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Tag Archives: Depression

World Mental Health Day: The Modern Struggle For Deaf Returning Citizens

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I would like to share my reflections about World Mental Health Day yesterday (October 10th). My apologies not for finishing up a post on time. It is very important to share more awareness about mental health that impacts Deaf community—especially Deaf returning citizens in Deaf community.

Depression is part of mental health; the stigma connected with Deaf returning citizens is unbearable. The public consciousness about Deaf returning citizens has been a failure of an evolving cultural understanding of mental health among them.

The phrases may haunt them each day. All these years later, they may be struck with shame. The state of being Deaf returning citizens was an “easy job” to ignore and not reported as violating their human dignity and thrown away on the side of the road where the cars would run over them. There was no raised questions from mental health professionals who are hearing who claimed that they are experts in understanding Deaf world. It makes things worse.

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Today, there is ONLY ONE Deaf-centered counseling center in America, Deaf Counseling Center. Without Deaf mental health experts (bless them!), Deaf returning citizens would feel paralyzed whether to share their struggles or not. There is a quote that should be seen:

Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities. Remember this, things could be much worse. You could be one of them.”-Unknown.

Mental health awareness helps to distract all the negative labels in their lives by getting themselves involved with educational jaunts, and Deaf-centered licensed therapists. Is it fair to use a distasteful mental image to prove a point, even if that mental image relies on stereotyping of Deaf returning citizens?

Labeling hurts the most. Mental health awareness can make all the difference to understand the gravity of their experiences. In the Deaf community, there are plenty of hardships that Deaf returning citizens suffer and even think it is OK to bully other Deaf returning citizens who were going through what they had been through. Deaf community ranks one of the highest percentage—lack of mental health awareness and educate the most serious consequences they would face with.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

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Suicide is a Big Problem in Deaf Community

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One problem with labeling that leads to suicide in America are that both sides it is ruled by emotion rather than fact. There is a big reason suicide view, as public health issue that is not enough discussed in Deaf community.

Today in Deaf community that suicide is still shaped by what happened between these mental health professionals.  How come suicide is not viewed as a social disease in Deaf community? The result is that the suicides over the role of hearing mental health professionals has been left policymakers flailing in the dark, with little more than gut feelings to guide them. In the area of what works to prevent suicides in Deaf community, we know almost nothing.

Do we really need to wrestle with the issue of how to label Deaf returning citizens? Words matter in our world. Is water boarding torture? Is someone a bigot or a hater? Is a politician liberal or progressive? The Deaf community needs to recognize that language is a living thing does not always fully capture the cultural and contextual meaning words take on—but at the end of the day, Deaf returning citizens to people seems more accurate than “ex-convict”, “former criminal”, “ex-con”, “jail bird”.

Labeling, in my opinion, an inevitable and direct result of our societal “culture” of hate-motivated themes. In doing so, I discounted the notion that it is haters and expressed, rather, my belief that as survivor of hate crimes is a systemic oppression it is, in fact, all people who are a part of it and who bear both a collective responsibility for it and for fighting with our Deaf returning citizens to end the oppression.

While haters and oppressors very favorably received this suicide, it also elicited a very strong and negative reaction from many people, and some of them, who objected to it on the inaccurate grounds that it supposedly “blamed” people for the specific crimes of Deaf returning citizens and it painted all people as equally culpable.

Is it time to support DEAF community and stop hate speech? Is it also time to advance our knowledge that hate speech actually exists in our life? A lot of Deaf returning citizens put on a mask when they step outside.

I think it is important to deal with the defensive response and what the nature of systemic oppression on Deaf returning citizens really means in for human emancipation. Suicide is real. No one, understandably, wants to think or to acknowledge that the haters, personally, may be part of the problem. And this is part of the problem.

It is easy to condemn this troubled Deaf community because of labeling. That is the kind of reactionary thinking the average Deaf returning citizen in America. There are plenty of brutish lynch mob mentality and find cruel punishment by Deaf community.

