Hey, everybody! Happy Thursday. Now, today I had planned on doing a Coffee and a Chat. Remember last week I was like, “I have a great topic.” And I still do, but I’m holding onto it and I’m putting a pin in it for now. I will talk about it next week, but today I want to talk about an article that was written about a year ago, and I did a little research and there have been a lot of articles coming out like this in recent months and I don’t like it and so I want to talk about it. And this article, the one I’m gonna reference, is entitled “10 Signs Your Mental Illness Is Made Up For Attention.” I already hate it. Hated it. But, I want to go through each of these and kind of negate the points that the person who wrote this, which I believe is a woman, yeah, that she made. Just so those of you out there who are worried that people are gonna think that you’re doing it for attention, this can maybe help you set your head straight, so that you know… uh The message I want to get across is that when you reach out for help, when you actually speak up, when you shout about it, when you talk about it online, when you do all those things, It’s actually your way of saying, “Hey, I need help.” “I need support.” It’s a way of reaching out and I want to support that and I want to encourage that and the more that we talk about it, the less stigma there is associated with mental health, and getting help for it. So, without further ado, let’s go through all these ten bullshit things and talk about it! So, the first one is, “Your definitions of illness change all the time. One day depression means you can’t get out of bed, blah blah blah, and the next is you want to watch Netflix.” It goes on and on to talk about all these different things and how it can change. Well, no shit, Sherlock. Mental illness changes all the time. You’ve heard me talk about all these different diagnoses through the DSM and all the different things we have to meet, there’s like criteria, right? Well, the criteria that needs to be met, often times you only need to meet like three out of the seven, so it can change. I’ve talked about how depression could be “I ate too much”, “I don’t eat enough”, “I sleep too much”, or “I don’t get any sleep.” It varies person-to-person, and yeah, it can change day-to-day. That’s how it is. Number Two: “You’re constantly sharing shit about it on social media.” They talk about how someone’s like “I have anxiety” and they want to share about it. The thing that I am jealous of all of you youths out there, ’cause I’m thirty-two. For any of you in your teens, I’m super jealous of the fact that you grew up with the internet. I did not. It wasn’t something that really happened in my life until like high school, I want to say. And so, all of those times when you’re going through things and you think like, “Man, I’m really weird. Why do I feel that way? What’s happening?” There was no way to access. I actually used to look shit up in an Encyclopedia. That takes forever and you don’t get the answer that you want ’cause it’s all like scholarly and it doesn’t make any sense at that age. But, the great thing about talking about “shit online”, if that’s what she’s calling it, is the fact that we can talk about mental illness, mental health, what it can feel like, what it can look like, all those things, is that it gives us a forum and a medium to express it and to get some support and to know that we’re not alone with it. If I, as a teen, as like a middle schooler, that was like the worst time ever it felt like. I, as a middle schooler, could’ve had that, could’ve had the like, “Yeah that’s normal”, you know? “Everybody gets boobs at a different age, Kati. Just ’cause you don’t have any, it isn’t a bad thing.” Like if I’d get some of that support back then and understanding and knowing that I’m not alone, that would’ve gone a long way and I think everyone would agree with that, so talk about your shit online! Mental health related or not, It’s a great forum to get support and to recognize that we’re all in it together and we’re not weird or odd because of it. I think that’s really important. Now the third, is that you list your mental illness in your bio. A lot of people will say, you know, their name and then below be like “Senior in High School. Struggle with depression”, or “Eating disorder”, whatever. And they’re saying that that’s bullshit and that means that you’re doing it for attention. Now, yes, I guess that’s a way to give your mental illness attention and I would caution people against putting it in your bio because I don’t, I never want my clients to utilize a diagnosis as part of who they are, as like what makes them up. It’s something that they’re struggling with and working on and yeah, It is technically a part of who we are and what we’re going through, but it’s not all of you and there’s so many more interesting things to put in your bio, but