“Looking at mental health practice right now it feels sadly devoid of the revolutionary, imaginative and creative thinking that we take for granted in so many other areas of our lives. In a very real sense the outcomes for patients with long term mental illnesses like schizophrenia are getting worse, not better.”—Professor Richard Gray
'Unfinished care revolution' lets disadvantaged groups down
The “unfinished revolution” of care in the community has failed the most disadvantaged people in society, according to a report.
As the government embarks on a wholesale shake-up of care, the report warns that a lack of services in the community means that resources are still directed to hospitals which are “untherapeutic and dangerous places”…
Just a heads up, because I’ve been getting a lot of asks lately on the topic: I am not a doctor, and even if I was, it would deeply negligent of me to advise about medications via the internet. I’m sorry but I just can’t help in that capacity.
I won’t publish your question because I can’t put a trigger warning before it.
What terrifies you about antidepressants? What kind of therapy did you try? Therapy is not an instant fix: it won’t work within 2 sessions… it requires perseverance, which I know is hard, but it sounds like you might have a good support system to help?
Andrew, who runs the wonderful zine ilivesweat (check it out!) gave me a heads up on this interesting and important article about DC Comics’ portrayal of the mentally ill (particularly those with psychotic diagnoses).
The role of the media in encouraging stigmatizing attitudes towards the mentally ill should not be underestimated - especially comics, which have a high readership of adolescents (an age range at which psychotic symptoms most often first present). Media presentations may shape not only the behaviours of the public but also inadvertently the reactions of the disordered themselves: Link et al (1999) suggest that the very act of perceiving the mentally ill as dangerous translates to fact regardless of contrary evidence because “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”, (Thomas & Thomas, 1928).
Greg et al (1994) analysed UK media content during a one month period and found that two thirds of items dealing with mental health issues forged a link to violence. Two fifths of participants believed mental illness to be associated with violence and cited the media as their source. Some even accepted this view against personal evidence. Not only are violent stereotypes a concern, but also moralistic and demonising interpretations of senseless crimes as indicative of a sinful nature (Corrigan & Watson, 2005).
Consistently maligning the mentally ill as deviant, violent, evil, and determined to overthrow or hurt the ‘good guys’ (i.e. the neurotypical) serves to stigmatise and further alienate the mentally ill from mainstream society. It constructs a culture of shame around mental illness. It deters the mentally ill from seeking help. It pushes them into struggling alone. It is offensive. It is unnecessary.
Why can’t the explanatory narrative surrounding ‘bad guys’ in comics be that they are just bad? Why do they have to be mentally ill? Why can’t more of the good guys (like Starman) be mentally ill? ("The way it’s depicted so often with villains is that the guy is bad because of his mental illness. That mental illness completely defines him, and that’s just not how it is in real life.”)
"Too often, people with severe mental illnesses are fobbed off with drugs alone. There are plenty of other treatments proven to work, but a poll by my organisation, Rethink Mental Illness, found just 16% of people who have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are getting access to all the treatment recommended by Nice for their diagnosis.”
Hello chaps! My new job as outcome researcher / blogger for a psychology practice affords me the opportunity to come up with some interesting tweets for you all about psychology and therapy. I’m starting on taking the twitter reins today, so click through to follow! Hope to see you there!
"If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life…"
“Schizophrenia,” Elyn Saks writes, “rolls in like a fog, becoming imperceptibly thicker as time goes on.” Saks is a professor of law, psychology and psychiatry and the behavioral sciences, and she’s written widely on mental health and the law. But her knowledge of schizophrenia is deep and personal. Though many of her colleagues and students are just now learning it, Saks herself suffers from the disease. It emerged when she was in college and strengthened in graduate school. She suffered serious episodes of delusions and paranoia, at times mumbling to herself in hallways and forgetting to eat and bathe. Remarkably, despite several hospitalizations, Saks managed to graduate as class valedictorian at Vanderbilt and complete studies at Oxford and Yale law school. She’s told her story in a new memoir. It’s called “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness.”…
"You know, I had a bunch of symptoms when I was growing up. I think a lot of them were within normal limits. You know, I was fearful. I had some phobias. I had some obsessions. I had some kind of intense fears that, in retrospect, might have been a kind of beginning of the almost poking through, but the first real clear sign of it was when I was 15 or 16, and I was sort of walking home from school precipitously. I left, I just suddenly got up and walked home, and I felt as if the houses were sending me messages and getting all weird and frightening, and I was terrified… a psychosis is not like an on-off button but a kind of a dimmer switch; it ranges in degrees of intensity. And by this time I know my illness fairly well and it’s not uncommon for me to have a kind of transient psychotic thought and say, `Oh, that’s just my illness acting up.’ And one thing that’s stood me in good stead is, even when it gets worse, when I am really, really believing the crazy things, I always know that other people will think they’re crazy, and I’m motivated to not appear crazy so I’m able to kind of make my way in the world in that way. And then occasions where it’s just so intense and so profound, I just know not to be around people. Because I, you know, I don’t know what I’ll say. So for the most part I can control what I say even though I really can’t control what I think…"
Psychiatrists have four terms, all beginning with the letter “A,” that they use to describe negative symptoms:
Alogia refers to difficulty communicating; people with alogia don’t speak much.
