I’ve decided I’ll write about mental health as it’s something I suffer with and so do so many other people, I feel mental health is brushed under the carpet just because it’s not physical, your health is your health and it’s so important. I was meant to start writing this blog just over a week ago but I’ve been in a dark place myself, and I kept on blowing it off and kept saying I’ll write it another day, well 2 weeks before release date here I am twiddling my thumbs on how I should come about this topic as it is very sensitive subject to talk on.
I’ve been in a dark place for weeks probably months even and I can’t even figure out the reason why, I’ve been to the doctors countless amount of times on my physical health and haven’t even got simple health, on my mental health I can’t bring myself to do it, the fact that I could get sectioned or giving medication to make me feel ‘better’ I really don’t have time for that, I have times where my mood flips uncontrollably and it’s so hard to control it, I have times where I can’t go to sleep past 6 am, I have days where I get sleep paralysis the first few times I was really freaking out, then it continued to happen regularly and I got used to it, there were times it would get so bad I would get dragged down my bed, no bullshit people would say go read the bible?? What’s that going to do? Sleep paralysis is not a fun situation to be in at all, the only thing in your body that will move is your eyes, it’s a real damn struggle to move everything else, I’ve been depressed but not overly depressed it didn’t last very long but now I’m anti I don’t really talk to people anymore, people pop up all the time and say ” you haven’t been active lately” or ” you’re not normally like this” this really does play on my mind I’ve deeped people I normally talk to I can’t find the energy to talk to them anymore or if they talk to me, I really can’t be fucked to reply anytime asks me “how are you” everyone will get the same reply “I’m calm” it rarely changes I really copy and paste the same answer to everyone, you’re probably thinking that’s cold, I agree it is, but when you have no energy to conversate that’s how it’ll be, a couple people called me reserved so I asked the person who knows me the best which is my mum, and she agreed but the thing is with me I let people know what I want them to know, if we’re having a conversation and the topic becomes a little too personal 9 times out of 10 I’ll cut the call and go sleep or go about my business,everything depends on my mood I don’t mean for my mood to flip I even get called crazy like what the fuck it’s not really my fault, I’ve tried to top myself by taking excessive amount of tablets it really didn’t work at all the pills must of liked my immune system because nothing happened. I’m one of them people that would rather help someone else through their problems I’ve heard people talk about how they’ll commit their own suicide on the phone to me, I’ve seen people try to top themselves ending up in accident and emergency all I think is I could’ve done more, but there’s only so much I can do, if you want to die then do it, there’s only so much help I can give. A few weeks ago I decided to give blood as I saw that only a small percentage of black people do, so I went along and like I said I ‘tried’ and failed I have the sickle cell anaemia trait and iron deficiency which makes me sleep for heavy periods at a time or my energy is low, sometimes I am in a good mood and my energy is out of this world but other times no I’m just Teeks, I sit in my room all day hardly leave I’ll decline times to go out and just sit there get restless, sleep, eat and then repeat all within my own space, my worst times were through my childhood just dealing with the divorce of my parents hurt and it’ll stick with me forever…but be moving on as time goes on so do I and what goes on will always have a reason.
Recently I’ve been on Twitter scrolling up and down the TL like a mad woman and started to come across tweets that are talking about mental health, I’ll scroll further and see the suicide help line number tweeted in both the United Kingdom and America, but the main communities I want to focus on are the black and Asian as I know these are the forgotten communities we have something wrong with us we get called crazy by the national health service or given medication that should somehow make us feel better or we just get abused by the police trust me it happens, or in some cases rituals are made. Mental health is an important issue in the black and Asian community and as a black young woman I’ve been more informed about this, over the recent weeks on Twitter I’ve seen more mental health tweets, my own followers tweeting about committing suicide, saying they have no one to talk to, no where to turn, mental health within these two communities are swept under the carpet as if they don’t exist, growing up I got told to be a ‘strong independent black woman’ but really I was crippling on the inside, social construct is so backwards we’re told to be this, do that or act like we are completely normal, what is normal? I fail to understand.
If you’ve read my blogs before you know that if I’m writing such strong topics I’ll have facts to support my evidence, with this one topic it took me time to find facts but once I got into it I came across a lot, I was actually flabbergasted at what I found.