Labeling is offensive to culture and deemed ill. Labeling should be considered as a sociological problem but the soul and heart of human needs to be addressed.  Something is missing. Labeling Deaf returning citizens is dreadful enough that people makes wish to put them on an an island off the coast, someplace dreadful. No one else can live on the island, only haters to provide a service. Deaf returning citizens could not able to receive treatment, both medically and spiritually, but not through religion.

We need to address labeling in Deaf returning citizens to turn the problem in our culture around. Deaf returning citizens must be invested in creating a better life situation for themselves with the help of Deaf community. When we do not address them, we fail to grow as a culture and we fail to stop that kind of injury from our collective body and mind.

As a nation, we have failed to address the problem: Recognizing suicide tendencies. I am all for rehabilitation, especially in the most tragic cases, such as Deaf returning citizens facing suicide every day.

-JT

Copyright @  2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

2016: The Year of Bullying

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The picture was taken in 2013. Washington, D.C.;

The year, 2016 has been one of the most difficult years for me. I will not tolerate bullying or bullies.

-A Deaf individual who is in circle of De’VIA made up worst lies about me.

-A Deaf author threatened my life and shared nasty and inaccurate information with other people about me.

-A Deaf President for an organization has allowed haters to expose my life.

-Another De’VIA artist shared ugly rumors to other people claiming that I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

-A Deaf returned citizen accused me of stealing my own organization logo.

-I lost my grandmother and grandfather four months apart.

-Oh yes, another De’VIA artist asked someone to shove my shoulder while walking during homecoming week at Gallaudet University. A witness supported me and knew that they did it on purpose.

-A Deaf administrator gave me a DEATH STARE.

-I had a massive heart attack and cardiac arrest—resulting in death for ten minutes.

-This is my FIFTH heart attack.

-The same Deaf returned citizen above wished that I die even after recent heart attack.

-Wait. There are more…..Countless.

I have experienced plenty of hate incidents and bullying the last six years since my soul showed up in social media and in public—sharing my fundamental elements of democracy and my knowledge about hate crimes. In today’s Deaf community, incivility and bullying is a NORM just like President-elect Trump’s new NORM. In the culture of bullying even in Deaf community is not limited to Deaf people, but it is also a national past time.

Research has showed that Deaf people who are bullied or cyber-bullied face increased risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal attempts, too. As well as being exposed to stress living in a toxic environment would increase the chances of developing coronary heart disease.

Yet, the cardiologist said that I’m very lucky not to have any kind of brain damage. Usually when someone die for more than five minutes, brain damage begins. Even when I was in ICU, the doctors said that I’m strong as an ox.

I have been dealing with worst things in my life, being bombarded with the nasty words and images about me every day. You all really do not KNOW my life stories. To be honest with you, I am not holding my breath and I will stand up against bullies anytime including Deaf leaders, too. I am much stronger than you really think of me. It is all about developing thicker skin, but is it really necessary? Despite the hate attacks by De’VIA artists, I still keep the artworks because hate does not win. Even those people above did not win either. It is not win-win situation.

In 2017, you will see a lot of things that will make Deaf community think. Peace and prosperity.

Additional link:

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2016/08/18/beyond-labeling-the-role-of-awareness/

-JT

Copyright @ 2016 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

34% Is No Joke!

ImageSolitary Deaf Prison by Nancy Rourke

Depression is the inability to construct a future-Rollo May

Psssst. Hey, you. 34% is a lot! For example, “Wilken noted that inmates in segregated housing accounted for 34 percent of all suicides in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Prisoners in solitary are also 33 percent more likely than those in the general prison population to commit suicide, according to the ruling.” and please see the link below at the end of the post.

There is something important that you need to know. Someone has to say it. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) does not care about it. Everyone at the NAD home office tries very hard not to know it. This 34% claim may seem theatrical, but the odds are stacked in my favor.

