What do you imagine when you hear the phrase “self-injury?” If your first thought is a black garbed teenage girl who is “just trying to get attention,” then this list will surprise you. There is a lot of stigma surrounding the phenomenon of self-harm. Too often self-injurers are judged, ignored, or even mocked. When people do take it seriously, they often assume it is a suicidal gesture. Self-harm can affect virtually any demographic, for a vast number of reasons. Some people do hurt themselves in an attempt to end their lives, but most people who harm themselves don’t want to die.
I have intimate knowledge of self-harm. Though I did “cut” a little as a teenager, due mostly to peer influence, I did not begin the practice in earnest until I was an adult. It became a gesture to combat dissociative PTSD episodes. Next week, I will discuss the relationship between PTSD and self-harm, and my experiences with it. This week, I am providing an introduction to the baffling phenomenon of human self-injury with a research-based article outlining ten of the most common reasons science has discovered that people harm themselves.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “science fiction?” Robots? Time travel? Aliens? What about ‘realism?’ Not so much?
Most people don’t think that science fiction has much to say about reality. Science fiction is supposed to be about adventure and entertainment. It’s supposed to imagine futures that are far more advanced than our own, and to stretch modern science into something fantastic. Science fiction isn’t supposed to tell us anything about the actual state of things, right?
Well, this week, instead of picking just one book to feature, I have created a summer reading list comprised of twelve science fiction books that each depict the reality of one or more mental health conditions, sometimes even better than textbooks or realism. Whether it’s providing a nuanced depiction of addiction, exploring the complexities of violence, or exposing uncomfortable truths about pleasure and consumption; in these twelve examples, Sci-Fi is the best vessel for teaching us something about real life. It’s the time of the year when people are creating summer reading lists. If you want to keep things fun and exciting, while continuing to explore and better understand mental health issues, try these twelve science fiction books.
Although living with PTSD, Minor Depression, and an Addiction Disorder often feels like the loneliest existence on the planet, these are issues which affect my entire family. Especially when I am in the depths of an episode, I like to believe that my words and actions don’t impact others. When I’m in that state, I feel like my family doesn’t need me or care about me. I feel as though they would be better without me; like I hurt them simply by being. Of course, it’s that line of thinking which truly hurts my family.
Mental illness or injury affects everyone it touches. Expressing that reality was the reason I began my “Tales From The Other Side” guest blogger series. I wanted to show that when one person in a family is hurting, the whole family hurts. Yet despite publishing these touching stories by real people affected by PTSD and other disorders, it has been difficult for me to truly realize that when I hurt, my family hurts.