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Category Archive: psychology

Apr 09 2014

Disrupting Depression’s Negative Feedback Loop

[Content note: depression] Recently I went through a spot of depression. I’m not sure if I’d call it “An Episode Of Clinical Depression” or not; when you have a personality that already meets several of the diagnostic criteria for depression and you’ve had it since your earliest memories, it can be hard to tell what …

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Feb 24 2014

Religion vs. Mental Illness, A Bit More Concisely This Time

Chris Stedman, author of Faitheist and blogger at the Religion News Service, asked me to comment on why atheists should stop calling religion a mental illness for a piece he published today. I ended up giving him a way longer comment than he necessarily wanted or needed (#bloggerproblems), so I thought I’d publish the full …

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Feb 17 2014

I Don’t Demand Respect Because I’m Upset; I Demand Respect Because I Deserve It

At some point in my life, probably in college, I decided that I was going to (mostly; when I’m not too scared to speak up; when I can think of the words to say, etc.) stop taking shit from people. So, online, I often say things like, “Actually, I wasn’t asking for advice, thanks!” and …

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Dec 25 2013

Against Role Models

Whenever a famous person does something of which the general public disapproves, much is often made of that person’s status as a “role model” and how it influences the public’s judgment of their behavior, and whether or not it is time to revoke that status. It seems that celebrities cannot escape being seen as “role …

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Dec 17 2013

Some Evidence Against Shame and Stigma as Weight Loss Motivators

The interaction between perceived weight and article type.

[Content note: weight/size stigma and discrimination] It is considered self-evident by plenty of people that shaming fat people for being fat gets them to stop being fat. That’s why a common reaction to body/fat positivity campaigns is that they’re going to make people think it’s “okay” to be fat. As opposed to…not okay. However, even …

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Dec 07 2013

What This Depression Survivor Hears When You Call Religion A Mental Illness

[Content note: mental illness, suicide, abuse] Some atheists love to compare religion to mental illness, or directly call it one. I won’t link to examples; it’s pervasive and has probably happened on this network. While there may be some useful parallels between mental illness and certain types of religious experiences, calling religion a mental illness …

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Sep 30 2013

“What do you have to be depressed about?”

If you have experienced depression while living what appears to be a fairly nice life, you’ve probably had someone ask you, “What do you have to be depressed about?” Sometimes people who ask this question are genuinely curious because they think that depression is necessarily “about” something and they just don’t understand what, in your …

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Sep 29 2013

Of Pranks and Playboy: The Pros and Cons of Online Hoaxes

Header for Playboy's fake party guide.

If you were online at all last week, you probably came across a Playboy article called “Top Ten Party Commandments.” The article was in Playboy’s usual style, but rather than emphasizing your typical dudebro disregard for women’s feelings, opinions, and preferences, it’s all about how you can’t truly have a good time without consent and …

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Sep 18 2013

Why You Shouldn’t Use Mental Illness As A Metaphor

And speaking of the dilution of language, I’m going to talk a little about how the language of mental illness gets co-opted regularly. Sometimes this is done completely innocently, as metaphor. “The weather’s really bipolar today.” “I’m kinda OCD about this, sorry.” “I’m so depressed about the Blackhawks losing!” Sometimes it’s a little less innocent, …

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Sep 10 2013

[repost] At The Edge Of The Known World: What It’s Like To Consider Suicide

[Content note: depression and suicide] Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I wrote this post for it a year ago, and I decided to repost it today because I still think people should read it and I doubt I could write another one that’s better. Somebody, somewhere in the world, kills themselves every 40 seconds. …

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