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#BridgingYourMind

Editor: Mary Beth Spang

From Founding Director:

Despite vaccine roll-out in the US starting on 12/14/2020, COVID-19 and its imminent aftermath will continue to wreck havoc in many families and communities in the US and the world. Our daily struggle to balance physical and mental health needs may challenge us even more. With the introduction of #BridgingYourMind “StoryPage”, it is our privilege to welcome and introduce Mary Beth Spang into Storyburgh community to help us all navigate the treacherous life journey ahead. As an educated and trained professional in the mental health therapy as well as being someone living with the illness, we believe that she is more equipped than the rest of us (journalists and techies) to write such stories and to manage any related ideas and submissions. Thank you.

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I write stories from the perspective of someone living with and managing mental illness and as a professional therapist who supports other people living with and managing mental illness. My goal is to educate and connect people who may feel isolated, confused, or overwhelmed by their experience.

In this piece, I wanted to demonstrate the progression of how depression can sometimes lead to apathy, anhedonia, and ultimately, suicide ideation. In other words, I wanted to write about what it’s like to mentally or clinically “decompensate,” the process of going from wellness to illness or from varying degrees of illness to worsening degrees of illness.

This is often the time when we need a higher level of care— either more frequent therapy, a medication change, or perhaps psychiatric hospitalization. Therefore, the transition from feeling sadness to feeling apathy is a crucial one to notice.

I hope this piece helps others who suffer to notice when this feelings shift happens, and furthermore encourages them to get the help they need when it does. There is no shame for getting help if and when decompensation occurs; I believe it is the bravest step we can take.

-Mary Beth Spang

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Editor's Corner

Mary Beth Spang is a therapist in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with youth ages 18-25 living with mental illness, helping them to transition into a more independent lifestyle equipped with coping skills for managing their mental health. Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder herself, she also writes about her personal experience living with and managing mental illness. Her writing has appeared in The Mighty, Disability Disclosed, and Germ Magazine. 

Are you angered by the death of George Floyd? We are.

Are you concerned that property destruction and violence are driving the focus away from peaceful and just demonstrations? We are.

Are you ready for Pittsburgh to go back to normal? We are not.

Murder in broad daylight, by agents of the state, is horrific and shocking and cannot stand.

But there are many other and more subtle ways to choke life from BIPOC, all very normal in the before times, such as:

All of this normal, accepted behavior is slow motion violence:  failing to act systematically, diligently and persistently, as documented by a scathing scientific study (commissioned by City of Pittsburgh) that indicates that Pittsburgh is the worst city in America for Black People.

https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/pittsburgh-is-the-worst-city-in-america-for-black-peopl-1838218551

Yes, we ALL want to feel comfortable and good about ourselves– displaying black screen as avatars, discussing/arguing in social media echo-chambers, posting public statements that you “stand with them.” But feeling comfortable without changing a thing at the expense of BIPOC, especially our Black brothers and sisters, can no longer be an option.

Please watch this video of Van Jones about latent danger of racism and then look at yourself at the mirror. Next, ask people in your own network and circle of influence to do the same.

Back to the old normal is not acceptable.

What are you going to do to create a better now?

 

Respectfully,
Will Halim
Founding Director of Storyburgh

 

Storyburgh is run by freelancers/part-timers who each have own individual views. The opinion expressed here is my own and does not represent that of the entire group.

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