Friday, September 4, 2009

Maia Campbell, Mental Illness and the Black Community

I know by now that most blog surfers and tweeters have come across the video--that will not be posted here--of actress Maia Campbell. Let me first say that I think that the deplorable comments that are coming from people and most especially Black people about this young woman and her obvious serious health issue is completely unacceptable. There are times that media sources will talk about an entertainer's life in an extremely invasive and insensitive manner because they are considered public figures and societal trends make it seem okay to do so and while it may seem's not and this time isn't any different.

Maia Campbell is the daughter of author BeBe Moore Campbell and has apparently suffered with mental illness for several years. She is a human being that is obviously in desperate need of help NOT disgrace. In the blog entry, Trend in Truth: The Real Maia Campbell Story written by Robin Caldwell she gives a human aspect to this story and more insight into Maia Campbell's struggle as well as helpful information and sites for understanding mental illness.

I know the pain of dealing with a family member that has a mental illness but it is an "undiagnosed" mental illness, and it continues to be undiagnosed, because they can't be forced to seek help unless there is an act of violence. Mental illness is a struggle for not only the person but for the family because there is no way to help them unless they actually 'believe' that they need help and actively seek it.

There are times when it is difficult to get your loved one to seek the help that they need because you have family members who are in denial because they enable the person or in denial of the illness for fear of what acknowledgment would/could mean to them or the family.

Damn, Black people are extremely skilled in denial when it comes to taboo subjects and diseases that plague are community!

I admit that my youth and inexperience with this health issue had me in denial for a good period of time because I was so clueless as to WHAT was actually happening. I thought mild depression maybe or just too much stress. Never did I think that it was anything as severe as what it is. I accept it now and I have no illusions about what is actually happening to my mother and even though she remains undiagnosed I continue to persevere by loving her without fail,
praying for her and encouraging her to seek help. She is one of the strongest people that I know and the person that has had the most amazing influence in my life and I will continue to fight for her for as long as it takes.

SILENCE is the worst thing that has happened to the Black community...please no more silence...speak out and help where you can!

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