stand up to stigma

The zodiac signs as different types of Slytherins

very much inspired by this post 

Aries: The House Mother
Mum friend to the extreme. Will take first years under their wing and act as a role model for appropriate behaviour, but will also defend members to the death if another House so much as tries to bully another Slytherin.

Taurus: The Potions Master
Embodies the stereotype that Slytherins are good at Potions. Finds most magic too flimsy and unpredictable, but loves the stable, secure, cause-and-effect nature of potion brewing. Always comes top.

Gemini: The Muggle-born
Has one foot in the Wizarding world and the other in the Muggle world. Will challenge House values about purity in quirky but clever ways; uses a pen instead of a quill. 

Cancer: The House Purist
Comes from a long line of Slytherins. Will not tolerate slander of their family name. Says their House is like their family and means it. Writes back home daily. 

Leo: The Snake In A Lion’s Clothing
Outwardly appears altruistic, but will stop at nothing to be the best. Teacher’s pet - and their grades show it. Slytherin Prince yet has a multitude of friends across the Houses.

Virgo: The Background Slytherin
A model representative of Slytherin yet shows no House pride for fear of vulgarity or boasting. Other students have no idea it is they who post the common room password that seems to magically appear every fortnight. Always looks put together in uniform.

Libra: The Pure-blood 
Comes from a respectable, wealthy Pure-blood family. Enjoys the luxuries their status affords but resents the conflict. Secretly wishes they did not have to go home over Christmas. Hosts exclusive House parties in the dungeons. 

Scorpio: The Prefect
Wishes they could lead the Slytherin Quiddich team and cheer in the Slytherin stands at the same time. Wears silver and emerald even when out of uniform. Takes the House Cup too seriously.

Sagittarius: The House Advocate
Constantly working to end the stigma around Slytherin house. Unafraid of standing up for their House and will do so with a sharp, sarcastic wit. Will boast their House colours outside of Hogwarts and loves going to Hogsmede in between classes.

Capricorn: The Slytherin Of All Trades
The best at what they do - and they do pretty much everything. Most House points are attributed to them. Manages to take extra classes, train as a Keeper on the Quiddich team, and tutor other Slytherins. 

Aquarius: The Anti-Slytherin
Do not tell them what to do. Hates tradition and would be the most likely sign to bring members of other Houses into the Slytherin common room. Works to abolish the House system altogether. 

Pisces: The Snake Skin
Other Houses cannot understand why they are sorted into Slytherin. Emotionally manipulative; can’t trust what surface they put forth as they constantly shed their skin depending on who they speak to.

Well, now that I’m a therapist trainee, I’m finally more immersed in how mental health professions think and act. And I’ve gathered quite a lot of intel on how and why they spread the stigma against BPD.

I thought about posting my working theories here, but it’s also really distressing for people with BPD to read. It’s quite disheartening too, and I don’t want anyone deciding against looking for a therapist or psychiatrist because some of them are ableist. I promise you there are amazing clinicians out there who stand up to the BPD stigma… there are also many who don’t. It’s a dialectic, I guess.

If you are interested, let me know. I might write something up if people are interested.

@ Chris Wood: thank you for being so amazing and helping so many people and changing so many lives for the better. Thank you for helping so many seek help they desperately needed. Thank you for standing up and breaking the stigma around mental illness and thank you for normalizing therapy. Thank you for your kind heart and your pure soul and loving spirit. Thank you for everything.

The double stigma of 'passing as normal' and validity - on mental health issues

It’s a funny thing, compensation for neurodiversity and mental health issues.

When you’re good enough at it, you might ‘pass as normal’ so much of the time that when you don’t, people get surprised and don’t really know what to make of it. And then comes the worst part; telling people about whatever it is that sometimes shines through that wall of compensation that you’ve built around you. It’s not the worst part because you’re ashamed; no, it’s the worst part because of the frequent reaction of “I would never have guessed!” or “You?? You of all people, you who are so…”. Because this is the part where you feel doubly questioned; you’re questioned about temporarily not ‘passing’ but also about whether you really have a valid reason behind it. Like you were just looking for excuses for not living up to something. Like you can’t possibly have such difficulties, because they don’t show except when you’re too tired, exhausted or worn out to keep your compensations up.

And so you stand there with the double stigma: not always quite 'passing’ despite all your efforts, but also being questioned about whether you really have anything to struggle with. A double denial of your own person. A double need to live up to certain expectations in order to be accepted (or rather “be able to be categorised in a way people can understand without questioning”).

