4:37 PM I never thought that 2020 would look like this. Nobody warned us and nobody knew how intense these first months of the year would be. This year, I spent more time inside than outside - for an introvert like me a dream coming true, but with the circumstances around, I feel punished. I didn't cause it and I have no control over it...still I have to change my complete daily routine, my structures, and complete life. I know you feel the same way... 

We are all experiencing a time with chaos, less structures, and a lot of worries. We don't know about tomorrow and we have to deal with things we might have never dealt with before. 

Loosing a job, loosing family members due to the virus, having less money to take care of oneself and our loved ones, mental issues appearing, loneliness, isolation, and so much more. 

How shall we cope with this situation? Are we actually ready for happenings like this? I think no one was really thinking that this pandemic would turn our world so heavily upside-down. There is definitely no plan or guidelines to prepare fully without stress and worries. We experience this pandemic all on different levels... and this makes preparation impossible. 

My lockdown experience was very fun in the beginning. As I already mentioned, I'm an introvert and I don't need to spend outside all day, but after 3 months, I can feel my body reacting and changing. I promised myself to take care of me as much as I can and to always prioritize my mental health, no matter what is going on. Did this work? I am not sure. I am feeling okay today, but to be honest... the last weeks were the most terrible weeks of my life and I am super happy to move on step by step and get back to "my normal". I need a routine, I need structures, and I need certain things that make me vibrate higher. 

My mental roller coaster was unnecessary and I am really fed up that it happened, but I need to accept this and move on. I got the tools and the equipment to work on my mental health and I will come out stronger out of this! But what do people do who suffer from the same things and don't know how to deal with this? 

Even worse. What's happening with the people who experience mental health issues for the very first time because of the Corona Virus? Experiencing these health issues can scare someone and without knowledge, understanding, or the right amount of empathy, it's hard to move forward in a second. 

Sadly, there are many people out there who don't believe in the current mental issues that so many people have to go through. 

Even worse #2. In addition to the virus, we are witnessing police brutality and racial injustice (especially in the US) which is the cherry on top that might cut your vibes and only bring dark clouds to your daily. 

All the protesting, fighting, speaking up - this is something that has been going on for many years, decades, and it's finally being brought to a wider crowd! Finally! 

We white people cheer and applaud, but we don't know or understand how much pain must have been felt to reach this day today.
All shades of brown and people with different ethnical backgrounds must face racism every day. Their mental health has been tested forever. 

Just go through your history book. There was a lot of stuff happening on this planet and it is no secret that trauma is inhabited in our DNA. Even if things happened in the past and they seem so far away to us, then this doesn't mean that our black and brown loved ones feel the same as we do.

The trauma and stress they carry matters a lot and it's important to work on this: yesterday!!! Unfortunately, this is the first border, because the access to treatment looks different and with language differences, less money, or no health insurance at all, it's not an easy disease to treat. 

Do you still believe that our crises are not affecting the world? Different ethnicities and different social status? Let's educate ourselves today to understand one thing: mental health problems are real and we need to acknowledge this and turn this into a great movement of action, healing, and recovery. 

Fact is nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. 46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14.

Okay, but let's dig in deeper and focus on something that the media and so many other sources like to ignore. 

According to a Surgeon General report, Black Americans are over-represented in populations that are particularly at risk for mental illness. Adult Black/African Americans are 20% more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult whites. Black/African Americans living below poverty are three times more likely to report serious psychological distress than those living above poverty. Adult Black/African Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than are adult whites. Depression robs people of the enjoyment found in daily life and can even lead to suicide. Unfortunately, depression has often been misdiagnosed in the Black community. Black/African Americans of all ages are more likely to be victims of serious violent crimes making them more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Black/African Americans today are over-represented in jails and prisons. People of color account for 60% of the prison population. Black/African Americans also account for 37% of drug arrests, but only 14% of regular drug users. Stigma and judgment prevent Black/African Americans from seeking treatment for their mental illnesses. Research indicates that Black/African Americans believe that mild depression or anxiety would be considered “crazy” in their social circles. Furthermore, many believe that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate even among family. 

