plans, attempts, and deaths by suicide has increased from 7.0 percent in 2009 to 10.3 percent in 2017. Interestingly, no significant increase was seen in adults. There was even a slight decline in psychological distress in people over the age of 65. For the study, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey that tracks drug and alcohol use, mental health and other health-related issues in individuals age 12 and over. The research was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

What’s causing this increase?

While the researchers didn’t study the reasons behind the trend, they have some theories. Study author Jean Twenge told CBS News, that shifting cultural trends over the past decade, including increased use of electronic communications and digital media, may have had a larger effect on mood disorders among younger generations compared with older generations.

“Recently, there’s been a number of studies showing that those who spend more time on digital media are more likely to be depressed and unhappy,” Twenge said.

“I was asking for help and at that moment, no one was responding.”

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❤️Stay Strong. #salicerose

A post shared by Salice Rose (@salicerose) on

Later on in the video, Salice explains how she made it to church, she got out of her car and started messaging people on her phone. But it was late at night and no one was responding. So she googled a helpline. “So I thought, ‘What do I do?’ I don’t want to be a burden asking for help.” She googled searched for a helpline and got someone on the phone who talked to her for 7 minutes. She told him what was happening in her life and how she got to that point. She told him that she needed help.

The next day, Salice’s whole family was there for her.

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Baby Salice to Salice now LOL! 😩😂❤️

A post shared by Salice Rose (@salicerose) on

The Youtuber’s whole family got together to be with her. Proving that as lonely as you feel, you’re never alone. She went on to share a message on the description of the video, “I just hope I can save a few lives by posting this. I just want you guys to know that overall you are never alone even though you may feel alone sometimes and I want to spread awareness all over the world that it’s OK to ask for help. You are not a burden…. you are so needed on this earth and I love every single one of you individually more than you can ever imagine.”

If you believe a loved is at risk of suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help from a doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department or dial 911. It’s important to remove access to firearms, medications, or any other potential tools they might use to harm themselves. For immediate help if you are in a crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential.

Aaron Hernandez’s Fiancée Opens Up About Netflix’s Speculation Over The Football Player’s Sexuality

Entertainment

Aaron Hernandez’s Fiancée Opens Up About Netflix’s Speculation Over The Football Player’s Sexuality

GMA / YouTube / droz / Instagram

“Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez” is a new Netflix docu-series that explores the life of late football player Aaron Hernandez. The docu-series has sparked a lot of controversy over how the director explored Hernandez’s sexuality. Now, his family members are finally speaking out.

Aaron Hernandez’s brother spoke with Dr. Oz about the documentary highlighting his brother’s brain injuries.

Jonathan Hernandez was asked to help with the Netflix docu-series but turned down the offer because he didn’t feel right about it. However, he does think some part of the docu-series are important.

“I think there’s so much tragedy within this and things that can be gained for other people’s benefit that the dollar amount was the least significant thing,” Jonathan told Dr. Oz. “It’s more so what was at hand and what can we collectively do so someone who is growing up isn’t in this situation in the near future or down the road.”

Aaron’s fiancée also opened up about the docu-series and the tragedy surrounding Aaron.

Shayanna Jenkins also confirms that Netflix approached her for the docu-series and offered her compensation but she didn’t want to participate. Instead, she wanted to keep moving forward with her life.

“If he did feel that way or if he felt the urge, I wish that I — I was told,” Jenkins told ABC. “And I wish that he — you know, he would’ve told me ’cause I wouldn’t — I would not have loved him any differently. I would have understood. It’s not shameful and I don’t think anybody should be ashamed of who they are inside, regardless of who they love. I think it’s a beautiful thing, I just wish I was able to tell him that.”

Fans of Aaron are upset with the docu-series and how they handled themselves in the making of the show.

A lot of the show talks about Aaron’s perceived sexuality and how it factored into his crimes. The docu-series has been criticized for bringing up a very sensitive subject when Aaron is not around to defend himself.

The obsession with his sexuality is really upsetting people.

There is nothing wrong with someone’s sexuality. However, to attach a sexuality to a person who is dead is a low blow.

Out of all the noise surrounding Aaron, one person is being praised for their resilience.

Credit: @versaceclip / Twitter

What do you think about the docu-series about Aaron Hernandez and his life?

READ: New Investigative Report Reveals Aaron Hernandez’s Gay Relationship And His Erratic Behavior With NFL Players