Healing Through Art Therapy
There a lot of issues that are stigmatized in society, whether it be mental illness, drugs, or other various health issues. That is just to name a few and I am sure there are tons more. So, why did society become that way? Was society always so intolerant or naive to these issues?
I wrote this script after reading the screenplay for one of my favorite movies, Forest Gump.
I am not the same person I used to be. I had to leave myself behind. This was different than just growing as a person; it was artificial, and it was intentional. It was the most challenging thing I have ever done. I don’t think I could have survived without it. It was for the best.
Been there, skipped that... anxiety was a big part of my life, and it was also ruining it.
Mental health. Something that is getting more and more attention in society. It’s a broad word to encompass our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and behaviors in relation to ourselves, and others around us. It is something that we can not rid ourself of and must be regulated to live efficient, productive lives. And it's time we really see the value in exploring our minds and how we evolve as a collective society. As a clinician who has a background in social work, I have had amazing opportunities to see what the negative impacts of a dysfunctional mental state can do to ones health and impact the world in which they create. I have a background working in the foster care system in varying roles and even as a therapist in a locked psychiatric hospital. I have heard and seen things that many will only witness on TV. It is because of my experiences that I came to the realization that we need to change the way we look at mental health, and how we treat it.
(Side note: This was written several weeks after the first update on my self-medicating attempts, but didn't get polished until now.)
Mental health is a rising issue in the UK, yet the funding for this specific sector of the national health service is lacking. Though the lack of funding needs to be addressed, there is a more daunting issue that's not being spoken about.
Like a majority of society, it seems everyone has experienced anxiety and depression. To me, they’re major illnesses because firsthand, I spent years battling them both along with going through traumatizing life events. I felt like I was constantly being slapped in the face everywhere I turned, and this for sure didn’t help my case or struggle. I could point the finger and blame others for my anxiety and depression, but there comes a point where you realize it’s something going on within yourself, something you need to take care of because nobody else will, and it has to be healed. That’s where I found myself realizing I deserved to be free from these things, and it was going to take me taking the steps to make something happen. I guess I won’t say all of us, but a lot of people have a past, a story, and a reason for why they’re messed up with anxiety and depression. Trust me, I get this, but what I want you to get is that you don’t need to suffer anymore because of it.
Upon looking at the Trans-Allegheny Asylum, you may notice the staggering clock tower that stands at 200 feet tall that comes from the center of the building. It is a monumental structure, the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, it is 242,000 square feet that is divided over four floors, it is also 1,296 feet long and has 921 windows and 906 doors. The walls are two-and-a-half feet thick, thick enough to muffle any screams on the other side of the wall.
I was never the size extra-extra-small that seems to be so idealized in Western society. In my earlier adult years I was around a size 8, and I was totally content with that. I never had any interest in dieting, and disagree with fad diets on principle, because I firmly believe that eating should be pleasurable and about healthfulness.
I tried to kill myself when I was 14 years old. I was so upset that night when I emptied the medicine cabinet. Everything gone ... Bottoms up. My attempt at suicide began a snowball of events that had and have turned my life upside down. As I catch the news here and there, I have began to notice how many children are dying from suicide. I have a 9-year-old and I get chills down my spine and tears at the corners of my eyes as I write this. I could NEVER imagine finding him hanging. I'll go a step further as I tamp down the lump in my throat as I imagine my mom trying to wake me up for school the next morning, 15 years ago, to realize that I'm dead with a note in my hand. My family near and far would have been devastated.