Native Americans experience serious psychological distress 1.5 times more than the general population. They experience PTSD more than twice as often as the general population. Although overall suicide rates are similar to those of whites, there are significant differences among certain age groups. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10-34 year olds; whereas, the suicide rate among Native Americans that are more than 75 years old is only one-third of the general population. 
Native Americans use and abuse alcohol and other drugs at younger ages, and at higher rates, than all other ethnic groups. Access to mental health services is severely limited by the rural, isolated location of many Native American communities. Additionally, access is limited because most clinics and hospitals of the Indian Health Service are located on reservations, yet the majority of Native Americans no longer reside on reservations. Compared to whites, three times as many Native Americans lack health insurance – 33% compared to 11%. Approximately 57% of Native Americans rely on the Indian Health Service for care. 

Research suggests that LGBT individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil and human rights. Discrimination against LGBT persons has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. Personal, family, and social acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity affects the mental health and personal safety of LGBT individuals. 
More than 1 in 5 LGBT individuals reported withholding information about their sexual practices from their doctor or another health care professional. Nearly 30 percent of transgender individuals reported postponing or avoiding medical care when they were sick or injured, due to discrimination and disrespect. Over 30 percent delayed or did not try to get preventive care. Approximately 8 percent of LGB individuals and nearly 27 percent of transgender individuals report being denied needed health care outright.
As compared to people that identify as straight, LGBT individuals are 3 times more likely to experience a mental health condition. LGBT youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts, and engage in self-harm, as compared to youths that are straight. 38-65% of transgender individuals experience suicidal ideation. 
An estimated 20-30% of LGBT individuals abuse substances, compared to about 9% of the general population. 25% of LGBT individuals abuse alcohol, compared to 5-10% of the general population. 
2.5 times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. 

For the Latinx/Hispanic community, mental health and mental illness are often stigmatized topics resulting in prolonged suffering in silence. This silence compounds the range of experiences that may lead to mental health conditions including immigration, acculturation, trauma, and generational conflicts. Additionally, the Latinx/Hispanic community faces unique institutional and systemic barriers that may impede access to mental health services, resulting in reduced help-seeking behaviors.
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, overall mental health issues are on the rise for Latinx/Hispanic people between the ages of 12-49. 
Serious mental illness (SMI) rose from 4 percent to 6.4 percent in Latinx/Hispanic people ages 18-25, and from 2.2 percent to 3.9 percent in the 26-49 age range between 2008 and 2018.
Major depressive episodes increased from 12.6 percent-15.1 percent in Latinx/Hispanic youth ages 12-17, 8 percent to 12 percent in young adults 18-25, and 4.5 percent to 6 percent in the 26-49 age range between 2015 and 2018.
Suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts are also rising among Latinx/Hispanic young adults. While still lower than the overall U.S. population aged 18-25, 8.6 percent (650,000) of Latinx/Hispanic 18-25 year-olds had serious thoughts of suicide in 2018.
Binge drinking, smoking (cigarettes and marijuana), illicit drug use, and prescription pain reliever misuse are more frequent among Latinx/Hispanic adults with mental illnesses.

So how do you feel reading this? 
Did you know all of these facts? 
Have you ever wondered what other people have to go through? 
I know for people with privilege, this seems to be shocking, but to be honest, this is nothing new! As already mentioned, these are facts which have been carried along for a very long time and with current happenings they get a fresh catalyst and more wounds are created. 

People are suffering and help is needed. There is no more time to procrastinate and ignore the issues which shouldn't be stigmatized anymore. We don't have time for stigmas! 
We have to communicate openly about it. 
No shame.
No fear. 

People worry about the money this all would cost and that the health insurance (if they have one) is not covering treatmeants like this. 
Dear health insurance companies: please change that! 
Dear teachers, offer more space and time for the kids to learn about this and speak openly about their issues! It would have changed a lot for me if my school listened to me or gave me a chance to heal and recover with the help of my teachers... 

We missed so many chances to fix this. 
Now is the time. 

If you are looking for more info and knowledge, or you are seeking help, check this out! 

Mental Health America (where I got all the info from above from!)
Nami - National Alliance on Mental Health
SAMHSA - Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration