sadness Archive

“What do you have to be depressed over?”

Ugh. Stop. Seriously, stop. I don’t get why people keep asking why I’m depressed, or what I have to be depressed over. Really, it’s a dumb question. Ok, though, in fairness, maybe it’s not actually their fault – society is probably to blame here. People say that something is depressing, or they’re depressed, and what they really mean is that something happened, and it sucks, it’s a bummer, they’d prefer it didn’t happen.

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.

The Value of Your Life

The value of life, the value of your life, is one that will be questioned in variables and determined by the abundance of self help books with anonymous authors who will tell you a few basic things. These things, as I have learned through the many books “gifted” to me or sent to me in depressive episodes are this;

A life worth living, a life worth value, consists of:

  • A deeply engaged social life.
  • A job that pays high and treats you well.
  • A deep connection and a non wavering relationship with family members.
  • Extroversion and all it’s many gifts.
  • Love and fear of the Lord
  • A healthy diet and a light weight.
  • A loving heterosexual, romantic partner (unless you have Borderline Personality Disorder, then you should stay away from romantic or non-romantic attachments for the safety of others)
  • An adult attitude and an “adult” handling of emotions.

DBT Skills: Distress Tolerance

I’m in a DBT group right now. It’s comprised of four modules, and I just finished my second, which is distress tolerance. Of all the things I could possibly say about it, the most accurate would be that it’s a lot of work. Think of it this way: it’s a lot of practicing things that are aimed at reducing distress, regardless of what mood or state of mind one might be in. Thankfully my emotions are still pretty distressing on a regular basis, so I was able to more or less have something to compare the results to.

Emily Carr, I Love You

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Winter Hammell. Her first post with QMH.org is an elegant story about pouring her feelings about mental illness into a single portrait.

i drew the #6 sable brush across the canvas with the steady hand of a cartographer, laying down a bold stroke of phthalo blue lightened with a tip of titanium white.

Holding the palette on my left thumb, clutching three brushes between my fingers, and one clenched in my teeth, i could taste the rich, luxurious oils. Drunk on the exotic perfume of linseed oil and rectified turpentine, i stroked and dabbed the canvas of gesso-primed Italian linen.

How to Bury Our Dead

We would like to thank our (first!) special guest author, Amber Dawn, and Arsenal Pulp Press, for allowing us to republish this short story on QueerMentalHealth.org. Grief is a very important issue for mental health, and Amber Dawn does an amazing job at addressing how we can deal with grief within the LGBTQ community. This short story can be found in the anthology, Second Person Queer (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008). Amber, you are a powerful writer, and we at QueerMentalHealth.org would like to invite you to come back anytime.

Everyone dies; we can agree on that. And although we probably don’t really like to, we can also agree that the mortality rate for queers is higher than for happily married heterosexuals. Doesn’t it seem a little off that we—with our rich array of community rituals and traditions—don’t have customary means to mourn? Exactly how do we bury our dead?

Redefining My Dreams

A terrible crime has been committed, a brutal murder. The suspect? Mental Illness. The victim? My dreams. In the past 3 years, I have gone from a successful professional with a promising career and a wonderful loving partner, to an emotional wreck, unsure if I am even able to hold down a full time job anymore.

World AIDS Day, 2011

Today is the day we pause to recognize those who live with, and have passed away from, HIV and AIDS. This is an issue that is close to the heart of the LGBTQ community. Though more and more people are living longer with HIV, we have a long way to go still. HIV affects millions of people worldwide, both queer and straight.