Speaker 1 – Recently, celebrity men like Will Smith and Johnny Depp, Fat Boys, have made headlines for their bad behavior, signaling possible mental health challenges. So Dr. Erica Steele from holistic family practice in Virginia Beach joins us now to weigh in. Good morning. Dr. Steele, how are you doing?

Speaker 2 – I’m doing very well, April; as always,

Speaker 1 – we all have opinions. And we’ve walked away with views about the slap heard worldwide. And of course, the Johnny Depp case on Court TV, you know, what’s on Court TV? So I mean, what does this mean, as you know, mental wellness?

mental wellness

Speaker 2 – Well, I think, especially for mental health awareness month, which we’re in May, it really brings a lot more awareness to men’s mental health and the perspective that real men, like everyone else, including women, struggle with mental health issues.

Speaker 1 – Do you think any of it relates to us being in quarantine for as long as we had and dealing with COVID? At all? What’s your take on it?

Speaker 2 – Well, I think with the court with quarantine, it allows people to sit with themselves. And when we’re so busy running around doing everything, right? We tend to neglect our mental and emotional state. And so when we have to slow down and be fully present with ourselves, we have to deal with things that we haven’t dealt with in the past.

Speaker 1 – I’m now interested in a holistic healthcare perspective. What can we all learn from these scenarios?

Speaker 2 – So I think what we can learn specifically from, let’s say, Will Smith because they’re both different. Will Smith really be triggered by something in the past, right? And so he was initiated by words that Chris Rock said, and it really triggers that fight or flight response, that primitive response that we all have; a lot of us will either fight flight or freeze. In the case of Will Smith, he fought in the case of Chris Rock; he froze. And that’s what we can glean from that perspective, at least with that particular case.

Speaker 1 – Okay, and then moving on to Johnny Depp. What’s your feedback on that?

Speaker 2 – So with Johnny Depp and again, similar to Will Smith, but different. He mentioned something in the case where he said, you know, he realized at a certain point that he was married to his mother and Johnny Depp experienced abuse in his childhood from the past are experienced adverse childhood experiences. And so he didn’t deal with that. And so often, if you don’t deal with those things from the past, mentally and emotionally, you tend to normalize certain behaviors and relationships. And then, in the case of Johnny Depp, when you don’t deal with your mental and emotional state, you tend to act out using drugs and alcohol to suppress unhealed emotions from the past.

Men's Mental Health

Speaker 1 – Right. And I just want to clarify, Johnny Depp hasn’t been charged with a crime; he’s facing a civil lawsuit or a defamation case. So what are the viewers supposed to walk away with from these experiences they see on television from celebrities?

Speaker 2 – Well, I think the first thing is to take celebrities off of a pedestal because so often, we hold them to this much higher standard that we believe they’re supposed to not be human and, and all actuality, they are human. And then they have a tremendous opportunity to be able to teach us all, especially our men, right, because men have a tendency to feel ashamed of their emotions, not deal with their emotions, suppress their feelings, because they want to be strong, perceived strength, or they want to be, you know, unstoppable, or whatever we’re all who knows. But the reality is that we, as human beings, must deal with our mental and emotional health. Because if we don’t, it can lead to sabotage, like, for instance, relationships. And, you know, I mean, Will Smith was getting an award that evening for his work, and it was so clouded by the events. So it shows that even with no matter what your status is, no matter how much money you make, no matter what professional athletes you have, or even personal ones, if you don’t deal with your mental and emotional health and well-being, it’s eventually going to catch up with you.

Men's Mental Health

Speaker 1 – So if people out there want to go a step further and deeper, you’re offering some help, especially for men you know are dealing with mental health issues.

Speaker 2 – Yeah, so my, my practice is very unique. It’s not this traditional practice: you go, sit down, talk; it’s more, we’re doing a webinar where we kind of go into my perspective. So it’s really about teaching people awareness, educating them, and then coaching them and teaching them practically what they can do step by step. It’s a nonjudgmental, loving, or supportive atmosphere and a perfect space to talk. And so we’re hosting that free webinar. Anybody and everybody can come. Men especially are encouraged to attend. But of course, women and all people can come.

Speaker 1 – Dr. Erica Steele, thank you so much for this.

Speaker 2 – Awesome Thank you, Miss. Thanks for having me sure

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