Oct 19, 2022
Michael openly speaks out about physical, emotional, and sexual abuse he endured from childhood. He has suffered through post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, amoung other painful experiences. Michael emphasized that he was leading a regular life, until an encounter he had with a mental health facility, at a time when he underwent a nervous breakdown, he attempted to seek help, as he sought to make sense of the flashbacks. He shares that his story is deeply rooted in stigma and shame he suffered, carrying the label of ‘mentally ill’. He shares his experienced of being invalidated by the healthcare system and being told ‘it’s all in your head’ after struggling with a mild traumatic brain injury. Michael’s story in its entirety is about the cumulative effect of all these events that had taken place in earlier parts of his life and how he had to cope and find his way with each experience. Michael was heavily medicated at times, and at times, uncertain if treatment was in alignment with his diagnoses, in addition to not feeling that the medical and mental health teams were deriving any of their practices from a trauma-informed space. Michael talked about other rejections he faced in later parts of his life, reprimands he felt he withstood once people found out about his mental health background, and how trying it was with many new starts he had to undertake. His key message to the listeners is that: there’s a wealth of resources to look at, to listen to, to read; find your path and keep trying different things, even if you must keep at it; borrow ideas and create your own healing; healing happens on all levels.