Sarah Fader

@sarah-fader | contributor
Sarah Fader

A Roundup of #DepressionVoice Tweets

We all have voices. We want to express ourselves and feel heard. When those voices are kind they make us feel good. We’re trying our best, we’re doing good things for others and we want to help people. Then there is the depression voice. The depression voice isn’t kind. It tells you things like, “You’re worthless,” and, “Nobody cares about you.” The depression voice is unrelenting, unforgiving and cruel. I have heard the depression voice for years starting when I was 15. The depression voice stayed around and carried on into my adult life. I am almost 40 years old and I’ve been dealing with the depression voice for over half of my life. Sometimes I can tweet it out and other times it’s so loud I can’t drown it out. This week it was incredibly painful and wouldn’t stop talking to me. I held my head in my hands and cried. I reached out to the mental health community and asked if they heard a depression voice in their heads. Naturally, I went on Twitter, which is my internet home, and asked people in the mental health community to share what their depression voice says to them. I used the hashtag #DepressionVoice. I was surprised to hear some of the responses and they felt too close to home. my depression used to tell me that I'm nothing, not worthy, that nobody will ever love me.but in moments of darkness I also felt other energy telling me "these all are lies. Don't believe them. The truth is – you are everything, you are worthy of love" #mHealth #DepressionVoice— Eva Caletkova (@EvaCaletkova) August 14, 2019 CW: Depression My depression voice tells me:I’m worthless and always have been.I’m unloved and unlovable.I’m hideous.I will always fail.I will never make a difference.I should stop caring, because I’m dead weight.When I die it will be no great loss.#DepressionVoice https://t.co/T4FbUslh9L— Ánt (@Lankee) August 14, 2019 I’m impossible to love and don’t deserve to take care of myself, people hate me and asking for help is pathetic— Sue (@lnhrtdgrl) August 15, 2019 I’m a waste of space, better of being dead.Why are you here?What you’re doing?Pointless in repeating myself— Paula crossplayer (@tokarski_paul) August 14, 2019 “you’re lazy”— Gorgeous Ladies of the Revolution ????????????️‍???? (@A_Story_of_A) August 13, 2019 “The people on my life are only around because they feel sorry for me.” Or on worse days: “The people in my life are only around as part of some elaborate joke meant to completely break me”— Cailin (She/Her) ????????️‍???????? (@philosiPUNK) August 14, 2019 He tells me that I am no good. He says I should have been successful all the times I tried to kill myself. He says I’m a bad mother. He says I am stupid, much stupider than my sister, who is brilliant and any attempt at intellectual exploration is folly. That my writing sucks.— Judy Ryan Hall (she/her) (@Judashalah) August 14, 2019 “Hey, so ya know how they say you are not the exception when it comes to healing from mental illness? And how everyone can heal? Yes well, not you. You are the exception. You’re never getting better. And you know how this ends. Sooner or later, you know how this ends.”— Bleeding Ink ???????? ???????? ♿ ♉ ???? (@MyBleedingInk) August 14, 2019 “You’re not worthy of love or even employment. You better work your ass off at work because they’re going to find out you’re a bum.” So a 12 hour work day is the norm.— Dannie (@dgodin1234) August 15, 2019 my depression voice tells me that I am not good enough or worthy of love — but so many times I have found out this is not true.— Randy Armstrong (@randallrex) August 15, 2019 Eat somethingYou shouldn’t have eaten thatfattyNo one is interested in your opinionYou aren’t expressing yourself enoughYou shouldn’t have said/shared thatYou aren’t writing as much as you should beYou aren’t doing enoughIt doesn’t matter what you do#DepressionVoice https://t.co/Xs5wQ6Bzqr— Jennifer Vogenthaler (@jenvogie) August 15, 2019 “Worthless. Not doing enough. Work harder. Work faster. Loser.” – counseling has helped me work through those thoughts.— Natalie Rodriguez (@NatChrisRod) August 15, 2019 What does your “depression voice” sound like? What can you say back? Let us know in the comments below, and read this piece for inspiration: 14 Lies Your Mental Illness Is Telling You — and What You Can Say Back.