Affective flattening, also known as blunted affect, reflects a lack of emotional expression displayed by many people suffering from schizophrenia.
Avolition is a medical term used to describe the inability to form or initiate plans and to motivate oneself. It is pretty much the same as apathy.
Anhedonia describes an impaired ability to enjoy life and find pleasure in previously interesting activities. While it is not part of the definition of the disorder, it is an important associated feature of it.
These occur aside the “positive” symptoms of schizophrenia most people are more familiar with, such as visual/auditory hallucinations.
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.”—Stephen Fry
1. Do less. This is my productivity mantra, and it’s counterintuitive. I actually don’t believe in productivity, but instead believe in doing the important things. Do less, and you’ll force yourself to choose between what’s just busywork, and what really matters. Life then becomes effortless, as you accomplish big things while being less busy.
2. Having less is lighter. Start asking yourself if you really need everything you have, or if you just have it out of fear. Start to let go of what you have, so it doesn’t own you. And then, as you have less, you feel lighter. It’s wonderful.
3. Let the little things go. People who struggle often fight over little things. We obsess over things that don’t really matter. We create resistance instead of letting things glide off us. Let the little things go,breathe, and move on to the important things.
4. Clean as you go. I haven’t written about this for a long time, but early in the life of Zen Habits I wrote about the habit of cleaning as you go. Instead of letting the cleaning pile up, put things away when you’re done. Wash your bowl. Wipe the counters clean as you pass them. Sweep up dirt when you notice it. By cleaning a little bit at a time, as you make messes, cleaning up becomes a breeze, and it’s never difficult. By the way, this applies to everything in life, not just cleaning.
5. Make small, gradual changes. Most people are too impatient to follow this advice — they want to do everything at once. We have so many changes to make, but we don’t want to wait a year for it all to happen. As a result, we often fail, and then feel crappy about it. Or we don’t start at all, because so many big changes is intimidating and overwhelming. I’ve learned the hard way that small changes are incredibly powerful, and they last longer. Gradual change leads to huge change, but slowly, and in a way that sticks. And it’s effortless.
6. Learn to focus on the things that matter. This is implied in the items above, but it’s so important I have to emphasize it. Swimming (or any physical activity for that matter) is best done when you do only the motions that matter, and eliminate the extraneous motions. Stop thrashing, start becoming more efficient and fluid. You do this by learning what matters, and cutting out the wasted activity.
7. Be compassionate. This makes dealing with others much more effortless. It also makes you feel better about yourself. People like you more, and you improve the lives of others. Make every dealing with another human being one where you practice compassion.
And not all of these illnesses are obvious or visible.
I would like add that it would be great to see people within movements & even here on tumblr, to actually acknowledge this. When I read things like: “well, you should get out there an organize a movement then.” or the very egotistical “writing about social justice doesn’t matter unless you’re out there working your ass of for it in real life”.
Take a minute to check your privilege.
ALL OF THIS
for real. you have no idea how much it takes for some of us…to just get up in the morning sometimes.
The notion that an ”ally” is something one is rather than something one does often seems problematic to me. I understand that progressive folks want to make marginalized people feel safe around them, and that they see public self-definition as an ally as a shorthand means of doing do. But I wonder whether that identification as an ally takes something that is more of a process — the ongoing struggle to confront one’s privilege — and makes it static.
