Mental Note Vol. 7
Hey everyone! Happy Thursday! Thanks, everyone, as always, for the great work. We’re going to spotlight 10 of our favorite pieces as always, but just some notes before we go on. First, I want to introduce our new editor, Katrina Loos. I’ve been a huge fan of Katrina’s work since I first joined Medium, and we are honored that she volunteered to join us on the team. A little more about Katrina here:
“Katrina Loos is a freelance blog and social media writer based in the Oklahoma City Metro. An avid mental health advocate, Katrina was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder in 2015. Despite this, Katrina never came to grips with her mental illnesses until this year when she was also diagnosed with illness anxiety disorder after convincing herself she had a brain tumor (update: she does not) and major depressive disorder.
Since her hospitalization, Katrina wants to help others not only come to terms with their mental illnesses but also be a mentor to those who struggle. Katrina may not be a mental health professional or counselor, but she is a friend you can talk to. When Katrina is not writing on Medium or networking with other Medium writers in the community, you can find her cuddling with her cats Flicker and Pumpkin Spice Latte, practicing her daily yoga and meditation, reading her books, and going on adventures like Rick and Morty.”
An an aside, the publication is growing and very busy so thanks for being patient as we carefully review submissions and applications. Please ensure you have private notes turned on as it’s the only way our editorial team can communicate about your submissions. Please don’t submit pieces that have been declined unless we’ve specifically asked you to submit a revision — we are receiving many more submissions than we can publish and have to decline good pieces sometimes.
Anyways, sorry for the long message, but here are the 10 of our best articles over the past week:
“Living in Hell With Extreme Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” — Meghan Gause, Curated in Mental Health
“I still suffer, even while writing this article, I struggled with changing the image I created at the top of this article about seven times to make sure it was symmetrical and got my message across in the manner I planned.
For those of you who suffer from OCD, a little bit of advice I could give you is to practice mindfulness. It won’t help right away; it’s a process. But it has drastically changed my life to be able to recognize my thoughts.”
“5 Tips For When Your Loved One Has an Eating Disorder” — Mollie Birney, M.A., Curated in Mental Health and Health
When it comes to their food choices, no advice, and no commentary. Your only job is to model what a peaceful relationship with food looks like. This means eating your own meals at regular times, choosing a wide variety of food — carrots, cake and everything in between. Someone with an eating disorder doesn’t need your opinion on what they should eat (diet culture, the media and their own brains have that covered). Worried your loved one needs to lose weight? Worried they need to gain? Don’t try to influence them with what you’re eating.
“How I Spent My 20s In Chronic Pain” — Beth Daily, Curated in Mental Health and Health
“I am not giving up hope. I am not going to say I’m so thankful for chronic pain. I will say I am glad I have learned how to be more flexible with my goals and dreams in life. Chronic pain has taught me a lot of crucial life lessons. I am a lot nicer to myself than I was in my early twenties. I wish I had as much self-compassion then as I do now.”
“The Hypocritic Oath: Depressed Therapists” — Dr Sula Windgassen, Curated in Mental Health, Health, and Psychology
“While clients may put their therapists on a pedestal, perhaps even more problematical, they put their idealised selves on pedestals. “You shouldn’t feel like this,” “you should achieve this”. Inherent in these assumptions is the denial of permission to suffer along the way. And denial or resistance to suffering is denial or resistance to what it is to be human. The more we can acknowledge that part of being human is to have vulnerability, to not always get things right, to have fluctuating moods and things we need to figure out (on an ongoing basis), the more we can lean into our own experience with ease and contentment.”
“How Reading Spoilers Helped Me With My TV Addiction” — Veronika Jelinkova, Curated in Mental Health and Culture
“I’m not saying spoilers are the best thing ever. We should never spoil things to others. Never assume that’s an okay thing to do. But spoilers have had a good impact on my mental health. I’m grateful for them.
I know I still have a lot of work to do. I need to get better at setting boundaries. I have to learn how to not let every single thing get to me. But for now, let me just read all the spoilers and enjoy the ride without suffering from insomnia.
“My Father Died From Cancer, and It Taught My Mother to Write” — Olya Aman, Curated in Mental Health, Family, and Self
“To be a prey to distressful feelings is a sad destiny. To do our utmost to live life happily is the only installment of our universal debt. There is certain graceful ease about being busy with daily life, household chores, taking care of the kids. These activities distract from painful recollections. When you remind yourself that there are still living people that need your attention, you tend to forget to torment yourself with thoughts about death — life is calling you to be present and active.”
“Stop Using the Words ‘Normal’ and ‘Fine’” — Eileen Finau, Curated in Mental Health and Parenting
“People often ask me how I have dealt with having a child with what is considered a mental illness. The best answer I can give any parent is to listen to your child. While others may hear their outburst and tears as tantrums, as a parent who knows their child is special, we hear little hints of what we can do to help our child feel they belong in a world where they feel alone. It is our responsibility to share our experiences and what we have learned to help educate others.”
“A Competitive Athlete’s 26 Year Battle With Lyme Disease” — Maria Chapman, Curated in Health
“Through this support group, she’s learned that the distancing of family and friends is a common reality for Lyme sufferers. Since the disease isn’t widely understood, people think they are faking illness or catastrophizing their symptoms. Nancy hopes that through her support group, she can offer encouragement and a sense of belonging to people who are going through struggles similar to hers. Nancy believes that no one battling chronic illness should have to do it alone.”
“My Conversation with My Disease” — Simran Kankas, Curated in Fiction, Poetry, and Health
“Me: But you said two reasons
What was the other one?
Tell me. I am listening.
I am sure it will be fun
Disease: As I told you I noticed you were strong
So I wanted to test your strength
By capturing your health”
“The Importance of Turning Smartphone Notifications Off” — Joe Duncan, Curated in Mental Health and Technology
“Taking about twenty minutes to really go through your apps and their notification settings can seriously and radically alter your life. It’s changed mine for the better in innumerable and incalculable ways and I hope it will yours, too.”