Zoey Meir
Zoey Meir @zoeymeir
contributor

Message to Suicidal Patient From a Student Nurse

To my suicidal patient, from your student nurse, I don’t know your name or who you are. I don’t know your past or even your full medical history. I don’t know when I’ll meet you or what unit I’ll care for you in. I don’t know why you’re going to be in my care — perhaps I’ll humbly care for you while you’re recovering from a suicide attempt, or perhaps I’ll be your nurse after gallbladder surgery. I don’t know when you first started feeling suicidal or anything else about your story. There is so much I don’t know, but there are some things I do know. I know that, in one week from today, I will be caring for my very first patient. I cannot express to you how much joy I have in just anticipating what it’ll be like. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am, and I’m thrilled to begin caring for people. But, I also know there have been so many days I’ve been ready to quit. Nursing school is hard, and, despite the fact this has been a lifelong dream for me, I’ve come very close to switching my major countless times. I know in the moments I’ve been ready to give up, you have kept me going. I take a step back from the stress and the pressure of school, and I remind myself that one day, someone is going to need me. Someone is going to need a reason to keep going. I desperately want to be there and keep you going, just as you have kept me going so many times. I want to care for you. I want you to live. I know it’s hard to tell people you’re suicidal. There is a stigma that comes attached to suicidal thoughts that is difficult to bear. I know people look at you differently. I know that’s terrifying. And I know that sometimes, it can be even more terrifying to tell a healthcare professional that you’re suicidal. I want you to know a few things while you’re in my care. I want you to know that right now, you are safe. I want you to know you are valued and you are cherished. I want you to know I love you with the deepest sacrificial love I could possibly give. And finally, I want you to know that right now, you only have one job. The only thing you’re responsible for is staying alive for the next 60 seconds. That’s all you have to do. When the sixty seconds are up, your job becomes staying alive for the next sixty seconds. That is all I want you to focus on or worry about, and I wholeheartedly believe you can do it. While you’re doing your job, I’ll be doing mine by holistically and passionately caring for you. I will be pouring my heart and soul into your recovery and well-being. Not because I’m being paid to, but because I love you. And what you don’t know, is that I know you. I know where you are right now. I know how much pain you’re in. I know the feeling of suddenly having the rug pulled out from underneath you. I know because I, too, am suicidal. I know the battle is hard. I know there are days when living just does not seem worth the effort. I know there are times where I physically feel like I can’t even breathe — those terrifying moments when I feel like I’m suffocating, all too often followed by the harrowing realization I really don’t care if I am. I know what it’s like to be completely apathetic towards life. But right now, you only have one job. The only thing you’re responsible for is staying alive for the next 60 seconds. Perhaps, what you don’t know right now, is that you’ve kept me going in more ways than just one. Yes, there have been countless times I’ve stayed in nursing school for you, but more importantly than that, there have been countless times I’ve stayed alive because of you. I know I owe you my life, and one day, perhaps you’ll owe me yours. That is the beauty of community. I’m alive because of you, and you’re alive because of me. Together, we will get through this. Together, we will one day cross over to the other side, where we don’t constantly live in fear of not being here next year, next month, or even tomorrow. I am your student nurse, and I will help you fight this fight. I will fight for you, with you and because of you. I have one last thing to tell you, and it’s this: despite all the pain and hardship we face in this life, there are still magnificent moments to come. I know there will be moments when your heart overflows with joy, moments when you can catch a small glimpse of all the beauty in this world. With every fiber of my being, I can promise you that those moments make everything worth it. You will be so, so, happy to simply be alive, and you’ll be so proud of yourself for not giving up. Even more, I know you’ll see the magnificence in a way others just can’t because you understand the ugliness in a way they never will. Wait for those moments, and when they arrive, march through them with your head held high. Enjoy every second of your triumph. You deserve it. I know you can do this. I know you can make it. I believe in you. I promise.