Being an ally then becomes something you are, not something you do. And when you fail, as we all inevitably do, it will be that much harder to admit your failing to yourself or others. If ”ally” is critical a part of who you are, then being called out can come to feel like an attack on your self, or like a personal accusation of dishonesty and misrepresentation.
So self-identification as an ally can set up expectations of infallibility that are unrealistic and damaging. Furthermore, we have to be aware of the possibility that our apparent desires to make others feel safe through this public self-identification are partially reflective of our own desires to be seen as good people, to distance ourselves from the “bad” members of our social groups. Thus, I think we need to examine and perhaps sometimes even resist the urge to advertise our support for others through the language of alliance.
“Privileged people will demand facts. Statistics. Your stories about oppression? Your experiences? They are not enough to convince privileged people that what you have experienced is real. After all, you are not a white man. Your experiences don’t automatically gain the “normal and natural” status. Your experiences may not be credible at all. They have no reason to believe your stories, because again, as white men, they don’t and can’t share them. Nevermind that all they have is anecdotal evidence, their personal experience to back up their beliefs. They are white. And male. And many other normal, natural things that make their opinions and experiences normal and natural…and yours kind of aberrant and not trust-worthy.”—
I should add to this that privilege is not just about being white, or a man. There’s also neurotypical privilege, cis privilege, hetero privilege, and they’re connected in intricate overlapping hierarchies…
So I think I’ve mentioned before here that my dad is a carer for a 19 year old guy with autism and psychosis who lives alone under a Community Care Order with 24 hour care, with the aim of graduating to independent living one day. For the sake of fluidity of this story, let’s call this guy James.
Yesterday my dad was on the day shift when a lady rang saying she was a psychologist and could she book in to see James tomorrow at 1.30pm. My dad replied that she’d have to speak to James himself about that. “Who am I speaking to now?”, she asked. Dad explained that he was James’ care provider. “Can I not book this appointment in with you?”. My dad explained that no, she couldn’t, because he’s only there to assist James in safely living how he chooses and, if he decides at 1pm tomorrow that he wants to go visit his brother, he can’t and won’t hold him in the house against his will until she shows up. “How irregular” she says. My dad asks her if she wants to speak to James himself about it. Eventually she reluctantly agrees. (A psychologist who doesn’t want to talk to her patients? Que?).
So, my dad wanders into the kitchen to find James and tells him there’s a psychologist on the phone wanting to speak to him. Standing there in his pants smoking a cigarette and frying sausages he turns around and says “Tell her to fuck off”.
I honestly wasn’t familiar with that term before reading the article, but holy crap. How can he not understand how that’s not just incredibly offensive, but outright hurtful? I’ve lost a good bit of respect for him here. :/
I know. The whole thing is a bit confusing, because he’s claiming he doesn’t use the word to mean what other people take it to mean (i.e. the actual definition of the word) yet he is talking about his ‘right to offend’ so I’m not really sure what his point is. Lauren Laverne (a radio presenter in the UK) questioned this too. Not really sure where he’s going with it.
Besides which, the definitions that he seems to be associating with it still ultimately stem from its original use, which he doesn’t seem to understand either. This ‘words change, get over it’ attitude irritates me, because yes, language does change, but in this case he’s seemingly reclaiming an offensive word that has been largely phased out and understood to be derogatory and harmful, and it still means what it always has done.
It also didn’t pass my notice that he referred to people who were offended by his ableist language via twitter as “idiots”.
I’m so disappointed in Ricky Gervais and his latest twitter argument where he is defending his use of a very derogatory and ableist word. The word he uses comes from an old term used to describe someone with down’s syndrome.
It may ruffle a few feathers, but some people’s feathers need a little ruffling.
And remember: just because someone is offended doesn’t mean they’re in the right.
You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you. But no one has the right to never be offended.
And never just try to offend either. That’s churlish, pointless and frankly too easy. But always say what you mean. Be honest. No one should ever be offended by truth. That way you’ll never have to apologise. I hate when a comedian says “Sorry for what I said.” You shouldn’t have said it. You shouldn’t say it if you didn’t mean it and you should never regret anything you meant to do. As a comedian I think my job isn’t just to make people laugh but also make them think. As a famous comedian I also want a strict door policy on my club. Not everyone will like what I say or find it funny. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s enough comedians who try to please everyone as it is. Good luck to them, but that’s not my game I’m afraid.
