All Articles Tagged "mental health"
‘He May Be A Paranoid Schizophrenic:’ Carmen Bryan Wants Nas To Undergo Court-Mandated Mental Evalutation
Last week we told you that Carmen Bryan filed a child support lawsuit against Nas, claiming that he refuses to pay his daughter’s college tuition and medical expenses. Due to wording in court documentation, it was also being reported that Carmen wanted Nas to be thrown in jail, but Carmen says that simply is not true.
“I do not want to see my child’s father go to jail,” she recently explained to Mara The Hip Hop Socialite.
She did, however, suggest that the Queens rapper seek mental help.
“However, I do want to see him get the mental help that I believe he desperately needs. So this situation is a curse and a blessing with regard to the fact that there are some deep-rooted mental issues that I believe exist and need to be addressed.”
As for why she feels justified in speaking on her ex’s mental state:
“Well first off, let me just say my experiences with Nas, my dealings with Nas, and my research all lead me to believe that he does suffer from bipolarism and he may be a paranoid schizophrenic,” Carmen explained. “That’s my personal opinion based on my experiences and interaction with him.”
She went on to recount an experience where Nas allegedly told her that he was being haunted by ghosts.
“An incident occurred with Nas years ago when we were together. I came in the house, Destiny and I, and he was on the couch wrapped up in a blanket; his mom was on one side of him, his brother on the other side, there were a few more people in the house. My first reaction was, ‘Is everything okay? What happened?’ And that’s when Nas told me ghosts were haunting him again, and entities were whispering to him and touching him and bothering him. This is something that he mentioned when we first got together, but I had never experienced him ever experiencing it until that moment. So, I’ve witnessed this long battle with insanity.”
The “It’s No Secret” author adds that Nas’ mental health struggles are quite obvious to those who really know him.
“Anyone that knows Nas, knows him, they know that he’s off. I believe that he is terrified, and he’s afraid of public backlash and humiliation. I also believe that he’s afraid the medication will numb him, or turn him into some kind of zombie so he won’t be able to write and create, which will ultimately ruin his career. These are my personal beliefs based on my past experiences and conversations with Nas. Like I said, I just want to see him get the help I believe he desperately needs, at the end of the day he is Destiny’s father. I’m concerned.”
Carmen also discussed their daughter, Destiny, having to stop school because Nas abruptly stopped paying her tuition.
“This thing started, unbeknownst to me, in June of 2013,” Carmen continued. “Nas just stopped paying Destiny’s tuition. I have a court order that says he has to pay 100% of her secondary education, which is college. Nas dropped out of school I believe 7th, 8th grade, so he’s ignorant and uneducated. He’s a junior high school dropout; he doesn’t believe in education. My thing is she wants an education. After all she’s been through, she desires it, and she deserves it. What she doesn’t deserve is to get half way through an accelerated program, and have to stop because her father refuses to pay the tuition. But this time, I want things to be different. I don’t want him to go to jail – I want him to get help.”
Lastly, she explained why she believes her recently filed child support lawsuit will push Nas to finally seek help.
“My legal team is going to file a motion and ask the judge for an order to have him mentally evaluated before we proceed because like I said, I don’t want to see him go to jail, but I do want to see him get the help that possibly, based on my experiences with him, he needs.”
Do you think her accusations are true?
A lot of times in life, it’s very easy to see where everyone else falls short. It’s easy to see when others are toxic and need to be out of our lives, but what happens when we are the ones that are toxic? What happens when you’re your own worst enemy?
I feel as though in life we can hear everyone else’s cries for help, while ignoring our own. As the year is just starting, and people are focusing on creating a “new me,” don’t forget to include improving your mental wellbeing. Here are a few things that might be indicative of doing better/needing improvement.
