Politics, Exclusion, and Mental Health

Sometimes as I prepare an article, my brain is racing with current events, the endless “Breaking News” banners which are seldom pleasant, the division that has become the norm in the United States.  Many of these issues are causing people pain and stress and anxiety to the point that there has been a name coined for it.

I have largely avoided addressing them directly, but sometimes the constant barrage of shock and awe makes me want to publish a reply that necessarily involves politics.  If it affects me like burning coal in my chest, I know that others feel it too. A comment from the White House even caused me to self-reveal some time ago.  Now as I find myself slipping further into anxiety and depression, I will address them, but I will try to be as non-partisan as possible.  If it affects mental health in any way, I will bring it here and talk about it, and I will offer resources and comfort.

I will address it.  That is my reason for this page.

Consider this: is there anyone reading this article who has not had their guts ripped out by the footage of little babies and children ripped from their mother’s arms?  The recording of them screaming from cages?  Reports of drugging, and sexual assault?  Parents deported without their beautiful children?

This should not be a partisan issue, this should not be red vs. blue, this is a human issue.  How the hell could it be otherwise?

This travesty is just the latest, and one of the most horrific, that is hurting everyone, and for us, it can be the final straw, as it were.  That one thing that is just too much to deal with that leads us back to booze, drugs, self-harm, or worse.  I can’t ignore that.  I just can’t.

Look, what’s happening right now is painful, no matter your politics. So many people are hurting and holding their own truth to their hearts. But can we agree that some of the actions of the current administration are far beyond the pale?  Can we agree that what is happening to children is a crime against humanity?

Can we agree that some things should not lead to an ugly interchange, that we can agree to take care of each other?  Yes, there are bridges too far to cross, I won’t seek common ground with Neo-Nazis for example, but can’t reasonable people agree that this particular example is absolutely inexcusable?

I really hope so.

Nightmares & Laughter is first and foremost about advocacy and safety for people with mental illness, addiction issues, suicidal ideation, or anything under that umbrella.  It’s also for people who have someone in their lives dealing with these issues.   Sometimes this pain and anxiety will involve things that are happening.

USED Politics Exclusion...
We cannot work for a better future if we disappear. 
Find a way to breathe.

I want to be clear, no matter where on the political spectrum you hang your red or blue hat, you are welcome here.  I very much want you here.  I am not doing right by my community if my words push you away.  But to fulfill the purpose of this blog, sometimes I will be calling out behavior or events that will likely fall to one side.  My concern is for our collective health, and I will address it as I see the need.  I don’t want to chase away anyone, I really don’t.  But I can no longer sit on my hands when little children are locked away or devastating fires in my home, California, are callously dismissed.

I will not, however, use this blog as a strictly political platform.

I include two resources in case the world is getting to be too much, or you are finding yourself in a bad place.

Take care of yourself and please, take care of each other.


National Helpline

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.


National Suicide Prevention Hotline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.