Category Archives: anxiety

The Importance Of Having Role Models With Mental Illness

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So, I just finished reading Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, and it was actually a really great book!  One thing that i really loved was open and honest she was about her life.   She spoke so openly about her friend dying beside her in bed, and about how she used drugs to numb her intense emotions.   Granted, I don’t agree with a lot of what happened in her life (I don’t do drugs or drink, so the idea of my mom coming to me at age 13 and telling me to smoke up with her was incredibly strange), but that isn’t the point.

 

The point is that this woman is not only an amazing storyteller, but also shows one of the truest signs of overcoming your problems:  

The ability to talk openly and laugh about them! 

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This then got me thinking about how great it was to hear someone be able to be so free, and so open.  And also, how great it felt to just know someone is out there talking about their mental illness and making waves in our culture!

And so then I set out to find other celebrities who have been open about mental illness (whether it be PTSD, panic, anxiety, depression), and some of the things I found were a bit shocking!

 

And the answer is, shockingly few.   I found a few articles on HuffPost and Buzzed and stuff, where a celebrity says they get “anxiety” (cough cough) about something every once in a while or some other kind of bullshit like that,  but none of it seemed to be what I live through.  For me, depression and anxiety are these massive weights that pull me down everyday.  They are always there and always trying to ruin me.  That is why Wishful Drinking was such a great read.   It wasn’t Amanda Seyfried talking for one paragraph about how she sometimes get upset thinking about her son possibly dying or something.  It was real, life-destroying mental problems, and I loved reading it!

 

So there needs to be more talk about this stuff I think.   Mental problems of all kinds: Depression, PTSD, Anxiety, Bi-Polar, Panic, all of it!   We need role models out there telling their stories.  Telling us it’s going to be ok.  Letting us know there is a life outside our issues.    I hope to be one of those voices someday.  I know it will be a rough and long road, but there is a severe lack of this kind of talk in our society, I hope to change that!

  • So what do you guys think?  Where do you stand with how society views mental illness and do you think we need more role models?  Or do you know of any great stories about mental illness to read?   Feel free to tell me everything in the comments!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

(This was like 10% proofread!  ya baby ya!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depression, Anxiety, and Poop? …Yes

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So my roommate is doing an internship at Harvard Med and we got talking about fecal transplants.  Long story short, there is a place here in Cambridge that pays you 40 bucks to shit into a container so they can take bacteria from your poop and use it for fecal transplants.

Fecal transplants are used for a lot of things, most notably, they are a life-saver for treating Clostridium Difficile Colitis, which is a horrible bacterial infection that causes chronic diarrhea, nausea, and cramps.

Anyways, so I applied to be a “donor” of my poop and I was rejected.  I noticed that on the application it asked if I had any issues of depression or anxiety.  Obviously I said yes because I’m not a liar, and my roommate who is working in medicine told me that’s why I was rejected.   She was telling me that scientists are starting to find a correlation between depression/anxiety and the bacteria in your gut!

 

So remember that old figure of speech You are what you eat? …Well, it’s literally true.

 

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Alright so let’s talk science.   This is a blurb from a study recently conducted:

The vagus nerve forms a direct connection between the brain and stomach. Hormonal, neuronal and bacterial changes in the bowel are transmitted to the brain via the vagus nerve. The gut microbiota affects brain development and plasticity by secreting various neurotrophins and proteins, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), synaptophysin and postsynaptic density (PSD).

So, in easier language, what this is saying is that bacteria in your gut interacts with the neurons in your guts.  The neurons in your gut send signals to the brain through the vagus nerve…my roommate wants me to tell everyone it’s pronounced as VAY-GUS.   I have been saying VAJ-US and it’s been making her mad.  Anyways, the signals sent to the brain through the vagus then prompt the brain to perform certain tasks.  In the context of handling depression and anxiety, the signal sent from the vagus prompts brain development and increase plasticity.
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A fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is a procedure in which fecal matter, or stool, is collected from a tested donor, mixed with a saline or other solution, strained, and placed in a patient, by colonoscopy, endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or enema.  What this does is implant a small amount of “superior” bacteria into your microbiome (your gut).   This good bacteria then continues to breed, feed and grow, which helps your body reap the benefits by increasing neuronal plasticity, supporting metabolic function, and promoting proper and healthy endocrine function.
Until the day when FMT’s are routinely used to treat depression, what can you do?
Well, eating a healthy diet and exercising is the best you can do.  Fruits, vegetables, and yogurt all contain the good bacteria your micorbiome needs to maintain healthy and stable function.  This stability will help boost your immune system, improve brain function, and boost energy!
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Future studies may show that FTM’s will be more beneficial than healthy diets alone, or they may show where these increased amounts of good bacterias come from.  In any event, in the meantime it is important to be healthy, not just for your body, but for your brain and mental well-being!
~ The Dark Horse
Below are some links for further readings!

