Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘mental illness

Kids dropping all their toys to rush see clowns

The old Tempelhofer Airport ( not in this picture- as it is not allowed to document there) is this old huge, not functional airport where refugees wait and wait for their non existent plane.

Then we came with music and bubbles, we sang and danced.

One little boy saw us from far, he dropped down his scooter and whatever he had in his hand, his facial expression changed drastically, – open sparkly eyes, open mouth, open hands- and he ran to us as fast as he could and as happy as he could be.

The heavy dark atmosphere turned into a light happy one with kids and adults playing and laughing.

We sang a happy birthday to Aziz, a man who tried to commit suicide last week because waiting for his wife to make it to Europe and waiting for his kid to find the money for his cancer treatment and waiting in an empty airport not being to do anything about it have made life unbearable.

Aziz smiled and thanked us humbly.

These little interactions and moments are what make life worth living.
Oh and I actually jumped over this fence smile emoticon

ClownMe In, Miriam Brenner, Mayra Stergiou ‪#‎berlin‬ ‪#‎germany‬ See More

Sabine Choucair's photo.
Tonnie Ch shared Lebanon: One Story at a Time‘s photo.
 Mental illness in Lebanon? You feel anxiety?
Lebanon: One Story at a Time's photo. 

“Nour; Starstuff.
We’re in Hamra (Beirut). It’s where my anxiety started, and it’s been an uphill battle ever since.

The thing about mental illness in Lebanon is that no one wants to talk about it.

We’re in a country that still calls cancer “that disease”. Of course it’s going to be less accepting of mental illness.

This society has a stiff-upper-lip approach to it: “Get over it,” “it’s all in your head,” and “you’re overreacting” are just a few examples of what I heard through my struggle to stay sane.

Even my parents, the most open-minded people I know, didn’t want to believe I had anxiety.

Eventually, it was my dad who told me to get professional help. My therapist is two streets down from here, at AUBMC.

The psychiatry department is on the third floor, between two cancer center floors.

The first time I walked in I was terrified, because it hit me, seeing those two cancer departments with the psychiatry department: this is very real, very physical. People still don’t see that.

The thing I learn every time I walked into the building is that I’m not alone in this. I want people struggling through the same thing and are too scared to tell anybody to know that it’s okay. Get out there and get help. You deserve it. You deserve not to feel like this.

What really helped me through this was watching Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

I cried my anxiety out, watching where all this mass of body I have came from. With anxiety, everything is so scary and loud.

When I saw how simple yet insanely intricate my structure is, the noise in my head seemed to calm down: I am carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and miracle. I come from stars and each hand I have comes from a different star. That’s incredible.

I learned that when I threw my dark thoughts against such a darker and vast canvas of outer space, they disappeared. Space is limited with anxiety and you’re never sure you belong anywhere, but looking up at the universe reminds me that I’m freer than I think I am and wherever I look, I’m home.

The Little Dipper tattoo on my wrist is a constant reminder that my thoughts don’t stand a chance. I am starstuff, the product of millions and millions of years of hostile universe coming together.

It’s a reminder of a quote that makes me feel badass: “You’re a ghost driving a meat-coated skeleton made from stardust. What do you have to be afraid of?”

Note: No adult person is to be wasted, handicapped, maimed or killed. Seeing how fragile and totally useless we are born and how dedicated the entire community has been for decades to watch me be able to return a service to it, is mind boggling in determination, steadfastness, pain, suffering and courage.

“Breaking up of Iraq bothers me”

Do you know that the UN has accounted for 50 million displaced people around the world, inside their countries and in the neighboring countries? And this number is increasing by the years and nothing is being resolved for these refugees.

Do you know that most of these refugees are in Africa (Soudan, Somalia, Congo…)

Do you know that there are 5 million Syrian refugees (out of a population of 20) in just 3 years?

Do you know that half a million Iraqis fled in just 3 days out of Mosul and the number is increasing dramatically?

Why the fall of Iraq bothers me

Life after War Posted this June 16, 2014 in GriefIraqPost War LifeWarrior Identity 45 (selected as one of the top posts)

This is a hard post to write. Not because the subject matter is painful, I’ll stare into the darkest pain with you, but because it is so personal to my daily life. Someone asked me why I let the events in Iraq bother me.

I’ll tell you why.

Every day I interact with guys who lost men they loved dearly, who struggle every single day with memories, horrific flashbacks, anxiety, guilt, brokenness, anger.

Men who are afraid to sleep because of the terror that waits to ensnare them when they let their guard down.

Men who carry a weight on their hearts that comes from being forced to kill parts of themselves in order to do what combat demanded they do. Men who stared death in the face day after day, deployment after deployment, who made decisions that can’t be undone.

Men who died inside themselves to keep their brothers alive and must live with the fact that they couldn’t save everyone.

Men who were fucking good at what they did. And did the best they could.

