The Death of A Crack Addict

By Robert A. Williams

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Jesse held his timid posture inside the project’s hallway, absorbing the rumbling sounds from the apartment.  The loud stench of urine did not drown out the violent voices as he listened silently.  His slender frame, as a ship on bumpy waters, rocked steadily as he decoded the languages.  These evidently hateful sounds came from the apartment as always after multiple day crack binges.  Nevertheless, under the influence of crack, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts, Jesse with unbridled animosity ignited after hearing the scorning noises.  Pissed, he flushed his clenched fist down his mouth and screamed inaudibly.  While his character received rebuke from inside, he heard a voice say, “Jesse ain’t shit and never will be shit” pierced through the apartment’s peephole, and, as quickly as his rage had imploded; it halted.   The voice’s owner had never been among his naysayers but for this very first time he heard it clearly.  After recognizing the voice owner, his addicted frame collapsed upon the cement, as his emptiness filled him.  For the next two hours, inside the hallway, he furiously rubbed his convicted face, as he whispered again and again:

“I ain’t shit and never will be shit; I ain’t shit and never will be shit.” I ain’t shit and never will be shit.”

Later, in his deepened shallow voice, Jesse asked himself.  “What the fuck have I done?” He wondered had the addiction cost him his family’s hopes.  He snapped back! “I can’t stop, I’ve tried and not one person knows what I’ve been through.  How can they judge me?  What the fuck do they know; they have not walked in my shoes.”  Jesse invalid arguments from the past however were baseless again, but now because of that voice, he wondered was it true.  He mouth mumbled again, “I’ve never been shit” thus his final decree fell noiselessly onto the cement.  Jesse settled himself atop his size 12 feet; tucked his shirt neatly inside his dirty jeans and headed toward the building’s roof.  His mangled body for hours lay  unnoticed before the sunlight allowed the project spectators to recognized it.  The disfigured mesh of body and bones did not faze them; they’ve seen suicide by roof jumping before. “Cats can’t take it, and they jump the fuck off, it’s called ‘project sky rocket.’  The news reporter nervously listened to the hoodie wearing teen’s account, as yellow police tape restrained both; Jesse was a statistic now.

The funeral was uneventful, as most, concerning project residents. The family had to take donations, it’s a norm, no big deal.  A few friends stood with his siblings wondering why Jesse became a ‘project sky rocket’.  Hell, his sister let him stay with her, but they still wondered.  Sure she got on him about his addiction, “Jesse they going to put me out if they catch drugs in here, don’t bring that shit in here,”  But you know what, after each binge, she opened the door.  Jesse often listened outside her door as she would railed preparing for work, “His good for nothing Black ass”.  Nevertheless, she loved his ‘Black skinny ass’, like most siblings in those situations do.  Yea, she let him come back each time and this is why his suicide hurt her most.  Because, she promised to care for her oldest brother and she failed.  As foul-smelling and cracked out, she took him in, blitzed off some new drug shit, she took him in, fucked up on liquor; she took him in.  The morning of Jesse’ suicide however was different, the voice were different.  The voice convinced him he failed at life and disappointed everyone.  He heard that voice and it made him tired and apathetic.  No more fight in him, he was tired, so he jumped.

After several months, project’s natives produced a theory as they always do.  That early morning, a few residents saw Jesse outside his sister’s door before 4am as she undressed him on the other side.  Jesse and his sister kept their business in the street, like all residents of these prisons.  Nevertheless, most residents, like his sister, wondered aloud; why did he jump?  Well, as theory has it, that morning as Jesse crept up the project’s hallway, he was fine. But, as he gathered himself to enter his sister’s apartment, that one voice came from inside and into his head; thus, he freaked out.   Frightened and confused, he bugged out, as they say.  As such, he was whispering as he walked to the roof a few hours later.  His fellow addicts however warned him: Your mother has been dead ten years.

3 Tactics to Help Depressed Men Now

Disclaimer: The Dragon’s depressive musings are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment suggestions. The medical information provided on Depression cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician/psychotherapist).

 

depression(22)Psychotherapy and anti-depressive medication eventually cured my 20-year struggle with depression. Nevertheless, not gently, I fought tooth and nails against diagnosis and treatment. In 2005 however my unmanageable life slapped me in the face, it hurt really bad; I sought help. Women seek treatment for depression double the rate than men. However many men will go undiagnosed and untreated for years until their lives result into a wreck. How to help men acknowledge depression is an important step in subsequent diagnosis and treatment.

Depression is treatable with a success rate of 60-80%.

