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Tag Archive: depression

Jul 18 2014

Depression and Self-Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a term you probably know, but if you don’t, it refers to the act of telling and convincing someone that their feelings or perceptions are not really true. In the context of interpersonal relationships, gaslighting is considered to be an abusive behavior, as it can render people incapable of trusting themselves and their …

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Jul 17 2014

A Primer On Atypical Depression

At CONvergence two weeks ago, I and a few other people did a panel on myths about mental illness. It was really great, and I hope that there will be a video of it up eventually. At one point, I tangentially mentioned atypical depression, a type of depression that is sometimes contrasted with melancholic depression, …

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Jul 05 2014

Depression Is Not Sadness (Again)

[Content note: mental illness, depression, anxiety, suicide] When I think about the frequent charge that therapists and psychiatrists and those who work with them are trying to “medicalize” “normal” emotions like sadness and fear, I think that people don’t really understand how emotions like sadness and fear can be distinguished from mental illnesses like depression …

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Jun 25 2014

Are Celebrities Responsible for Modeling Good Mental Health?

[Content note: depression, mental illness, suicide] My newest piece at the Daily Dot is about Lana Del Rey, mental illness, and what we expect from artists and celebrities. Singer Lana Del Rey has recently reignited an age-old discussion about the glamorization of depression and suicide among (and in) young musicians. In a Guardian interview she has since tried to distance herself from, Del Rey focused on …

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May 23 2014

On Hating Yourself, And All Of Your Selves

[Content note: depression] The self, as everyone learns in an introductory psychology class, is not a stable or definable entity. “Self” is not a biography or a fashion style or a set of identity labels–it is something more contextual, more situational, more fluid than that. Selves shift depending on who we’re with and what we’re doing …

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Apr 25 2014

Can You Be Happy for 100 Days in a Row?

The 100 Happy Days project.

“Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?” the website wants to know, taunting me with its cheery font and yellow color scheme. No, I can’t. “You don’t have time for this, right?” the next line asks rhetorically. I’ll answer anyway. I have time. I, despite my grad program and 3-hour commute, have …

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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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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 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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