Best on the Shoreline!
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Editor’s Note: July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health experts Venice and Vernon Moore, who live in East Haven and run their company in North Haven, will be writing a series of columns on mental health this month.
Although we both grew up in loving homes and communities, between the two of us we also grew up surrounded by drugs, abuse, violence, passive adults, family secrets, and infidelity. We were unaware of how these things affected us until we became adults.
Now that we are adults and parents and see things through a different lens, we were surprised to one day realize that we grew up in many unhealthy situations that we both needed to heal through. There was a level of unawareness in some parts of our upbringing.
We’ve heard many clients say their families, significant others, and elders say “No” to going to a therapist, because they grew up in a community or family where “we don’t do that.” In the past, kids and young adults were taught to not talk about their “stuff.” So the stuff was held in, causing a pattern of unhealthy relationships, passivity, anger, trauma, depression, bipolar, anxiety, and even substance abuse.
Nervous breakdowns occur because at times when have no one to talk to or have chosen not to talk to someone. The patterns are real! We know because we lived in it, too. Do you wonder why patterns continue? Please remember it starts at home. Some patterns are so deeply rooted and go back many generations. If you grew up with a peaceful home life, you might still go through things as an adult that you need to talk to someone about.
There are many stages to this thing called life. Some people have gone through years of being depressed and without realizing that they are. Some people only know depression and anxiety. Some choose the same type of mate repeatedly until the point of burnout or despair. It’s not always about a mental health diagnosis, either; the value of examining patterns could be simply to sort out things that are on your mind, things that affect life decisions, changes, or transitions.
Let’s erase the stigma and get the help needed to clear our minds and break patterns for ourselves and our children. And because it’s confidential, no one will know you ever saw a therapist unless you share it. Your secret is safe with qualified therapists. The bottom line is that it’s okay to talk, be vulnerable, and get help, if needed.
When we don’t take care of our mental health and allow things to weigh on our minds, it can affect all relationships, especially intimate relationships with a spouse or significant other. Sometimes, we bring our trauma or hurts from previous relationships into a relationship and wonder why it’s not working. Or we might go through transitions in our relationships that need to be sorted by a professional.
In a relationship when it comes to communication, intimacy, parenting, infidelity, trust, finances, family issues, or work issues, it’s important to discuss openly and honestly to resolve the situation to bring your relationship to a more peaceful place. If your relationship with yourself or your significant other suffers, please contact a professional, pastor, life coach, or someone you trust if you cannot resolve it on your own. Don’t only call your friends! Friends will always be biased in some way so a professional can be a trusted layer. Again, shhh...your secret’s safe with us, and any professional will say the same. Please know that the first time you see a therapist, it may not be a perfect fit, just like a pair of shoes, but if you search diligently, you may find the one that fits perfectly with your whole outfit.
Ignoring your mental health is just as bad as not going to get a physical or to the dentist. Sometimes, it’s worse. Going to a therapist or talking through your problems doesn’t make you crazy. Vulnerability and openness with yourself and someone you trust who is trained, objective, and approachable could be a great form of freedom and courage.
If you are in need of a therapist or trusted professional, below are a few websites that can help with the search. You can find someone specifically trained in your area of need, and remember telehealth is available now more than ever. There may be some resistance, but there is no excuse now that there are services even over the phone!
It has been a pleasure bringing some very important information to you! For more information, or to receive tips from our new Self Love & Self-Healing Workbook, please visit www.embraceyourdifference.com.
We wish you all the best.