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(1) Education

Depressed men should seek medical attention. Consequently intervention strategies that encourage men to face their mental illness is vital. Mental disorders’ conversations in America have become vogue in the last decade. Myths and stereotypes aside education remains a vital intercession component.  Hence relative knowledge insures evidence-based strategies are used to help men seek and receive proper medical attention.  Professional health intervention, especially cognitive behavioral therapy are proven treatment strategies for depression.  An educated person on the issue of mental disease and scientifically based treatment options increase the chances their partners will seek treatment.

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(2) Compassionmental-health

Depression affects brain, body, and mood. Substance abuse, addiction, and excessive working are some symptoms associated with depression. However these indications are not simply character flaws but proverbial cries for help. Depressed men articulate their pains in these debilitating devices and others.

Mental illness can mutes voices and alters common sense.  As a result, the bottle, hypersexuality activities, gambling, or risky behaviors speaks. These behaviors are “screams for intervention” and not pleasurable activities undertaken some would believe.  In fact, depressed men experience intense pain after an episode of self-medication.

Happily, education also increases the empathy in understanding and caring for mentally ill men. Depression is a mental disease that affects the whole person. Care Holistically.

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(3) Care for Self

Depressed men impacts all primary individuals involved their lives (e.g., wives, girlfriends, male partners, children). These men can cause partners extreme frustration at times. Fighting mental disease is an enormous battle. Nevertheless, supportive principals must maintain spiritual sobriety to increase their effectiveness.

First, maintain mental and physical health, this will keep spirits upbeat in down moments; do not neglect yourself. Second, join depressive support groups, others who are going through your situation best understand your predicament. Finally, normal lifestyle continuity is important, as much as possible stick to your normal routines. Empowering yourself is not selfish, it is intelligent.

As we know, depression has a 60-80% curable success rate with treatment.

Miles Davis

The Invisible Dragon

Men & Depression: The Theory of Hope

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Hope is deliberate intentions, a road, and courage

not to turn back from reaching your goals.” The Invisible Dragon

Depressed men live in virtual darkness.  Sad and dishearten these men may become emotionally isolated and disengaged. If depression deepens without medical intervention hopelessness may become evident. Haeffel, Abramson, Brazy, & Shah (2007) define hopelessness as being convinced the future holds nothing but bad outcomes and all efforts are futile. However, Snyder (2002) hope theory may help depressed men vision another alternative.  Hope theory is associated with purposeful goals, strategic journey planning, and mental force. In other words this optimistic progression instigates ambitions, pathways, and psychological energy to goal achievement.  It is my position that Snyder’s hope theory may help men battle depression and hopelessness.

Goals

Hope provides an underpinning to change thoughts and subsequent behaviors through achievement. The theoretical process is a triad of goal setting, journey thinking, and cognitive force. Changing hopelessness to hope first involves selecting positive goals. Hence encouraging fresh ambitions are alternatives to the negative goals often associated with depression (e.g., isolation, lack of effort, disengagement). Men whom set optimistic aims signify a preamble to change thoughts and subjective behaviors. Depression is as cognitive as it is a brain disorder; how we think influences our mental abilities.

Journey Thinking

The second strategy is cognitive thoughts about our trail. Perceived goals (e.g., good health, mental stability, employment) remain stagnant and stale without action. So, how do we get where we are going? How does one realistically consider the best route? Selecting the most desirable course may encounter trial and error.  As a result there will be bumps in the road we suspect. However the resiliency to maintain an itinerary must be a prerequisite to success.  Consequently, hope allows us to readjust our route to achieve our goals.  However whatever course we choose we must not turn back; for the darkness is behind us.

Mental Force

Finally, our goals set, the path laid out, now the question remains “Do we believe?”  Why should we trust in miracles? Hopelessness and depression is a significant predictor of suicide (O’Connor & Sheehy, 2000). Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females (CDC 2004).  Numerous obstacles, barriers, and obstructions filter the path of a change agent. Nevertheless how we talk to ourselves becomes most importance. Hope provides the fuel to the little engine that say “I think I can”.  Do not turn back…tell yourself…“you can finish this.”

Conclusion

Depressed men live in cocooned hallow shells. Hope becomes one process to help supplement men in treating their depression. Yes, in fact depression is treatable. The cure of depression is effective 60 to 80% of the time (Stilson, 2006). Unfortunately men succeed in suicide more than women, in fact, 90% of people who committed suicide were depressed at the time (Stilson, 2006). Major depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide (Rickelman & Houfek, 1995). Lifetime risk of suicide among patients with untreated depressive disorder is nearly 20% (Gotlib & Hammen, 2002).  The hope theory suggests a process to stave off depression and hopelessness.