if you created this online account as a way to get more mental health support, gain insight and education into what mental illness looks like and feels like, sure! Put it in your bio! If you’re joining a group and that group is all about mental illness or depression or anxiety or whatever, if it’s like a specific group, it should be in your bio anyways. So, it all really depends on the reason that you’re online and what you’re doing online and if that’s a way for you to shout out for help, I think that it’s perfectly fine. Now, number four, and this one really bothers me. All of these bother me. I’m not gonna rate them. They’re all terrible. Number four says “You use it to be an asshole to other people.” and then they go on to talk about how if you don’t call someone back, you blame it on your anxiety, or you’re saying you’re gonna show up to a party and you flake and they say that by blanketing it, you’re being an asshole to other people. If you’ve never had a mental illness, you don’t get the right to throw out words like this because those with social anxiety, let’s say, will plan on going to the party, will want to see everyone. Maybe a little nervous about seeing people they don’t know very well. Maybe they’re all dressed up, makeup on, ready to go, headed to the car, to the party, and they have a panic attack. What do you expect them to do? Just keep going? That’s not a possibility. And so, I want you to understand that just because someone flakes, doesn’t call you back, maybe says they’re going to show up someday, shows up like a half an hour late, that doesn’t mean that they’re an asshole. That means they have mental illness and it can be completely unpredictable. They’re doing the best they can, show a little empathy, be a better human. I’m just saying, okay? Now the fifth, this one- they all bother me. Says that “when it’s convenient, your illness takes a back seat.” and they talk about how you can like put on a smiley face and have a good time and be “fine.” That’s bullshit. That’s, again, not understanding what it’s like to actually have a mental illness. Just because we have a mental illness doesn’t mean that we can’t pretend to be okay for a minute because we don’t want to let that person know what’s going on because we maybe don’t know them that well. That’s all reasonable, right? I’m not gonna tell everybody about all of my business. Only the people that are closest to me and if I’m really struggling with depression or anxiety or an eating disorder, I don’t want to talk about it with someone that I know casually. I’ll pretend everything is fine. And when they ask me, I’ll say, “Yeah, everything is great! Everything’s been going really well.” and I’ll just bullshit my way through it because that’s my right as a human. I shouldn’t have to share with everybody. Number six. “You think that it’s controversial to talk about.” They say how “easy” it is to talk about mental illness and “the people who talk about it having a stigma are kind of just bullshitting themselves because Hello, It’s”- this was written in 2015, so she’s like “Hello, It’s 2015.” I don’t, again, don’t think they’ve had a mental illness or mental health issues, so they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. They don’t understand the judgmental looks people get or the fact that many of you have told me that you reached out to your parents and your parents say, “Ugh, get over it. It’s just a teenager thing. You’ll totally grow out of that.” or any other number of misunderstandings, misinformation out there and judgments that come along with it. The stigma against mental illness is real and it’s still there and yes, it’s getting better, and I’m so grateful for that, but It’s not gone yet. We still have work to do. Now, the next: Number seven is that “Even though your relationships have clear patterns, you don’t accept that it might be your fault.” And they go on to talk about how you blame it on the other person and that those with mental illness say, “I’ll find someone who finally gets me someday” and It’s never them taking responsibility for that relationship. Again, they don’t understand. Working on recovery is really hard. It doesn’t matter what it is. I think we’re all recovering from being a lesser version of ourselves, right? And so, if we’re on that path, it takes a lot of work to gain insight into our patterns, to actually recognize them. I remember when I first recognized one of my dating patterns from back in the day, and I was like, “Oh, my sweet Jesus. This would’ve been so helpful to know like five years ago.” But, of course, it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of, you know, working on the inside and spending time with yourself. Lots of journaling, lots of just intense internal work for you to recognize what patterns are happening in your life. For someone to say that if you don’t then that just means