Let’s Talk Mental Health

December 20, 2012 in Member Stories, mental health

I’ve written here about migraines that sent me shopping for an MRI, my search for a “good” colonoscopy, my kids’ dental bills and a bunch of other stuff.  But I realized this week, in all the conversations after Sandy Hook, that I haven’t written anything about mental health.

My dad, Jim Bebinger, on his way to or from the Korean War, 1951

And you know what, I don’t think anyone else has either.

So let’s talk.  If a line about our anxiety or depression or phobia or addiction is as easy to throw into a conversation as a reference to our asthma, then maybe we can unravel the embarrassment or shame of living with these conditions.

Here’s a little about my experience with mental illness.  My dad killed himself when I was 17.  I lost most of my 20s to depression.  I wouldn’t be where I am without lots of therapy.  In August I started seeing a counselor again about some issues with my kids.  It’s helping a lot.

And you?  Gotta story?  Most of us do.

I look forward to reading yours.

3 responses to Let’s Talk Mental Health

  1. it is so difficult to share these stories, and i can’t tell you how grateful I am that you’ve shared yours. but one thing is for sure — the stories exist. 1 in 4 adults have had a mental illness in their lives, that is a lot of stories.

    i’m not a good enough writer to fit mine in a paragraph, but it began in childhood. my dad was a violent and sorta mean alcoholic, when he wasn’t being really funny and charming. i developed OCD and depression and eating disorders. but managed with therapy and 12 step programs, and eventually medication. but it wasn’t until my child was diagnosed with a mental illness that i lost my ability to manage my way in the world socially. who to tell? what to tell? what is the difference between privacy and secrecy? what is safe to reveal? STIGMA is exhausting.

    thanks for providing a place to unload.

  2. I don’t have health insurance ( ironic being a medical biller and owner of Health-Insurance-Forum.com ). The one monthly healthcare cost is the $130 I am paying out of pocket for two hours of time with a licensed social worker. She has been very helpful.

  3. I have researched that meds for
    ADHD are given out like candy to our young soldiers. This is on top of
    the use of the med in grade schools, high schools, and in college where
    readily available from many sources. Then add steroid use to this, as in
    many workout venues available, coupled with the latest news re damaged
    quality steroids ( from a laboratory in Framingham Mass for one)
    sometimes being even lethal…I say that the young vets who come home to
    the selfish, media immersed culture which they left but are no longer a
    part have a snowballs chance at being balanced. The people returning
    from battle in WWII Vietnam and Korea were never so isolated both
    physically and mentally. It’s like returning from Mars to Venus.

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