world topics

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

“It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past but the past refusing to let go of the person”. PTSD is a mental illness that affects 7.8 million Americans . Most people believe PTSD only affects people who were or are in the military and they are wrong because I am one of those people. PTSD is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. My PTSD derives from my abusive childhood. Something that started over 17 years ago still affecting me today. I have been victim to PTSD and I have also been the culprit to pushing my pain onto others.

For me PTSD is not sleeping well at night because I am still afraid that someone will come through my door and abuse me. PTSD for me is having nightmares when ever I do sleep so I wake up multiple times throughout the night. It’s crying uncontrollably. It’s being paranoid of every man who I see. It’s being afraid of being alone. It’s only sleeping when there’s someone who I trust near me holding me. I tend to lash out emotionally when I feel I’m unsafe or scared. PTSD for me is a reminder that no matter how far I’ve come my past will always follow. PTSD comes in many forms and for me PTSD is fear.

Growing up in my teenage years my step father also had PTSD. He was a former marine and couldn’t cope with the thought that something was wrong with him. He was prescribed medication to take for his condition but to him he didn’t need them so he didn’t take them. As a result, he would randomly spaz out. It was usually the simplest things that would set him off. Anything that resulted in him feeling weak ended with my him breaking anything in his path. Whether it be Tv’s, furniture, anything in his path was destructed. As a result my younger brother and I would lock ourselves in our rooms until he was no longer screaming at the top of his lungs, threatening to kill us or trying to break down the bedroom door. Until we could hear no more chaos. After it was silent we would go out to see what damage had been done. All of his episodes usually resulted in his blood being splattered everywhere from breaking or throwing everything with his bare hands. Me and my mom would clean up what looked to be a massacre and she would try to get him to take his medication which never ended well. This was denial and rage what we most often associate with PTSD in our military personnel when they have “snapped”.

At the time of my step father’s out cries I was 15 years old while my younger brother was 11. This was something we had never witnessed before so it scared us. I feared for my life at all times of the day or night. You never knew when he might flip or what would set him off. Often times while under attack he would threaten to kill us, you hear something so much you start to believe it. My mother and younger brother and I stayed up all night one night just listening to him , taking turns watching the door, waiting and praying. Although we weren’t really young that still affected us. No child should have to ensure this.

PTSD is our minds reaction to us being unable to cope with a traumatic experience. PTSD is another topic that is rarely discussed but should be. There are people dealing with this constant fight within themselves everyday and need help. If my step father had allowed us to help him, if he had taken his medications all those times he switched on us wouldn’t have happened. My brother and I wouldn’t have had to see something that dramatic at a young age. We shouldn’t have had to fear for our lives in our own home.

If you suffer from PTSD or know anyone who does I beg you to get help or help them get the treatment that they need. They may go through a stage of denial but at the end of the day you’re doing what’s best for them and in severe cases what’s best for you as well. With treatment PTSD can reduce and even elimate the symptoms of PTSD. The thought process one has with PTSD can go away and in that sense PTSD can be improved or “cured”.

In severe cases you have to think of your loved ones. You don’t want them to fear you. You don’t want to be afraid of what you’ll say or do around them either. Take the first step in understanding your diagnosis and begin getting treatment. In getting treatment you allow yourself to be able to lead a better life. The nightmares can stop, The thoughts can stop, it can all go away. I don’t know about you but I want to be able to have a full nights sleep without waking up from a nightmare paranoid. I’m 22 years old and I deserve to live as normal as I possibly can. That’s why I went and got the help I’ve been needing. It’s never too late to better yourself So, what’s stopping you?

world topics

Get tested & Know your status!

The HIV epidemic in America is at an all time high. Today is National HIV Testing Day. You should get tested at least once a year. And if you have been sexually active or shared needles with anyone who is HIV positive you should get tested every 3 to 6 months to see if you were exposed to the virus. HIV is a virus that attacks a persons immune system. Our immune system is our bodies defense against infections like bacteria and viruses. If left untreated HIV can develope into Aids. Aids is more severe and is said to be the advaced stage of HIV. Usually when a person has developed Aids their CD4 ( white blood cells that attack infection) count is below 200. When it should be between 500-1600 There is no cure but HIV can be treated if caught early. 1 in 7 people dont know that they are HIV positive. Don’t be that person unknowingly infecting someone else Go get tested so that you can know your status! Today many Walgreens’ world wide are doing FREE HIV TESTS. There’s no excuse not to go get tested. GO GET TESTED so you can know your status & BE SAFE!

Wake up, world topics

With Scoliosis comes Strength!

“Our spines can’t define us, no matter what degree it’s at”. Often times I don’t think people realize how fortunate they are. People joke about scoliosis but unless you suffer from scoliosis you can’t grasp how severe the pain of Scoliosis can actually be. I’ve always had back pain and for so long no one could tell me why. I tried physical therapy, pain medications, back braces, back  massages but at the end of the day I was still always in pain. Pain so severe that for a while I didn’t sleep because I couldn’t. For me my scoliosis is only minor compared to many others I was fortunate enough not to have to have surgery to correct the curve that’s in my spine.

