How would you define “abuse”? Unfortunately, such a stigma exists around the idea of abuse, how it occurs, and what it entails, that people are afraid to even talk about it. The truth is that many people have some sort of abuse either in their past or in their present. This conversation is another way to honor and recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m thrilled to bring you another expert, who has amazing things to teach us today!
Abigail Manning is creating awareness on authentic health, which prevents and ends ALL forms of abuse. She has done five years of research on abuse and is an Indiana University Communications double major in cognitive, social, and behavioral theories. Combining her academic background with her personal experience with childhood abuse and domestic violence, she provides unique and transformative workshops and speeches that truly empower others.
The Mental Health Stigma
Do you know someone who suffers from mental illness? As more and more people are affected by backgrounds of abuse and depression, we must realize that ANYONE can suffer from mental illness. Common responses might be, “It doesn’t happen in MY family; it doesn’t happen to strong people; it doesn’t happen to smart people.” Mental health is simply a topic that we don’t talk about. Abigail’s focus is on “authentic health.” Depression can be a product of past abuse and can be linked to other things. Whatever the circumstance, it takes ownership to work past the struggles. Abigail tells us why the words we use really matter in getting the help we need and deserve.
TWEET: People choose #addictions to mask their feelings and sometimes see suicide as the only way out. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams
What are the words that a struggling person needs to hear? How about “I believe you and I care about you. Let’s get you some qualified help.” Abigail’s advice is to find a trusted person and don’t let yourself become isolated. Use language that feels comfortable to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help and resources. It’s hard to look someone in the eye and reveal that you’re struggling with mental health. Find phone resources that can help. Abigail’s workshops are designed to help any group navigate through all forms of abuse and build a pathway to authentic health. Perpetrators want nothing more than to take your power and control. If you are strong, then no one can take that from you.
TWEET: The #1 thing an abuser or perpetrator wants to take from you is CONTROL. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams
How to Look for Bullying Behavior
Have you seen bullying behavior on social media? It’s all around us in different forms. Abigail has a “purple threads” theory, showing how bullying behavior gets reinforced, either positively or negatively. She teaches people verbal skills so they don’t have to hide. Most people aren’t even aware of what abuse really is, and even though it is complicated, it’s easy to spot if you simplify the definition. Look for a repeated cycle of any psychological, verbal, physical, sexual, or financial abuse. It takes work to strengthen yourself and become aware of abusive behavior, but Abigail can teach you how to spot the red flags in any relationship.
TWEET: Don’t go it alone. Find the qualified help you need. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:
[:22] The importance of mental health
[2:31] The power of words
[3:36] How addictions mask our feelings
[5:39] Places to find help
[7:16] Abigail’s work on a national scale
[9:04] Going into schools and workplaces with help for the abused and the abusers
[13:04] Is abuse a socioeconomic issue?[
[19:56] What financial abuse is: using money for power and control
[21:19] The different forms of abuse
[26:19] Ways to strengthen yourself to prevent abuse