Last night I came home from work, took care of my usual routine of feeding my two cats, putting some groceries away, and then tried to figure out what to watch on TV. My life is pretty predictable, but something happened that opened my eyes and inspired me to reach out and talk to a mother in San Diego that lost her son back in June of 2019.
We all check our phones periodically throughout the whole day, some more than others - I came across a Facebook post from one of my friend's page -
Hi, this is Anna, Jaron's mom
I don't do Face book & have no idea how to maneuver and post..., but My boy left a notepad w/info & passwords, so after a lot of back & forth w/ FB securities, I'm able to login to his page, & hopefully, w/help...get this out there. We so appreciate the Love & support from you all, it continues to comfort us. Jerry & I are doing the best we can, in this crazy world we all live in. We hope & pray you all are safe & healthy in these challenging times. Jaron left many writings & notes, as well as videos of his life and his struggles. We want to share a video Jaron made. He had created this video in the hopes of possibly helping others, as well as himself, who maybe struggled as he did with depression, mental illness, or just life's' difficulties......
I was able to locate Anna on the phone, and she told me that at the time her son made the video in early 2019, he wasn't ready to let her see it. From the age of 17 years old, Jaron began to experience depression. A straight-A student found himself frustrated that he couldn't finish his homework -"Something's wrong, I can't concentrate" Eventually mother and son sought professional help - one of the things asked of Jaron, from a psychologist was a letter describing who he was. A LONG detailed thorough response was given - a whirlwind of thoughts from a troubled confused young man.
There were three different facilities that he tried out, going through the motions. Some good and bad years followed. He was active as he could possibly be while living with his mental health. He accepted the illness but didn't know why he had it. Was it hereditary? Jaron was an intelligent man, he decided to record a 16-minute video to share his thoughts, his life, events that pushed his depression. He explained incidents leaving him "Burned and defeated". He recounted several people telling him that he appeared fine - however he knew that "Inside wasn't lining up with the outside"
........Unfortunately, his illness took a turn for the worst, so I'm posting it for him, in his memory. I wish I could have shared this sooner, but I'm not techy, & life has obstacles... I'm including a note he had written, I think as a prelude to the video. I hope you enjoy this film as much as we do - "It's a new year, and it's a new me. When you own it they can't touch it. I felt like it was time to tell my story, so here it is. This is me putting it all on the line, I hope you find the courage to do the same"
I understand some people might question - "Why?" post this blog here in Bismarck, North Dakota? Mental illness exists all over the world. According to psychiatry.org here are some alarming statistics:
- nearly one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness
- one in 24 (4.1 percent) has a serious mental illness*
- one in 12 (8.5 percent) has a diagnosable substance use disorder
Mental illness is treatable. The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives. Here are a few places in town - Mental Health America of Nd 523 N 4th St #2 (701) 255-3692 - Chambers & Blohm Psychological 309 N Mandan St (701) 323-0924 - Summit Counseling Services 3111 E Broadway Ave (701) 334-6242
I want to thank Anna for taking the time to talk with me, for sharing what had to be completely devastating. She and her husband Jerry watch their son's video quite often, holding on to his memory. She expressed to me the hope of someone who is experiencing the anguish of the disease, to watch Jaron's video, and to get help.
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