RYU: Why did you agree to become involved in One More Rep?
Carmel: I believe mental health is a very real issue and I think it is very important to talk about it and bring awareness to a topic that affects so many of us at varying degrees.
What was the silent battle you were fighting that no one knew about?
Until recently, not many people were aware that I suffered greatly from depression and anxiety. My husband and I both have close family members on each side that suffer from schizophrenia. I believe we all suffer from mental health multiple times in our lives. One majorly overlooked example would be women who go through their period every month. Many women can suffer greatly during this time with many symptoms including depression and anxiety but is mostly brushed off as “that time of the month” but that “time of the month” happens 12 times a year and can be debilitating for many.
Where are you right now on your personal journey to health?
Right now, I am doing well, but every day is a new day and I honestly (like many) take it day by day. My family and my fitness are my one true ongoing cure that battles my “craziness” day after day.
Just because you are dealing with a mental health issue, doesn’t make you any less of a person, in fact, it makes you stronger than the rest of us to recognize that you need help and get it.
What would you say to someone who is struggling?
Do not be afraid to talk to someone and seek help. if you have a cold, flu or broken arm, you get help from someone that can help you fix those issues. Struggling with mental health is a cold, flu or “broken arm” of the mind that needs professional attention.
What do you hope will happen as a result of this campaign?
Some advice from a professional that was given to someone very close to me not long ago who was thought to be struggling from deep depression “these thoughts and feelings are like an annoying bird constantly flying around your head and you can either just swat it away and continue what you are doing or allow it to land and make a nest”. The person that was given this advice is now much better and not even taking any medication that was originally prescribed. Medication that he was told he would take for the rest of his life.
Not all cases are like this of course but if he did not seek help for fear of “people would know” he would never have the outcome he has today.
About Carmel Rodriguez
Carmel is a mom, fitness model, personal trainer and entrepreneur. After having children, Carmel was faced with some traumatic events in her life which resulted in severe anxiety and depression. Without knowing what to do, she instinctively turned to movement and through challenging her body, she was able to challenge her mind and overcome her depression.