So lately I feel as if I have been Lagging behind my due dates. With the assignments of my other classes, getting sick last week, and a mental block that seemed impossible to overcome. Life, academically speaking, seemed to be a stagnating. It’s difficult not to be hard on myself during these times. However, I’m overjoyed to report that I’m getting the academic ball rolling again, despite its colossal size.

So lately I’ve been adding sources to my Lit Review that are based upon masculinity and in Latino communities. Which is great and very important to my thesis. But if we recall my presentation the one gap I was missing in my research was mental health in the Latino community. Since I was gathering other important sources I regrettably neglected this requirement. It’s strange to say but it wasn’t a bad neglect; I was gathering other important resources.

I have found two very important sources that deals with this issue directly. The first one is Urban Latinx Parents’ Attitudes towards Mental Health: Mental Health Literacy and Service Use by Louise E.Dixon De Silva et. al and the second one is Latino Mental Health And Treatment In The United States by Marilyn Aguirre-Molina et al. The latter is the seventh chapter of the book Health Issues in the Latino Community a book completely dedicated, as the title eludes, to the health issues in the Latino community AND this chapter speaks only on the Mental health aspects of those health issues.

The findings from recent studies suggest that Latinos such as
Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans generally immigrate or migrate with superior mental health status compared to the that of the population of the United States as a whole. Over time they have increased risk of mental health problems. Even more disturbing, their offspring’s major depression rates may increase to or exceed normal population rates for the United States.

(Aguirre-Molina et al. 182)

What a wonderful quote that clarifies the mental journey that I’ve unwillingly embarked on. The authors of this chapter even clarify that the Latino community is extremely diverse and more research data is needed for the smaller communities. This is why they focus on the data they have which is mainly Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican populations. Another important thing they mention that I haven’t seen mentioned before is the “cultural barriers” that prevent Latinos from utilizing mental health services. This includes stigma and the distinctive expressions for emotional disorders. The example given was “ataque de nervios” (attacks of the nerves). An idiom labeling mental illness symptoms as “temporary emotional reactions, these beliefs may obstruct an individual and his or her significant others from recognizing symptoms of mental illness” (Aguirre-Molina et al. 196).

The other article Urban Latinx Parents’ Attitudes towards Mental Health: Mental Health Literacy and Service Use by Louise E.Dixon De Silva et. al is a short study but has a plethora of important information. It speaks on the stigma surrounding the Latino community, accepting internalized mental health problems, and utilizing mental health services

Generally, parents viewed their child’s worry or sadness as intertwined with other problems that they were having…. Findings revealed that parents often could not distinguish between symptoms of anxiety, depression, and behavior problems. The most commonly described child problems were nervousness/worry (inquieto, ansioso), sadness (tristeza), withdrawal (retirarse), and irritability (irritabilidad)

(De Silva 3)

Though the sample size is relatively small and the limitations that the researcher elucidate are valid, this study still brings an extremely important cultural barrier to the table. Only when things are drastic are they taken care of, and even when they are drastic they’re labeledー as the previous mentioned study claimsー as simple attacks of the nerves.
While reading this study I got, as the youths like to say, war flashbacks. When reading certain lines I had to stop cause the words hit close to home. Ill throw out a few lines that did this.

  • “Furthermore, parents identified the belief that anxiety and depression are not “real” problems” (De Silva 4)
  • “after 6 sessions, I’m like “Honey, like, so like how did she teach you? What did she-?” Because I’m still seeing you doing this. Like she was still doing the same like anxiety um, like methods, so I’m like I was getting frustrated” (De Silva 5)
  • that Latinx parents, such as those in our sample, may tend to focus on outwardly visible behaviors while more internal mood states are overlooked (De Silva 6)
  • Concerns about parental blame, stigma, and etiological explanations of mental illness (e.g., problems stem from poor discipline) are all factors that deter appropriate service use and treatment adherence in Latinx communities

