Life with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

TW: Self-harm

About ten years ago, I made a mental list to try and sum up my struggles at that time. I named it ‘Things that make me want to cut myself’ and it contained everything from going to the supermarket alone, to having my hair cut, to the first day of my period. At the same time, I insisted that I was fine, and any time I read about anxiety I thought,

Nah, that doesn’t sound like me at all!

It turns out when you’ve grown up with something and it continues well into adulthood, you aren’t the best…


The absence of straight guys from my life is the best benefit of being a gay woman

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about this latest Prism & Pen prompt and considering what I love about being a part of the LGBTIQA+ community. It’s a genuinely wonderful community to be a part of. Perfect? No, but no large and varied group of people will be.

Spending time with fellow LGBTIQA+ people, whether it’s hundreds at a convention, teens at a youth group, or just being lucky enough to work in a beautifully diverse group in my day job, is always a special thing to me. There’s a shorthand and jokes that feel like in-jokes, even if…


The wrong messages were internalized

An old box-style TV on the ground in the middle of a suburban street
An old box-style TV on the ground in the middle of a suburban street
Photo by Frank Okay on Unsplash

It’s easy to say that we understand that ‘no means no’, and to assume that most people get that. Even so, we know that there are plenty of guys out there who either don’t believe that, don’t think it’s that simple, or just don’t care at all. Although there's no excuse for that mentality, it’s possible that TV shows and movies have played a part in it. You may like to think that you aren’t easily influenced by what you watch, but studies show that we are what we watch, at least to a certain extent.

The evolution of the…


For creative people, engaging in our specialist activities is a huge factor in positive mental health

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

The mention of ‘creativity’ may bring to mind watercolors or crochet, but you don’t have to be good at arts and crafts to be creative. It’s possible to be creative in all areas of life. When you choose an outfit to wear, you’re making creative choices, even if it seems like something so mundane you don’t notice it. That being said, for some, creative pursuits are a way of life, or at least a major part of it.

Whether we’re writers, painters, illustrators, actors, dancers, or any type of creative person, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about…


OPEN LETTERS

I didn’t miss you while you were gone

Photo by George Hoza on Unsplash

Dear Depression,

It’s been a while since we’ve spent some quality time together, and that was fine. Although we’ve known each other intimately for more years than I care to remember at this point, I had no problem with letting you go. We’ve never needed a messy break-up, or loud arguments, we could simply drift apart. Perhaps if we ran into each other on the street we could give each other a little nod of acknowledgment, but no more than that.

No, clearly that isn’t enough for you, is it? You couldn't bear the idea of moving along and tormenting…


Not just a funny meme it turns out

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Useless Lesbian: A lesbian who can’t take a hint that another girl likes her, no matter how obvious it is, Urban Dictionary, 2018

Most of us have heard of this trope — lesbians are not skilled in noticing signals sent by other girls. Even if, by some miracle, we do see a hint of some kind, we are definitely not good at acting upon it. In fact, at least 84.7% of lesbians are incapable of telling another lesbian how they feel (disclaimer: this is a completely made-up statistic, that survey would never happen).

This is such a given, so treated…


It gets along wonderfully with Medium’s clapping system though

Photo by Jennefer Zacarias on Unsplash

I turned 33 years old this week, and my God, that is the worst age I could be. Everyone has their own favorite numbers, lucky numbers, and maybe even numbers they dislike. They may relate to something else that makes them feel this way, or it could be about the way they look. For me, it is as irrational as can be — my OCD thrives on numbers and always has.

When I was younger, no matter what the ritual was, numbers always found their way into it. Whether it was saying a specific phrase every day to prevent people…


It isn’t easy or fun (mostly), but we still have to do it.

A photo of four teen boys sitting on the beach with their backs to the camera
A photo of four teen boys sitting on the beach with their backs to the camera
Photo by Amir Hosseini on Unsplash

Very few people actually enjoy talking to others about mental health. It’s a subject that we put off dealing with; we make excuses, we insist we’re fine. All of that seems easier than actually facing it head-on. Like many difficult subjects, it would be much easier to handle if we just talked about it more.

The funny thing is, mental health isn’t the same as mental illness or distress. I’ve heard several people say they have ‘mental health,’ or someone they know does, and I want to say ‘Of course you do, we all do’. In the same way as…


Round 2 of answering common Google questions about Autistic people

Screenshot by Author/Searched Using Chrome

We are back for another round of ‘The Neurotypicals think WHAT about us?!’ You may have read my previous article on the same theme, but if you haven’t, I am on a mission to better understand the Neurotypical view of us Autistics by responding to their most common Google searches. Previously, we learned that NT’s believe we are all obsessed with trains and enjoy rocking back and forth while we watch them. While that’s not not true for some of us, it isn’t nearly as common as they like to think.

This time I began my search question with ‘How…


OPEN LETTERS

Because who needs to know how to look after themselves, am I right?!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Dear Parents Who Choose Not To Teach Their Children Life Skills,

I get it. I really do. You wanted a cute little baby who would love you unconditionally, that’s why you did the nasty with no protection. Or maybe it wasn’t the plan. Either way, you created human life, you made a whole human who would not have existed otherwise. There is one little detail that you may not have picked up along the way — it is your job to turn that sweet little helpless baby into a functional adult human being. No one else’s job, just yours.

I…

Sarah McManus MSc

Sarah McManus is a UK based writer of mental health articles. She recently completed an MSc in Psychology and is working on her first non-fiction book.

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