The Invisible Dragon

Miles Davis

Depression and Gay Black Men, Silence in the Hood

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Thanks, “K”. Karen silence as you mentioned generates more difficulty than intervention. The African-American’ culture represents a small unit within a larger paradigm pertaining to mental illness’ stigmatization. Unfortunately, inside America many groups face discrimination and alienation each day. (e.g., GLB, Person with Disabilities)

Conversely, untold numbers of mental illness suffering occur in darkness surrounded by whisper in African-American’ communities. Families ashamed a love one may require mental attention speak softly around the inevitable. Often only until the mentally ill family member becomes unmanageable will a break in secrecy occur. So, a trip to an improvised emergency room brings temporary relief; consequently, these trips occur often until a major eruption happens inside the family unit.

Black People suffer from Depression

Usually African-American lack funds for better healthcare and they routinely intake mentally ill family members through emergency rooms for services. However, these services are band aids and mentally ill family members often are unable to speak with a psychiatrist. It’s a vicious cycle, families keep it a secret and when conditions force medical attention, its handicapped by lack of quality health care.STAYLRG

African-Americans continue to mistrust mental health care in America for this reasons and others. A past systematic often racist and discriminatory process crippled the relationship between America ‘mental health care and African-Americans.   African-Americans mistreatment and categorization by mental health care soiled the perception of “Equal Health care” in African-American communities.

Mental Illness exists in the Black community and we need to break down barriers imposed internally and externally now. Preventative health measures have been shunned by outrageous denial, biblical causation and mis-education.  Also, the same silence is in affect concerning another killer;  HIV/AIDS and black men.

Black Men are Gay and its ok

Preventative health measures have been shunned by outrageous denial, biblical causation and mis-education.  Also, the same silence is in affect concerning another killer;  HIV/AIDS and black men.  In the case of homosexuality among black men, its denial has ravaged the community and particularly black women.

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AIDS is the No. 1 cause of death for black women ages 25 to 44, beating out heart disease, cancer and homicide. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women made up 67 percent of AIDS diagnoses among women in 2004 and of all women living with AIDS, 64 percent are estimated to be black. In one HIV study, 34 percent of black men who have sex with men reported having had sex with women, even though only 6 percent of black women reported having had sex with a bisexual man.

A recent study indicated some bleak statistics, “Half of gay men in Chicago who have HIV did not know they were infected, and two-thirds of infected black men were unaware,” “It’s a terrible thing, but it is not surprising,” says Jim Pickett, director of advocacy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Although the sample of men tested were only 600 a troubling paradigm is forming in the Black community.  Silence and denial does not work as a framework to a healthy community.  Our long refusal to accept homosexuality now reaches possible epidemic levels of infections among black men and women.

“Thirty percent of gay black men in Chicago tested positive, the study showed, while Hispanics and white men had rates of 12 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively…A quarter of blacks aged 18-24 tested positive. More than 37 percent of blacks aged 25-34 – the highest of any age group – tested positive, ” says Jim Pickett.

“What we think we’re seeing here is the shifting sands of two epidemics,” says Nik Prachand, an epidemiologist with the city of Chicago’s STI/HIV/AIDS division. “What we’re seeing right now is a new surge in (HIV cases) with black (gay men).”

Get our heads out the Sand

How long?  What response shall be called.  Homosexuality among black men can no longer be hidden, gay black men in the closet does more harm than good.  We must accept sexual preference before to late.  Our only hope to save a generation will be to accept their lifestyle, so we can talk to each other.  Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not different with AIDS, and must move forward and give freedom.  The same freedom we desired for our skin color.  We must educate ourselves and our community concerning HIV/AIDS.

Conversely, mental illness and HIV/AIDS refusal of cause and effect; and the systematic wiliness to cover ourselves with a transparent veil dismantle our culture. African-Americans must stop mis-education surrounding mental illness and HIV/AIDS. We must accept and begin education and social responsibility surrounding these two killers. Today.

 

The Invisible Dragon

360 Tao, entry 37 ‘Discord’

Being constant in touch with Tao is an ideal…we can also fall out of synchronization with Tao through our own follies, as when we act without complete consideration…if we keep our patience, we can usually ride out these times.  We should take action and break the stagnation if an opportunity presents itself.  Whether it is waiting or acting, we should always try to bring a situation back into balance so that we can rejoin Tao…365 Tao Daily Meditation, Deng Ming-Dao

(Personal Development)

To develop higher awareness we must comprehend our spirit in its entirety.  To fully explore without pretentious covering or egotistical dishonesty, we must accept our present state of consciousness.  Consequently, the acceptance of our beliefs, habits, and consciousness may permit a spiritual baseline to enhance or otherwise.  Conversely, we may return to the Tao without hesitation or disharmony if we ventures dangerously close to the sun or deep-sea.  One cannot return to balance unaware of the curved consciousness.

The Invisible Dragon