The point he seems to be missing is that using words such as the one he currently favours is that it’s not just about ‘being offended’. It’s not a case of people not liking something because it offends other people. It goes beyond that. Using ableist and derogatory language isn’t just wrong because it’s ‘offensive’, it’s wrong because of the serious damage it causes and the ongoing stigma and ignorance that disabled people face every day of their lives. It undoes any progress that’s been made. Gervais claims that he doesn’t use the word to mean what it used to mean - so, what, that’s alright, just because the user decides they have given the word a different meaning? Words don’t just mean what the speaker intends them to mean, because words have literal meanings! I could reclaim any ableist, racist, derogatory word I like, and throw it around, backing myself up by saying I don’t attach the same meaning to it anyway and that I have the right to offend you? I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work like that. I dislike this ‘people’s feathers need ruffling’ and ‘you shouldn’t be offended by the truth’ stuff, too. Why? Why do you need to ruffle people’s feathers over sensitive subjects? Why can’t people be offended by truth? A lot of horrible, horrible things happen in the world. Just because they’re real, people can’t be offended by them? How does that work?
Ableist language, just like racist or homophobic language, causes real damage. It is not just offensive, but it is actively harmful, and that’s the point I’m making. You don’t just offend, you cause lasting damage, too.
There’s a Telegraph blog that puts the argument into a bit more context here.
Also, Richard Herring wrote a blog post about it after he opposed the use of the word.
Richard Herring is most excellent:
"A few years ago I was discussing with a disabled person how I should refer to people who weren’t disabled - "non-disabled" seems like a double negative, "abled" sounds daft and does not feel like a fair description of most people (I don’t feel particularly able). She replied that the term she used was "the not yet disabled" which is funny, but also incredibly revealing. It was a bit of a "mote falling from the eyes" moment for me I remember. If we don’t die suddenly we are all going to gradually become more and more disabled, so you’d think that self interest would make us all anxious to fight for equality for those with disabilities or at least improve disabled access and increase the numbers of disabled toilets. But just because we are unable or unwilling to envision our own gradual demise we pretend it’s someone else’s problem."
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought, there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”—Frida Kahlo
Trauma survivors with PTSD often experience problems in their intimate and family relationships or close friendships.
PTSD involves symptoms that interfere with trust, emotional closeness, communication, responsible assertiveness, and effective problem solving.
Survivors may experience a loss of interest in social or sexual activities, they may feel distant from others, and they may be emotionally numb.
Partners, friends, or family members may feel hurt, alienated, or discouraged because the survivor has not been able to overcome the effects of the trauma, and they may become angry or distant toward the survivor.
Feeling irritable, on guard, easily startled, worried, or anxious may lead survivors to be unable to relax, socialize, or be intimate without being tense or demanding. Significant others may feel pressured, tense, and controlled as a result.
Difficulty falling or staying asleep and severe nightmares may prevent both the survivor and partner from sleeping restfully, which may make sleeping together difficult.
Trauma memories, trauma reminders or flashbacks, and the avoidance of such memories or reminders can make living with a survivor feel like living in a war zone or like living with the constant threat of vague but terrible danger.
Living with an individual who has PTSD does not automatically cause PTSD, but it can produce vicarious or secondary traumatization, which is similar to having PTSD.
Reliving trauma memories, avoiding trauma reminders, and struggling with fear and anger greatly interfere with a survivor’s ability to concentrate, listen carefully, and make cooperative decisions. As a result, problems often go unresolved for a long time.
Significant others may come to feel that dialogue and teamwork are impossible.
Survivors of childhood sexual and physical abuse and survivors of rape, domestic violence, combat, terrorism, genocide, torture, kidnapping, and being a prisoner of war often report feeling a lasting sense of terror, horror, vulnerability, and betrayal that interferes with relationships.
Survivors who feel close to someone else, who begin to trust, and who become emotionally or sexually intimate may feel like they are letting down their guard. Although the survivor often actually feels a strong bond of love or friendship in current healthy relationships, this experience can be perceived as dangerous.
Having been victimized and exposed to rage and violence, survivors often struggle with intense anger and impulses. In order to suppress their anger and impulsive actions, survivors mayaboidaaa avoid closeness by expressing criticism toward or dissatisfaction with loved ones and friends.
Intimate relationships may have episodes of verbal or physical violence.
Survivors may be overly dependent upon or overprotective of partners, family members, friends, or support persons (such as healthcare providers or therapists).
