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Category Archive: mental illness

Jun 22 2013

The Letter I Didn’t Write

Photo Jun 22, 15 47 55

[Content note: depression, suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, sexual assault] This is a long and intensely personal post about college, which I graduated from today. I’m writing it more for myself than for you, so feel free to skip it if you come here mainly for the political rants and psychological babble. A few weeks ago …

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Jun 12 2013

Depression and the Lie of the “Real Self”

[Content note: depression and suicide] Mitchell of Research To Be Done has a fantastic post up about this idea that when you’re on psychiatric medications, you’re not “the real you.” I’ll shamelessly quote about half the post: This is just a for the record, for everyone, whether you’re talking about antidepressants or any other form …

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May 26 2013

Small Things You Can Do To Improve Mental Health In Your Community

[Content note: suicide, mental illness] A few weeks ago Northwestern lost yet another student to suicide. There’s been pressure building all year for improved mental health services on campus, and I think that pressure will soon culminate in real, helpful changes on campus. At the same time, some have been saying that what we need …

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May 10 2013

Self-Diagnosis and Its Discontents

There’s a certain scorn reserved for people who diagnose themselves with mental illnesses–people who, based on their own research or prior knowledge, decide that there’s a decent chance they have a diagnosable disorder, even if they haven’t (yet) seen a professional about it. I understand why psychologists and psychiatrists might find them troublesome. Nobody likes …

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May 04 2013

Criticizing Psychiatry Without Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater

So, I read this article in The Atlantic called “The Real Problems with Psychiatry” and…I’m torn. The article is an interview with this guy Gary Greenberg, a therapist who has previously written a book called Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease and has now followed that up with The Book of Woe: …

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Apr 27 2013

Living With Depression: Strength

[Content note: depression] Half a year ago I started a series of posts about living with depression in order to help people understand what it’s like to have it beyond just the DSM symptoms that you always hear about. Then I moved to FtB and got super intimidated and didn’t want to write it anymore. …

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Apr 14 2013

Lessons I Learned From Depression

I am not my GPA, weight, debt, scars.

[Content note: depression] People struggling with mental illness (or any sort of illness, or anything crappy, really) are constantly exhorted by well-meaning people to find the “silver lining” in their experience. This often takes the form of tropes about “learning who your real friends are” or “learning how to fully appreciate life” or “understanding what’s …

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Mar 26 2013

All These Years I Thought I Was Just Lazy

[Content note: eating disorders/weight loss stuff] My arms are on fire. When I woke up this morning I felt the burn immediately. I’ve been stretching and moving them around all day, simultaneously wincing and savoring the feeling because it tells me that I’m getting stronger. I’m on spring break right now and have been taking …

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Mar 14 2013

Does Telling People to “Think Positive” Actually Help? An Informal Survey and Some Protips

Positive thinking is the bane of my existence. Not because I can’t do it, but because I’ve so often been exhorted to do it in the most unhelpful of ways. I’m someone who prefers to talk mostly about the neutral or negative aspects of my life to friends and family because I don’t want to …

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Mar 09 2013

Blaming Everything On Mental Illness

The Associated Press has revised their AP Stylebook, the guide that most journalists use to standardize their writing, to include an entry on mental illness. Among many other important things that the entry includes, which you should read here, it says: Do not describe an individual as mentally ill unless it is clearly pertinent to …

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