High School Volunteer Program | Submit 2024 Summer applications by June 15

Overcoming Mental Health Stigma: Abraham’s Story

Play Video
hey abraham how are you i am great glad to be here you talked about being off a certain point of your life and uh do you want to talk about like what was it the feeling of feeling off and what was the turning point where you realized you needed help and what did you do to do that like what were the processes that you followed um for me when it comes to the turning point uh there were a couple of things at play um one was that i grew up in a jamaican household so i had two jamaican immigrant parents growing up and i also grew up in a christian family and so there was this dynamic or this unspoken rule of uh we don't talk about our feelings our emotions and and so i kind of grew up in that environment where there wasn't necessarily a safe space to talk about anything related to mental health yeah i didn't even know what mental health was when i was younger so fast forward to leaving home and being the first in my family to go off to college in 2014 i started to experience stress because i was a full-time student i was a i had a full-time job i was trying to have the full experience of what it's like as a college student and it became overwhelming and it was stressful and i just continued to push as if nothing was wrong um so that wasn't helpful and it led to me having um challenges mentally and emotionally to the point where i went from being a motivated student to not being able to get out of bed so i knew that something was off because normally i would be able to motivate myself to do things i would be able to get up and exercise and feel better but for some reason the motivational music wasn't working the videos weren't working the the friends weren't helping and i just was i felt stuck so that at that point i knew i i needed some sort of help whatever help looked like at that point yeah and was there like a moment where you were like juggling in your mind that do i need help and i'm still okay because you know there were moments where you were not feeling so bad but you were feeling bad enough was there any friend or anybody like you said your family did not believe in like you know anything related to mental health and you grew up in that thing but was there any friend who kept like pestering you like you know yeah you said the right word she was pestering me and i shared a little bit about this in my presentation that you attended but um yeah i had a friend and at the time i did not like this friend because she kept bothering me is what i call it bothering me but now i'm so grateful for that friend because if it wasn't for that friend checking on me and continuing to check on me i don't know where i would be today and honestly i don't know if i would be here today because it got really dark for me and i got to a really low point in my life but um i had this friend so i'll give you the the quick story yeah um i had this friend and we met during during uh undergrad uh my first year and we quickly developed a fast relationship because we enjoyed doing the same things and we both came from immigrant families and and so there was a connection there so we became friends pretty quickly yeah and and um and again i went from being this motivated enthusiastic go-getter to isolating myself and this friend um realized that i started withdrawing myself and she knew something was off because that's not the way i normally operate so she saw the signs and she saw that something was off and so she would check in on me but i would ignore her phone calls ignore her text messages because i didn't feel like myself yeah i didn't want her to see me like this like i'm known to be the strong friend the one who's supportive but now i'm i can't even support myself so he wants to show the multiple side right of anybody yeah i felt very shameful and embarrassed with what i was experiencing um but like you mentioned this friend kept pestering me and i remember i remember one weekend i was at i was at home and it was a beautiful day outside so i live in florida and it was a beautiful day outside the sun was shining the weather was nice but i found myself locked in my apartment in my bedroom underneath the covers with the blinds closed and i was in between crying and being like extremely upset because i didn't know what was going on and i didn't know how to fix it and it just so happened that my best friend decides to call me when i'm in this situation and so she calls me uh i decide to pick up the phone this particular day and i remember she said something that changed my life she says i'm not getting off the phone until you tell me what's really going on and i remember when she said that i knew that she wasn't just asking out of courtesy she wasn't just checking in on me because that's what friends are for like she she was really genuine about supporting me and because i felt that i decided for the first time to open up so i opened up with her and i told her everything i told her how i wasn't sleeping at night because of the negative racing thoughts i told her how i didn't have an appetite so i wasn't eating i told her how i didn't have any motivation to go to classes to go to work and i just didn't want to do anything and that's when you know i felt safe for the first time in my life because she listened to me and then she says you know it sounds like you're depressed and i was like depressed because remember yeah why would i be depressed and remember growing up we didn't talk about things like that so i didn't even know what depression was yeah like for me can i be honest with you rubali absolutely so so so for me when i thought about depression i thought it was a white person's issue privilege right person yeah i thought depression only affected a select group of people who couldn't handle adversity and so i thought it was for weak people so when she said the word depression actually took it as an insult i was like how could you be calling me depressed i think that is such a great point abraham the label right yeah called depressed right like how in our mind we say that we are not that person mm-hmm that's somebody else yeah yeah and i battled with stigma i battled with those negative perceptions i like to call them lies right i battled with all of these lies and um it finally got to a point where i was sick and tired of the same thing over and over again and my best friend who called me that day recommended that i see a counselor yeah and um i ended up seeing a counselor weeks later and that started me on on my journey to getting treated for depression uh and recovering so and then you started this organ this uh speaks speaks to inspire i see it right behind you tell me a little bit about that and what you're trying to achieve with that uh speaks to inspire is the mental health solution for young adult suffering and silence and so we work primarily in colleges and universities and we help institutions to develop programming that supports the mental health and well-being of their students and that also reduces stigma

More Information

In this video, Abraham shares his personal journey of overcoming mental health stigma and seeking help when he was feeling "off." Growing up in a Jamaican household with Christian values, he was not taught to talk about his feelings or emotions, which made it difficult for him to recognize and address his mental health challenges. When he went off to college and started juggling school, work, and social life, the stress became overwhelming, and he eventually reached a low point where he couldn't get out of bed. Despite his family's disbelief in mental health, Abraham's friend continued to check on him and encouraged him to seek help, which was a turning point in his recovery. In this video, Abraham shares his experience of seeking help and the processes he followed to improve his mental health. #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthstigma #overcomingstigma #collegeoverwhelm #selfcare #supportsystem #counseling #therapy #breakthestigma #mentalhealthjourney ▬▬▬▬▬▬ About Rcoz ▬▬▬▬▬▬ Rcoz.us is a user-friendly online platform that was established in 2020 with the goal of raising awareness and normalizing mental health. The pandemic has highlighted the need for solidarity and connections, especially related to mental wellness, among individuals who share similar experiences. Rcoz aims to bring stories of marginalized populations to the forefront, including the voices of LGBTQ+ students and families, low-income individuals, documented students, and everyday folks who often lack a voice in society. By encouraging people to share their personal stories, We hope to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health and create a community where individuals can find support and understanding. ▬▬▬▬▬▬ Connect with US ▬▬▬▬▬▬ Website: https://rcoz.us/npo/ Instagram: @rcoz.us Twitter: @RcozUs Facebook: @Rcoz.us LinkedIn: rcoz.us Blog: https://rcoz.us/npo/blogs/

What an Expert Says

In this YouTube video <https://youtu.be/Oc0suB3SESk>, Dr. Seema Sehgal, a practicing psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience, is interviewed on the Rcoz platform about social anxiety. She explains that social anxiety is a specific disorder where people's anxiety escalates during everyday interactions, causing severe embarrassment and self-consciousness. This disorder can impact relationships, work performance, and lead to isolation and substance use. The age group most likely to experience it is between 13 and 23 years old. Dr. Sehgal also discusses when it is appropriate to seek professional help for social anxiety and the symptoms that indicate the need for treatment. #socialanxiety #mentalhealth #psychiatry #anxietydisorders #functioning #treatmentoptions


Like this story? Share your own.

Share your story to inspire, empower and help others with their own mental health journey.

Related Topics

Support Mental Health​

Support our work to normalize conversations around mental health – donate today.