Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SUICIDE

The suicide of Robin Williams triggered old suicide demons of my own. I have battled depression my whole life.  There have been ebbs and tides to the rhythm of my depression. Some days and months I am centered and happy and other days I'm caught up in a whirlwind of angst.  Most of my depression has been centered around, like most black women; financial woes or poverty, low self-esteem, battling demons from childhood issues, and reaching for those seemingly impossible dreams.

Hopelessness, rage, disconnectedness, and a broken spirit can also feed into that demon called SUICIDE.  Every time I would experience another disappointment or felt like things would never change or get better; SUICIDE would tap me on the shoulder and say, "I know an easy way out of this mess."  SUICIDE dogged me at every turn throughout my life.  Sometimes I verbally threatened to do it to a friend in angst, but most times it would over take my thoughts and haunt me. But I weathered the SUICIDE STORM and when the sun came up again, somehow I resolved to dig in my heels and face another day.

Now, I can say when life deals me a rotten card, I don't automatically think that SUICIDE is the answer. When things go wrong, it's no longer the end of the world for me. Through prayer, I have established a relationship with God and the Universe, and my faith has increased substantially. My meditation practice has helped to reduce my depression and anxiety, and ease my stress levels. It also increased my capacity for compassion and empathy not only for myself, but others as well. Yoga has helped my sleep, improved my self-esteem, and given me more energy.

Depression and suicidal thoughts are very real and unfortunately, many people on this planet deal with it everyday. SUICIDE doesn't care if you are rich, famous, poor, black, white, gay or straight.  It's an equal opportunity demon.  But, baby let me tell you - with all of its trials, angst, and sorrows - Life is still worth living.!  Don't give up! Dig in your heels and say yes to life!



SOURCES AND HELP:
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
www.veteranscrisisline.net/
www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_help.htm
studentsagainstdepression.org/get
www.samaritans.org 





The Blog, Black and Blue is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional mental medical care and diagnosis. None of the advice, or natural therapies and supplements mentioned should be used without clearance from your physician or mental health care provider. The information contained within this blog is not intended to provide specific physical or mental health advice, or any other advice whatsoever, for any individual or company and should not be relied upon in that regard. I am not a licensed mental health therapist and nothing on this website should be misconstrued to mean otherwise.




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

THE NEGATIVE AFFECTS OF DENYING YOUR CREATIVITY



Many, many years ago, I walked away. from a dance career and ultimately my creativity when I left an audition for the Academy Awards in tears. I had blown the audition. Claude Thompson – master instructor and choreographer, was in charge of the audition and choreography of the awards show. 
I had taken many master classes with Claude and I knew his technique and style.  He even looked at me quizzically afterwards. I stumbled out of the audition blind from the tears that coursed down my face. 

Many years later, I am feeling the affects of denying my creativity and the many gifts God bestowed on me.  Fear, rage, and depression have kept me from drawing, teaching and choreographing dance, and singing. The only creative thing I have done was write; which is not enough for me.  As a result, I have experienced swollen glands and throat, tooth and gum problems, and pain in my jaw, and stuttering.

Chakras are energy centers that are spread throughout the body. There are seven chakras that interact with one another.  When they are out of sync, they can impact us negatively - emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Each chakra is associated with particular functions within the body and with specific life issues and the way we handle them, both inside ourselves and in our interactions with the world. As centers of force, chakras can be thought of as sites where we receive, absorb, and distribute life energies. Through external situations and internal habits, such as long-held physical tension and limiting self-concepts, a chakra can become either deficient or excessive—and therefore imbalanced.

The throat chakra governs self - expression, communication of feelings, speaking the truth, and holding secrets.  When the throat chakra is out of whack; it can affect your creativity, open the door for addictions, and negatively influence your decision, faith, and criticism monitors.  Anger is also stored in the throat.
Fear of retribution often kept me from expressing myself at my work and living situations.  Now I am more honest with myself and others, I journal, blog, and express my self more creatively.  I am planning a space in my new apartment that I am moving into just for my creative projects.  Do not deny your creativity!  Express yourself.  Do not allow depression, rage, and fear stop you from being an authentic, creative, and purposeful human being!