Marvin Sapp Talks Suicidal Pastors And Seeking Professional Help: ‘Honestly, That’s Probably The Only Reason I Didn’t Take My Life’
In the Christian community, suicide and thoughts of suicide are discussions that are often avoided. And when they are discussed, people often receive responses like, “You aren’t praying hard enough,” or questions that would imply that the sufferer is somehow not sufficiently grounded in their spiritual walk. However, the truth of the matter is that mental health struggles are very real, and accepting Jesus Christ doesn’t always erase those struggles. Christian recording artist and pastor Marvin Sapp recently opened up about the mental health taboo in the urban community and the latest occurrences of pastors who have committed suicide.
“I can be honest and say I absolutely understand what these men of God have gone through,” the widowed father of three told The Christian Post. “The pressures of pastoring and being in the public eye, losing someone you love and all of that. I find after reading through their stories that all of them are similar to mine in one way, shape, form, or fashion. If it’s the pressure of ministry, if it’s the pressure of losing a loved one, whatever it may be.”
Marvin went on to say that he can relate so much, that he often examines their situations and questions what it was that kept him from caving under pressure after the death of his wife, MaLinda Sapp, who died of colon cancer back in 2010.
“I look at their situations and I say to myself, ‘What was it that caused me to stand, even when I could have folded just as they did?’ People always say the pressure will cause a pipe to burst.”
It turns out that even though he questions how he made it through, he already knows the answer. Surprisingly, it’s his late wife’s advocacy for psychological well-being.
“One of the greatest blessings of being married to MaLinda Sapp is that my wife was a licensed psychologist who was also a college professor in psychology and who was a major advocate for mental health on the board of a mental health hospital here in our city.”
Because of MaLinda’s work in the field of psychology, Marvin and his three children naturally went to counseling after her death.
“Being a pastor is pressure because we have to counsel people,” he said. “Honestly,” he added, “that’s probably the only reason why I didn’t take my life, was because from day one, and even now when it’s necessary, I make sure I go and sit and have a conversation with my doctor.”
It’s great that he’s speaking out about such an avoided subject.
Though she’s known for her bright smile, big personality and for always playing somebody’s mama, there’s another side to Jenifer Lewis that most people don’t know about: her mental illness. The 57-year-old actress was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1990 and after 17 years of therapy and 10 years of being medicated for the illness, she’s ready to open up about it, while offering advices to other who may be suffering from the same disorder.
“I was overwhelmed with my grief, unable to handle my feelings,” Jenifer told News One after admitting that a key trigger for the disorder was the death of her father. “I cried and cried, and I started to scream. I wanted to be let out of the darkness.”
Though her father’s passing may have served as a trigger, Jenifer says that it wouldn’t be until three years later that she actually sought professional help. It all began when a girlfriend saw her screaming on the floor.
“I don’t think this has anything to do with your father dying,” Jenifer recalls her friend saying to her.
Not long after, she discovered she was bipolar.
“It’s hard to accept that you have a problem,” Jenifer said. “That’s another piece of the disease – the denial. You think everyone cries themselves to sleep. You should ask yourself why am I so depressed, why am I so angry with my children, angry with my partner…why am I depressed, or over the top?”
She continued to describe some of the effects of the illness.
“You always find yourself at the center of some drama.”
In addition to seeking professional help and resisting the urge to self-medicate like she did in college, Jenifer says self-love is needed to combat the illness.
“You have to look in the mirror … and say—before you can go or grow into anything—you have to say you love yourself.”
In a culture where discussing mental illness is sometimes considered a taboo subject, we think it’s pretty brave of Jenifer to speak openly about her personal battle.
During my undergraduate tenure at Florida State, I had the fortune of being taught by one of the most important black psychologists in the country, Dr. Naim Akbar. Dr. Akbar, while discussing the psychological state of black people in America, said “every negro living in America needs some form of therapy. When you think about what’s been done to us and our history in this country, America is lucky that it isn’t overrun with a bunch of crazy n*****.”
