It was another fascinating discussion for Maurice Benard on his YouTube video podcast series, State Of Mind, when he welcomed clinical psychologist Dr. Meleeka Clary. They discussed getting to the root of a person’s problems and that sometimes, the medical establishment is too quick to prescribe drugs.
Dr. Meleeka Clary Digs Deeper
She isn’t just a doctor — Clary is so much more, including a paralegal, model, actor, and director, she has a master’s degree in criminal justice. She hails from her beloved Boston and includes an amazing story of her youth that is tied to the New England Patriots — her favorite team. It was fun for San Francisco 49ers stan Benard to hear, and he took her about her love for the opposing team in stride. But the football talk quickly turned to more serious matters.
*Trigger warning: If you struggle or know someone who struggles with depression, anxiety, or other forms of mental health, the following material may cause some distress. Please proceed with caution and know you are not alone.
Clary discussed growing up in a large family with a mom who had depression, the medication that caused her to zone out a lot, and the challenges that caused in her life. She would ask her mom questions, but she wouldn’t get any answers. While she knows her mom needs the medication to help her, it led her to believe more in psychotherapy.
Their discussion veered off into the epidemic of mental health issues that seem to have come out of the pandemic, but the one thing she really wanted to get across was that we need to be kind to each other. Benard brought up the alarming and disheartening suicide rate as well.
“Let’s try not to judge people because we’re not perfect either,” she said. She talked about how kids are judging each other and then revealed how when she was younger, she was bullied. “I prayed to die. I did not want to be here. I prayed to God. I asked God, ‘Can you please just end it for me?’ Because [of how] other people treated me.” Despite all of the problems she was going through with her family, that wasn’t what took her to the edge — what did it was how others were treating her. She was relieved God didn’t answer that prayer. She acknowledged it was a temporary problem — and that’s what she tries to explain to people. Hang in there — it will change and get better.
She encouraged people to communicate more with the family, ask their kids about their lives — use their influence. Benard brought up that parents are starting to lose that influence, but she insisted we have to get it back…by trying more. They discussed the lack of respect that seems rampant with this new generation. She insisted that if parents are struggling, they need to get therapy — to help them learn to communicate better.
They also discussed divorce (“I had to divorce the whole judicial system”), almost going to jail for baptizing her son, and how both played a part in the film she directed, Three Corners of Deception. Catch the full episode here.
If you or someone you know has struggled with thoughts of suicide or suffered from anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. Fans can follow Clary on Instagram and Twitter. To follow State Of Mind and subscribe, go to YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Fans can now purchase inspirational merchandise for Benard’s State Of Mind. Check it out.