you’re making up your illness for attention? No, you need to be working your ass off and you’re just not quite there yet. You just haven’t recognized that those are the patterns and that’s not a bad thing. That doesn’t make you a terrible human, that just means you’re a work in progress like all of us. Number eight, “You constantly post baiting things so that people will ask you what’s wrong.” And she gives some quotes about things people posted. Of course! ‘Cause we’re looking for help. When has that been a bad thing? Why is it a bad thing to reach out for support. Yes, it could be more direct, but sometimes we’re too scared to put that out there. Often I find that a lot of you will tell me that you’re afraid to say, “Hey, I just really need help”, or “I just need some support”, but a lot of you will do that now and I’m glad that I can be a resource for that kind of support, but just because you can’t come out right and say, “Hey, I need some extra love today, guys” ’cause it feels a little too attention seeking maybe? That the stigma that’s still attached to mental illness stops us from saying it so instead we just share a little bit hoping someone will reach out? We’re still reaching out for help. And I think that that’s wonderful. Okay, Number nine. This may be my least favorite. Is that “you’re not really trying to get better.” How do you know, jerk who wrote this article? How the fuck do you know? It says, “maybe you’re taking medication” Uh, do you know how hard it is to get in to see a doctor, to actually tell them what’s going on, to get ,on a medication that works? That’s actually a lot of work! I would say that we’re already really trying to get better. Then they go on to say, “Maybe you’re in therapy, but you’re not doing anything behaviorally.” How do you know? Do you know how hard it is to change your behaviors and to change your patterns and the instincts that you have to do something? Do you know how hard it is to stop that? How much practice it is? Anyone in CBT or DBT therapy will tell you it is really, really hard. And if you make one change, one day, I applaud you. Because that is really hard work. First, we have to recognize what we’re doing and what we don’t want to do anymore. Secondly, in the moment we have to think of the other thing that we’re supposed to do that our therapist told us to do. And Thirdly, we’re supposed to do it. And that’s really hard. So, just because it doesn’t look on the outside like we’re trying, we could really be trying. So, that’s just bullshit. And then the last one which I’m not gonna get into too much ’cause it doesn’t even really relate to mental illness. They try to talk about how people who say their pansexual, demisexual, or any other kind of other part of the LGBTQIA+ community is that they’re just ruining the LGBT movement because there’s only gay, bi, straight, or asexual, you don’t need to make up your own label. Again, they’re not there. They don’t know. I don’t think that they should even be talking about it in this forum because if they don’t understand what the conversation is being had within that community then they shouldn’t put in their two cents. What the hell are they even talking about? How do you know that that doesn’t exist? Do you feel that way? Do you even know what that means? Probably not so, Silence! Anyway, I just really wanted to talk about this article and the fact that there are lots of others that have come out. I’m not gonna link them ’cause they’re just gonna make you upset, but know that mental illness is not something that we do for attention. Talking about it, verbalizing it, reaching out for help, speaking about it online are all great things. I know it’s hard. I know that it’s scary to talk about it, but if there’s a way that you can, keep doing it. Don’t let articles like this, don’t let people talking about it like this, you know, hold you back or put you down because they don’t know what it’s like. If they haven’t been there, they don’t know what it’s like. And if they can’t have empathy and understanding for other humans in a different experience, they’re not good people. They’re toxic. And they’re not good to be around and I wouldn’t listen to a word they say. So those are my thoughts. Made me really frustrated, this article, but thanks for sending it to me because I think it’s important as a community for us to keep talking about it and to keep supporting one another as we talk about mental health. I love you all and I have a livestream today! Didladee! At noon. This is coming out at 10:00 am. The livestream will be at noon Pacific Standard Time. Hop on YouNow. I’ll put my link [pew!] here or in the description depending on how excited I get about it, um and how clever I am at putting stuff across the screen, but I will be there at noon for an hour answering your questions and I would love to see you, okay? Talk to you soon! Bye!