Uncle Sam’s Visit during WW2

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It was 5 days before D-Day when Uncle Sam decided to visit an American base full of nervous soldiers. June 1st, 1944. He, along with the American soldiers, knew what (and who) was in store for them on D-Day.

Uncle Sam approached the base confidently, slowly… powerfully. You could see the heat coming off of the base, showcasing the brutally hot summer it had been. Uncle Sam was in his prime… young, yet not too young where he may be careless. He had fought many fights already by this point, and he was confident in his strength, character, and will to fight until the end to preserve the freedom in which he was born to express. Uncle Sam was strong… he had built up his muscle year after year, making a name for himself in the process. Uncle Sam was also respected. Respected amongst his peers, allies, and even his enemies. Most importantly, however, Uncle Sam respected himself.

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The State of America’s Mental Health

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The United States ranks in third when measuring countries that face the greatest “burden” of mental health and behavioral disorders worldwide – The World Health Organization (WHO?… The World Health Organization!!)

It’s true, and that rate was determined by factoring the number of deaths, or the amount of years of life lost due to mental illness. That’s fucked up. It’s fucked up in a lot of ways, obviously, but I couldn’t help but ask: Why is the U.S. so poorly mentally taken care of when it’s supposedly the ‘richest’ country in the world?

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What’s Going on with Uncle Sam?

“I’m not used to seeing him like this. He’s changed. The young, optimistic, free spirited man I fell in love with has been replaced with a fearful, greedy, selfish monster. I miss the old Sam, the man who would have died defending his values, dreams, and family. The one I see now is a coward, who hides behind the money he has made (stole?), and the power he has accumulated.” – Ex-wife of Uncle Sam (1776-1958)

“I won’t lie… when he was born I wasn’t the best older brother that I’ve could’ve been. He was different than me, and I guess subconsciously I didn’t like it. I felt hostile toward him. Envious? Maybe. As he grew up, we had our differences which resulted in a ton of fights. He needed to know who was boss… I mean I’m his older brother after all. When he went overseas, I lost it. After fighting many battles with him, and ultimately putting in everything I had to put him down, he won. My ego was shattered at first, but honestly, it was good to eventually form a solid relationship with my little brother. Today, I would fight by his side, but not as quickly as I would’ve earlier. He has become trigger-happy, starting fights he never had a stake in the first place, and has become rather erratic in his thinking/actions. He will always be my little bro, but I’m worried about him. – U.K.

“Sam is my boy, and he always will be. I will always remember the amount of vitality… passion for his life and future. It was contagious, and people flocked to him of all backgrounds and creeds. His values and promises forged a community around him that was unlike any other. I tried to instill quality values within my son, ones that would hopefully carry with him for the entirety of his life. Integrity, compassion, courage, adaptability, and honor are just a few that I saw him live by early on. These days, it seems as though he has changed for the worse, unfortunately. It is sad to see. His sense of honor seemingly has went out the window, compassion has turned into selfishness, and his adaptability has turned into rigidness and hostility towards people asking him for a change. I know my son, although I cannot recognize him, I know him. That boy I once knew is still in there, somewhere.” – G.W.

Story #1 – Jeremy M.

*Name and some details have been changed to keep the sharer anonymous.*

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I grew up in Southern California. My whole childhood was a breeze, but things started to change around age 12. I began waking up with a serious sense of heaviness on my chest… it wasn’t as if I could not breathe, but it was like, things were just heavier. It was harder and harder to get out of bed, and my motivation for doing the things I needed to do completely diminished, seemingly overnight. I didn’t realize it back then, but those were the first signs of depression.

The kid I used to know, the one that would laugh and play without a thought of self-consciousness, eventually became a distant memory, at least for me. I lost that part of myself, and I felt like I became someone I wasn’t. My spontaneous, witty remarks were more and more difficult to come by as middle school went on. This was a huge blow for me, because humor was an integral part of my life.

When I got to high school, I talked to my parents about all the shit I was going through. I never told anyone before this… and it was crazy to hear that they just thought I was tired. They thought I was tired, but inside I was, like, screaming in a way, you know? It’s weird how different your inner and outer world can be. They were crazy supportive, and brought me to a psychologist who eventually referred me to a psychiatrist.

I’m 21 now, finishing up university. Although it still is certainly a daily struggle with my mental health, I’ve come a long way from that 12 year-old kid. I was put on a few meds, and eventually picked one that worked for me, and didn’t numb me out. I’m playing sports, doing pretty good in my classes, and have a girlfriend. The support system around me is absolutely something I don’t take for granted… it really is amazing the amount of good people around me.

My advise for people, or kids, who are experiencing mental health issues, is to speak to someone about what’s going on. Holding it inside is the number one thing that would cause something to snowball into something it doesn’t need to be, if that makes sense. It gets better, but it takes work.

Uncle Sam’s Mental Health

Hey America! It is an honor to write this first blog post, and to introduce… Uncle Sam’s Mental Health. This blog is primarily about the vast amount of Americans suffering from (or have recovered from) mental health illnesses, and their stories, insights, and opinions on whether America could of/can do more for them. Obviously they can… which is one of the reasons for me creating this blog.

The Mental Health situation in America is absolutely terrible; From the crazy prices of some medications, to the seemingly deserted land of providers actually taking patients, not to mention the insurance industry caring more about profit than the people they’re insuring (nothing really new here, but still). Other countries have it so much better when it comes to mental health. This will be the topic of the next post.

So, there’s going to be a variety of blog posts to be posted on here in the coming weeks to build a foundation: original articles about the health care industry in America, opinion-based posts providing insights on what needs to be improved, and of course, stories from people who have suffered from, are currently suffering, or has a loved one suffering from a mental health illness. I want this blog to be a place where Americans can come to to not feel so alone about their mental health.

The ultimate goal for this blog, is to be a library of Americans generously sharing their stories for us to see, learn from, and feel. Mental Health is a serious problem right now in America, and it has led to some catastrophic events that we will get into on here. People suffering from these illnesses are warriors and deserve a platform to tell their story if they’d like to.

Lastly, if you’ve gotten this far in the post… Thanks! God Bless America and you. I wanted to tell a little bit about myself and my struggle with mental health. I was always a happy kid, always had friends and didn’t have a care in the world. Around the age of 13, though, I started having pretty severe self-consciousness (classic middle school amiright?). At the age of 16, I started having severe anxiety. It mostly occurred socially, but it was so bad at some points that I would shake. Depression started around then too… but it was a shadow for me, not a suicidal-level experience some people unfortunately have. I just started feeling apathetic mostly… lost interest in things, people, and activities. Before college, I started an anti-depressant called LexaPro. That helped the anxiety after a few months, and I began to feel better. Around second semester the anxiety came in full-swing, as well as the depression. I had to drop out and switch schools, constantly struggling with these issues.

Long story short, I am 23 now and honestly feel better than I have in the last 5 years. This is due to exercise, meditation, CBT techniques, and the right meds for now. I’ll post a whole post about my story if it ever gets to the point where you guys would like to hear. But, this blog isn’t about me, it’s about America and its Mental Health.

I’m excited to start this journey, and I hope you will join me and see where this goes.

 

Over half of American adults with mental illness do not receive any type of care.