After watching The Netflix Original, “13 Reasons Why” I decided to think about my own 13 reasons, as I often feel suicidal.The show is complex and realistic, it tells the story of a teenage girl who struggles to fit in and find herself, make positive and strong relationships with friends or lovers. She is both exposed to and experiences horrific trauma, she is bullied and misunderstood. She struggles with communicating her problems and slowly gives up after far to many unpleasant turn of events. I think that the message is, don’t give up, there is always help and a positive way out but in my personal situation, even with help intense medical treatment, currently fighting everyday from hospital, if not, then from home! The struggle remains, regardless of age or location. Here are my 13 reasons, +4… 1)Isolation (no one unprofessional person I can be 100% honest with 24/7) 2) rejection (biological father, modeling agency as child, step father, boyfriends, employees, friends and family) 3) abandonment (father, step father, boyfriends) 4) unsuccessful (dreams/career/unacomplished for my age) 5) unlucky (in general, in love, in health) 6) undesirable (baggage) 7) alopecia (embarrassing and confusing to lovers) 8) self harm (scars) 9) weight (plus size without intense maintenance that I sometimes cannot keep up with ill health) 10) mental health (mood swings, odd behaviour is demanding and requires intense patience) 11) impulsive (unpredictable and unsafe = dependant on help of any kind) 12) temperamental (good times and bad times cannot be forcast) 13) victimised (bullied) 14) Trauma (sexually assulted) 15) Pain (I feel sick to my stomach with the hatred I feel towards myself and cannot control, manage or contend with being me) 16) Voices (the theory) 17)Dissociation (the unknown, random, unexplained danger that I find myself in)
Reasons to live, 1) ideally a parent should never have to bury their own child. 2) I do not want to mess up my little sisters life! 3) I want to help other people with their mental health struggles and that….. that is currently it. I am honestly so tired of fighting this forever proving, endless and tiresome game. I know that this confession is a shame and may seem attention seeking or defeatist but it is my truth. I currently see no light, no rainbow, no gold, no silver lining. I have sort for help but after two months and counting, I am by No means cured. I think that I need to learn to live with this but the thought of this forever is not appealing in the slightest.
After watching, “Being Black And Going Crazy” I have found myself, as a black woman with certified and diagnosed mental health problems, reflecting upon the show and my own personal experiences.
I have been an inpatient at various mental health hospitals in both Birmingham and London over the last three years and cannot say that the ratio of Black patients, White patients, Asian patients and any “Other” patients has dominated more than each other, it has always been pretty equal. Regardless to the culture in which the area of the hospital is situated, because with the huge NHS Mental Health budget crisis, there are often national shortages of beds and so you end up where you end up, regardless of where you come from or which mental health hospital is closer to your home logistically.
I have always tried to accept help when it has been offered, when a psychiatric team suggest you go into hospital, you know it is both serious and important because it is not an easy decision to make or accommodate. If you refuse to comply, you may very well get sectioned and so do always try to accept the help when it is offered, as it is hard to come by.
The only difficulty that I have found as a black woman, is the patronising, inappropriate chat off the ward nurses of African or Caribbean descent. Although I believe that these members of staff were just trying to help, trying to show empathy but they approached me in the wrong way and gave some terrible, unprofessional and uncalled for advice. “Listen my sister, where in Africa are you from? You have a nice skin tone. What do you have to be depressed about? Do you think you are the only one who has had a hard life sister!? You will end up getting diagnosed if you don’t stop. Just pray to God and he will guide you sister.”
Excuse me! Firstly, I am not your sister! Secondly, I am not from Africa! Who cares what skin tone I have!? I don’t know all the reasons and why I am depressed. I most definitely know that life is and can be hard on everyone, not just me! Stop what!? Surely a diagnosis will lead to some kind of understanding, provide some answers!? Pray to God!? I did not disclose that I am religious!
The assumptions’ that these ladies made, the way they spoke to me, what they said to me, it was all because I was a black patient.
Each time I have been admitted into hospital has been because of troubles with my mentality, some of those problems were caused by genetics, both nature and nurture, but not because of the colour of my skin and whether the nurses had good intentions or not, I believe that their approach was unprofessional! I never witnessed them talk to any other people (not of colour) in the same way! I did see them approach fellow black patients.
Every patient, no matter what colour of their skin, their age, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, diagnosis, they all deserve equal treatment.
“If you would treat the black man like you treat the white man , carry on man! Peace and Love”
“I am a black, thirty-two year old woman with various mental health problems.” Joe Blogs can home in on any part of that information but from the mind of a mental health professional, all they should hear is,”mental health problems”. Ethnicity, age and gender should come second.