Quick Thought #22 – Kate Middleton and Filling in the Blanks

Quick Thought #22 – Kate Middleton and Filling in the Blanks

Most of the time, we don’t know what people are dealing with, but even when we do know, they may react to trauma and stress in ways that don’t make sense to us.

That’s life. That’s being human; being mature means accepting and being comfortable with it – not trying to fill in all the blanks yourself.

You’ve Already Done Hard Things

You’ve Already Done Hard Things

We’ve already done hard things, but we don’t give ourselves credit for it. Typically, we do the opposite, blaming ourselves for the trauma or our mental health struggles, thus seeing ourselves as weak, the kind of people who can’t do hard things. That carries over into all aspects of our lives. We don’t take risks in jobs, relationships, etc. because we don’t think we’re capable and we don’t think we could survive failure.

Which is weird, given how much we have survived.

Anxiety and Depression as Evolutionary Response to Adversity

Anxiety and Depression as Evolutionary Response to Adversity

We evolved to feel depression and anxiety in response to difficult experiences because it serves a purpose. We’ve also evolved to depend on each other as a community. One without the other is going to go poorly for us, and I fear that is exactly where we are now. The large increases in rates of depression and anxiety, not to mention what seems like our complete inability to make a dent in the rates of suicide in the US, might just be because of this imbalance.

So be good to each other, and stay connected to each other. It’s what we need most in times of adversity.

When Trauma Response are Helpful – And When They Aren’t.

When Trauma Response are Helpful – And When They Aren’t.

In the big picture, the thing I know that I need to do is to be aware of when I’m in that mode and act accordingly. There can be some great benefits to hypervigilance and there can be some real downsides. If I’m aware of it, I can scan the environment as necessary without ignoring other important, but not dangerous, bits of information, and watch out for my own overreactions. I can consciously use the skill that I learned as a trauma survivor for my own good without it wrecking my day-to-day life or causing more anxiety.

It’s a tricky line to walk, and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always do it so well.

Are We Past Stigmatizing Mental Health Issues?

Are We Past Stigmatizing Mental Health Issues?

Nothing tells me that we still have a long way to go when it comes to stigma like learning about a clearly distressed young man getting killed on a subway while other passengers sat and watched. Because his situation was uncomfortable. His manic behavior made them uncomfortable and all of the compassion for other people who struggle with mental health issues went right out the window in this case. This wasn’t a well-put-together person speaking calmly, this was very different. The same core issue – mental health – but different results. One group is acceptable. The other not so much.

That’s stigma.