Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 05/10/2017

“Pretty” Is A Dangerous Word

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The sting of “pretty”

Our society very clearly communicates that pretty is everything. Pretty is skipping breakfast. Pretty is counting calories. Pretty is losing weight (and not gaining it back). Pretty is being told by friends that “you look so skinny.”

I know the sting of pretty. My body dissatisfaction and extreme dieting started at the age of 10, when my friend’s mom told me that I shouldn’t wear sweatpants because they made my thighs look large. As a fourth grader, I equated “large” to fat, ugly, and “unpretty.” From then on, whether it was trying on a smaller dress than I knew I could fit into, adding filters to my Instagram photos, constantly weighing myself, or comparing my body to my peers, I always found myself questioning my …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 09/7/2016

Combating Inequality In Mental Health Care

We need to talk about unequal access to mental healthcare.

There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.”

These words, originally written by C.S. Lewis, are painted on a wall in my apartment. My bedroom has become a sanctuary of spiritual healing and redemption: I practice yoga and meditative exercises while burning incense and floral candles. I boil water for tea in the kitchen and grow my own herbs and spices for recipes. I play soft rock and smooth jazz music aloud to create a warm, soothing space in my home. My home is where I run when I need a break from the complications of life and it’s where I thank myself for waking up every morning and leaving the past behind.

I …

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Awareness | Posted by Danielle P on 04/20/2016

The Truth About Helping A Mentally Ill Friend

It’s always best to offer help.

Depression is a living breathing monster that stalks America’s youth. It devours confidence, ruins relationships, and even ends lives. I’ve met this beast and seen the damage it inflicts firsthand. I’ve watched it dig its claws into someone I love, riddle holes in their mind, and pick them apart until there was nothing left.

When I think about her now, though, I see only the good. I don’t remember her cries for help — I hear her laughter instead. I don’t wish I could turn back time to linger on the “what ifs,” but to concentrate on her smile and the beautiful friendship we shared. But I can’t overlook that there was also a time when her pain was crippling. If only I had …

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Feminism | Posted by June S on 10/26/2015

My Experience Dating Someone with a Mental Illness

When I was 23 years old I dated two men at once. One taught me how I should be treated and the other taught me just the opposite. I regret neither relationship.

I met Noel first and he was everything I thought I wanted in a partner. He was smart, nice, and interesting and seemed to genuinely like me and care about what I had to say. We had a great first date: We ate brunch at a place he used to work. The food was really good. I remember that I ate avocado toast. He told me about his childhood. He said he grew up in Europe and moved to New York to become an actor about a year prior. I remember thinking he was really, really cute. As …

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Feminism | Posted by Meg H on 06/17/2015

The Truth About Women and Mental Illness: Are We Medicating the Condition or the Gender?

What exactly are we medicating?

What exactly are we medicating?

As the end of my senior year of high school drew to a close, my life began to change — not because I was starting a new chapter in my life, but because I was beginning a two-year struggle with what I would later find out was undiagnosed depression. During those two years, I suffered daily, endlessly questioning what had changed. Why was I no longer the upbeat, bright, and conscientious child that I had been for most of my life? Concerned for my well-being, my family alternated between the fear that they were losing their oldest daughter and frustration at my obstinate lack of energy and ambition. My relationships with friends and other people I loved suffered.

During my sophomore year of college, my …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 06/5/2015

How Teens Are Using Technology To Combat Mental Illness

TalkLife

TalkLife

There are plenty of reasons why far too many of the 1 in 5 teens who have mental health disorders don’t receive treatment. The stigma and shame that surround the disorder — especially as it pertains to gender stereotypes about mental health — is certainly a major factor. So are various cultural beliefs about mental illness: In fact, minorities are less likely to use mental health services than their white counterparts. Then there are the myriad personal factors, such as complex relationships with parents or other authority figures. The list goes on.

But no matter the reason, there’s an emerging alternative treatment that harnesses the power of connectivity and community to addresses these under-discussed causes. It’s called “peer support” and medical professionals and teens alike are embracing …

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