When asked what it would take to get men, specifically black men, to attend a therapy session, I thought of 1,000 different reasons it wouldn’t happen. When I say “therapy,” I’m making specific reference to sessions which include couches, a licensed psychologist discussing a patient’s feelings, and daily/weekly visits. Discussing black men’s aversion to therapy without talking about the barriers would be pointless, so I’ll start there. Afterward, I’ll discuss how those barriers can be broken.
Men “being men” isn’t the answer
Firstly, we need to understand how the stereotype of men’s emotional disposition can prevent them from seeking therapy. Society says men are supposed to be strong, unemotional, and silent. If a woman needs help, she has an almost endless amount of resources to choose from. The stereotype of the man being strong and silent works against men, especially black men, because we aren’t allowed to verbalize what is wrong with us without being seen as weak. This is particularly destructive for black men because carrying the burden of being one of the most oppressed groups in the United States has been a direct cause of so many young black men ending up in the prison system. The rules need to be rewritten to show black men that talking about problems and dealing with them head on in a safe environment is an example of strength, too.
It starts with the parents
A discussion of how the stigma of mental health and how it’s viewed in the black community needs to be addressed. What I’ve found in my previous experience as a mental health counselor for “at risk” youth is that parents have a hard time understanding the problems at hand so they’re either perplexed on what to do or believe the problem to be temporary. Instead of parents admitting there might be something wrong, parents simply say “there’s nothing wrong” or the kids are “just acting up.” That attitude is carried for those same children when they turn into adults. Rather than concede there is an issue, black boys grow up to be black men who think “there’s nothing wrong” or that whatever is bothering them will simply go away. A refusal of their parents to acknowledge a little black boy’s actions not being “normal,” turns into black men who can’t own up to the notion of something not being quite right with them and to then seek help.
Therapy ain’t cheap, or just for white people
The last barrier I wanted to touch on are the costs associated with seeking treatment. A cursory glance on your favorite search engine will give you a wide array of prices on therapeutic services. The price can range from $60 an hour all the way up to $250+ an hour. Certainly nothing to sneeze at. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that a large portion of the black community believes therapy, on the whole, is “for white or crazy people.” Ignorant? Absolutely, but I’ve seen it and heard it a hundred times over so I know this line of thought exists.
We know the problems, what are some solutions?
So how do we combat all of this? These solutions are available, but I’ll admit they’re not as easy to do as they are to write about. For starters, there would need to be a paradigm shift in the way men are treated in society. We need black men to realize that seeking help to deal with certain issues is perfectly acceptable. Being able to ask for help, instead of carrying the entire world on their shoulders, needs to be seen as a sign of strength. Not the other way around.
Secondly, the stigma of seeing a therapist needs to be reduced. Building up more support in the black community about the benefits of attending therapy sessions, black parents being able to admit they may need some outside assistance in finding out what’s wrong with their child, and newfound respect for the work mental health professionals can help tremendously.
Finally, though therapy costs can be costly, I’ve noticed that there are insurance policies available that can cut the costs down. If that’s not an option, black men can look for other resources that provide an open and safe place for them to share their burdens. Whether it’s group therapy, counseling sessions at whichever college they attend, or simply talking to someone else about what’s going on, there are alternatives to traditional forms of counseling and resources for those who can’t afford to pay the full cost. One just has to look for them.
Getting men to go to therapy, no matter the race, is a tall order. As a black man, I can attest that gender stereotypes, how mental health is viewed, and the costs associated with therapy are definite barriers to seeking help in this manner. Though I talked about some other solutions, I also want to take the time to say that black women can definitely play an integral part in pushing men to seek help as well. Author Charles W. Chestnutt once said “when it is said that it was done to please a woman, there ought to be enough said to explain anything; for what a man will not do to please a woman is yet to be discovered.” In other words, plenty of men out there will do anything to please their woman and if going to therapy is what would make her happy, he’d damn sure at least consider it.
