validation Archive

Trauma is Trauma

Trigger Warning: graphic description of psychotic episode, violence

Does it change your view to know that I live with schizophrenia, and when the police came, there was no evidence anyone had broken in, no blood, no man? That’s where it gets tough. This experience, and other similarly intense experiences, are discounted because the general population doesn’t see them as ‘real’.

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.

Make Recovery Your Own

I always say ‘I’ve been in recovery for…’ and then either go on to say ‘Just about two months’ if I’m talking about my eating disorder or ‘Just about seven years’ if I’m talking about alcoholism. I’m not sure why. I guess because I have come to believe that recovery is only recovery if I’ve been ‘clean’ for a length of time. I’m not sure why; I do not hold others to that standard. I’m pretty much alone in that category.

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.

A Word About Fat Panic

Fat panic. Ever heard of it? I like to think of it as the extreme mindfuck our society is preternaturally preoccupied with. It is one of the systems of oppression men and women find themselves targeted by whether they know it or not. It is the phenomenon that causes people far and wide to become so obsessed with the idea of being thin – or being fat – that they will stop at nothing to expend all possible resources – time, money, energy – to either lose weight, or to ensure they never get fat. Because of course, there is nothing worse in the world than being fat: this is the central theme associated with fat panic.

Okay, so I have BPD…now what?

Google ‘BPD support resources/groups’ – or something similar – and the results can be pretty daunting if you are someone who actually has been diagnosed with Borderline Personalty Disorder. Most of the supports are for people who have been ‘affected’ by people who have a diagnosis of BPD. And what they have to say isn’t […]