I hear people mentioning Scoliosis on songs and in jokes but scoliosis is more than just having a curved spine. Scoliosis can be walking with a limp because one of your hips is higher than the other. Scoliosis can be not being able to stand up straight or like me trying to use correct posture but you can’t and it only hurts you more. Scoliosis can be having to sleep with a pillow between your legs to take the stress off of your back while you sleep. Scoliosis can be not being able to stand, sit or lie down for long periods of time.

For me Scoliosis is a hassle to live with on a daily basis. There are treatment options,but there is no cure. Some days I wake up and I am fine. Yet, other days I wake up with my back muscles aching, so bad that often times it hurts to stretch. Having to sit for long periods of time or stand for long periods of time is something that I just can’t do so I switch in between them both to limit the strain I put on my back.

The last I checked which was a few years ago the degree of my Scoliosis was only at 20%. I have a C shaped curve in my spine, which curves to the left at the top of my spine near my shoulder blades. So, most of my pain is felt on the upper right portion of my back as it’s pulling. 1 of my hips is slightly higher than the other, but you wouldn’t know unless I told you. So when walking or standing I do walk on my tip toes. The least effective treatment for me was physical therapy as I’d come in pain and leave in even more pain having to be iced down each time before I left. I did the exercises the stretches but the pain never stopped. When it came to taking pain medication the medications either suppressed some of the pain for a moment or did nothing at all. So, on most days I am in pain.

Now my case is only 1 of many. My case is also minor compared to some of the people with this diagnosis. My C curve is only in one portion of my spine. There are people out there with a S-shaped curve which is exactly what it sounds like a S-shaped curve in their spine. These more severe cases of scoliosis results in the person(s) having to get surgery so that they can be able to do normal activities like; walking. There are people who can’t take off their brace as it’s what’s helping them stand up correctly. My scoliosis is only minor compared to some of the cases out there but the pain I endure is devastating. If my 20 degree Curve can cause that much pain imagine what someone at 30 or 50 or 100% goes through on a daily basis.

Scoliosis isn’t a topic that gets discussed on the regular but it should. As there are people out there unable to enjoy their daily lives because of their condition. People take the simple things for granted everyday like being able walk, run stand up straight and just enjoy their life without any worries. There are some people who have never gotten the chance to do “the simple things” because their scoliosis hinders them from being able to do so. So, the next time you hear someone making fun of someone for having scoliosis ask them how often do they wake up in pain? How often are they unable to sleep because there back is having a spasm? How often do they have too stop doing an activity because the pain becomes too severe? People with Scoliosis fight a physical battle everyday with their own body do you? Or the next time you see someone who looks a little different because they walk with a limp or are hunched over due to a curve in their spine don’t hassle them or give them a hard time. We have a lot that we already deal with on a daily basis don’t add to it.

To anyone suffering from Scoliosis you are not alone and no matter how the world may perceive you, you are strong. The curve of your spine does not deter you, it’s merely another obstacle to conquer. You defeat odds everyday by being 1 in a every 40 in the fight against Scoliosis. You still being here another day says your strength can not be matched, and you win because you made it through yesterday! You endured and conquered! I hope one-day we can say my Scoliosis is gone. June is Scoliosis awareness month so, Help me in raising awareness to scoliosis!

world topics

Children’s Mental Health

In the words of nelson Mandela “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” It is our job to help shape the young minds of our time. Children will one day be our future doctors, nurses, teachers, policeman etc. The young children of today will one day replace us  expected to keep the world running. To be able to do that they need to be raised right, especially when it comes to their mental health. A person’s mental state of mind determines their behavior and their future.

“Your mental health is just as important as your physical health”A person’s state of mind plays an important role in the choices that we make as human beings. An unstable mind can be detrimental to a person’s prosperity. Having mental issues left untreated especially beginning at a young age will have a major impact on them leading all the way into their adult lives.

I grew up mentally and physically damaged. Since childhood I’ve had depression and anxiety. I’ve always understood what most my age can not and I always knew that something was indeed wrong. I wanted help and so I went and asked for it. But, because I was a child it was put off as if I didn’t know what I was saying. That I was too young to know what that meant. But, I did. The key is to listen. You may think your child is wrong, or that your child doesn’t know but sometimes they do. We know our body better than anyone else ever could, even in childhood. “An estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the united states have had at least one major depressive episode.”  Depression  is real and if left untreated can lead to so many other issues; suicide being a major one.