Norb Aikin

Why Men Don’t Sign Up for Dialectical Behavior Therapy

For the majority of my life, it seems, I’ve been one of the only men in my life experiences. I was raised by a single mother, I had plenty of female friends in school, and even my career in retail has had me in positions where everyone else on my management team were women, overseeing a staff of other women. Why, then, should I have been surprised when I started taking dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) classes that were comprised of and led by only women? Sure, occasionally a couple of guys would show up for the introductory class, but they’d soon drop out for whatever reasons. By the end of the four to six-month sessions, I was usually the only male left. And that’s fine; I typically get along with strangers in classroom-type settings. Besides, I wasn’t there to make friends; I was there for me. I should note that because of my upbringing and career experiences, I’d like to consider myself as already having a unique perspective on gender relations (though I’m by far no expert). Being the lone male in a trusted inner circle of females is a special honor… you’re part of “the club,” You’re in on the gossip, the struggles and the conversations about men they can’t have with them at times. They know I won’t judge, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount because of that level of inclusion. DBT, on the surface, should be no different. I visit my mental health clinic on average at least a couple of times a month, and there are always men and women waiting for whatever their personal reasons are. Surely, there has to be more than just myself who can learn from the different coping mechanisms and methods DBT offers, right? I’m no doctor, but after having taken DBT a couple of times now, I believe I have an understanding of why more men don’t sign up or stick around. In my opinion, it has a lot to do with stigmas: both the ones surrounding men and mental health in general, and the traditional gender roles and stereotypes between the sexes as well. Men are supposed to be strong and just “plow through” their emotions; women are more likely to seek and follow up on health concerns of all kinds, including mental health. Studies have shown that one of every four people has some kind of mental illness or behavioral affliction; this statistic doesn’t jump around or pick out one gender first over the other. It doesn’t discriminate. There aren’t separate water fountains or diners or laws that forbid men from struggling with their emotions, and recognizing it’s OK to do so is the very first step in learning how to manage them. It means putting aside your ego and turning a blind eye to the idea you don’t need help. It can be a big mountain to climb for some, but you have to realize you’re doing what’s best for you first in order to be a better husband, father, son, co-worker and so on. With the help of a good therapist or counselor, you should already be prepared for what to expect when you start DBT. And when you walk into the class, remember that everyone else is there for similar purposes. There is no judgment. Things don’t have to get personal. You’re there to discuss topics like mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation. It shouldn’t matter if you’re one man in a room of ten, 100 or 1000 women. The skills taught are applicable to everyone regardless of gender. But like I said, accepting it is the first step up a mountain. Men and women aren’t very different when it comes to needing help in areas like interpersonal relationships. And every situation I’ve seen discussed in DBT can be flipped around to apply to either gender. From one guy to another, #ItsOKMan. You aren’t and shouldn’t be the only one. By the way… I just started a new session last week as a refresher course. There are two other guys in the group this time around, and I hope they stick it out. What do you want to say to support men who might be living with a mental illness? Join our #ItsOKMan campaign here.

Sponsored by
Marie Miguel

Do You Want a Psychologist or a Therapist?

Beginning the Therapeutic Process Starting therapy when you’re new to the process might feel overwhelming. You’re trying to figure out what kind of mental health professional you want to see. Do you want to work with a psychologist or a therapist? It’s helpful to do the research and learn more about the different kinds of people who work in mental health. These professionals are the ones who can help you live a better quality of life. The question you might be asking yourself is, do you want a psychologist or a therapist? Therapists A therapist is a wide-ranging term that encompasses many mental health professionals. Therapists come in a variety of forms. They may be life coaches or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). They use an array of different strategies to help their clients. Some therapists incorporate movement or drama therapy to help their clients. Why would you choose a therapist? If you’re working to form a support system and manage your day-to-day life challenges, a therapist may be an excellent choice for you. They also can provide specific types of help to clients, such as family therapy, depending on their specialization. If you’re going through a rough time in your relationship, a therapist whose focus is marriage or couples counseling could be an excellent choice for you. Psychologists A psychologist is a mental health professional who has done extensive research in the social sciences. They can make diagnoses by sitting with their clients, determining their symptoms, and asking the right questions. Psychologists often work with psychiatrists to help patients treat their mental illness like bipolar disorder, anxiety or major depressive disorder. Psychologists typically have advanced degrees such as a PhD or a PsyD. While a PhD is focused more on the research side of things, a PsyD is focused more on therapeutic counseling. Questions to Ask Before You Start Therapy Before you start seeing a therapist or psychologist, make sure you know some crucial information, such as the cost and length of sessions. Here are some things to find out from your potential provider before starting treatment: Do they take your insurance? How much does therapy cost (without insurance)? Is there a sliding scale, meaning can you pay less depending on your income? How long are sessions? What forms of therapy do they practice? Having this information may give you a baseline knowledge of what to expect and what skills you will learn in a therapy session. Getting Help Is What Matters Your realization that you need mental health treatment matters. When you’re at the point where you’ve reached out for help, that’s brave. Both therapists and psychologists practice certain kinds of treatments. Some of those include CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and DBT (Dialectal Behavior Therapy). Whichever kind of mental health professional you choose, make sure you feel comfortable being open and honest with that person. When you’re able to express yourself freely, you’ll get more out of therapy.