I’ve found that in the black and Asian communities:
– More likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems
– More likely to experience a poor outcome and treatment
– More likely to disengage from mainstream services like social services leading to social exclusion and further deterioration in health
– Likely that mental health is overly diagnosed in people whose first language isn’t English
Have you ever thought about why mental health and mental illness impacts people in the black & Asian community more than any other?
Personally, I think it’s down to the factors that are plastered on us as a whole
– Bad housing
All these factors play a huge role in the support which we should get equally but we don’t, we’re judged then ‘treated’ I hardly call it treatment I’ve seen a number of people descend on how they’re and it’s sad to see, what I seem to not understand is how can colour separate us, how can black people be diagnosed with severe mental disorders, we go to doctors for help, a psychiatrist for our problems to be listened to, God for guidance, our parents to see if they see it from our point of view, as a community you think we have a options but do we really?
An overwhelming amount of people with mental health are living in poor conditions, there are considerably high rates of physical and sexual victimisation, most people with mental disorders are restricted in their ability to access essential health, social care including emergency relief services. Poverty is the worlds most ruthless killer, poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon encompassing the inability to basic needs, lack of control over resources, lack of education and poor health. The measurement on which poverty is based on is income, if you earn less than a certain amount then you will be classified as poor. Poverty is associated with many long term problems, such as poor health and increased mortality, school failure, crime and substance misuse.
People with mental health are one and half times more likely to live in rented accommodation, social housing and in a poor area, they’re twice as unlikely with their housing and four times more likely to say that it makes their mental health worse. Children who have moved around quite a lot tend to have depression and anxiety compared to their peers. Many people have reported that housing costs have caused stress.
– 33% (15 million) say housing costs cause stress and depression
– 25% (12.2 million) are kept awake by stress of paying bills and mortgage
– 25% say housing bills cause arguments between partners and other family members
The number of homeless people diagnosed with mental health is spiralling out of control, it’s almost double the rate of the general population homeless link surveyed 2,500 homeless people and found out 45% of them had a mental health issue compared to the general population only 25% of them was found.
– 32% said they were experiencing suicidal thoughts
– 39%’said they have panic attacks
– 18% hear voices
– 67% feel depressed
– 41% misuse drugs or alcohol
Racism will forever be an ongoing issue I feel like the black community and the Asians are hit the most, not a day goes by where I see a non-black person say the word ‘nigga’ or a non Asian person say ‘paki’ ‘chinky’ etc.. But besides this discrimination against the black and Asian communities is reported across a wide range of everyday activities, a survey was carried out between February and March 2013 where 740 people from these minorities communities carried out a study. 6.9% (69) of people said they did not experience any discrimination which shows that 93.2% (671) of them felt some form of discrimination within finding a job, housing, education, getting into a relationship, why is it other people in other communities get every and anything handed to them on a plate, but because there’s a couple stereotype here and there about others we have to scream for our voices to be heard, rally together to hold protests that clearly get ignored, constantly being stopped on the road for a ‘routine check’ I’m not completely obnoxious but through my eyes this is things I hear or see every day. Imagine being black you receive the lowest treatment rates in England, half of what a white person would receive, being coloured ha such a hard life.
Recently I was scrolling on Twitter and a topic of conversation made the TL overly active everyone well I’m saying everyone I really only saw blacks/Asians started talking about the ‘beatings/licks they received as a child most people didn’t see it as an abuse but I don’t know what minds some of you lot have because by the way some of you lot described it I would’ve called child line, however everyone’s different for me growing up if I did naughty things around my dad he’d instantly say “yuh wan licks child sha” then I’d instantly pause whatever I was doing and go back to being good, with my mum the most I’ve done is kneel on my knees for quite some time, but the ones I saw on Twitter they were something else, I can tell how these implications can affect someone later on in life, beating your child is the first steps of abuse, now I know people will come back and say “My parents beat me because they wanted me to learn how to be respectful” blah blah blah you can be taught in various ways without beating someone with a belt, ginger in your anus, products being thrown at you etc…What I read I could tell these had an effect on the people’s lives and it’s daunting to see or read. Domestic abuse can have a huge effect on your mental health, it is now well accepted that abuse both in childhood and adulthood is often the main factor in the development of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders and may lead to sleep disturbances, self-harm, suicide and attempted suicide, eating disorders and substance misuse.
