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 …

More >

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 …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Erin C. on 05/18/2015

Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes About Mental Illness

The stereotypical image of depression

Close your eyes for a second and think about depression. What comes to mind? Chances are, it’s a girl (maybe with her head in her hands). Perhaps she appears as a dark silhouette, curled up in the fetal position? She probably looks sad.

That image hardly matched my experience. In my life that somebody was just an ordinary boy. He would make his friends roll on the floor with laughter every day. He never failed to put a smile on my face.

But one September, he went away to England to study abroad. Unable to find support and happiness there, he died by suicide. Until then, I had no idea one of my closest friends was clinically depressed.

Everyone occasionally gets “the blues,” but when …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Louisa G on 05/21/2014

Why We Need To Stop Romanticizing Mental Illness Amongst Teen Girls

I realized recently that my generation has a strange fascination with the perception of mental illness, especially as it relates to teenage girls. I’ve noticed young women posting many quotes about mental illness on their Instagrams and Tumblrs — the sadder, the better, it seems. I think this increasing fascination with and performance of depression may stem from the media through the likes of movies and books where “broken” girls are seemingly put back together by the undying love of a man. This goes further than the typical boy-meets-girl cliché of an 80s movie and delves into the fantasy that someone with severe depression can be simply “fixed” by the right guy.

The infatuation people have with making mental illness something that can be seen as beautiful and even romantic …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Ally B and Emma M on 10/2/2013

A Response to “The 100 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Realize”

When we noticed the article “The 100 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Realize” being posted and reposted on Facebook last week by some of our favorite ladies, we thought we’d give it a look. We hoped we’d find an article riddled with inspirational truths for us 20-somethings at a time in our lives where we could all use a little advice– whether about our future career paths, falling in love, or just growing up in general.

We were disappointed to find, however, that what Paul Hudson had in mind when writing this article was less inspiration and more provocation.

Although some of the pieces of “advice” on his 100-point list were valid–his assertion of Facebook as a waste of time and his recommendation to start using your alarm clock, for …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Jenny P on 04/15/2013

Time to Talk

*Trigger warning: This blog post is about intimate partner violence*

Over fall break, my mom made an unexpected visit from California to New York City, where I go to school. She had been called the night before, told that her daughter was expressing suicidal thoughts, and asked to please come pick her up from the Metropolitan Hospital emergency psych ward as soon as possible.

“You know,” Mom began, “you didn’t really look scared or angry or anything when you were in there.”

A good observation. I wasn’t scared or angry. I was mostly just tired.

“You looked like you were thinking, ‘One day, I’m going to write a book about this,’ and like you were already writing it in your mind,” she said.

In a way, I was. That night, …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/14/2011

#YASaves

YA Saves

YA Saves

I have been an avid fan of Young Adult fiction since the third grade. I vividly remember standing in the library check out line with the rest of my class during “Library Time” eagerly digging into my Judy Blume while my classmates palmed their Judy Moody books. I think that moment can also be pointed to as the precursor to my reading Anna Karenina in eighth grade when my classmates were reading…well, they weren’t reading. But that’s a self-indulgent admittedly pretentious digression.

I think it’s this deeply ingrained love of YA that caused the low grade rage I felt when reading the recent Wall Street Journal article by Meghan Cox Gurdon. It’s worth reading (in that it’s a piece of crap but will make the rest of …

More >