Hold on a second, they will probably be thinking by now. Do not single us out. Ignoring Deaf issues is a NATIONAL PROBLEM; Deaf people are angry like zeppelins all over America. The NAD headquarters is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, and they think they are safe and healthy. Deaf people have the birthright of Deafhood. Surely Deaf people are no worse than anyone else. The first president of NAD, Robert MacGregor would agree to it!

I am questioning leadership of the NAD because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had an important workshop called “Inmate Calling Services Rates” last Wednesday, July 10th. There was not a single representative from NAD showing up. The NAD has the staff of between 11-13 people ad none of them came to the FCC workshop.

The FCC headquarters is located in Washington, D.C.  Between Silver Spring and D.C. is no more than 30 minutes of driving. The FCC workshop was a public notice. How could they have missed it? True, Deaf issues are all over America, ans the NAD is supposed to be leading “the charge of the brigade” in the United States.

For example, Deaf people suffer the most of any of minority groups when it comes to mental health concerns. From the last time I remembered, 35% of Deaf people do not have an access to counseling. It has become a major concern because counseling is rehabilitating. Presently there are about 500 Deaf people so far who are incarcerated in jails or prisons. Access to such phone services as Video Phone (VP) would save a lot of problems for Deaf people today.

There are many stories that these Deaf inmates are suffering a lot from depression, isolation, mental anguish, anxiety, loss of sleep, physical and mental illness due to the experience. Mental health issues do kill their livelihood any more than people really understand. That is where the money drains. Here is the point: Health-care professionals know that Deaf inmates need to employ American Sign Language (ASL) are uniquely massive with health problems, the question is that why does not the NAD squirm at answering the question: “Why did they not show up at the FCC workshop with care?”

Let’s look at these alarming facts: The Ontario Association of the Deaf (OAD) in Canada has only three people on staff but they sure know how to be in the charge. They would make stops all over Ontario to make sure Deaf people are in good hands. Three people on staff, compared to 11-13 people on the NAD staff. What the heck?! NAD needs to turn off their television and go outside to meet real Deaf people. In the real media world, hearing people would say that Deaf people have a social deviance where hearing people keep on demonizing the Deaf with different points of view. For the sake of Deaf people’s mental health, the NAD needs to leave the home office, to go down the road, to attend a workshop, and to learn something that might make a difference in Deaf people’s lives. It is not healthy to sit inside the home office too much.

The NAD presents a new genre in zombie lore. The NAD’s mission is to imply that another could be gore fest of inexplicably reanimated, undead humans turned monsters feasting off the flesh of the living known as Deaf people. However, the NAD is not really narrative about zombies. Instead, the NAD utilizes the motif of the monster–in this case–the zombie as the metaphor to contrast the vulnerable state of humanity and its pursuit of survival in the collapse of all societal structures. However, the metaphor delves so deeply in the consciousness of physical and psychological reality for the characters in the narrative that it becomes literal. The zombie is no longer a monster, but a conflicted human turned by a societal-borne disease. Where is the NAD’s symbol in their placement between two worlds–the previous world governed by law order of hearing people, and the current world where laws appear meaningless. The NAD represents a moral code that separates the zombie experience from the human experience. The NAD also represents a failure of that moral code to shield humanity from extinction. The failure of government structures and the medical community to quell the zombie pandemic is evidenced everywhere that abandoned Deaf people from real life interaction.

Deaf inmates who are suffering depression while being incarcerated is hard to grasp. The media work very hard at assuring the public that Deaf inmate are dismissed, swept under the rug. Fortunately we the Deaf see these type of stories often enough to read between the lines and know that it is not the case at all. A big charade that goes on behind the thin blue line cannot be ignored! Education is already free. However, Deaf people are not being provided to use VP to make calls to their families, friends, or whoever they call make their lives more harder. The NAD needs to admit that they know that if they do not participate in this important FCC workshop, their attitudes do reflect those Deaf inmates that they may not return to society minimal expectations, then that is what prison becomes useful. While Deaf people are being shut out without providing an ASL interpreter for whatever the reason might be, their social literacy becomes worse. The NAD needs to realize that Deaf inmates are being forced out of education at the greatest cost.