We have people drowning in their own thoughts within their households, can’t talk to mum, can’t talk to dad, so where do we go from here, my problem with some parents is they always think they’re right, some believe their child is completely fine, we can look perfect on the outside and be dying on the inside, some say go pray to God, praying does not help everyone, performing a ritual doesn’t cure everyone, doing witch craft doesn’t work for everyone, being a shoulder to cry on helps letting out emotion which is completely natural, supporting your child on what to do next is so important, I’ve seen teenagers, adults, children be here today and gone the next, and the parents always say ‘I blame myself’ stop blaming and start acting upon what is happening in front of your own eyes, under your own roof, I’m completely aware that some people can hide pain scarily well but asking a simple ‘Are you okay’ is fine but never settle for the answer of ‘I’m fine’ ask for them to expand until you’re both satisfied. A study of 2000 adults commissioned by the mental health foundation has found that the average adult will say “I’m fine” 14 times a week although only 19% will mean it so out of 100%, the other 81% won’t mean it, do you see where I’m coming from? That large percentage your family member, friend, could not be ‘fine’ what does fine even mean? What’s normal? 1/3 of the same study = 667 people said they often lie about how they’re feeling to other people, while 1/10 = 400 say they always lie about their emotional state. “I’m fine” is such an effortless answer, this answer is the answer to end all conversations, it has to be a conversation killer but if we don’t know what to reply how are we meant to say.
I personally believe that mental health should be completely equal to physical health, but for me saying that I would expect to see pigs fly first before they rule out this new plan. The media is such a dark place, they ignore us at any given moment or take the original story and twist it, these inequalities are virtually ignored by them, but to be honest, this is nothing new, it’s been the case for decades due to a lack of focus, but for why? Why does the colour of our skin rule out the level of exposure we receive, this is highly incompetent and extremely melancholic. The image it paints is one for misery, loneliness and desperate individuals needing help but each time we are let down for the colour of our skin, a colour that we can’t choose, even if I could change my colour I wouldn’t I’m proud of my race and what we’ve become and what we continue to achieve each day.
The NHS is an amazing amicable service to an extent, they’ll fix your broken arm but won’t fix a broken mind, they’ll give you gas and air but won’t give you air to breathe in real life, drowning in thoughts and no one around, is this what black and Asians should expect for the rest of our existence. People from African & Caribbean communities are more likely than others to be admitted to the hospital, worldwide it seems people who move from country to country have a higher risk of, mental health illness, this is predominantly true for black people who move to mainly white countries and an even higher risk for their children.
I’ve found quite a few statistic from the Asian and black communities on our mental health systems
– African/Caribbean are 3/5 times more likely to be diagnosed and admitted for schizophrenia
– Suicide is low among Asian men but high for Asian women
– African/Caribbean are more likely to enter the mental health services is the police or courts
– Indian men have a high rate of alcohol related problems
– African/Caribbean are more likely to be treated under a section of the mental health act
– Asian people have a quicker recovery rate from schizophrenia due to family support
– African/Caribbean more likely to receive medication rather than be offered a talking session known as psychotherapy.
We’re being failed as two separate communities due to ancestry, the colour of our skin, moving to predominantly ‘white’ countries the first I’ve heard Britain as a ‘white country’ I’m pretty sure we’ve been multi-cultured for 158 years since 1858 since Queen Victoria’s proclamation of India. We’ve been failed as people and institutional racism started this and no matter what people say racism will never end, there has been mounting evidence that institutional racism plays a major role, systematic analysis of what is wrong from sociological, historical and political perspectives really shows how embedded racism is in the practices and how it really does affect mental health services, while at the same time can show us way in which changes could be made. Black and Asian people are significantly over- diagnosed with stigmatising ‘conditions’ such as schizophrenia, depression and bipolar and are under referred for talking therapies but instead given large doses of drugs which cause long term physical problems which will continue to live with them for a long period of time and are over represented among sectioned patients, people served with a community treatments orders and those incarcerated in secure hospitals which are known as dangerous. There have been many attempts in recent years to make mental health become more culturally and sensitive ‘attempts’ these attempts I’ve never seen we all get treated like animals we get drugged up and sent into a room, we’re not listened to at all, whatever we say gets ignored, we’re seen as crazy. We want help, don’t label us. The attempts by our government to bring about racial equality have been very unsuccessful they haven’t even touched the edges in 30 years nothing has changed. One way to counteract them is for private and public services should minimise the use of sectioning get incarceration and the use of forced drug intake, instead of telling us these drugs will make us feel ‘better’ tell us the real effects, tell us that these drugs stop certain feelings from showing through, tell us how to deal with the side effects, tell us what we can do if we’re feeling suicidal etc, give us structural advice instead of giving us pills, focus needs to shift towards collaborating with service users, aiming to support where and when needed with recovery from personal setbacks and social problems.