Alcohol abuse and substance addiction, which can result from an attempt to cope with PTSD, can destroy intimacy and friendships
In the first weeks and months following a traumatic event, survivors of disasters, terrible accidents or illnesses, or community violence often feel an unexpected sense of anger, detachment, or anxiety in their intimate, family, and friendship relationships. Most are able to resume their prior level of intimacy and involvement in relationships, but the 5-10% who develop PTSD often experience lasting problems with relatedness and intimacy.
Yet, many trauma survivors do not experience PTSD, and many people in intimate relationships, families, and friendships with individuals who have PTSD do not experience severe relational problems. People with PTSD can create and maintain successful intimate relationships by:
Establishing a personal support network that will help the survivor cope with PTSD while he or she maintains or rebuilds family and friend relationships with dedication, perseverance, hard work, and commitment
Sharing feelings honestly and openly with an attitude of respect and compassion
Continually strengthening cooperative problem-solving and communication skills
Including playfulness, spontaneity, relaxation, and mutual enjoyment in the relationship
What can be done to help someone who has PTSD?
For many trauma survivors, intimate, family, and friend relationships are extremely beneficial. These relationships provide:
(1) Companionship and a sense of belonging, which can act as an antidote to isolation
(2) Self-esteem, which can act as an antidote to depression and guilt
(3) Opportunities to make a positive contribution, which can reduce feelings of failure or alienation
(4) Practical and emotional support when coping with life stressors
As with all psychological disturbances, especially those that impair social, psychological, or emotional functioning, it is best to seek treatment from a professional who has expertise in both PTSD and in treating couples or families. Many therapists with this expertise are members of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, whose membership directory contains a geographical listing and an indication of those who treat couples or families and PTSD. Survivors find a number of different professional treatments helpful for dealing with relationship issues, including individual and group psychotherapy for their own PTSD, anger and stress management, assertiveness training, couples communication classes, family education classes, and family therapy.
When I’m feeling a little bit powerless, there’s a few things I do to make me feel more in control. If I’ve got some time at home, I do something with a visible or tangible result - I do a coupla loads of washing, I vacuum or sweep or tidy. So I can tick something off the to-do list in my mind. An achievement.
If I don’t have time at home, I take something with me. Sometimes it’s something dumb - a bottle of nail polish to hold in my hand, or a ribbon to run through my fingers. Something calming and familiar and meditative, like worry beads.
And sometimes, I wear red tights and stompy boots because they imbue me with something - a kind of confidence, maybe. They make me feel capable, and the tiniest bit tough, and remind me that I can do this.
Please take a moment to sign this petition in support of protection of the NHS. If you’re not in the loop about what’s going on in the UK at the moment with healthcare, do read this article published in The Guardian last month: The NHS Reforms Still amount to Privatisation.
i implore each and every one of you to sign this petition. the tories’ dismantling of the NHS impacts each and every one of us and it must be stopped before it’s too late. the first lords vote was on wednesday but we still have time to turn this around if we all fight the privitisation of our healthcare system.
you’ve seen what private healthcare has done to the working classes in america - that is what we are heading for if this doesn’t get stopped.
I wish more people were aware of this. Within the first month of school I have been in 3 separate situations where a lack of a trigger warning caused a panic attack in a school setting, and no one should have to go through that.
“To claim CA, you have to spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a person. Taken at the minimum level of care, CA per hour works out at roughly £1.58. Yvette Cooper called £1.58 an hour a wage replacement benefit. A bit of Googling and I find that a Care Nurse hired to look after my father would earn around £13-16 an hour. Carer’s UK has a Care Calculator on their webpage to calculate how much Carers save this country. Again, calculated at the minimum amount of hours (5 hours a day, 7 days a week = 35 hours) a Carer saves this country £32,850 a year. That is £29,962 more than what I get in CA a year. Remember, that is at the minimum level of care a carer must provide to claim CA. Many carers work for long hours that exhaust them both physically and emotionally with no respite. The money they save this country could very well register in the hundreds of thousands. All the while they get £55.55 a week.”—
for the love of god you can’t BE OCD. “oh man, sometimes i can be so OCD.” You are technically saying you have the tendency to be obsessive compulsive disorder. I hate this and “I’m sooo ADD!!!” shut up and learn how to properly speak.
