Linked – How to Spot and Support your Spouse through Depression

“John* had seemed less like himself lately, and his wife Celeste* had started to notice. He laughed less, and when he was at home all he wanted to do was sleep. They had only been married for a few years, so it was very noticeable when John’s libido suddenly went down the drain.

Celeste wondered, what happened to her once happy-go-lucky husband? The guy who used to be the life of the party now just went to work, school, and hardly did anything else. She grew concerned. When she would ask him what was wrong, he would just shrug his shoulders. After a while, she took her concerns to a family member, who was a retired therapist. The therapist recommended that Celeste talk to John and help him get in to see someone.”

There is so much important information in this article, you should go read it even if you’re loved ones don’t currently exhibit any signs of depression. It’s so important that we look out for each other and know the signs. Let’s face it, statistics indicate that at some point, you are going to know someone dealing with depression, if you don’t yourself. How much better off would we all be if we knew the signs, and what to do.

Believe me, even though it’s been years since I’ve had to deal with my won depression, my wife knows what to look for, and what to do.

And I feel a lot better knowing that she does.

How to Spot and Support your Spouse through Depression

Video- Finding Courage to Talk About Child Sexual Abuse

When the subject of child sexual abuse comes up, we get uncomfortable. In this inspirational talk by Jill Tolles, we are challenged to find the courage to have this conversation and be a hero for the 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys who are effected by this silent epidemic.

Jill Tolles has taught Communication Studies for the past 10 years at the University of Nevada, Reno and is a member of the teaching faculty at the National Judicial College.

Follow Up on African American Male Survivors – One Trying to Defeat Stigma

Earlier I linked to a story about the stigma faced by make survivors in the black community in the US. Interestingly, I also received an email about the same time from a hip-hop artist currently promoting  an album and shirt film related to being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. You can read more about it on his site.

Below is the Youtube trailer for the short film, and the first single, called “Trigger Warning”.

“Trigger Warning” is the first song and official trailer from the ‘HAWDWERK is Jamil Potts’ short film based on the debut album from HAWDWERK of the same title. The short film is set to be released summer 2016.

Link – How Black Boys Suffer Sexual Abuse in Silence

Our media generally frames victims of sexual abuse as white and female. And the national discourse on the subject of molestation and rape is largely within a heteronormative paradigm. The concept of male-on-male child sexual abuse is seen as something that rarely happens; when it does, the perpetrator is often dismissed as a sexually deviant recluse.

The idea of mainstream, straight-identified men—prominent, successful ones, even—molesting young boys is still deemed an anomaly. That misconception may prove all the more confounding for young black boys in a society in which role models are hard to come by.

This is all true. As a white male, I see it. I can’t imagine how much more that goes for African-American men. Our culture refuses to see men as victims because they’re somehow afraid that will diminish the narrative of women as the victim, always. When a man is a victim, we just can’t fit that in, so we ignore it.

And this gets doubled if the abuser is a woman.

But, sexual abuse is sexual abuse. Gender and race don’t matter.

How Black Boys Suffer Sexual Abuse in Silence

Link – U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High

“WASHINGTON — Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women. It was also substantial among middle-aged Americans, sending a signal of deep anguish from a group whose suicide rates had been stable or falling since the 1950s.

The suicide rate for middle-aged women, ages 45 to 64, jumped by 63 percent over the period of the study, while it rose by 43 percent for men in that age range, the sharpest increase for males of any age. The overall suicide rate rose by 24 percent from 1999 to 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which released the study on Friday.”

Clearly, we are doing something wrong, and it is costing people their lives.

U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High

Link – Child sex abuse images increasingly being found and removed

“Nearly 70,000 pictures and videos showing child sex abuse have been removed from the internet in the past year, the UK charity leading the efforts to combat the abuse has said.”

This is good work being done by the IWF, and while it’s scary to think about how many images there are out there, it’s good to know that they are making a difference. Let’s hope they continue to do so!

Child sex abuse images increasingly being found and removed

Link – Narrating Medicine: The Long Lasting Impact Of Child Abuse

There are several hypotheses on why re-victimization happens. Children come to view themselves as “damaged goods” who don’t deserve or shouldn’t expect better. Abused children aren’t able to recognize safe from unsafe people, and if they do, they don’t have the internal or external resources to protect themselves from danger.

In a recently published study, a team of researchers from the University of Washington found that substance misuse, particularly blackout drinking, predicted incapacitated sexual re-victimization.

This is all something that many of us recognize, if not in ourselves, than in other survivors we have known. And I do believe that seeing ourselves as damaged is a big part of that, which is sad because surviving should teach us that we are strong, and can survive anything.

That’s the truth we struggle to learn.

Narrating Medicine: The Long Lasting Impact Of Child Abuse

Link – Childhood abuse still impacting your day-to-day life? Read this!

Research is just now beginning to understand how profoundly the emotional trauma of early child hood affects a person as an adult. They realized that if not healed, these early childhood emotional wounds, and the subconscious attitudes adopted because of them, would dictate the adult’s reaction to, and path through, life. Thus we walk around looking like and trying to act like adults, while reacting to life out of the emotional wounds and attitudes of childhood. We keep repeating the patterns of abandonment, abuse, and deprivation that we experienced in childhood.

This post has some good information, but also a questionnaire that can help you determine if childhood abuse is still having a negative impact on your day to day life without you even realizing it.

Take a look!

Childhood abuse still impacting your day-to-day life? Read this!

Link – 5 Things Depression is Not

“So, while the experience of depression is relatively unique to each individual who suffers from it, there are certain characteristics that ring true for all of us who’ve been there—namely (and perhaps most importantly in many cases) what depression is not:”

Go read the list, but needless to say, I agree, depression is not funny, glamorous, a decision, finite, or a source of shame.

Don’t treat it as such.

5 Things Depression is Not.

Link – When Your Friend Is Hiding Depression

Because of the perceived risk in revealing this news, too many people suffer in silence. Too many pull themselves together to face the world, but alone at home they crumble in shame, guilt, and agonizing pain. The pain is the worst part of it, and while feeling it you are sure this is the only way you have felt and the only way you will ever feel again. That is why ending the charade is so important. As I have become more open about my illness, with my husband, my doctors, my church friends and even my siblings, it is easier to win the battles. The storms still roll in, but I have many willing hands ready to hold an umbrella for me until it passes. That is why if you find out someone you know and love has depression, your reaction will make a difference. It is why if you are struggling with mental illness, you must take down your mask.

Might I add, there is a really, really high likelihood that someone you know does have depression.

When Your Friend Is Hiding Depression