Why The “Detox Negative People Fad” Hurts The Mentally Ill

Why you should think twice before detoxing those "toxic" friends-on bettysbattleground.com

You’ve heard it before. Maybe you have even said it, or some variation. “Detox the negative people out of your life.” The basic tenet is that we all deserve happiness, we all deserve to be around people who make us feel good, nobody deserves to be abused, and we have a right to control who we do and don’t allow into our inner circle. Sounds healthy, right?

The problem here is that while abusive people are always toxic, “toxic” or “negative” people are not always abusive. Sometimes people get poisoned, and that makes them “toxic” for a while. But with treatment, care, and support those people can get better and become whole, healthy, happy people again-something they deserve too. Or, everyone can just detox them and they can stay toxic and embittered forever.

When you google “detox negative people,” page after page of results pop up. How to detox negative people out of your life and feel good about it states that a toxic person is “a person who complains and dumps their problems on you but doesn’t do anything to change their situation.” Removing negative people from your life says, “A positive attitude is contagious, but a negative attitude spreads like wildfire. No one wants to be around someone that is constantly negative and complaining. These people are toxic, and it is reasonable to remove them from your life.” How To Tell When It’s Time To End A Friendship writes, “you put in most of the effort.  You invite, call, and initiate almost everything to keep the friendship going.” In all three of these examples, and many more, people who feel poorly more often than they feel well, or who don’t employ “normative” social tools-no matter the reason-typically meet the standard of “toxic” and are therefore worthy of being detoxed. I have a major problem with this.

Continue reading

The Suicide Survivor’s Guide: 3 Ways to Recognize Suicidal Behavior, and How You Can Help

www.bettysbattleground.com
It has been a heavy week on Betty’s Battleground.

Last Wednesday I posted the letter I didn’t write when I attempted suicide on my birthday last year.

On Monday, I kicked off my guest post series “Tales From the Other Side” with a beautiful and heartbreaking letter written to the sister Connie Hulsart, from the blog Essentially Broken, lost to suicide.

I know, this blog has not been the easiest to read this past week. Nor the easiest to publish, believe me. But it is important to understand suicide. The mentality behind it, which I showcased in my letter; the complex effects and aftermath, which Connie demonstrated with grace and raw honesty in hers, and also how to recognize suicidal behaviors in others and what to do about it.

Suicide is very serious. It is the 10th leading cause of the death in the United States, and, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are twenty-five more attempts for every single completed suicide. And that’s just what’s reported. We have no way of quantifying the attempts, completed suicides, and ideations that occur unreported or unrecognized. According to the World Health Organization, over 800,000 people die from suicide each year. It is approximated that someone, somewhere on the planet, completes a suicide every 40 seconds.

Let that sink in.

Every 40 seconds.  That means that in the time you have been reading this, at least one person has died by his own hand.

Suicide merits understanding.

I am not a psychological expert. I cannot replace the advice of professionals. But I have been there. Many, many times. My most serious attempt was in 2016, but it was not my first. Besides my other attempts, I have considered suicide on numerous occasions. I have spent years in a suicidal state, mostly due to my PTSD.  I am going to wrap up what has become “Suicide Week” on Betty’s Battleground with a Suicide Survivor’s Guide to Recognizing Suicidal Behavior, and some suggestions on how to help. Some of these are research based; many are based on my experiences with being suicidal.  As I said, I cannot replace the advice and opinion of a psychological expert. If you believe that you or someone you know is suicidal, it is a good idea to talk to a professional. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. In my opinion, it is always beneficial to combine the knowledge of experts with the knowledge of experience, so here is what I have learned from being suicidal:

Continue reading

Relationships: A PTSD Post-Valentine’s Day Special

Note: This post contains sponsored links. For more information, please see the Sponsored Links and Posts Disclaimer on my Mission+Legal Page.

Hey readers, here is a special post-Valentine’s Day treat. You get to learn all about relationships, and just how extra screwy they get when dealing with PTSD!

I don’t really participate in Valentine’s Day. I consider Valentine’s Day to be an invented holiday, one which both upholds and is upheld by capitalism; one which aims to make the single and the poor feel inadequate, and encourages the wealthy and coupled to spend.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had fun helping my daughters craft glittery, sticker-crowded paper hearts for each other, but that is about as Valentinesy as I get.  My husband spent the evening of the 14th cooking meals for other couples (and probably making bank in tips), and I messed around on social media and Netflix after putting the girls to bed.

Nonetheless, there’s been a lot of social media talk about Valentine’s Day.  And a lot of pink, heart-shaped decorations everywhere.  It is not really possible to both live within society and completely ignore Valentine’s Day.  So, while I did not particularly celebrate, or want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the atmosphere this week has me thinking about relationships.

Continue reading