fear Archive

My Thoughts on Guns as a Mentally Ill Person

Trigger Warning: Descriptions of violence, mentions of suicide and gun use.

As I watch mass shooting after mass shooting play out on CNN and Obama’s recent town hall on guns, the same themes play out over and over. The mentally ill are consistently blamed for gun violence as a convenient scapegoat to avoid facing the real culprit for gun violence: toxic masculinity and the sheer ease and availability of gun ownership in America.

Mental Illness and a Chronic Illness

On top of having OCD, EDNOS, BPD, and ADHD, I also have IDDM — Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

Basically, I’m a type 1 juvenile diabetic. And the mental health care system isn’t equipped to deal with that, so every time I go into the hospital, I come back with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Fun.

Four Ways to Help Show Support to a Loved One with a Phobia

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Nic Alea. In their first post with us, they give valuable tips on how to support someone with a phobia or other anxiety disorder. Thanks for sharing with us, Nic!

One thing that has hurt me over the years is my consistent effort to try and tell people that I have Ichthyophobia (Fear of Fish) and people not taking it seriously. Well it’s serious. This phobia, although somewhat uncommon, can trigger me anywhere, whether it’s a picture on the internet or in a museum, a fish market, or walking into a shop with a fish tank, shit can be really scary sometimes. It’s already hard to tell people intimate things about ourselves and it’s even worse when people don’t believe it.

A Different Approach

Once upon a time, there was me. I was a drunk. I wanted to die. I couldn’t handle the way I was living anymore. So I went into a recovery house. I failed. I went to another one. Three years into sobriety I had a mental breakdown. Things have been fucked ever since. But through it all I’ve also had this eating disorder, see. So it’s not enough to try to get my life back from mental illness. I’ve got an eating disorder too.

DBT Skills: Emotion Regulation

This is the final installment of the DBT Skills series. I want to say a special thank you to Breyonne for her hard work in writing this series – I know it will be useful for so many of our readers!

When I first heard the words ’emotion regulation’, the first thing I thought was, Oh great. Another therapist trying to tell me that feelings are just feelings, they can’t hurt me, they can’t kill me, blah blah yadda yadda. And I’ve been to enough therapy, enough counseling, enough self-help meetings to know this, even if only theoretically. So I wasn’t prepared to learn a whole lot from this module. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Needles, Fear, and T

Trigger Warning: for those afraid of needles.

I have a fear of needles.

It is a pretty common fear. It kind of makes sense. I mean, needles do hurt, often just a tiny bit and but sometimes quite a lot, depending on what they’re doing. Plus, they invade some of the most private parts of our bodies and remove parts of us or put new things inside of us. It’s creepy. And people don’t always ask permission before they put needles inside us (although they almost always should). Needles can help us, but they can also harm us and/or reveal things about us that we may not wholly want to know. Needles can be violating.

Naming Names – Putting Agoraphobia Into Words

I still don’t know how to talk about agoraphobia. I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain it to people since I was 16 years old, but I’ve been largely unsuccessful at putting it into words. I’ve mostly just stayed quiet about it and used vague “anxiety” euphemisms to describe why I can’t hang out / go to work / go to class / go grocery shopping / whatever, and have also spent a lot of time struggling to come up with “legitimate” ways to account for what I do with my time while NOT doing these things, especially since spending [lots of] time alone or in my “safe zones” is actually super positive for me. For almost 20 years, I’ve had no concept of how to talk about this enormous part of me that has both limited me in humongous ways and also shaped me into the wonderful weirdo that the people close to me know and love.

Are You Afraid of Me?

Do I scare you? Does the way I talk worry you?

I’m not talking about intimidation. I’m tall, and I’ve always been told I’m stronger than I realize – usually just after hurting someone without realizing it, but that’s not what I mean.

Group Therapy – Panic and Anxiety, Session 2

This is the second of an 8 week series reviewing panic and anxiety from a group therapy point of view. It is based on the group therapy services available through Langley Memorial Hospital. Feel free to follow along and answer the questions posted in each section.

Session 2: Don’t Fight Panic

Did You Know:

  • Resisting or fighting initial panic symptoms is likely to make them worse.

DBT Skills: Interpersonal Effectiveness

I have to admit that social interaction and communication are not my strongest points. This is a relatively new development for me, or so I thought. I used to think I was great at using my voice, at standing up for myself, at being in social situations. Today there are a number of barriers that prevent me from being effective in interpersonal communication. One of them is mental and emotional health issues. It’s really hard for me to connect with others when I don’t feel so great myself. Another is acute hearing loss, in both ears, coupled with tinnitus. And finally – and probably the most overwhelming for me, especially when it comes to asking for what I need and speaking up for myself, or saying no when being asked for something – I was raised in an environment that didn’t really encourage me to use my voice under any circumstances. In fact, it was preferred if I was invisible, or at least that’s how I translated it.