Bell Let’s Talk is starting a dialogue on mental health and I couldn’t be any more thrilled to see members of my community start a conversation about this. Mental health issues aren’t a joke and I admit I have and had met, been through, dealt with and tried to help others and not just myself when it comes to mental health issues. Given this opportunity, I believe now is the time for me to provide my op-ed on the topic.
DISCLAIMER: Given the extremes of this topic, this article will be written in a long-form style with zero imagery at this point. Thank you for your understanding.
Mental health can affect us in many ways and these include but not limited to anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks, and ADHD just to name a few. Despite how I am not diagnosed with any illness but I like any human being for sure had gone through tough times and there is no point in keeping your head high and mighty by saying that you have never gone through it…. DON’T because I am certain that everyone has gone through something that they were not proud of. Let me tell you this, if you go through mental health issues or is constantly stressed out from life’s hardship, I have good news for you… YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Everyone has ways to help cope with the situation but the problem here would be the bad news which I will be covering from my thoughts alone. I’m throwing theories and research out the window so I can express my own thoughts in clarity so that no one thinks that I am throwing jargon that would be meaningless for anyone who isn’t involved in the world of academia.
Are you ready for the bad news? If you are, continue reading and if you’re not then take a deep breath, clear your mind and at least hear what I have to say from my perspective. Let’s say that you are going through a mental health issue and you go through tough times such as academic stress, anxieties when it comes to how you will perform, perhaps you are depressed because you constantly think of the fear of failing a course or losing someone really dear and close to you; you suffer a mental breakdown and panic attack as a result because of a constant fear of opposing forces that are hurting your mental psyche causing you to have suicidal thoughts. The bad news here is that I Kazuma N. Kiryu have gone through all these ROUGH TIMES and quite literally what can I do to cope… the answer was simple, I COULDN’T.
During these times I had no one to talk to and even if I thought I did, people would tell me that they don’t want my politics to be involved in their lives and would shut me away just so they can stay in their safe space and not deal with my “bullshit”. To me, this isn’t “bullshit” because this really is something that has harmed me and has affected how I view the world. How does it feel to not have anyone you view as a true friend or just friends in general, the fear of being left alone is not a good feeling and all I have to say is that how would you feel if YOU yes YOU the reader have to go through mental health issues and scenarios that can potentially harm and scar you and upon realizing that you have NO FRIENDS or even someone who you thought would be your forever to not come to your rescue when you go through it. How does it feel to have someone who you view as your “friend” stab you in the back for personal gain and taking others away from you just to “prove a point” that you don’t deserve to have friends and would rather see you die and vanish from everyone’s life. “It is better that you don’t appear in any of our lives. You are a pathetic human being, no one wants you here so WHY exactly are you here? Get the fuck out of my sight.” Do you know how that feels to hear these words and have these thoughts generated in your mind resulting in people that you thought you can trust just outright stab you in the back and vanish. I’ll tell you how EXACTLY that feels.
That feeling is like having gravity rip you apart and the emotions that I felt were painful, brutal and gruesome. There are three stages to dealing with stress or any kind of mental illness and these stages are coping, exhaustion and lastly death. That very moment I had a panic attack, I thought it was the end of the world, I was crying, my vision blurred, blackouts, hyperventilation, that feeling of shame of showing weakness in front of every single person around you, massive headaches, my whole body was shaking like I had Parkinson’s disease, the feeling of loneliness, the constant hearing of conflicted thoughts and glimmer of hope shattered. “I’ll never leave you; I’ll forever be by your side,” “we are all friends, whenever you need help we’ll be there for you.” Hearing these thoughts and realizing that no one will be there to save you from the panic attack and hardship is one of the most painful and horrifying experiences any man, women or child could EVER go through. For those who thought I was acting, I wasn’t because it actually happened and it really hurts! During this time I was glad to have someone who I view as a brother come to the rescue; sadly not the one that I loved and cared dearly about and who I tried to help with their mental issues because I cared and I didn’t want them to have an uncertain future where it can impact their quality of life. Having someone lie to others around you just to fulfill an agenda to see me suffer is another major blow and I view this as not only cowardice but it is also a destruction of my quality of life. Not only was my mental state in jeopardy but my trust in people has been destroyed, my personal code that I live by was personally placed in doubt and these were what I was thinking in my head, do people have no honor, respect and a sense of loyalty anymore? I live by a moral code of “people who have honor will have respect and with respect comes loyalty.” Upon seeing that my reality was shattered shows me how petty and pathetic some people can be and can become. It was shocking to see people lie to me and telling me to “take the fall” was nothing but a trap and has officially scarred me for life and has cost me dearly.
I suffered from insomnia, trauma, thoughts of loneliness, random panic attacks, hyperventilation, loss of motivation, nightmares whenever I can sleep, deteriorated performance in my education and quality of work and the list is endless. But there is a bright road in this tragedy, with the very few friends that I still have they were able to help me get back on my feet and help me cope with the mental exhaustion I go through due to stress and for that I am very grateful to realize that my moral code wasn’t in jeopardy. For those who helped me have earned my respect and with respect comes honor and with that comes loyalty. Your friend circle doesn’t have to be big and having at least one person you can always talk to and is willing to go through your dark and tough thoughts is more than enough to start helping you get your feet together and to resume your life as if nothing had ever happened. To my dear friends that are reading this and have read this far, I cannot thank you enough and you have earned my respect and for others who are going through mental health issues. You are not alone, dark times hit us every now and then but the one take away message that I want people to take away from is that no matter what, someone will go through these tough times and it can affect our mental health at an astronomical level and no matter how people try to shove you away, eventually someone will listen. If you have someone such as a friend or a loved one, do your best to help them with their problems because the best thing you can do is to at least stay with them, listen and do your best to help them go through their problems. Never leave someone in trouble alone, be a helping hand and help someone in need.
I am Kazuma N. Kiryu a resident of the municipality of Vancouver, B.C. and I have gone through mental health issues. #BellLetsTalk