Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

While we use this day to remember our fallen heroes who have died in battle, we should also take the time remember the vets who have died by suicide. According to the Reuters online website, veterans die by suicide—22 deaths a day or one every 65 minutes on average. This is usually committed by those who are 50 years and older, with numbers of 69% or higher. That doesn’t include, for example, the data from 2012— where there were 349 on-duty suicides.

When our soldiers come home, it won’t always be visible scars…but at times emotional ones. These invisible scars can come in the form of warning signs. According to, these signs can include:

  • Feeling hopeless, trapped or feeling there’s no way out
  • Having persisting or worsening troubling sleep
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Engaging in risky behavior without thinking of the consequences
  • Feeling like there’s no reason to live

In addition to those examples, there maybe more signs that require immediate attention. These may include:

  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Frequently talking, writing, or drawing about death or about items that can cause physical harm
  • Behaving violently such as punching holes in walls, getting into fights or engaging in self-harm acts
  • Putting their affairs in order, tying up loose ends, and/or making a will

In Riverside, CA today, members of the organization, Veteran Suicide Awareness Project, had their 3rd annual Memorial Day Ruck March. In this event, they can walk as nearly 40 miles, while carrying 22 pounds of rucksack to signify the 22 veterans who commit suicide everyday. One woman, the event organizer and an Air Force Veteran herself, Evita De La Cruz, carried 22 pounds of her husband’s belongings—such as his boots and helmet from Iraq—who died by suicide in 2013 after serving in the military. The proceeds will go to families who had a vet that die by suicide. I hope their event went well to shed light on suicide and our vets.

If you are a vet or you know a vet who may need help, contact the link below:

The Veterans Crisis Line is 800-273-8255, then press 1. Help via text is available at 838-255 and veterans can chat at

Readings:Riverside Ruck March Shines Light On Veteran Suicide


Letitia Wright On 'Black Panther' And Faith |

Speaking with ESSENCE’s ‘Yes, Girl!,’ Wright got real about how God guided her through a dark time and right to one of Marvel’s biggest films.Speaking with ESSENCE’s ‘Yes, Girl!,’ Wright got real about how God guided her through a dark time and right to one of Marvel’s biggest films.
— Read on

A Writer’s Rant (AKA Writer’s Outrage): Mental Illness,Gun Violence, and Race


When is the government going to do something about gun control?! But no….don’t blame gun control…blame lack of safety school measures and the mentally ill! The mentally ill! This is what I have a problem with blaming the mentally ill:

  1. It perpetuates further stigma towards people living with mental illness
  2. It does ABSOLUTELY nothing to solve the terror around our schools
  3. It safe guards white terrorists

The Blame Game


What’s funny is that Trump wants to build a wall—a $15 million wall—to keep all the “bad” Mexicans out. So then how do prevent our own “homegrown” terrorists from causing harm to Americans? What are the solutions to that? While I do understand the incompetence of the FBI not looking into Nikolas Cruz when both callers and even Cruz’s social media pages were basically screaming, “Hey! Potential terrorist, right here!” after years of the FBI telling all Americans if they “See something, Say something.”, they do ABSOLUTELY nothing! But then you got Trump and his crew either blaming every Tom, Dick and Harry or skipping around the issue of gun control:

YES we need to make school safety a top issue, but what we REALLY need is to make gun control a safe issue!

So, what after 5 days from the school shooting, Pence has gained NOTHING from the school shooting??? It’s hard to believe how hell bent Trump and his crew are still on creating a wall. Talk about blockheads! NO! We need to protect our children, teachers and staff. How the hell is a wall going to do that?

Really??? A blame game? What the hell is this elementary school??? Yes, FBI screwed up…BIG time, but how is playing the blame game exercising your leadership as the President of these United States??? If Trump wants to prove how great his administration is then he should walk the talk or better yet stop tweeting!

Aw, that’s so nice! Okay Rubio…if you want “honor” those injured and killed in the shooting, then how about getting your colleagues into drawing up a gun protection law? 🙂

Look at the chart below at the school shootings alone from 1998:

(Source: CNN)

Now look at the school shootings that have taken place since the first days of the new year:

I mean what the f*** is going to take to get those fat cats in Washington D.C. to pass a gun control law? How many our nation’s schools and families have to suffer, because for whatever reason they’d rather protect NRA?

Mentally Ill or Terrorist: The Depiction of the Race of the Shooter


Why is it for every white shooter they are automatically labeled mentally ill, but for every shooter of color they are labeled terrorists?  The problem is white shooters are often, humanized. On a Huffington Post online article titled, “The Double Standard In How The Media Is Portraying The Las Vegas Shooter,” Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock,  was portrayed as a “lone wolf” and for that he “fit” the “mentally ill” bill. Then the Charleston, South Carolina shooter who evidently, who told his victims that he was going defend America from being taken over by Black people and even after he killed some victims, he told a woman he was sparing her on purpose so she can tell people what he did (Chu, 2015). However, if a Black or Muslim person commits a mass killing, “oh, my gosh! Terrorist!” Sarah Bland died with the media focusing on her run-ins in with the law, Muslim-Americans are looked at with suspicion for being apart of Al Qadea (or whatever extremist Islamic group is running these days) and the following Islam. Look Black, White, Asian, Arabic, Latino if a person creates a mass shooting among innocent lives they ARE a terrorist. PERIOD.


The Reduction on Health Spending


Okay so Trump blames mental illness as the cause to the shootings that took place on Wednesday 14th. But oh wait….did he tell the Americans about his newfound budget to cut mental health services, research, and treatment. Ooops…I guess he just “forgot”.

With a 16% decrease to the Human and Health Services, here are some examples on how the new budget will affect mental health services, research, and treatment:

  • Discontinued funding for the screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Program
  • Eliminating of $451 million in other health professions and training programs
  • Reduction towards funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Program of Regional and National Significance by–$600 million
  • Elimination of funding for Minority Fellowship programs at SAMHSA
  • Discontinued funding for the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment  program.

Source: Mental Health America

In reality, only 4% of violence is connected to serious mental illness. People with mental illness are in fact more likely in fact to bring harm among themselves; this is why WE need mental health services. But unfortunately it seems the government has abandoned us and  put the NRA above us. However in spite of this, we must never give up for gun control and the protection of the lives of our school children and staff. Enough is enough with the blame control of guns



Chu, A. (2015, June). It’s Not About Mental Illness: The Big Lie That Always Follows Mass Shooting By White Males. Salon. Retrieved from

Ruiz-Grossman, S. (2017, October). The Double Standard In How The Media Is Portraying The Las Vegas Shooter. Retrieved from

For More Reading on Race, Mental Health and Mass Shootings, click on the links below:

A False Dichotomy? Mental Illness and Lone-Actor Terrorism

Checking Facts and Falsehoods About Gun Violence and Mental Illness After Parkland Shooting

How the Media Smears Black Victims

More than 17 Cartoons About the Shootings That’ll Make You cry, Cringe, Call a Congressman

Myths on Violence and Mental Health

School Shootings in the US Keep Happening Again and Again and Again

Shooters of Color are Called “Terrorists” and “Thugs.” Why are White Shooters called “Mentally Ill”?

The Myth Behind Mental Illness: Why the Mentally Ill Should Not Be Blamed for America’s Gun Violence

The White Privilege of the “Lone Wolf” Shooter

209 School Shootings In America Since 2013

Gaming Disorder??? That’s Laughable


As a 90s child, I was able to take part in the metamorphosis of the gaming world: from arcade games to Nintendo NES to Game Boy Black and White to PC Games to Sega Genesis to Playstation to Microsoft’s first game console, the X Box to Nintendo Switch…games on phones… However, I feel as the world of video games (in my opinion) have been taken way too seriously! They’re not as fun anymore…there’s not as much as variety of game play and game genres any more. In terms of game play they’re either too “light” or too “dark”. If you haven’t guessed already, I fit more in the middle when playing games.

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Haha…You could probably tell how old I am if I’m able to mention these games. But what I liked about the 90s and even the early 2000s was that there were all sorts of video game genres and game play for all sorts of people. And most importantly, they weren’t as stressful. I mean yeah, you wanted to find your way out of the cavern or defeat the last boss, but it wasn’t stressful

I remember when I was in high school (that was like a decade ago),  anyone who mentioned they were playing games that were in the “middle” of the video game spectrum were not considered “real” games. Games like, for example, “Dragonball Z Budakai 2”, “Kingdom Hearts” or “Dead or Alive 2” weren’t “real” games. Whatever…

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These are some of the games I grew up on: Star Wars Episode I: Podracers, Tarzan and, Spiderman (2002;Tobey Maguire) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Yeah, I know they are mostly, games based on movies,  and the game artwork is crude compared to nowdays, but they were fun! Sigh…I miss those days…I’d play them over and over again

Games these days are a lot more…what’s the better word  for it…intense these  days. I remember playing “Modern Welfare 2” and holy crap it’s crazy! I can’t keep up! I’ve always liked video games, because they were just fun, but man, video game now are trying to attempt a whole new level of reality game playing! But game shouldn’t be emulating stress,  but the eurphoria of playing a game…to be simply put fun!

Nowdays I feel gaming is so much more focused on “winning”, whether it by hacking or camping….whatever happened to cheats??? You know like the one’s you’d get on the guides based your respective game? Or by buy fake money with real money to fake items and skills. I feel like now, everyone just has to prove how great of gamer you are and/or if you are playing “real” video games. Who cares??? If you truly love playing video games, you wouldn’t need to have to prove yourself to other gamers, you just did it. You accepted you were either just a good game player or you weren’t and either you liked  a video game that everyone else happened to like or you played your own games..regardless, you liked video games.

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Games of today look more sharper and sleeker…more real… Some of games are based on classic games, while some are new, and some with a more physical active approach of game play.  Though I think most game are much more aggressive and/or violent than ever. That’s why I avoid some games of today. Although they are as cool as they look, some of them aggravate my anxiety…

I’m sure you’re wondering what has this got to do with mental health/mental illness. Well, it’s because the World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to make “Gaming Disorder” an official mental health diagnosis by next year. For real???? It’s an insult to those of us who actually live with mental health disorders either due genetics and/or the environment we were raised in or lived in. So how the hell did it come to this???

In general WHO defines a disorder as:

“Persistent or recurrent behavior  pattern of  “sufficient severity to result  in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

WHO’s saying that “video game playing, either online or offline, must be “normally evident over a period of at least 12 month” for this diagnosis to be made, according to the beta draft guidance. However, if symptoms are severe and all requirements are met, health care professionals may include people who have been playing for shorter periods of time.”

That doesn’t make sense…if a person decides they’re going to play video games for 12 hours a day that’s their decision (or the decision of the parents not putting a time limit on playing video games. My mom did), people like you or I who live mental illness, never put it upon ourselves to live, for example, with “generalized anxiety disorder” or “bipolar disorder”. For WHO to even consider  “gaming disorder” a mental health disorder is a laughing joke as if mental health disorders in general hasn’t been made a laughing joke already.


Don’t get me wrong though, I understand the concern about video gaming impairing the lives especially of young children and adolescents.  I remember when my little brother  was in high school, he would be so ridiculously be stressed out and angered by the aggressiveness of the game of “Modern Warfare”. I’d be in my room hearing him yelling or screaming at the TV in the living room. I would be thinking what on earth has him fume like that? I was thinking “Did a girl break his heart?”, “Did he fail in some or all his classes?” “Did he accidentally hurt himself?”…”Was he trying to fighting to keep somebody from breaking into our house?” Nope… he was angry because a “camper” shot him from nowhere and he didn’t have any of his teammates to back him up. Ugh.  While I do understand the frustration of  having campers in video games, but it wasn’t worth the yelling.


Mortal Combat back in the day, was considered  well….very violent. There was a huge upstart, because of its detailed graphics.  It was assumed that it might have kids  to be more violent and more aggressive. Mortal Combat was one of the reason why we now have ratings for video games.

Unfortunately (but annoyingly so), my brother isn’t really good at expressing his feelings. It didn’t help also my parents were separated, my mom was either recovering from an injury or working all day, then my dad was either a poor influence on him or wasn’t in his life. He’s an only boy and I’m nearly a decade older than he is. I’ve tried putting curfews on his game play, but as I’ve been told, I’m “not his mom”. So, I understand his frustration and wanting to play video games all the time. But should it mean my brother should have been diagnosed for a “gaming disorder”??? Uh…no. What should have been done (and was done per my suggestion) was to have seen a therapist.

I can’t believe (well it shouldn’t be surprising especially here in the states) they want to have such a diagnosis as a “game disorder.” I fear the only ones who will really benefit from this “disorder” will be pharmaceutical companies and treatment centers. I mean…millions of people play video games…I included…are they really going to prescribe millions of people pills if “game disorder” because an official diagnosis by next year? Jeez…I thought drug dealers were bad….pharmaceuticals and other medical professions are just as bad.  I mean just take a look at all these drug epidemics such as the Opioid Epidemic… My mother after she had surgery on her knee,  her doctor gave her bags upon bags of pain prescriptions….she hadn’t even used up 1/4 of those bags. Luckily she was wise enough to know her limits and did not get addicted to her prescriptions. I’m sure her doctor makes a profit for each time he pushes prescriptions to patients. Why not there just be PSA commercials reminding people to take a break from video games and engage in the real world, like the way there are commercials  on reminding people to be physically active, eat healthy and to limit junk food?