A few weeks ago we told you that R&B singer Chris Brown voluntarily checked himself into a Malibu rehabilitation facility, after he allegedly punched a man in the face in Washingtin D.C. According to Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, Chris made the decision to seek anger management help because he wanted to turn his life around.
“We talked today and he said, ‘I want to take some time and do a little introspection and understand everything that’s going on around me. It was his decision, and he should be applauded. Why now? People have realizations at various times. Maybe sitting in a jail cell for 36 hours for something you didn’t do is enough to rock you a bit,” said Mark.
It was originally believed that Chris would remain in the facility for 3 months, but according to TMZ, the “Love More” singer checked himself out yesterday. I know what you’re probably thinking, but it appears that he had a good reason for checking out early—community service. The troubled star still owes community service hours in relation to his assault case involving on-again, off-again girlfriend, Rihanna. Apparently it’s supposed to reconvene pretty soon.
“The rehab facility has been told to take him [Brown] apart and put him back together,” a source told TMZ.
It’s unclear whether or not the program is making a difference, but Mark says that his client will continue with outpatient therapy.
Jazmine Denise is an entertainment and celebrity news blogger. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Twenty years ago I was 14 and suicidal. Twenty years ago perms were in their heyday. Dark & Lovely is my brand—cheap and titled for a black, black girl. I wake up for school, stare into the mirror brushing my teeth, then style my hair five “different” ways with Jam, Ecostyle gel, and Cream of Nature moisturizer. (My Isht is glistening). I check the line of mirrors in the dining room for an overview, and then head back to the bathroom for more adjustments. I add a ridiculous amount of makeup to my clear skin. I’m trying to add contour. The faces in my beloved magazines – Essence, Glamour, and Seventeen – contour. I’m 14 and the last thing on my mind is trusting my own power, my own beauty. Instead of telling the mag models kick rocks, I’m just a little girl, I buy their ad products and make them role models.
So it’s 1994 in Miami—hairdo capital of the American ghetto—and defusing new growth is more important to me than keeping up in my honors classes. My mom works two jobs (always assume two full-time jobs for us). I don’t realize the term for my existence is latchkey kid, but my mom, Toni-anne’s mantra y’all grown, is almost a direct translation. What it means is I find something to eat in the fridge when I get home from school and I better do my homework and clean the house before talking on the phone. I better do this and my older sister, Tanesha, better look after me when she gets in. I call this law and care instead of love and care. The tender part of tender, love, and care is me. Am I too tender for a family of strong, black women?
Well, I’m not just tender or sensitive; I’m moody, disorganized, obsessive, standoffish, and attention-seeking (at the same damn time). Something is terribly wrong with how I process emotions. I’m always yelling or crying. I’m lonely in crowds and daydreaming about ways to die when I’m alone. I’m 14, 15, 16…. The unstable patterns of behavior continue. If I were this way all the time then maybe I’m just a little-girl b!tch. Maybe I like being a drama princess. But people like me, a lot. I’m smart, funny, and very outgoing. I’m down with all the high school cliques: White, Asian, Latino, Black, cool, athletic, and counter culture. What the f**k? Actually, what’s happening is very serious, but it’s unrecognizable by everyone in my life. For one, there’s no TV commercial about borderline black girls. And as far as folks are concerned, I got an attitude problem.
In reality, I have a personality problem, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I was diagnosed this year after many years of treatment for depression and anxiety, including taking medication and signing a No-Harm Contract, and I am here to share my heartbreaking, funny journey to mental health.
Next time: My dad is caught stealing in a department store while I’m with him and has the nerve to wonder why I cried all the way home.
Confessions of a Borderline B!tch is an open, honest, and humorous column about living with Borderline Personality Disorder.
It appears that Chris Brown’s most recent run-in with the law has prompted him to see about his temper. According to TMZ, the “Don’t Judge Me” singer checked into a rehabilitation facility in Malibu last night, that will cater to his anger management issues.