Children can be faced with so many other mental conditions. A common condition is ADHD which is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This was something that I personally never had an issue with but  I watched as my younger brother did. “6.4 million children were diagnosed with ADHD between 2003 and 2011. If left untreated ADHD can lead to lifelong problems ; including adult ADHD or add in their adult hood. ADHD disrupts concentration, and enhances hyperactivity. ADHD is now so common among children and must not be ignored. Treatment is necessary in the growth of our future leaders.  It’s the simple things like Concentration that most people often take for granted because to us it comes so natural. But, that isn’t the case for everyone. No matter how much people with  ADHD try to settle down and be less hyperactive they can’t. With treatment and constructive outlets to channel this extra energy and sometimes behavior it helps to shape and prepare them for understanding and control as they grow older into adult hood.

Autism is another illness that also begins in young children. Autism can begin to manifest and show itself as young as the age of two. Autism like other mental illnesses must be caught early on and treated properly in order for the child to have a chance at leading a normal independent life. This disorder affects the mind of the child. It slows the development of speech and learning disability as well as makes social interaction, communication, and obsessive interests difficult. There is no current cure, but treatment gives people with autism a fair chance at being successful in their adult lives without being dependent on someone else to be able to do so.

There are so many other illness’ that affect children. Children are who will one day take over and teach the future generations to come. If mentally they are unstable they will be incapable of success and taking care of the world. In order for humanity to thrive we have to be ensure that our future leaders are mentally stable and prepared to do so. To my parents; Listen, Pay attention and Take care of your children. These young people are the ones you expect to look after you when you become too old to look after yourself. So, take care of them so that they may be able to one day take care of you. If you hold guardianship over an adolescent my test for you is to Listen to your child, to pay attention  and lastly; learn. To learn the signs to be able to notice when something is wrong.” Our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children.”Take care of our children as they are young so that they will lead our future to be prosperous when they become adults.

world topics

A woman and her health

” Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic!” Often as women we tend to take on so many different tasks. In the process of taking on everything and trying to be super woman or super mom for some, we often neglect to take care of our-self. This week is Women’s Health Week and Although it’s almost over its never too late to take time out for yourself and make sure you are indeed healthy. I understand that most women have so many people dependent on them, but if You’re always taking care of everyone else who takes Care of you? Roles can always reverse and it doesn’t take much. So, It’s time that you took care of you.

“Take care of your body and it will take care of you.” Something I’ve had to learn all to well. Most days I’m putting myself in overdrive just so that I make it through. I’m the Getting minimal amount of sleep and often times skipping at least one important meal. We get to the point where we get it in our mind that no matter what we’ve got to push through, and so that’s what we do. This works until we have over worked our selves to the point that our body can’t take it. Our bodies begin to slowly shutdown and go into defense mode. This can happen in many ways. It could start off by being sick; maybe with a cold. Your body could ache from the constant stress that’s been placed on it. Lets not forget Fatigue! My point is that we need to take care of our bodies. Our body is what helps us to get through. Taking care of ourselves ensures that we can push on , push through that extra hour, or that extra day. Go to bed earlier, take that nap, pack a lunch. Rest your body and replenish yourself with healthy nutrients so that you have that extra strength to make it through.

As women, we have so much to live up to. There are women with children who are expected to be fantastic mothers all the time. Women are expected to hold a job, care for the children, take care of home and still keep themselves up in the process.A lot is pushed on us because we are women, and we manage to take it all on no matter what obstacles are placed in our way. So, to my women I want to say that you are strong! women are so underestimated, we do so much. We are very important people. In the words of Beyoncé “Girls Run the world!” We as women push our men further when they are on the verge of giving up. We as women birth children and raise them up as young queens and young kings hoping that they take with them the lessons we instilled in them. As women we work until we are tired and then work even harder because if we didn’t do it who else would?

Mentally we turn off that voice within us that’s telling us we need to rest. Mentally we push away all those helpless thoughts because we have so many things to do and to us we are the only ones to get the job done. Being in the right state of mind is also so very helpful in remaining healthy. If your mind is in overload your body will be too because it’s having to work extra hard. There are days where I want to give up, pack up and disappear but I know in doing that when I return the problems will still be here waiting on me. So, when mentally I become tired I pray, I rest and I have most recently started to do yoga and meditation. Taking 10 minutes out of my day and just taking some deep breaths or stretching my body helps put me in the right state of mind so that I am not mentally overwhelmed by everything going on around me.

I know as women it seems everything will fall apart if we don’t take care of everything. But, to take on the world we have to take care of ourselves first. Start off making sure you get enough rest, getting the right amount of nutrients in your body, and taking a break. Things will not fall apart if you take 10 minutes to yourself everyday. Go to the doctor for your annual check ups to ensure you’re in tip-top shape. If you’re feeling under the weather don’t ignore the signs, listen to your body. Your body is your temple and it lets you know when something is wrong. All you have to do is listen. To ALL the super women out there trying to take care of everyone and every thing please take care of yourself first. When was the last time you had a day just for You ?