peace with oneself
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.
Discussing Challenges and Overcoming Stigmas
This community storytelling event is a collaboration between Soul Pitt Media, Storyburgh, and Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation, as we work together to reduce the stigma of mental health conditions and trauma by providing a platform for the participants to share their experiences of living with a wide spectrum of mental health issues, which will inspire others while creating a broader platform to service underrepresented populations in our communities.
- Kay Bey
- Mary Beth Spang
- Prof. Robert McInerney
- DeAuntae Clark
- Chelsea Chase
- Sherris Richards
- Miracle Jones
Recorded Story Clips
MC: Marcia Liggett
Coach: Pamela Monk
Event Assistants: Alyse Horn & Jennifer Jordan
Executive Producer: Donna Baxter & Will Halim
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 Storypage, 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 space 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
Report, Poem, Essay, 1st person
Mary Beth Spang is a PsyD student in Pittsburgh, PA. She has worked in mental health since graduating with her master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2019). She is also a proud Penn State graduate (2015). Diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, she writes about her personal experience living with and managing mental illness. Her writing has appeared in The Mighty, Disability Disclosed, and Germ Magazine.