The DSM 5 or Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders defines a mental disorder as:

  1. A behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an indvidual
  2.  That reflects an underlying psychobiological dysfunction
  3. The consequences of which are clinically significant distress (e.g. painful symptoms) or disability (i.e. impairment in one or more important areas of functioning)
  4.  Must not be merely an expectable response to common stressors and losses (for  example, the loss of a loved one) or a culturally sanctioned response to a particular event (for example, trance states in religious rituals)
  5. That is not primarily a result of social deviance or conflicts with society

Yeah…I don’t think “gaming disorder” fits this….Well maybe with aggression if gets to be too much, but shouldn’t that mean a person is relying on video games to escape reality? Escape from their pain??? Shouldn’t they be encouraged to seek a therapist??? But I guess seeing a therapist is more stigmatizing then asking for pills…

Sigh…well it’s not set in stone yet that “gaming disorder” will be an official diagnosis, but I’m just curious to what makes mental health professions to think that it should be. I think it’s a real insult to those like myself who actually live with a real mental illness and have all of our lives be halted or disrupted physically and emotionally by it. Not to mention those who are recovering drug and/or alcohol addicts. I mean,  I guess like those who are “addicted to playing video” games, those addicted to alcohol and/or drugs chose to do it…the thing is that the latter group undergoes a way more devastating effect.  At the end, we just need to encourage people especially our younger audiences to go out and play, set a curfew on playing video games, and/or to seek therapy if they have underlining issues that could be worked on with a therapist. But under no circumstances assign medication.

This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Illness


You’ve seen it in the news whether on tv, newspapers, social media on people living with mental illness are treated before, during, and after (sometimes reported) incarceration. Perhaps you are familiar with these names:

Charlenna Lyles

Joseph Mann

Kelly Thomas

Michelle Cusseaux

Reginald Murray

David Montalbelo

Antwon Banks

These are a but a few names of those with mental illness that have been mistreatment by  the police,  the judicial system, and prison system . When I’m saying this please don’t think that inmates living without mental illness are not worth being treated as people too, for they too should be treated fairly as human beings especially in spite of their socioeconomic status.

Brave New Films, completed a short documentary film titled, “This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health”. This three part series tells the maltreatment of individuals with mental illness “Before”, “During”, and “After” imprisonment.   The video also talks about the lives of three individuals Rebecca Brasfield, Herb Cobbs, and Stacy Hamilton and their experiences with the police, judicial and prison system. And then you have a mother by the name of Tama Bell who tells about the horrific experiences, her son, Masai, experienced in jail.

I personally enjoyed the film and the rawness of the stories of those living with mental illness and their experiences especially in the prison system. Unfortunately as you might probably  know, in the U.S., all the prison systems do here is make profit on those in jail and even after they their time, they are unprepared for the new life that awaits them that is often met with impoverished living. I wish I could say they were just solely made for people to serve their time….but it’s not. Inmates must be shown humanity and inmates with mental illness should be living in a mental health hospital. These injustices must stop.

To view the film, click on the link below:

This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health

For further resources on the maltreatment of individuals living with mental illness, click on the link below:

Half of People Killed By Police Have a Disability: Report


The Treatment of Persons With Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: An Untimely Report

There Are 10 Times More Mentally Ill People Behind Bars Than in State Hospitals



#Light It Up Blue

I am not autistic, but I have worked with individuals who are autistic. The youngest I worked with was 8 years old while the oldest I have worked with being 22 years of age. Whether these individuals are high functioning or low functioning, they are one of the most hard working, awesome, smartest people I have ever met. I just wish society would see that too. Anywho, thanks to April being National Autism Awareness month and April 2nd being World Autism Day, hopefully it will bring Autism the rightful recognition it deserves.

For more information on Autism (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder) click on the links below:

An Introduction to Autism

April is Autism Awareness Month


Autism (

Autism (

Autism Awareness Month: Genes and Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

National Autism Association

PBS Kids Marks Autism Awareness Month With Characters On The Spectrum

What is Autism?