The quote I’ve bolded was one that I had a verbal reaction to when reading because I’ve had this line thrown at me. I briefly attended a master program that I dropped out of at Montclair University. While I was there I made use of their Counseling and Psychological services (CAPS) If I recall correctly, and I do, it was around 23 sessions throughout two semesters. Towards the last session my mother asked me to tell her how long were the sessions and how many id been to. After I told her she tallied it all up and said “that’s almost 24 hours. Aren’t you over it by now”

ANYWAYS, I think I’m done (for the most part) gathering sources. The 19 that I have are sufficient enough to provide good background support. I’ve complied them all into one document and have started the literature review. I’m honestly glad I took Research and methodology prior to this. This literature review doesn’t seem so terrifying, (its still a tad intimidating but not terrifying). At the same time I cant help to feel as if I’m falling behind. anywhoooooo see y’all in class. I cant wait for Jasmines presentation.

Lit Review Done?

I think as of now, I’ve made a lot of progress. I do think my lit review is done (for now) since the semester is coming to a close and I do now have to work on putting my proposal together. For the lit review I followed the same format that I used in Dr. Nelson’s class last semester. I assume that is the same format I will use when it comes to submitting the entire proposal?

I did take a small break on writing the vignettes/essays. I plan on utilizing my winter break time to kind of get back in touch, focus, and write some more again. If I write anything right now, I feel like it will come off forced and therefore it won’t be as organic or as good as I want it to be. I wouldn’t say it’s a writers block, but I do have a block as of right now because of the end of the semester rush, and of course because of work. But I will get back to it, just need to find that right time again. I am constantly utilizing my notes app to write down ideas or writing that comes to my mind late at night or after driving. Can’t wait to get back to that part again.

Session 11: Short Rest

I hope everyone had a nice break! I know I did. I did some very important work during it…which was doing no (school) work at all! I spent time cooking, eating, hanging out with family, and shopping, trying to not even think about classes at all. I usually have a hard time letting myself relax; whenever I have some free time, in the back of my head I’m usually telling myself “oh, I should be working on something during this time…” and so even when I’m doing something that’s not work, like playing a video game or reading for pleasure, I’m still thinking about work. It’s hard to relax like that…luckily, over this break, I didn’t have much of that problem. I gave myself permission to completely rest and focus on doing things that I wanted to do to relax and recharge.

This week, I’m going to start work on my proposal. I’m hoping that the break was refreshing enough to let me really push through these last few weeks of the semester without feeling too overwhelmed or stressed.

So yeah, welcome back everyone, I hope you got to rest and I hope you enjoyed your holiday!

What if?

This past week I’ve sat with the feedback and advice given to me last week after my presentation. It really forced me to sit with everything I was trying to avoid because it was too messy in my mind. But, who knew? Facing the problem actually fixes it! Kind of…

First, thank you all for the advice & words of encouragement, I appreciate it, truly 🙂 Second, I was looking into the graphic novels G recommended and :O! Great works to say the least. I absolutely loved the illustrations and how they seamlessly fit into the written story. I also thought of the content of the photos I shared and how Dr. Zamora pointed out that they tell stories on their own. So, what if, I could create scenes with these photos and write my personal essays through them?

Then, the layout of it all would be like that of a graphic novel with a scrapbook aesthetic. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I literally googled “graphic novel in scrapbook form” and was pleasantly surprised to see The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt and a YouTube video previewing some pages in it. I can easily see my words and photos in a similar format and I think it’s a great reference point. Now, how do I make that?

Luckily, I have pretty reliable resources who would be delighted to teach me a little Adobe InDesign, and help me with it as well. I need to investigate to see if audio and video would be a possibility though. If not, I think I can live without it. Still, I hope I can find a way and I’ll try to find a similar platform before I give it up entirely.

Anyway , this week was extremely helpful and relieving. It definitely gives me peace of mind that the visual side of it is getting settled in my head and it’s really exciting to actually start envisioning an end product I can be really proud of.

This week, and most of the coming weeks, MUST be dedicated to the lit review. I have many resources and I can see purpose in all of them but, now I have to throw some out and figure out what exactly I need from my resources to create something cohesive – a daunting task I oddly look forward to…