Corruption Scandal of the Day: A former NYPD narcotics detective has admitted in court that the practice of planting drugs on innocent civilians to meet quotas was a pretty common one.
Stephen Anderson, under a cooperation agreement, testified at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny that he had helped police officer Henry Tavarez meet his buy-and-bust numbers by fabricating cocaine possession charges against four men arrested in a Queens bar in 2008.
“Tavarez was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” Anderson told the court. “I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy.”
Justice Gustin Reichbach asked Anderson if he observed this practice — known as “flaking” — taking place “with some frequency,” to which he replied “yes, multiple times.”
“It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” Anderson said.
Questioned about any concern he had for his victims, Anderson responded that there was very little reflection going on at the time. “It’s almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they’re going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway.”
Anderson and Taverez’s scheme was exposed when security cameras caught them framing Jose Colon and his brother Maximo. New York paid the siblings $300,000 in a false arrest suit settlement.
Major health insurance companies seeking steep premium increases in New York have submitted memos to state officials to justify the higher rates. Now they are fighting to keep the memos from the public, saying they include trade secrets that competitors could use against them.
“How these companies are setting these rates is vital for the public to know, and should not be treated like a state secret,” Benjamin M. Lawsky, the state superintendent of financial services, said on Tuesday. “Transparency will promote healthy competition and enable the public to rigorously comment on proposed rates, two goals that all of us should favor.”
Mr. Lawsky, whose new agency oversees the state insurance division, has ordered that the memos be made public. His decision, which will go into effect by the end of November unless the companies obtain a court injunction, ends a longstanding policy that exempted the insurance companies from public access under a “trade secret” exception.
The decision followed a battle by a consumer advocacy coalition, Health Care for All New York, which had first sought information for a policyholder in Queens who faced a 76 percent increase in his family’s Emblem Health premium. (The fee was later raised by 270 percent.)
Last year, the then-State Insurance Department gained new power to reject rate increases proposed for about three million residents covered by individual and small-group policies. It has since been flooded with consumer protests over proposed premium increases, many of them double-digit percentages. The department does not control rates for customers in large-group plans.
In a typical message, an unemployed 61-year-old, informed that Aetna wanted to raise her $1,932 monthly premium as much as 19.7 percent, wrote: “I worry every day how I will keep a roof over my head in the future. My teeth are all broken and I cannot afford to get them fixed because all my $$ is going to Aetna. So actually you could say that I am neglecting my health in order to be able to pay for my insurance.”
Aetna, like other carriers, has said premium increases are driven by the actual cost of health care. But consumer advocates dispute such assertions, while complaining that it is hard to challenge the increases without access to the company filings.
LOL, insurance companies. If you want to be fucking assholes, it’s okay to show us how you do it! What are you ashamed of?
And conservatives — how do y’all go about defending bullshit like this? Just wondering, because you seem to be against any government regulations that would keep outrageous behavior — like unwarranted double-digit percentage premium increases — from happening.
Scent. Burn scented candles or incense. Pick some fresh flowers or herbs for your home (basil = heaven). Fry onions or garlic if it’s your thing (it’s definitely mine). If you can afford to, buy some essential oils that make you feel relaxed. You can wear them as perfume or dilute them with water and put into a spray bottle for your bed sheets. Bake cookies. Sit in a local coffee shop. Buy or make some fancy scented soap or lotion and use it liberally.
Touch. Are there textures that you find soothing? Collect them and keep them somewhere. Cuddle with a stuffed animal, a pillow, or a person. Go out in the grass with bare feet. Or to the beach (I love sand between my toes). Have a long, soothing bath or shower. Masturbate. Finger paint with your body as the canvas.
Sound. Go to the beach, or download/buy a cd of relaxing sounds like ocean waves (my favorite). Discover new music. Make a mix cd. Blast your favorite music. Sing along. Play an instrument.
Sight. Make an inspiration board. Redecorate your space. Find quotes that are the most helpful/inspirational to you and put them in places you’ll see them (ie. your walls). Go to a museum, zoo, aquarium, or another place that is visually stimulating. Change the lighting in your home/room (sometimes just covering a lampshade in a sheer colored fabric is enough) - this can make a huge impact on mood.
Taste. Try a new recipe or cook something familiar and comforting. Eat your favorite food. Eat juicy fresh fruit. Drink your favorite tea. Go to a restaurant, with a friend or by yourself (if you can), either a new one or your favorite one.
