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Diabetes and Mental Health

November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country bring attention to the impact diabetes has on Americans - including the relationship between diabetes and depression. A day in the life Living with diabetes requires daily physical and emotional demands. The idea that diabetes can be managed simply by eating healthier and exercising more is a myth. Yes, eating nutritious foods and enjoying physical movement is good for the heart, soul, and for diabetes management; but there is so much more to living healthy with diabetes. It’s a daily balancing act between all the things that raise blood sugar and those that lower blood sugar, including food, medication, alcohol, physical activity, and stress. Not to mention hormones, sleep, illness, hydration, altitude, insulin gone bad, and so much more. People with diabetes have to constantly sort through mixed messages around food choices. They have to navigate insurance coverage…

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This and every October, Philadelphia recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence can affect anyone — regardless of your class, race, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. In the United States, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. According to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. About 1 in 6 women and 1 in 14 men have experienced contact sexual violence by an intimate partner. Domestic Violence is more than just physical abuse — it is a pattern of behaviors that a partner uses against the other person with the purpose of gaining and maintaining power and control in the…

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Incarceration to Healing, Addiction to Recovery

I am a person in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders. For many years, I carried a good deal of anger and resentment so, instead of addressing my issues, I turned to using drugs. Unlike many others, my addiction began in prison. It happened at one of the lowest times in my life, when I lost my father. Here I was, incarcerated and drugs were available, so I turned to the one thing that I always tried to avoid. In trying to mask my pain there were times I didn’t want to live. Depression was evident, but I camouflaged it with drugs. I was overdosing and only through the grace of God was revived every time by someone in my community. Narcan was constantly used to save my life. I was arrested so many times that I started to begin to believe that incarceration was going to be…

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Autism Spectrum Disorder: Demystifying the Myth

Growing up in Nigeria, a sub- Sahara Africa country, I grew up with different myths and ideas of what a disability is and how people with disabilities should be treated.  I knew they should not be isolated, segregated and not allowed to participate in normal life events. Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, live a traumatic life because Nigerian society does not believe in intellectual disabilities that do not manifest physically, such a person who lives with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.  Parents face stigma on an everyday basis if their child/children are living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The fear of what the future holds for their children in terms of obtaining adequate health care, education, employable skills and being accepted in the society is always a constant thought for parents. The above coupled with a lack of awareness, stigmatization and discrimination gave birth to my NGO- “The Autism…

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