Anxiety, panic, and ask.fm harassment

Dana Lane Taylor tweets at @danaequality and blogs at Dana Lane Taylor, where this first appeared.

[Trigger warning: suicidal ideation, harassment, stalking, vile transphobia]

I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder about 10 years ago. My disorder leans more towards the panic side.  If you haven’t been diagnosed with this disorder, you really don’t know how debilitating it can be. Continue reading Anxiety, panic, and ask.fm harassment

Real life OCD

Rachel blogs at Funny Grrrl and tweets at @FunnyGrrrl

(TW: for discussion of suicidal ideation, overdosing, and intrusive thoughts.)

Unlike TV OCD, which tends to err on the ‘not unreasonable, if excessive’ side (cleaning fruit thoroughly, not wanting to get dirty), my OCD is ridiculous. It is unreasonable and excessive. Continue reading Real life OCD

On being the crazy feminist in the room

Kristin tweets at @kristincraiglai and blogs at ShutUpLucille.com She is also a feminist life coach practising in Toronto.

I have a hard time saying that I’m disabled. I feel like that’s a term I’m not allowed to use, like I’m not disabled enough to use the term without being told off for co-opting a marginalized identity. I imagine that many people living with mental illness have similar internal struggles. But if you were to ask me how my mental illnesses (C-PTSD, social anxiety and depression) restrict my ability to function in the world I would tell you that I have to think carefully about the probability of being triggered before I go anywhere unfamiliar. I would tell you that I often have to suss out where I will run and hide if I get triggered or overwhelmed. I would explain that I have to bring a collection of items out with me in the hopes that they could help ground me in the event of an “episode”. I would also tell you that I am constantly assessing new acquaintances for how safe I think they are. If I have a breakdown will they get impatient or irritated with me? Will they be compassionate? Will they condescend to me and treat me like an injured kitten? Will they try to solve all my problems by offering insultingly obvious advice? Or will they just ignore it because my mental illness makes them uncomfortable? It’s not always easy to tell and I’ve been surprised more than once by a “friend’s” lack of compassion. As for work, how many work places are truly willing to accommodate an employee who sometimes has to call in triggered? How many employers would even hire someone if they knew that they had a history of mental illness? And who’s going to give me the flexibility I need to be able to attend appointments necessary for my treatment? Continue reading On being the crazy feminist in the room

‘Psychotic’ used to mean evil

Dear Mr Elliot,

I am writing to express my concern at the phrase: ‘For the sudden eruption of trolling, rape threats and 24-hour psychosis into my timeline has been a reminder that evil exists in the world’, in this article by Paul Mason: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/leave-twitter-facebook-paul-mason?CMP=twt_gu

 

Psychosis is a serious medical condition, which carries a heavy burden of stigma. I have repeatedly faced unwarranted exclusion and discrimination because of my own diagnosis. Equating psychosis with ‘evil’ is profoundly unhelpful.

 
I and others tried asking @paulmasonnews about this on Twitter, he responded with phrases such as ‘[psychosis] unleashes ppl into manic verbal attacks’ https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/status/370195102637240320

but this is not a symptom of psychosis. In fact psychosis is more likely to occur with symptoms like formal though disorder or thought withdrawal, which tend to cause people to talk less.

I would appreciate it if you would please consider appending a note to the article correcting this misuse of a medical term, in view of the damaging effects of stigma and discrimination on people who experience psychosis.

Thank you,

Ceri/@tiredlegs

Eating disorders and women’s roles

Olivia tweets at @nenfeataiko and blogs at Why Do They Do It?

[Trigger warning: discusses eating disorders, without numbers.]

Often when we hear about feminism and eating disorders we hear things like “the media’s focus on thinness is causing eating disorders!” or “unrealistic beauty expectations are the cause of eating disorders!” As a feminist, a woman, and someone with an eating disorder, I find these kinds of statements offensive. The real relationship between gender expectations and eating disorders is far more complicated than that. Continue reading Eating disorders and women’s roles

This Week in Mentalists – The Fementalists Take Over Edition.

The World of Mentalists

Hi, Zedkat (@stfumisogynists) from The Fementalistshere! I’m an intersectional feminist and full-time mentalist. I also write at my own blog (occasionally), which can be found here. As I discovered when I was writing this, this week’s unofficial theme is the impact of marginalisation on mental health. Hope you find it interesting! And thanks for having me.

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People with mental illness are capable

Ceri tweets at @tiredlegs. Here she write to the York Post with regards to a letter they published about mental illness.

 

Ken Holmes’ letter of the 19th July about Members of Parliament with
mental illness displays only his own ignorance and bigotry. About a
year ago, four courageous MPs, from both the Conservative and Labour
parties, stood up in Parliament to talk about their own experiences of
mental health problems, including obsessive-compulsive disorder,
anxiety, depression, and post-natal depression. Parliament has a
specific budget dedicated to supporting MPs with mental illness. I
personally know doctors, nurses, teachers, probation officers, church
ministers, and many other people who take responsible roles within
their communities, despite having mental health problems.

In York, almost 14 people in every hundred have depression each year,
significantly worse than the England average of below 12 in each
hundred. York also has significantly more hospital admissions for
mental illness per head of population than the England average. The
York Press should support the many York people who experience mental
illnesses, not publish poorly informed letters mocking a group of
people who are protected by Equalities legislation.

May God grant Mr Holmes wisdom to understand what mental illness
really means, and compassion for those affected by it.

Source for statistics about York:
http://www.nepho.org.uk/cmhp/index.php?view=E06000014

It is because I feel

Sam blogs at Left at the Lights and tweets at @SamAmbreen

[Content note: Discusses child abuse and racism]

It’s been a while since I locked my bedroom door. There really is no need with just the two of us in this big house but not so long ago, this didn’t matter.  When I was in the room, the door was always locked. I spent 23 hours of a day in this room, the window barely open to let in some fresh air. I knew my aunt was downstairs, running her business, pottering about and this gave me a little comfort, sometimes. Mostly though, I was in on the inside, counting as I inhaled, holding briefly, exhaling for a set amount of time. I spent most of this time trying to remember how to breathe. Continue reading It is because I feel

Dear York Press

Below is a copy of a letter sent to York Press regarding a letter published in their letter section. It was emailed to newsdesk@thepress.co.uk. If you feel strongly about this issue, I would encourage you to write to them yourself. Feel free to use the below as a template letter. – Z

Dear York Press,

I write with regards to a letter published in your letter section on Friday 19th July 2013. In it the writer, Ken Holmes, details apparent statistics that mental illness will affect 1/10 people in this country. Aside from this statistic being incorrect – actual estimates put the number somewhere between 1/4 and 1/6 – he then goes on to infer that this means that approximately 65 MPs are suffering from some form of mental illness. This is where the problem lies. The implication that he seems to be making is that suffering from a mental illness would in some way (unspecified) make a person unable to perform the duties of office as an MP and help run the country. He provides no evidence for this assertion and so one can only assume that this conclusion is based on pure prejudice against those with mental illnesses.  In fact, many people with mental illnesses are highly successful and perfectly capable of running homes, lives, businesses, and, indeed, the country. Prejudice against those with mental illnesses still runs rampant in this country, despite the best efforts of mental health activists seeking to humanise and de-stigmatise those with mental illnesses. You have done nothing to assist these efforts and have in fact chosen to publish something that simply furthers bigotry and prejudice. This is an awful shame.

It is hugely disappointing that you felt this was an appropriate letter to publish. I hope that you will do something to rectify this situation as soon as possible.

Best,

Zoe