Self care activities:
Dance. In public or alone. Naked or clothed. Learn the dance moves from your favorite music videos or movies.
Write. Write yourself a letter (to your future self, past self, or for times of distress). Write someone else a letter. Write fiction or nonfiction. Write about something fun or ridiculous that happened to you, or something you wish would happen to you. Write erotica. Write poetry. Write an essay or a speech. Write a blog post or make a zine. Write down a list of things you like about yourself, and/or things that you’re good at.
Talk. Talk to your pet. Call a friend. Hang out with someone. Talk to a stranger. Go to a social event by yourself. Practice daily affirmations.
Exercise. Hula hoop. Go for a run, a hike, or a long bike ride. Go swimming or use your favorite equipment at the gym. Stretch. Practice yoga or pilates. Take an exercise class.
Go outside. Fresh air can do wonders. Walk around a familiar space, or explore a new one. Sit or lie in a park with a book or your imagination. Watch clouds or animals or other people. Blow bubbles or fly a kite. Go to a park with swings, and swing. Sunbathe. Tend to a garden or start one.
Learn. A new skill or new language. Read something that’s challenging. Watch a nature documentary.
Relax. Sleep. Sleep in. Stay in bed all day if you want/need to. Call out of work. Recognize the ways you’ve been pressuring yourself and try to let go. Do breathing exercises. Meditate.
Laugh. Watch a funny TV show or movie, or read a funny book. Tell jokes or learn new ones. Make funny faces at yourself in the mirror. Be goofy. Try laughter yoga.
Fun. Make travel plans. Play games, by yourself or with other people. Play with a pet, or go to an animal shelter and play with animals there. Go shopping, window or real. Play a sport. Dress up in clothes that make you feel fancy.
Beauty rituals. Get a haircut or do it yourself. Trim your bangs. Dye your hair. Paint your nails. Get a massage, pedicure, or other spa treatments if you have the money. Play with make up. Get a free makeover.
Use your hands. If you’re into it: knit, sew, embroider, cross stitch, draw, paint, take pictures. Weave, collage, reupholster a piece of furniture, build something, work on your car/bike, plant trees, go foraging.
Most importantly, GO EASY ON YOURSELF! Recognize your limitations and don’t overdo it. Don’t get too down on yourself for not getting shit done. Try to eliminate thoughts revolving around a need to be “productive”. If you need medication, please take it and realize there’s nothing wrong or “weak” about doing so. Recognize your needs and articulate them, especially when it comes to relationships with others. Realize there’s nothing wrong with being “selfish”. Cry when you need to. Identify & eliminate toxic people and behaviors from your life. Remember, you’re allowed to say no, and you deserve love too. Taking care of yourself and putting yourself first in a capitalist system is a form of resistance.
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”—
As humerous as this quote is, I can get behind this. Sometimes I think I’m slipping back into a depression and realise that I can clinch myself back from the edge by indulging in some serious self-care and removing myself from triggering people and situations. Obviously, that’s largely due to insight gained with remission but I cannot stress enough how great it is to have a self-care routine in place for when things look like they’re heading in a horrid direction.
The House of Lords has allowed the government's Health and Social care bill to proceed.
An amendment by Lord Owen that would have sent part of the bill to be examined by a special select committee - which some thought could derail the bill fatally - failed by 262 to 330. An amendment by Lord Rea that would have stopped the bill in its tracks failed by 220 to 354.
IF YOU’RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
for those who don’t know, i work at my university’s lgbt center. we have a smallish library which is woefully under-stocked and out-of-date. since none of my coworkers really care for books or libraries as much i do, i have made it my task this year to collect books i think need to be on our shelves.
in particular, i am looking for novels featuring trans* characters (especially intersex and genderqueer characters); non-fiction on intersex people; non-fiction on intersectionality (e.g. race in the lgbt community, sexism in the lgbt community); non-fiction on the modern sexuality spectrum (specifically books which candidly and accurately discuss asexuality, pansexuality and polyamory); fiction featuring asexual characters; and fiction featuring LGBT characters of color.
if you have ANY recommendations at all, please let me know!!
i will be collecting books until april, so there’s plenty of time to think it over!
(p.s. if you would like to DONATE any books, please send me an ask here. i’ll give you my shipping address.)