There are so many mental health problems/illnesses and I think you should all be aware of all.
– bipolar disorder
– Eating disorder
– Anxiety disorder
– Post traumatic stress disorder
– Personality disorder
– Mood disorder
– Borderline personality
– Mixed anxiety
– Major depressive
– Seasonal affective
– Mental distress
– Sleep disorder
– Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
– Schizoaffective disorder
– Emotional & Behavioural disorder
– Autistic spectrum disorder
– Dissociative identity disorder
– Spectrum disorder
– Postpartum psychosis
– Sickle cell disease
I’ve done this long list for you to be more aware of what is a mental health illness, there are things on here I never even thought of like delusion because all I hear is ‘your so deluded’ who would’ve thought delusion would even be apart of it.
The one thing I’d say to be aware of is lucid dreaming it can cause sleep paralysis if it’s not done correctly and having a sleep disorder is not fun at all it’s completely wack. Lucid dreaming is safe but if you don’t know how to do it I suggest you stay well away from doing it, performing a lucid dream you can experience hallucinations, you can fall between consciousness and unconsciousness within a few seconds. Lucid dreams can turn into lucid nightmares extremely quickly and a lot of things don’t scare me but sleep paralysis scares the shit out of me and lucid dreams are weird but lucid nightmares are the worst thing I’ve experienced, but within lucid nightmares it’s something you can control to an extent you can really remind yourself that it’s a dream, you can encounter demons in lucid dreams and sleep paralysis but whether you know how to control it is another thing.
Last year I watched a documentary called ‘Being black, going crazy’ This film is presented by Keith Dube known as (Mrexposed) on Twitter, he’s a young writer and blogger who wrote the blog ‘Mr exposed’ Keith used to suffer from depression and as a result he wanted to spread awareness about mental health within the community. Keith spoke to patients as well as staff at Park Royal mental health centre, they spoke deeply on how they were treated before, how their parents treated them, even how the police treated them. In my opinion, when this aired on BBC 3 it was one of the best documentaries I’ve watched, there were topics within topics discussed and it was alarming how some of these people were treated, I suggest if you haven’t watched it then it will be a good idea that you do.
– Black men are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious mental health condition and 6 times more likely to be an inpatient in a mental health unit than a white man
– 56% of black in patients have been sectioned more than any other ethnic group
– 67% of black people with mental health issues have been stigmatised and treated unfairly by their own families
All I’ve been writing is black blackity black for god knows how long, and every time I write black in whichever sentence theirs always unfairness that comes along with it.
Moving on a few weeks back when I was on the idea of writing this blog I wanted to write about people that have suffered from mental health and died in the hands of police custody, that wasn’t hard to find at all, I came across someone named Sean Riggs, the name sounded very familiar and as I looked him up I remembered this is the man who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, unfortunately he died following a cardiac arrest on 21st August 2008 while in the hands of police custody no surprise there. Sean Rigg was a 40-year-old black British musician and producer, the events leading to the death Mr Riggs lived in a hostel that dealt with uncooperative and aggressive behaviour, on the 21st August five 999 calls were made during a 3 hour period by the hotel staff, the police didn’t find Mr Riggs a priority which is extremely odd because being black we’re always a priority for the police no matter what situation, on the fifth call the police finally turned up and restrained him in a ghastly manner, he was handcuffed, face on the floor and officers knelt on him for 8 minutes while he was being transported to Brixton police station, during the journey his mental health deteriorated massively, he was extremely unwell and not fully conscious, when they arrived Rigg was left unattended and unmonitored for 25 minutes one of the officers said he was faking it, a further 10 minutes later his heart had stopped and all signs of life was not there one of the sergeants mislead the doctor by telling them he was faking unconsciousness, which is totally untrue he was dead at the age of 40 because police do not understand how to understand people with a mental issue. If we fast forward a few years the series Orange is the new black has an exact scene like this where Poussey dies as an officer holds her to the ground leans heavily on her back, and she begins to say “I can’t breathe” the exact same words Eric Garner says when cops choke hold him and slam him to the ground if you’ve seen the video you will hear him saying “I can’t breathe’ 1 fictional character dies and 2 non-fictional people die, and of course each one of these had a protest of unfair ruling, even though one was a scene it still shows it goes on and only to one race, I haven’t seen it anywhere else.
