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Tag Archive: mental health

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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Jul 22 2013

#FtBCon Wrap-up and Thank Yous

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Hopefully you caught at least part of our first-ever FtBCon this weekend; if not, here’s a convenient playlist of all of the things. I had a blast with it despite being chained to my computer for two and a half days; I met a bunch of people, learned a lot, and got to talk about …

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Jul 19 2013

What I’m Doing This Weekend! #ftbcon

FtBCon is almost upon us! Here’s a handy guide to everything I’m doing this weekend, aside from ALL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA. All times are CDT (UTC – 5). The rest of the schedule, with links to where all the sessions will be, can be found here. I’m hosting three panels for others (not speaking, …

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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 05 2013

[blogathon] Shit People Say To Future Therapists

Today’s my blogathon for the Secular Student Alliance! I’ll be posting every hour starting now until 6 PM central. Don’t forget to donate! To start, you get a rant! Sometimes I wish I’d kept my career plans a big secret. Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t constantly be having conversations that go like this: Me: …

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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 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 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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