In the end, most of us will either burn out, get worse in our symptoms, live our life struggling to keep it up just a bit more, or finally find a place (externally or internally) where we don’t have to compensate constantly, but still get access to doing the things we want to do with our lives (which will sometimes be closed to us if we didn’t compensate to quite a high degree). Or we’ll settle for less, for a less demanding environment but also less use of our true skills, but for people who have compensated their entire lives, that’s easier said than done. For many, that ends in depressions that can colour your whole life.

And so when we don’t seem to have any problems even though you have been told we have, know that we are extremely creative in hiding it, in distracting everyone from it, in making it into a joke and that we have been doing this our whole lives. You’re not meant to be able to tell, but if we tell you, do not question the validity of what we say. We’ve already spent years being questioned. When we reach the point that we don’t joke it away and you actually see a fraction of what it would look like if we didn’t put effort into it, don’t think that we want pity or use it as an excuse for something not being perfect. We’re not perfectionists. We’re afraid. And we don’t act like you would expect. That’s the whole point of what we do. Because we fear what doors would close if we did. And we refuse to give the people who have told us that “people who have/ are X can’t…” right. We set our own limits. Unfortunately, we learn to ignore our preset limits on the way. And so sometimes, it all goes splash. Except to you, it might look like a very neat, controlled splat…

(Yes; the term 'passing as normal’ is problematic. I’ve used it anyway, because at times, that’s how it feels. And it’s highly subjective.)

i don’t have the time/energy to make a detailed post about this rn, but something that really bugs me is that most people don’t know what ocd is. i honestly had no idea i had it until i got diagnosed, as i only knew it as the stereotypical “likes to be clean and organized” trope and that didn’t really apply to me at all. i’m super messy! my symptoms are/were things like eating problems, disturbing violent thoughts, feeling guilty for sleeping, becoming agitated and self-destructive when my plans got interrupted, believing i was evil, and being obsessed with atonement, religion, and being good. 

it’s not uncommon for people with ocd to be misdiagnosed with bipolar or schizophrenia, because often our thoughts are difficult for others to follow and can involve religious or supernatural fixations and magical thinking (eg “divine forces want me to do this or they will kill my family”). 

like i don’t have a problem with self-diagnosis when it’s the result of careful thought and research, but it’s annoying when someone says they’re “so ocd” because they organized the cupboard. especially because the same people who say this aren’t likely to stand up against the stigma facing people with more socially unacceptable symptoms.

Unfortunately I have to bring this to attention. I have gotten reblogs and messages about this, and I have noticed the way some people talk about the borderline diagnosis on here.

Borderline personality disorder is surrounded by much stigma, yes. Unfortunately, there are many people in society and the psychology community who have stigmatized AND misunderstood the disorder and its symptoms, which has resulted in a misdiagnosis of many people who also may not even have it.

Examples of this would be a woman who may portray abusive behavior and is thus diagnosed with borderline, because of the assumption that people with bpd are abusive. Or even just any patient who portrays some sort of unfavorable behavior and is thus diagnosed with borderline. Additionally, symptoms are misunderstood often, which results in more misdiagnosis.

BUT just because borderline has much stigma surrounding it does not make it any less valid illness and diagnosis. It still EXISTS. Of course, the stigma is not true, but it is still a real mental illness. Calling it a “waste basket” or “fake” diagnosis does not make it one. It just shows thats another part of the stigma against the disorder. You know what other disorders were/are stigmatized like this for a long time? AIDS, leprosy, etc.

I don’t understand how this is hard understand. People have actually tried to argue with me that because there is stigma surrounding it, that it must not be an illness at all. That “it’s simply a diagnosis used to stigmatize patients and explain unfavorable behavior” it’s like.. They understand the stigma part of it, but not the fact that it’s still a REAL DISORDER.

What is horrible about this is they think they are doing everyone a favor. They think they sound like they are standing up against the stigma of mental health by saying, “That Borderline label is only hurting people! Stop using it! Let’s erase it!” Uhm???

They don’t view BPD as an illness. They view it just as badly as those who stigmatize it– they stigmatize it in their own way, even. It’s like some derogatory word to them and nothing more or less.

Another example would be a couple of messages I got from sex workers who attacked me for mentioning that impulsiveness is a borderline personality disorder symptom, which can include impulsive sex. Apparently, they read that as, “It is impossible to be a sex worker without having borderline as a result. Sex work is impulsiveness and that is all.”
Their argument was it isn’t a diagnosis and isn’t valid because of this. With their logic, they were explaining to me paraphilic disorders and hyper sexuality in mania in bipolar disorder apparently doesn’t exist either.
So good for you? You don’t have this symptom, but there are many people with bpd who DO struggle with impulsiveness, feelings of worthlessness, or are survivors of sexual abuse, who use sex as a form of self harm, or for a sense of self, or a release, and even hate themselves after. Like literally they were saying that because there are sex workers that there can be no such thing as any issue with sexual behavior and symptoms that causes distress. Like people with BPD often also struggle with shifts between decisions and desires because of splitting and the symptom reactions.

