Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Disorder, Mental health

Seeking proper help…

On January 6, 2020 after about 6 months of waiting for an opening, Jaime finally was able to see a psychiatrist. Before our scheduled appointment I received 19 pages of mostly assessment questions that needed to be answered by myself & Jaime. They also detailed that we needed to be prepared to be there at least 2hrs. Y’all I cannot express how important it is to get proper help. Jaime was first prescribed medication by our PCP who addressed her obvious symptoms and knew the importance of her seeing a psychiatrist, a doctor who’s specialty is mental health. On the day of our visit @7:30 am my awareness and need to “end the shame” and speak for those “suffering in silence” began to be more apparent.

After arriving the day of, the psychiatrist came out and explained how the visit would go and asked who would like to go first. Of course Jaime volunteered me. I went in and was asked all manner of questions about Jaime and the behaviors that I saw in her. I was asked about our family life and if she experienced any traumas. There was things he asked about her that i would’ve never thought mattered. I spent over an hour with the psychiatrist. Once we were done Jaime went in for over an hour. Then he brought us in together to go over what he observed based on both of our assessments and what we told him.

We learned aside from her depression & anxiety she showed symptoms of ADHD. I couldn’t believe that. I said she doesn’t have behavioral problems. Like many people I only saw ADHD looking one and that was busy overactive kids. Well, I found out that it looks like Jaime a procrastinator, easily distracted, misplaces everything, totally disorganized, talkative, very forgetful, impulsive kid.

For a minute sitting in that office I felt a feeling of embarrassment thinking the people at the front desk and waiting to be seen knows that my daughter has mental health issues. But I quickly realized that they were there for the same reason as us. I sat in that office with people that looked nothing like me (African american). I began to think why are we as African Americans not getting the help we need. But I quickly realized that some don’t have insurance, some can’t accept or identify that there is an issue, some can’t afford proper help, some are not aware of the resources available to them, and some just don’t even care til it’s too late.

Suddenly a sense of gratitude came over me to thank GOD that I was fortunate enough to have the means to get my daughter the proper help she needs. That i’m aware enough of how serious mental health is that I would dare step out in what some would call “SHAME” just to make sure my child is OK.

I’m learning that this mental health crisis is an forever learning process. That it’s complex & complicated and although I may not fully understand it I will fight against it. I may not be able to change everyone’s mind regarding mental health or end the stigma associated with it but I will leave my mark. When i’m gone my name and legacy will say that I spoke up for those suffering in silence. That I fought a battle that many are afraid too.

-Hope


People with ADHD show an ongoing pattern of three different types of symptoms:

  • Difficulty paying attention (inattention)
  • Being overactive (hyperactivity)
  • Acting without thinking (impulsivity)

These symptoms get in the way of functioning or development. People who have ADHD have combinations of these symptoms:

  • Overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities
  • Have problems sustaining attention in tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading
  • Seem to not listen when spoken to directly
  • Fail to not follow through on instructions, fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace, or start tasks but quickly lose focus and get easily sidetracked
  • Have problems organizing tasks and activities, such as doing tasks in sequence, keeping materials and belongings in order, keeping work organized, managing time, and meeting deadlines
  • Avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers
  • Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones
  • Become easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli
  • Forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-the-basics/index.shtml#pub3

Posted in Anxiety, Bullying, Depression, Disorder, Mental health

Trichotillomania….What?

I never knew that pulling your hair was a disorder. I always compared my hair pulling to a nervous tic like shaking your leg, twirling your hair or biting your nails. So no big deal right!

Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), also called hair-pulling disorder, is a mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.

My earliest memory of pulling my hair was a couple of years after getting married and although the early years are considered the honeymoon years it was still hard. Hell, still is sometimes! Looking back I know that pulling my hair was definitely anxiety & stressed induced. I can remember my grandmother calling my daddy on the phone saying:

Russell, Hope in here pulling her hair again!

Leotha

The pulling hair thing then maximized after this thing called GRIEF hit me like a ton of bricks! My brother and grandmother died a day apart from one another on March 1st & 2nd of 2015. Every living part of me began to malfunction I had absolutely no sense of who I was anymore. I made an life changing decision to move from my hometown, the only place I’d ever known to a place that I had never been until moving there. I convinced myself it was for a better school system for my kids when in reality I was running from the place that held so many memories of the loved ones I had lost.

The hair pulling had gotten so bad that I would have a pile of hair onside of wherever I was sitting. At home everyone in the house was aware of it but not family members on the outside. Many didn’t notice because I only pulled from the middle of my head under the top layer of hair. Eventually it got worse and I couldn’t control the urge to pull wherever I was. Before long everyone knew what I was doing. I was forced to go see my doctor and I was educated on the disorder and given medication.

At the height of my hair pulling I allowed myself to let go. I had moved away where no one knew me, I allowed my weight to get up to 198lbs the biggest I had ever been, and kept myself secluded from others.


Trichotillomania can be related to emotions:

  • Negative emotions. For many people with trichotillomania, hair pulling is a way of dealing with negative or uncomfortable feelings, such as stress, anxiety, tension, boredom, loneliness, fatigue or frustration.
  • Positive feelings. People with trichotillomania often find that pulling out hair feels satisfying and provides a measure of relief. As a result, they continue to pull their hair to maintain these positive feelings.

Signs and symptoms of trichotillomania often include:

  • Repeatedly pulling your hair out, typically from your scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes, but sometimes from other body areas, and sites may vary over time
  • An increasing sense of tension before pulling, or when you try to resist pulling
  • A sense of pleasure or relief after the hair is pulled
  • Noticeable hair loss, such as shortened hair or thinned or bald areas on the scalp or other areas of your body, including sparse or missing eyelashes or eyebrows
  • Preference for specific types of hair, rituals that accompany hair pulling or patterns of hair pulling
  • Biting, chewing or eating pulled-out hair
  • Playing with pulled-out hair or rubbing it across your lips or face
  • Repeatedly trying to stop pulling out your hair or trying to do it less often without success
  • Significant distress or problems at work, school or in social situations related to pulling out your hair

For people with trichotillomania, hair pulling can be:

  • Focused. Some people pull their hair intentionally to relieve tension or distress — for example, pulling hair out to get relief from the overwhelming urge to pull hair. Some people may develop elaborate rituals for pulling hair, such as finding just the right hair or biting pulled hairs.
  • Automatic. Some people pull their hair without even realizing they’re doing it, such as when they’re bored, reading or watching TV.

Life has a way of throwing some things at you that’ll make you do things you never thought you would. So, be consciously conscious, Be willing to face disappointment, and know that sometimes you have to Let go to Grow!

Hope