We Are a Nation Destroyed by Mental Health
COVID, inflation, job loss, economic instability, anxiety, depression, and suicide are the marks of the American populace. How do we heal?
I don’t like to admit that part of the reason I quit my job was because I was tired.
I would stare like a drone analyzing posts or news about someone who wanted to die. Someone else couldn’t hack it. Others had such a level of fear around COVID that anxiety had crippled them. There was job loss. Marriage on the rocks. Relational tension over politics. Depression so severe, they couldn’t function. Each day felt like I’d become an emotional dumping ground as opposed to my earlier years, when I’d grow excited watching people walk into freedom and wholeness.
The hard part was that I expected it all long when the pandemic began. I even penned an article during the lockdown of April 2020 entitled, The Mental Health Pandemic is Coming. And now? It’s here, but we’re severely lacking mental health therapists and practitioners.
I figured when I left my job in mental health after a decade, perhaps it was time for me to pursue some healing of my own and deal with what I’d taken on. After the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, I — and there’s no other way to properly put this — lost my shit. Afghanistan wasn’t the full reason, but it was certainly the straw that broke the camel’s back. Like a lot of Americans, I was dealing with rising inflation costs, lockdowns that made my extroverted soul feel like a snuffed-out candle, and relational issues because of financial stress and work. I turned to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shortly after the Taliban regained control in August 2021 to begin work in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. They, however, were so backlogged with requests, I didn’t hear from a provider for four months.
They then assigned me a third-party provider, only to end up in one of the most hellacious experiences to date by the provider’s staff. See below for yourself: