Care2 will go offline for site maintenance July 31 at 9pm PST.
START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Dec 16, 2012

Brother Bear shared this with me through his facebook account last night.I watched the video just moments after reading this post I am Adam Lanza's Mother by Liza Long.



The video is powerful and inspiring. The article gives a beautifully haunting account of our children within society's fear of and refusal to acknowledge, accept, or treat mental illness. I know the story, and Ms. Long captures the intensity of living with a loved one suffering from mental instability - instability that persists despite a heartfelt desire to change, and something medications fail to address.

Mental health does not, cannot, come from a pill. As a society we continue to ignore the increasing incidence of anxiety, depression, mood disorders, etc. Worse yet, we continue to ignore the stigma that mental illness carries. I know this stigma well. I've struggled with depression most of my life - not pick yourself up by the bootstraps, garden variety depression. Not a simple chemical imbalance, here this pill will fix that. No - debilitating, paralyzing, mind numbing and heart breaking depression that makes life feel... impossible. That makes fear feel insurmountable. Depression that invites soul crushing anxiety, and the illogical white hot anger flash that is both frightening and without logic. Who knows why - maybe I was born with it, maybe it's due in part to assaults I've endured, abusive relationships, or (and I know this to be true) the damage wrought by pills thought to cure this kind of depression. (Hint, they didn't, and instead made it worse.)

For a long time, it felt as though depression robbed me of my livelihood, of my future. And I'm lucky. I managed to meet a few amazing souls who helped me learn and develop tools to manage and maintain my mental health. Tools that help me step out from the paradigm of victim that it is so easy to settle into. It takes work, never ending work and effort to maintain - work that would likely be less burdensome were resources available. That, however, would require that we as a nation talk about Mental Health, acknowledge it as a priority, and begin the hard work of asking what about our lifestyle, health, culture influences that potential to develop or manifest mental dis - ease. My belief, or educated guess, is that there is much within our society, within the rapid paced, multitask oriented, stress filled daily routines - that fails to support mental health or fosters that dis-ease we are so afraid to acknowledge. Which brings us back to the video Brother Bear shared with me.

Our children, particularly our teens and preteens face so much pressure today. Most especially, they face mounting pressure to think about the money, about careers, schools, the increasing level of competition to attend college, rising costs of tuition, the demand that they choose to be something competitive with our world neighbors. Brother Bear entered high school this fall, and for months the conversation about grades, effort, gpa centered on the impact these have on his future. On his desire and ability to attend college, on his ability to enter certain professions, or worse, his ability to make a livable income. Like Brother Bear, most incoming freshman are 14, maybe newly turned 15. Rather than focus on building positive Habits of Mind, a sense of self, and life affirming attitudes / choices, we thrust upon our children the idea that success of failure now has the ability to determine their life's course. I remember facing the same mounting stress, and see it in the faces of the young becoming adults that I work with.

Our teens feel beyond overwhelmed. We've managed to create a sense of fearful anticipation in much of our youth, and it begins long before high school. Miss N can attest to that. What math course, how well you perform, and whether you remain in the advanced track in middle school determines where you land in high school, determines the post secondary school graduation options available to you. On and on it goes.

Yet we regard the increase incidence of Mental Dis- ease with surprise? This doesn't even acknowledge the emotional, mental toll of growing up in single parent households, or homes where parents are forced to work multiple jobs and still fail to cover the bills. It fails to address the influence of high stakes testing environments that serve to gauge our youths ability to withstand stressful situations far better than their academic mastery. We do that to them starting at 8, and as a nation of championed standardized testing as early as kindergarten.

The video Brother Bear shared asks possibly the most important question - What if? What if money didn't matter? What if our nation's youth focused on developing qualities and attributes that truly mattered? Check out the Habits of Mind program, think hard about the value of pursuing that which you are good at, verses the pursuit of a bank statement and assorted material objects. What if we promoted the ideals of balance, emotional, physical and spiritual health? What if we allowed our youth to forge a new path, one free from contrived stress and filled with innovative solutions and approaches to the future?