Sources say that the troubled singer’s attorney, Mark Geragos dropped him off at the facility in hopes of getting Chris to resolve some unaddressed anger issues, but also to blunt a possible prison sentence in relation to accusations that his client punched and broke a man’s nose this past weekend in Washington, D.C.
“We talked today and he said, ‘I want to take some time and do a little introspection and understand everything that’s going on around me. It was his decision, and he should be applauded,” Mark told the New York Daily News.
“Why now? People have realizations at various times. Maybe sitting in a jail cell for 36 hours for something you didn’t do is enough to rock you a bit,” Mark continued.
Chris’ mom and girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, also reportedly accompanied him to the facility. Just before Chris checked in, Karrueche shared the above photograph of she and her boo locking lips, to her Instagram page. Along with the photo was a caption that reads:
“Always & Forever ❤️”
Regardless of Chris’ true motives for checking into rehab, anger management is certainly a step in the right direction.
Although It Probably Wouldn’t Hurt, A Judge Ruled That Siohvaughn Wade Doesn’t Have To Undergo Psych Testing
Back in July, Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade filed a motion requesting that his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Wade, undergo a court-mandated psychological evaluation, as a part of their ongoing child custody war.
“S.L.’s [Funches-Wade’s] statements, behavior, and her demeanor in court reflect that she is presently lost, angry and desperate. Her behavior is not in the children’s best interests…D.T. [Wade] requests that this Court immediately suspend S.L.’s timesharing…pending the results of a psychological evaluation of S.L.,” the motion reads.
Siohvaughn, however, responded by saying that her ex-husband’s request was just another malicious attempt to keep her away from their children.
“This is Mr. Wade’s ongoing pattern of behavior. I have noticed that after I speak out publicly and say what Dwyane has done to me, my children…Mr. Wade responds by running into court and asking the judge to terminate my visitation with my children in an effort to stop me from seeing my children anymore,” she said.
If you recall, Dwyane filed the motion around the time that footage surfaced on the Internet of Siohvaughn sitting on a Chicago street with a homeless sign, screaming to passersby about how she’s struggling financially while her ex-husband lives the good life. She also lamented about her ex-husband’s alleged attempts to block her from seeing their children. Though most would agree that her behavior was a bit extreme, according to the Miami Herald, yesterday in court, a judge shot down Dwyane’s request for psychological testing. According to the judge, the video did not provide sufficient evidence for a court-mandated evaluation.
In case you somehow missed it…
Relax: the singular word of wisdom, which at some point, in one form or another is (or should be) uttered to every overworked person in America. We all need a little downtime, even billionaire Oprah Winfrey. The media maven recently revealed to Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson that she came very close to experiencing a nervous breakdown earlier this year.
“I was sitting and listening to Jason Russell describe his symptoms…. Saying, ‘Um, this sounds pretty familiar to me.’” In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down I’m gonna be in serious trouble,’” she revealed.
“I was in the middle of doing voiceovers, you know? And I remember closing my eyes in between each page because looking at the page and the words at the same time was too much stimulation for my brain,” the 59-year-old media personality continued.
Oprah went on to say that although she didn’t experience a total breakdown, she came pretty close.
“I mean, I wasn’t ready to go run unclothed in the streets. Let’s make that very clear, but I had reached a point where I just couldn’t take in anymore stimulation.”
The Butler actress also discussed her unique relationship with longtime boyfriend Stedman and why they haven’t tied the knot after all of these years.
“That’s really okay with me. That’s really okay because Stedman would tell you this, Shaun, if you ever interviewed him, he would tell you that had we married, we would not be together today. He’s a traditional man, and this is a very un-traditional relationship, and I think it’s acceptable as a relationship, but if I had the title ‘wife’… I think that there would be other expectations for what a wife is and what a wife does.
The rest of the interview will air Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night on Access Hollywood.