ADHD Won't Hold Her Back. Rene Brooks Speaks on Why Mental Health Matters to Her
STMS: What do you do for a living? How does having mental or emotional disabilities affect your daily life?
Rene: I am a freelance writer, a contributor to Healthline, and of course, a mental health advocate who runs Black Girl, Lost Keys, a blog for Black women with ADHD. My mental health diagnoses are depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and of course, ADHD.
STMS: What inspired you to take part in this event when so many in the Black community seek to stay in the shadows with their diagnosis?
Rene: Every day, I talk with women who have been affected by their mental health diagnoses. There are people who live completely closeted, even from their family members and loved ones. Being able to speak at an event like this gives a voice to people who are absolutely terrified of the judgement of their peers and close associates. Giving a disorder a face is making it relatable to the average person.
STMS: What situations in life do you think led to you being emotionally unstable? Were you born with disabilities or did they develop due to trauma?
Rene: No one is absolutely certain what causes ADHD, so it is difficult to tell where it came from. As far back as I can remember, my mind has worked this way, whether it is to my benefit or my detriment. As far as depression and anxiety goes? Those conditions are considered “comorbid” with ADHD, which means that when you get a disorder like ADHD, those are some of the things that can come along for the ride.
STMS: What organizations or companies do you volunteer with?
Rene: I have contributed to Additude Magazine - a magazine that supports people with ADHD and gives them amazing information, Kaleidoscope Society, a site that empowers women with ADHD in an incredible way, and Mindfully ADD, a site that encourages people with ADHD to use mindfulness, a technique that can really help with concentration.
STMS:What current projects or events should people be watching for from you?
Rene: If you are a black woman with ADHD, come join the facebook group, BGLK Presents: Unicorn Squad. It is a great bunch of ladies who are so incredibly supportive of each other. There aren’t a lot of spaces for black women with ADHD, so it is crucial to spend time together. We would love to have you.
This summer, I’ll be featured in Additude Magazine’s Successful Women With ADHD.
And I am developing a course that will show people from the ground up how to manage their mental health on a daily basis.
STMS: What would you consider your biggest accomplishment in the last year?
Rene: Definitely getting Unicorn Squad up and moving. It was a dream of mine to create a safe space for Black Girls with Lost Keys, and now it is growing daily. I’m so thrilled
STMS: What are your goals for the remainder of 2018?
Rene: For the rest of the year, my goals are to finish writing my book, launch this course successfully, and focus on growing more in love with myself.
STMS: Where can people keep up with you online?
Rene: The best place to find me is always at the Black Girl, Lost Keys Facebook page, I am always there!
Meet Rene live and hear her keynote speech at Crazy Like a Fox on May 19th