Shayne and Lexi, the TV station’s top Starstruck finalists, asked me a number of questions related to mental health, mostly on depression, grief, trauma.
“How do you know if someone is socially happy or outwardly ok but secretly going through chronic depression and suicidal thoughts?” asked perceptively by one of them.
I responded, “It takes sensitivity- reading not only his literal words but also his ‘metacom.’” I explained that ‘metacom’ refers to message sent through nonverbal behaviors, such as isolation, addictive actions, or facial expressions.
Unlike medical/physical disease, depression, grief, or trauma because of a loss, abuse, and deprivation is very psychological and emotional.
Treatment often involves a series of urgent actions or steps to remedy the “HAVINGNESS” of the person in regard to quality of life.
This is both externally and internally - especially when the psychological condition has become severe or chronic.
Externally, by way of fundamental needs such as food, shelter, physical comfort, financial resources, social and family supports, medicines, among others.
And internally, through appropriate psychotherapy and counseling to work through the person’s psychological, emotional and even spiritual injuries/wounds as a result of traumatic life experiences and circumstances.
As Fred Rogers once wrote,
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”