Again, I had a few people who were transgender FREAK OUT at me for explaining “identity and sense of self” based symptoms in bpd. Uhm, I DID NOT mention “being trans/questioning” was part of that?? At ALL???? Apparently that cant mean self image and self direction symptoms. I was so infuriated to see a couple people accusing me of that.
Again, their argument was that the only purpose of BPD existing is to stigmatize. That it’s merely a label, and I should stop making posts about BPD because it is rude to the LGBT community and sex workers.

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER IS A REAL ILLNESS. THE STIGMA SURROUNDING IT THAT HAS BEEN USED TO DEMONIZED BPD PATIENTS AND OTHER PEOPLE DOES NOT MEAN IT DOESN’T EXIST. THE ASSHOLES WHO ARE PREJUDICE AND STIGMATIZE IT ARE THE PROBLEM HERE.

This is big part of the stigma in BPD that is WAY too ignored.
Sure, BPD is horrendously stigmatized: manipulative, liars, abusive, violent, etc. They are notably vastly mistreated in the mental health community.
But people need to realize that ignoring borderline as an actual illness and saying the purpose of BPD is merely because of stigma, is A PART of that stigma.
You’re not being any better than the doctors who stigmatize the diagnosis and use it that way.
This view that BPD is merely a hate label and not really a disorder just because of the stigma surrounding it, is doing nothing but contributing to the very things they’re claiming to hate: bias, prejudice, and stigma against mental health.

Soon as you start to reblog my posts and message me claiming that I am saying being trans is a mental illness, then you can back off. I not once ever said any of that, nor have I ever, EVER hinted that. That is disgusting.
To even think that some people have invalidated BPD and said it doesn’t exist, ignored its symptoms, and accused me of discriminating….
Seriously, get your head out of your ass, tumblr.

Don’t erase a fucking mental illness. Change the views on it. Erase the stigma.

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Neil Hilborn does a Ted talk.

It’s okay to talk about your mental illness. Don’t be afraid to tell someone. You are not alone in your struggle and it’s likely that you know someone who is going through the exact same thing. Stand up to stigma. Let’s talk about mental health.

“I will not deny it.”

These five words are some of the most impactful that Carol delivers during the entirety of the film. Faced with losing her daughter or shutting away a part of herself, she finally stands up against the opposition she has been facing for the entire story and says “enough.”

The reason that this is so powerful is because Carol is standing up to not only her husband, but also to the stigma that surrounds LGBT individuals during that time period. Carol does what so many of us wish we could do: declares her identity in the open. Even more than 60 years later, there are people that are forced to conceal their sexual orientation out of fear of the possible repercussions that they could face.

Carol faced several of them, but despite all that she chose to stand up and declare the truth about who she is. She does not allow Harge to push her back down into silence; she demands that she be treated with respect and dignity. The amount of courage that she displays is remarkable, and in that moment it felt like Carol was making a stand for all of us-those of us that face discrimination for who we choose to love to those of us that shroud a part of ourselves and wait, wait for the moment that we can break free.

Why? Because I Won't Let Stigma Stop Me.

Why raise your hand and say you need help when it’s easier to do nothing?

Why admit you’re struggling if people are just going to call you weak?

Why tell people you feel you have more flaws than hairs on your head?

Why even try to get out of bed when there doesn’t seem to be anything to get out for?

Why tell your friends you just had a really bad flu for two weeks when you actually didn’t even want to leave your bed because you didn’t give a shit about anything?

Why? Because some fights are worth having. Don’t let the stigma trap you in your bed. Stand up. Stand up tall against those thoughts holding you down. Stand for guys and girls who don’t yet have the strength. Stand for us all.

And spit. Spit in the face of stigma and say, not today. Not today, motherf*****.

STAND UP TO STIGMA

Hey everyone! Right here at the University of Waterloo there is a new student initiative starting called “Stand Up to Stigma”! The mission of this initiative is to reduce the stigma (the negative attitude and behaviour) surrounding mental health by increasing awareness and encouraging people to start talking about mental health. Here on campus on October 1-4th there will be booths on campus where you can pledge to our goal and also get your photo taken with your message about mental health on the chalkboards. In addition, there will speakers on the 4th to share their experiences. (Notably Alicia Raimundo who is a Uwaterloo alumni who did a talk at TEDxWaterloo that really resonated with me. Here is a link:http://youtu.be/blSkkwcy4uo)


1/5 Canadians experience a mental illness in their lifetime. I am part of that statistic. I can not emphasize enough how important it is to let people know that they are not ALONE and there is HOPE for you. By reducing the stigma and starting a conversation we can get those who are struggling on the road to recovery.