(Men and women of both camps in the combats, resistance to occupiers, survival…)

If you’re reading this, you most likely are one of these men. You know what I’m talking about.
The world doesn’t see the man you were in combat. They have no idea they are in the presence of some of the highest caliber and highest tested human beings on earth.

They see PTSD, and stumble over a “mental illness”.

They see the guy working checkout at Walmart with a little pin that says “proud to be a veteran” and scowl at him for taking too long to move their groceries past a scanner.

They see an overweight guy with a beard at the bar who doesn’t look like he has it all together and dismiss him without a second thought.

They see a thin wiry guy who works in the cubicle next door and keeps to himself and think he’s socially awkward.

They see… absolutely nothing.

They don’t see you. The real you. The man you are. The one you became in those streets and houses and rooftops, the orchards and roads. The man you still are. The man you will always be.

They don’t see what courage means, or honor, or love that is stronger than death.

So, why does Iraq’s fall bother me?

Because I see a generation of men who will have Iraq woven into their souls for the rest of their lives. (And hundred of thousands of Iraqi victims, mostly civilians, born deformed for generations to come)

I see the pain, the struggle, the cost to hearts and how it plays out in daily lives.
I know what it has cost and what it still does.
I cry with these guys, I carry their secrets, I know the stories so painful and horrific they can hardly find words to whisper it. But they do. Because they are men. Brave.
And unafraid to be afraid.

But the fall of Iraq?

The fall of Iraq rips open tender wounds, starts the bleeding again, tugs at the part of these men that longs to be powerful and fierce and vicious, that part of them that knows expertly how to take those motherfucking extremists out — that part of them that can kill evil and has.

These men know power. They know it unlike anyone else. And that desire… that desire forces them to come face to face with the reality that now… now they are that guy at the Walmart checkout, the overweight one who’s invisible at the bar, the wiry guy in the cubicle next door.

Men who now everyone assumes are not much more than losers, hardly getting by in life, just barely making it. And that… that, right there, that realization, is what kills me. That pain.

These brothers that I love and am willing to fight for their soul’s freedom, they aren’t going back to Iraq.
Their warfighting days are over.

They have PTSD, and TBIs, and worn and battered and bone-weary bodies, minds, and spirits. They have to wake up each day and face the reality that they’re never going to be that Marine, that Soldier, again.
And that is what fucking hurts so bad.

So, yeah, we can deploy to Iraq again, our current warfighters know how to fight.
We can fight again today. It’ll fall again in 10 years.

We can go back. We can stay out. We can debate it until we’re besides ourselves. It’s not going to make a difference.
The Administration is going to do whatever is in their best interest.
And our warfighters will do what they do best. (Fighting it all out in other countries? To safeguard which natural resources for the 1% classes?)

But my guys, they have to live with what that land has already taken from them. And what they’ve given it. And what they still give it every fucking day. They have to wonder now if their buddies died in vain.

Or if the ache in their knee and the images of bloody flesh in their mind and the screams they hear when the room falls too silent — if it was all for an Administration who never actually saw them.
And still doesn’t.

And that’s why Iraq bothers me.

US Army troops initially suffer from mental illnesses: 25% Even before enlisting…

A series of papers published in a major medical journal shed light on the prevalence of mental health issues in the U.S. Army.

Nearly 25% of U.S. Army soldiers had a common mental illness, including ADHD and depression, and nearly half were diagnosed before enlisting.

The findings stem from three papers published March 3 in JAMA Psychiatry based on interviews with 5,428 soldiers at Army installations across the country.

Circa News posted this MARCH 4, 2014

Studies find many US Army troops have mental illness

2  The most common condition identified by the researchers was intermittent explosive disorder, characterized by bouts of rage. More than 8% of soldiers joined the Army with the disorder — six times the rate among the civilian population. Other mental illnesses also outpaced the general population.
3 “The kind of people who join the Army are not typical people. They have a lot more acting-out kind of mental disorders. They get into fights more. They’re more aggressive.” RONALD KESSLER, HARVARD UNIVERSITY SOCIOLOGIST AND STUDY AUTHOR

The research is part of a project launched in 2009 by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Army in response to a surge in suicides.

4. Researchers found 2.4% of soldiers had attempted suicide, 5.3% had made plans to take their own life and about 14% had considered killing themselves.
Other studies have shown a rise in suicide rates for both active-duty troops and military veterans in recent years.
5. “The people at highest risk of making an attempt struggled with depression and anxiety, or post-traumatic stress, in combination with impulsiveness and aggression… The former gets people thinking about suicide, and the latter gets them to act on those thoughts.” MATTHEW NOCK, HARVARD UNIVERSITY PSYCHOLOGIST AND STUDY AUTHOR

The rates of several psychiatric disorders climbed well beyond civilian rates during soldiers’ military service. Researchers said the Army should enhance its screening of recruits in order to provide treatment for those with a history of mental illness.





February 2023

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