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MASK OFF

Chicago, you shared my debut article at SCENE Chicago Magazine 615 times and over 6064 people read it!!! I want to say that my photo pulled you in; I know that forehead is like a shiny penny, you just want to pick it up and put it in your pocket. As much as my blooming ego wants to believe that, I am thinking it had more to do with the fact that mental health is like that newborn baby in the room. We all are curious, can’t ignore it, know someone with one but…. still we tip toe around it out of fear.  Lucky for you, Scene asked me to come back to do a weekly column on that old snotty baby and over the next couple weeks not only will you will be learning one helluv a lot about her but hopefully  about yourself along the way.

She has many names; Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, grief, racing thoughts, confusion, anger, paranoia, isolation, loneliness, insecurity, self doubt, negative thoughts and the list goes on. You can hear her crying in many settings; when you are having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, during the day when you are wondering if that certain someone is going to text back, at work when 8 hours can feel like eternity, that deafening silence after the funeral. Thoughts, emotions, behaviors, your family, your trauma, your history, your biological make up, societal expectations, the change in seasons have all shaped that baby, molded it and developed you into who you are.  The question is how do we help her grow? How do we help her become stronger? How do we help that same snotty nosed newborn reach his/her full potential?

Step One: Stop tip toeing around it. Take the Mask Off.

Step Two: Let’s talk about what’s behind it.

I’m curious to hear from you guys Chicago what topics related to mental health would you like to hear about? Email Jessica@SCENE-Chicago.Com with thoughts and suggestions.

Jessica Kuhnen, LCSW
Hyde Park Center for Healing

 

Photo Cred: @luchibeast on IG

 

 


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