So c’mon Waterloo, don’t you think it’s time we had a talk about mental health?

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Being a person who suffers from mental illness is hard enough without having 99% of society not understanding at all. We need to stand up and speak out about how we feel, and decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness/health.

On the never ending subject of antidepressants and mental illness.

I have been debating with myself since I made the decision last night whether or not to post this. I do realise this Tumblr is not my personal blog, nor do I plan on making it into that. Part of me just wants to create a relationship with my followers and understanding of each other – rather than just being a creator and posting only about Lights.

As most of you know I do suffer from various mental illness. I am not ashamed to admit this, nor should anyone in the world around me be. I am currently diagnosed with major depressive disorder, severe general anxiety, social anxiety, OCD, panic attacks and acute insomnia. I am also currently in recovery for severe-self mutilation in various forms and suicidal tendencies. And we are still trying to figure out whether or not I have borderline personality disorder.

I always joke around that I’m like a mental health booklet and if you need to know anything just ask me because I tend to know the ins and outs. I can joke around and not be ashamed of my disorders. I am incredibly proud to stand up against the stigma attached to mental illness and put an end to the mental health system’s flaws that they still have even in today’s modern society. I will never stop fighting for humans like me. For we are just that – human.

I say all this now, but due to my horrific past traumas (which is quite a long story that I have decided to leave out of this post), I have a hard time not getting knocked down. The truth is I’m an insecure mess. I despise myself more than anything on this planet. I can’t look in the mirror longer than five seconds without either having the urge to punch it or just simply burst into tears. I refuse to get a job because I am terrified of what society will think of me because of my disgusting physical appearance and personality. I even refuse to seek help because of the judgement professionals will give me.

Why am I like this?

Well, since I was eight I have had nothing but negativity from everyone else, except my family who have always stood by me. I have had my peers (older and younger), teachers, adults, my abusers (I used to call them my “best friends”, but they were just that – abusers) and even mental health professionals. On that note I have had strange encounters that are meant to make me feel “beautiful” but only make me want to scrub my skin off with how dirty I feel. I have also had professionals in the field do this act on me, trying to make me feel “beautiful” by hinting on me and treating me like a piece of flesh for their bodies. This act doesn’t do anything it makes it worse, actually. I still look in the mirror and view myself as a washed up disgusting creature. Fear and loathing is all I’ve ever known, but I’m working on that.

I could go on and on about my struggles, but this is not about me, this is actually about the stigma and how it has affected me in recent events.

If you have been reading my updates lately then you should know that I was going off my antidepressants. I was under the belief they did not work. I wanted to believe they did not work. Whilst I have no problem with anyone else taken medication and I do not pass judgment if someone does – I refused to have myself be someone who is forced to spend the rest of their life taking a little white pill to feel somewhat alive. And yet with this constant fear came the hard reality I needed to face.

Last night I experienced the worst depressive episode I have had in over a year. I felt constantly uncomfortable and I wanted to spend eternity in damnation. I wanted it to all end. Withdrawal may cause these certain feelings, but this was not withdrawal. I knew it wasn’t. I had been experience the physical side of it, in other words hell on earth. It passed, by last night it was gone. Instead I was left with this pit of darkness inside of me and these endless mood swings and rage I hadn’t felt in over a year. I wanted to punch someone, then I wanted cry – but by the end of it all I just wanted to harm myself, quite possibly end my own life. I know that feeling. I felt it for six years before.

That’s when I realised the hard truth.

I needed my antidepressants. They didn’t take everything away, but they took the worst of it. Instead of having this constant dark pit inside of me it sparked up every now and again.

That’s when it hit me – there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Antidepressants are just like any other medication. If I had diabetes and I had to take medication for the rest of my life, I would not be ashamed. So why do I have to feel this much shame for taking antidepressants?

They are saving my life. They are stopping me from killing myself – they are stopping my mental illnesses from killing me.

Do not let the stigma stop you from getting the help you need. There is nothing to be ashamed of. One in four people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime. You know someone suffering, and the hard reality is they are most likely doing it in silence. The stigma kills lives. Society is killing innocent people because they are terrified of what others will think of them the moment they get help.

You are a human being and you deserve to live a full and happy. Mental illness is something I will spend my entire life battling, and I’m not ashamed of that. I refuse to be ashamed.

End the stigma attached to mental illness. Save the lives of those suffering by letting them know it’s okay not to be okay.

It’s okay to be lost – for I am lost too.