Really I think police officers think they’re superior actually correction they do think they’re superior, sad really a uniform gives these people such confidence, the job they’re meant to do they can’t do it without drawing out a baton or gun, what happened to talking and engaging, what happened to simple handcuff on and in the back of the police car, but instead now I’ve seen guns drawn out, people with a condition being tackled to the ground like it’s a game of rugby, their knees should be on the ground not on the offenders stomach/back, I’ve seen so many people die in the hands of police custody not necessarily with a mental health issue but people like Edson Da Costa, Rashan Charles did not in anyway or form deserve that treatment I’m highly disgusted reading the newspapers everyday scrolling through Twitter to find out another black teenager here in the UK or anywhere else has died in the hands of police custody, I actually want to know what the fuck do these police officers do in training, because somewhere along the lines they always end up killing someone. There should be a complete end to physical restraint and training should consist of dealing with people and their mental health problems, beating them up will only lead them to further deteriorating we want people’s health to improve not to further worsen we’re not crazy, we are human and deserve humane treatment. Black, white, brown, purple and blue all just colours. If we turn people inside out we all have the same features a heart, eyes, arms, legs etc we’re no different stop treating us as separate, stop causing a divide and help us.
Helpline UK: 116 123
Helpline USA: 1-800-273-8255
First, off my apologies for taking so long to write this, this is the first ever topic I’ve been stuck on, but thank you to everyone that helped give me further ideas on what to write on.
Mental health is so hard to write on and if you find anything offensive or incorrect then let me know but I’ve looked for information everywhere, I’ve read books, watched documentaries just to get a further insight into the world of black and Asian mental health, within the Asian mental health I couldn’t even find a lot, but there was so much on the black communities and I’m glad I’ve written this because I’ve found out things I never knew, I would like to say anyone suffering from mental health please speak on it for yourself and for others, raise the awareness we deserve, fight for what you believe in, if you know that someone is suffering help them by listening never ever settle for the answer of “I’m fine” because 9/10 they’re not, dig deeper into the situation don’t grill them on it but ask more open than closed questions, look for signs I’ve seen people in front of me suffer and I never knew till I started asking and they started doing funny things, and you can kinda tell, I’ve had people call me saying they’re going to kill themselves, counting down the days, hours till they top themselves, sometimes I feel like I’m the shoulder to cry on in certain groups of friends but thinking about it I don’t mind, even though I issue out the same advice I’m not that person and only that person can change themselves. If you think there’s something wrong within yourself then go and get help and always get a second opinion, I’d even suggest going private, if your parents are in your life start talking to them, because they certainly are not here forever, parents start talking to your kids in some cases your children are under the same roof as you crumbling with no one to talk to, friends, family there is always someone to talk to including me, my social accounts are all out there, if you feel alone want someone to talk to then honestly I’m here!
Please, can we all remember that yesterday marked the two month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Inferno, 2 months later still fuck all done, 2 months on and a lot of them have come out with mental health issues, 2 months later and hardly any questions have been answered.
Also, would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that continues to read my blogs, I’m so thankful for how far I’ve come, you lot might count it as showing off, well couldn’t care less. I’ve met my target which was 2k and now on 2.2k if you have me on Twitter remember what I said when I get to 10k I’ll throw a party which I will.
“Each day means a new 24 hours, each day means everything’s possible again.
Not entirely sure if this blog makes sense, but hey I tried, I’ll be writing two more blogs before the year ends, so if you have a topic let me know.