The stigma around mental illness often prevents us from seeking help, especially in Latinx communities. And especially for femmes. How many times have we heard of a señora being “enferma de los nervios”, or hear the phrase “se volvio loca” to refer to someone in the community? There is deeply-seeded misogyny in our communities and in many households, a woman is virtually defenseless and helpless— with no immediate resources at her disposal. Men have all the control. Our mental illness is often weaponized and used against us. This causes so many of us to suffer in silence.
Then, despite progression from our younger generations, they continue to be ridiculed, ostracized, and written off. Depression is called “laziness”, anxiety is reduced to “being dramatic”, and so on, by parents whose cultural and historical misogyny is still ingrained in them. Our youth then suffer in silence at the hands of their guardians.
It’s a cycle we must break. In order to do this, I think it’s important that we end the stigmas around mental health. My mental health story is long and stems from a lot of childhood trauma. Growing up I always knew something was wrong. I was written off as a shy introvert. Looking back now, there were clear signs of major depression that went undiagnosed for many, many years.
There are so many reasons I went undiagnosed (I’ll talk about those reasons in the future). I did officially get diagnosed with mental illness when I was 19 years old. That’s relatively young, and the work I’ve done over the years has been extensive. I have been very privileged in having had access to the resources I did. Despite having many tools and resources at my disposal, I still struggle on a daily basis. So I cannot even fathom the suffering that our youth and mujeres go through, especially in silence.
My goal for Chronic Sad Girls Club is to also create a community where we can support one another, create sisterhood and lift each other up. I’d like to start by encouraging you to contact me if you have any questions about mental health websites, affordable resources— anything, and I will do my best to point you in the right direction. I know that sometimes when we’re at our lowest we retreat instead of reaching out. So please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’m happy to help in any capacity.
Your Fellow Sad Girl,