Mental Health and the Incarcerated, by Alexis Rodriguez

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I’m going to speak of the unspeakable; depression. Especially when it comes to “macho men”, this topic is taboo. Well let me tell you personally it’s all to real. Being a male I was taught not to cry from a very young age… and by not so exemplary teachers. So, I learned to suppress many real emotions and did not learn how to share with others. In addition,  I was also taught to speak only when spoken to. Who would I go to for relief?  How would anyone even know that I was welling up with feelings that I did not understand… or know how to deal with? All of this and more shaped me as a child and a very young man. Now as an adult, I’ve learned that I suffer from seasonal changes as well as a  sensitivity to light. All this without ever being diagnosed or even seeing a professional.

Here in prison many are never diagnosed (or they are misdiagnosed) and the state’s solution is to over-medicate, which to the average prison resident is heaven sent. But I’m not average and unwilling to be  used as a guinea pig.  Yet, most here are drug users and abusers without the willpower to extricate themselves from such a  volitional roller-coaster .

I don’t want to feel this way! As a matter of fact, by faith in Jesus Christ, I often overcome certain “feelings” by just telling my self (my new self through Jesus) I WILL NOT FEEL THIS WAY.

My emotions, though stirred, result in peace. When in the doldrums, I speak life and activity… encouraging myself. “Get over it Alex”! ” You can do it Alex”! My favorite “go-to” method is quoting Scripture from the Bible; ” I CAN do all things through Christ who is my strength “. Philippians 4:13

So, with this I want YOU to take heart! Though you may be hurting… Be still and know that He is God…and rest assured that all is well!

by Alexis “Lex” Rodriguez

EDITOR’S NOTE:   Send your letters and cards of  encouragement to my good friend, “Lex” Rodriguez: Regulations require  you use  a plain white envelope (no stickers), with his name and DOC # on the First Line.  You must use a return address on the top left corner of the envelope, but if you wish, you may use my ministry return address: Prison Mentoring, Box 310, Hilltown PA 18927.

Alexis  Rodriguez, BH6734                    1000 Follies Rd.                   Dallas, Pa.                                      18612

 

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