SOURCES:  www.eclecticenergies.com
                     www.mindbodygreen.com
                     www.healing.about.com/od/chakratheseven/a/study7chakras
                     www.threeheartscompany.com/chakra
                     www.yogajournal.com
          

 





The Blog, Black and Blue is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional mental medical care and diagnosis. None of the advice, or natural therapies and supplements mentioned should be used without clearance from your physician or mental health care provider. The information contained within this blog is not intended to provide specific physical or mental health advice, or any other advice whatsoever, for any individual or company and should not be relied upon in that regard. I am not a licensed mental health therapist and nothing on this website should be misconstrued to mean otherwise.








Sunday, June 15, 2014

THE DARK SIDE OF BEING CREATIVE AND GIFTED



Singer Phyllis Hyman
 
Psychologists have been fascinated by the link between creativity and mental
illness. The earliest and most rudimentary studies examined eminent people across fields including literature and the arts.  These studies found that creatives had an unusually high number of mood disorders. Charles Dickens, Tennessee Williams, and Eugene O'Neill all appeared to suffer from clinical depression. So too did Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy and Virginia Woolf. Sylvia Plath famously took her own life by sticking her head in an oven while her two children slept. 

Research has found that people working in creative fields, including dancers, photographers and authors, were 8% more likely to live with bipolar disorder. Creativity is often part of a mental illness, with writers particularly susceptible, according to a study of more than a million people. Writers were a staggering 121% more likely to suffer from the condition, and nearly 50% more likely to commit suicide than the general population.  They also found that people in creative professions were more likely to have relatives with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anorexia and autism. Artistic women such as Janet Jackson, Halle Berry, and Beverly Johnson dealt with depression. Phyllis Hyman was also known to suffer from manic depression and ultimately committed suicide.

Mary Rocamora, who counsels gifted people and heads a Los Angeles school that attracts gifted and talented adults, says those "who are passionately engaged with their talent,but are constantly separated from the creative experience by relentless self-criticism, self-doubt, and feelings of inferiority often suffer from depression and the periodic shutting down of their spontaneous creative impulses. "The drive to express their inner creativity is heightened in many gifted individuals, and when the drive to create meets the wall of shame, it implodes into numbness, rage, depression, and hopelessness."





Phyllis Hyman
                                                  




Sources:
www.cnn.com
www.bbc.com
www.thecreativemind.net













The Blog, Black and Blue is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional mental medical care and diagnosis. None of the advice, or natural therapies and supplements mentioned should be used without clearance from your physician or mental health care provider. The information contained within this blog is not intended to provide specific physical or mental health advice, or any other advice whatsoever, for any individual or company and should not be relied upon in that regard. I am not a licensed mental health therapist and nothing on this website should be misconstrued to mean otherwise.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

DEPRESSION AND CREATIVITY

Photo: zmblackhistorymonth2011.blogspot.com


 
Yesterday, I found out that a friend of mine was diagnosed manic depressive or bi-polar late in her life.  I was stunned, because I had not noticed any of the obvious symptoms that people with this disease display.  The late Janet Collins was a Renaissance woman.  Truly gifted and creative in many areas; she broke the color barrier as the Metropolitan Opera’s first African-American prim a ballerina. Her stint at the Met was brief and she later toured with Katherine Dunham and Lester Horton’s companies.
She also taught dance, choreographed, designed her own costumes, and commissioned music for her dance pieces. She was also a gifted visual artist.  Janet was not diagnosed as bi-polar until well into her later years.  I find it extraordinary that she was able to work past her demons and continue to create works of art and dance. Being artists, many of us struggle with depression and our creative dreams.  As artists, we are vulnerable to depression by just being artistic. We have even more significant vulnerabilities if we experience any type of abuse in our childhood.  Like a shooting star, Janet Collins reached her pinnacle.  Her legacy was breaking the color barrier on the Met stage and paving the way for African-American dancers.  
Photo: vintageblackglamour.tumblr.com









   

Photo:  vintageblackglamour.tumblr.com




                                                                                         
















Photo:  primajanetcollins.com


Photo:  vimeo.com














The Blog, Black and Blue is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional mental medical care and diagnosis. None of the advice, or natural therapies and supplements mentioned should be used without clearance from your physician or mental health care provider. The information contained within this blog is not intended to provide specific physical or mental health advice, or any other advice whatsoever, for any individual or company and should not be relied upon in that regard. I am not a licensed mental health therapist and nothing on this website should be misconstrued to mean otherwise.




















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