Sarah Fader

Why People With Anxiety Feel Like Everyone Is Going to Leave Them

I’m afraid of the people I love in my life leaving me. I suppose you could call that “abandonment issues” or whatever popular catch phrase you would like to go with, but it’s the truth. Moreover, I’m afraid that the reason they will leave me is because of me. I’m too needy, weird, crazy or complicated to deal with, and because of all these factors they will pack their suitcases and run to the nearest airport. I am the reason they left, and there is something profoundly wrong with me. One of the biggest lies anxiety tells us is that everything is about you or because of you. There is nothing wrong with me. I have a chronic anxiety disorder, and it tells me lies all the time. It’s an annoying nuisance, but it manages to convince me that everything is about me, I caused terrible things to happen to the people I adore in my life, and because I did such awful things, they have chosen to abandon me. There’s another crucial element involved in this situation; I have a nagging, seemingly never-ending voice in my head that I am bothering people. Anxiety tells me that every time I reach out (whether it’s for help or simply to say hi to my friend) that I’m unwanted and unwelcome. The tricky thing about this, is that sometimes anxiety causes me to compulsively contact someone to make sure they’re still there, to ask if they got my invoice, to tell them I appreciate them or to check to make sure they don’t hate me. Some people find this behavior irritating at times, while others are graciously patient with me, and understand when I’m anxious I might reach out multiple times. I’m not proud of my compulsive contacting, but it happens from time to time and I’m working on it in therapy. However, it makes me believe that (in the end) people will look at me as too quirky, weird and unhinged to be friends with or love. That’s a big one — I do not want to feel like I am too crazy to be loved. I know that isn’t true, but anxiety causes me to believe this about myself sometimes. Anxiety says, you’re too crazy for anyone to stick around, and you’ll never find love. I’m working on my abandonment issues, and I am also working on not saying “sorry to bother you.” I’m not a bother, a nuisance or a burden; I’m a human being who deserves to be understood, loved and valued. I won’t let anxiety tell me anything otherwise, no matter how hard it tries. This piece originally appeared on Psychology Today. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Image via Thinkstock

Sarah Fader

To the People Who Call Me 'Crazy'

Hi. My name is Sarah, and I have a mental illness. I’ve lived with panic disorder and depression for my entire adult life. I’m a mother of two beautiful children. I’m a sister, a daughter, a friend and a human being. I’m a survivor, a warrior, a writer, a poet, an actor and an artist. I am many things, but I am not crazy. To me, crazy is a derogatory word — a curse word in a book I have yet to write. Do not call me crazy. Call me brave, call me scared, call me Sarah, but don’t call me “crazy.” I am your neighbor. I am sitting next to you on the train. I am talking to you in the grocery store, or smiling at you as we pass one another on the street. I’m just like everyone else you meet, only I’m not. Because I am living with a significant mental illness that challenges me every day. My mental illness is like an annoying neighbor who won’t get the hint when you want her to go home. It fools me and tells me I’m worthless. It tells me to give up. It tells me to stop. Go no further. Don’t do that, don’t succeed. You are not enough. You are not worthy. I fight those thoughts every day. But here’s the thing. The person you’re sitting next to in a coffee shop might be just like me. Maybe you can’t tell, and maybe they won’t tell you, but people with mental illness are living among us. Often, they feel silenced. So stop. Look around you. And know if you’ve been called crazy, you are not alone. I’m standing beside, you waving my freak flag high. Because I’m taking crazy back. You can’t have it anymore. There is no crazy. Only human. The Mighty is asking the following: Tell us a story about a time you encountered a commonly held misconception about your mental illness. How did you react, and what do you want to tell people who hold his misconception? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.