Yes, as a nation, we do need to hold a conversation about the state of our nation's mental health. Included in that, we need to openly and willingly consider how we foster health and dis-ease. Our children deserve better than we have to offer. In the words of Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Imported from external blog


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Sunday December 16, 2012, 12:08 pm
Tags: [add/edit tags]

Group Discussions
Comments
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:

Author

Kirsten N.
female , single, 3 children
Louisville, AA, USA
KIRSTEN'S SHARES
Apr
28
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\nWe had a scary, scary low tonight. Third of the day - no, make that the fourth. It\'s derailed everything - packing for the tournament, baking muffins, cookies, or preparing the coaches\' breakfasts. I\'ll be up quite awhile, but that\'s okay. I am, once...
Apr
6
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Tonight brings a long anticipated, much needed, blissful sleepover away from home - for Miss N that is. That thought, swirling among my fuzzy neurons, buoys them with a sense of hope much needed. Sleep. Uninterrupted, luxurious sleep. God, I need that...
Mar
16
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Mar
5
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\nA cure. The end of diabetes. The idea that my child might gain a reprieve from this disease. These symbolize things and ideas I not only refused to believe in - but something I challenged Miss N\'s endocrine doctor over on Day One. She had it coming -...


SHARES FROM KIRSTEN'S NETWORK
Jan
23
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nWe declare that no man nor nation nor race have a greater right than others to enjoy the fruits of their work, as the ecological sphere is our common condition of life http://www.beat s4change.org/aims.htm Nous déclarons qu\\\'auc...
Oct
9
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n Kære Læser\\n Vi deltager i Eovendo, hvor man kan penge til støtte for gode formÃ¥l ved at se reklamer pÃ¥ computer, tablet eller smartphone. \\n  NÃ¥r vi henviser ...
Jul
25
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nBeats4Change is proud to present the plans for a caring community in Mgbidi, Imo State, Nigeria. \\n We have purchased a plot of land as foundation for our activities there.So far you can help by donating a click on dshini.net: \\n Beats4Change is...
Nov
3
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n \\nLISTEN-to-DONATEThis months plays benefit the Solar Electric Light Fund. The tune \\\"Grothbros - Tollah Tra Flex\\\" is from the Beats4Change album \\\"Here Comes the Sun\\\". The full album is available for purchase at BandcampThe Solar Electr...
Sep
14
(1 comments  |  discussions )
\\n \\n \\n Hi - Beats4Change is introducing the \\\"listen-to-donate\\\" each month a new tune will be uploaded, where Beats4Change donate 0,01$ to that months charity for each play ( you can even play it several times if you like, it still coun...


MORE MEMBER BLOGS
Mar 31
Blog: How to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers by Kayleigh L.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nHow to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers \\r\\n \\r\\nCorlis Engine Review\\r\\nEvery user desires to prolong the life of a unit. TRIAD assists their clients in achieving this important objective by informing them of ways they can avoid problems... more
Feb 27
Blog: Dr Oz Weight Loss - The 100% Natural And Very Efficient Diet Pill by Debra S.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nYes, Dr. Oz called Garcinia Cambogia Extract (HCA) the Holy Grail of Weight Loss. He went on to say, “Anytime I see a scientist get this excited about something like Garcinia Cambogia Extract and when I looked through some of this research and... more
Blog: My Favorite Websites by krysta I.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nIFAW: www.ifaw.org\\r\\nOCEANA www.oceana.org\\r\\nPETA: www.peta.org\\r\\nEARTH 911: www.earth911.org\\r\\nANI MALs ASIA: www.animalsasia.org\\r\\n \\r\\n\\r\\n\\n more
Feb 21
Blog: testing one two three by Geoff M.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — hello world more
Blog: Garcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20 by Dany M.
(0 comments  |  0 discussions ) — \\nGarcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20\\r\\nGarcinia Cambogia System The Dr. Oz Lose Weight Quick Process Without Having Side Effects\\r\\nHe went on to say, “At any time I see a researcher... more
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.