Monday Miscellany: No, Nuance, Normality

The low mood fuck-its. Image courtesy of Elodie Under Glass at Captain Awkward
The low mood fuck-its. Image courtesy of Elodie Under Glass at Captain Awkward

1. This is the single best introduction to self-therapy I’ve read. And I’ve read many of them. I mean, it includes advice like this:

take everything out of your Sock Collection and give all the lonely socks some sock friends and fold them up together like “heck yeah, I’m shipping these two socks. NOW KISS”

Shipping your socks: the secret depression cure. (No really, you want to read this.)

2.  Reading Otium will give you lots of dopamine! …or, it will give you a more nuanced and accurate idea as to how dopamine actually works.

3. Rationality can feel like a luxury.

Rationality requires agency. if you are living under a terrifying regime — either constructed by others, or your own mind — you can’t go to that brain-place where you make reasoned choices. It would implode you. You need to be preoccupied with self-defense, need to whittle yourself down for your own protection and sanity.

I think this is a thing we ignore, both in the context of abuse and the context of mental illnesses. When your brain is in gridlock, suppressed, under fire — you can’t make decisions in this broader quieter way.

4. And on that note, a reminder that my SJ Collection Tag tag on tumblr is where I stick my favorite social justice writing.

5. The normality trap is how to undo stigma for a narrow selection of the population that could benefit.

If you’ve ever worked in a hospital or support service for people with psychological or neurological difficulties, you’ve probably met lots of people who are markedly out of step with the mundane rules of social engagement.

They seem to talk too loud, or too fast, or too much. They can be full of fantastical things or fantasies. They may be afraid or angry, difficult or disengaged or intent on rewind-replay behaviours. Their dress can be notable for its eccentricity or decay.

So why don’t we see people like these in anti-stigma campaigns?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive fan of the great work anti-stigma campaigns do. Everybody is susceptible to mental health problems and the reason these campaigns are necessary is that they often go unrecognised by other people and instead of help, too often people receive misunderstanding and ignorance.

But there’s more to mental health than normality.

6. Definitions and categorizations of eating disorders are bad and psychiatry should feel bad.

With few exceptions, and across multiple methods of assessment, [anorexia] and [Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified-Anorexia type] were mostly indistinguishable. There were no differences on any demographic variables, self-report measures of mood, anxiety, perfectionism or other personality measures. Nor were there differences on interview measures of eating and general psychopathology. […] Participants with AN reported higher rates on two diagnostic items, that is, binge eating and purging, compared with those with EDNOS-AN.

7. A cognitive defense of ‘stimming’.


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