My question is that does the NAD really understand the importance of faith in today’s version of American justice for Deaf inmates and the FUTURE of Deaf America such as freedom of speech and various constitutional rights? 34% of the Deaf inmates are suffering because of the NAD’s lackaday; the NAD does not care about Deaf inmates.

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

Reference:

Janquart, Philip A. Judge Orders Relief for Deaf California Prisoners. 7 June 2013.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/06/07/58332.htm

Laugh and The World Laughs With You

Image                                                 Identity Gone by Nancy Rourke

Laugh, laugh, laugh! Come on, it is not that hard to do! What is wrong with you?

Well, when I was growing up seeing family members in the same room, laughing, and I often asked them, “what is so funny?” They would say, “I am too lazy to tell you,” “it is not important to know,”  “you do not understand,” “get lost,” “who are you?” Why is the laughter not very much a part of my life? I became dumbfounded on-spot that something was funny in another language: spoken English. Not just the family gatherings, but I would watch movies with closed captions, I still did not laugh. Growing up as a kid, I was completely clueless about American Sign Language (ASL).

Growing up in THE hearing world all my life, I was just a stranger, an interloper without guidance, a lack of ASL, and confused with no goal or direction in life. As a boy growing up in a small town, I drank into my character a dark with empty life that had not shared enough with an important human property, laughter. Without laughing, it gave me a handful of toxic legacies that flushed me inside out.

There were several times when my cousin Tony and I would be watching a movie with some of comedy together, he was laughing hard but he noticed that I did not laugh. He then asked me why I would not laugh. I never really understood any part of the laughter. I was just an angry kid, knowing that my family did not bother to communicate with me. Also, I was angry that I was being bullied and ostracized at my school. I often landed me in the principal’s office where I would get accused, blamed and suspended right away. Those hearing peers would mock and laugh at me. So I did not laugh.

After I saw stories in ASL via vlogs and Deaf scholars, I was shocked to discover that I was able to laugh! It had transformed me from a lonely and introvert childhood. I always had trouble with the hearing world, and with laughter, I went to being an outgoing, sociable jock, just a full of life.

I lived with the label in hearing world all my life until ASL came into my life that removed my depression right away. As my story goes on, I saw people laughing with furtive glances in public.  I could remember for the first time when I laughed in ASL in the air, it became free. It changed my life; I still feel the stigma from growing up in the mainstreaming world. I believe that mainstreaming changed the presence of who I am. It is the most reviled label that I lived in that world.

When I was 20, I chose to move out of from a small plot of land in the rural southwestern Washington State town, population of 500, the back door of the single-wide house faces the forest—the fact that I had to escape from vigilant attacks. The stigma by not laughing too much followed me around until I met Deaf scholars. I never knew they knew how to make me laugh! What kept me going? My anger, my guilt, my ignorance.  I had lived in the hearing world. My return to a “normal” life has been slow. I needed to go to ASL festivals more often. With glints of laughing in ASL made a lot of progress where I had opened up to my friends and relatives outside my immediate family.

I realized that laughing is itself a learned behavior. ASL is the language usage to learn. I was intrigued by seeing comedies in ASL to help me identify myself as a Deaf person. The act of role in ASL makes a huge repetitious performance of Deafhood that is dictated by a hearing dominance culture. It questions the idea of laughing in ASL is very important to recognize the state of being Deaf from which hearing world deviates. Learning how to laugh in ASL goes through a fallow period and has some conceptualization of what I am to ASL around me before I can comfortably live in the world. After all, laughing is contagious if it is shared and understood.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.