Why Do People Love To Put Others Down (Or, Let’s Learn To Tell Em’ To Fuck Off)

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So, this world is full of pathetic people who desperately try to fit in, and in that quest, they literally end up getting lost in their own bullshit.   Then these people live their lives trying to be a constructed image of themselves to portray to the world.    These people….sadly…end up being a majority of the populous.  The commoner.

Take this for example, in the year 2000, it would have been deemed super lame to like superheroes.  Flash-forward to modern times…

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…And this infographic literally started at 2014… almost a good 6 years after the superhero craze began.

 

 

 

For another example, in the year 2000 liking music that used the banjo would have been seen as really stupid…

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And then suddenly bands like Mumford and Sons, and Old Crow Medicine show and shit dominated the hipster market.  The banjo became commonplace.

 

 

The point is, everything is relative.  “Cool” is literally dictated by the companies who sell you the product.   Don’t believe me?  OVERALLS are back people… fucking overalls.

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God, if you’re real, please destroy Coachella.   Also, PS people… like this fucker even knows what Ziggy Stardust is or who David Bowie is.  Which brings up another great point.  In 2000, liking artists that your parents listened to would have been extremely uncool.  However, in the present day people are buying Led Zeppelin shirts without even knowing any of their songs.

 

OK, SO WHAT IS MY POINT RIGHT?

My point is, be yourself.  Anyone who wants to put you down for dressing the way you dress, liking the music you like, or the way you act, or whatever the case… they’re all just posers.  They only like what is popular right now because they lack personality.  If you like bubble pop and miss bands like Aqua, then whatever, blast that music all you want.  In 20 years it will probably be cool again and suddenly the commoners will love you.

 

And secondly, don’t even let the common man’s opinions bring you down.  Once you know how easily the commoner is bought and sold, then their opinion should mean nothing.

Sure, they will love telling you not to chase your dreams, or to be more normal, or whatever-the-fuck.  But all you gotta is put a bitch in their place.

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OF COURSE THIS IS A METAPHOR.. Don’t actually smack a ho.   But trust me, by being yourself and not caring about what they say, then they lose all their power.  So in a way, you’re still giving em a good….

 

 

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…and you’re giving it to em’ right where it hurts!

 

Alright people, stay strong and stay yourselves!

~The Dark Horse

 

 

I’m Actually Feeling Stronger, And So Can You!

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There is a surprisingly large number of muscular duck drawings online…

Im not sure why and I’m not going to ask.  I feel it’s just safer to live in ignorance.

 

Hopefully it caught your attention,  but the big news is that I’m actually feeling really good about myself right now!  HOW FUCKING AWESOME IS THAT?

 

My first semester at Harvard just finished and I got straight A’s.     I wrote a big thesis paper on the Heaven’s Gate group.  And to write the paper I interviewed multiple scholars who studied the group and some members who left the group before the mass suicide.  It was amazing!  I felt like an investigative reporter!   (Finals were the reason why I wasn’t blogging….it got intense).  But i absolutely loved every moment of it!

 

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On top of that, I got involved in one of the groups on campus and have been helping with putting together events and stuff, which is awesome.   I mean, if you were to ask me how satisfied I was with my life a year ago…the answer would have been dismal.   Very very dismal.  But after a lot of hard work and some should searching I feel like i’m coming more into myself.   I’m growing to be as strong and courageous as I always believed I could be.  Like some massive spark has been lit.

But let me hammer this point in….It takes work.  LOTS AND LOTS OF WORK.

For those of us out there with depression, anxiety, panic, and any other type of mental illness, TRYING IS FUCKING HARD.  

 

Like, seriously fucking almost impossible.

So, then what do we do?   Well for me, I just envision the life I want to live.   I want to change the world.  I want life to be amazing.  And how I see it, there are two options… give up and kill myself or try my fucking hardest to rock the shit out of this world!  And I think it’s worth it to try.

 

We only have one life.  We have to try.  And you know what, maybe we can end up changing the world!

 

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~ The Dark Horse

THE LAWS OF ATTRACTION: A Primer

Law of Attraction

 

Alright bitches listen up.   This is Law Of Attraction 101.  Sit down and buckle up buttercup cuz were in for one hell of a ride.

The other day I saw a comment from someone who told me about the law of attraction.  Now, the law of attraction isn’t a new concept to me and probably isn’t to any of you out there.  But, it’s something I feel we often forget about or don’t think about and remember enough.  So let’s jump right in!

The principle of the law of attraction is that thoughts, intentions, and beliefs are forms of energy.  And like energies attract to each other.  So for all y’all non-science folk out there, what this means is:

If you think and create a positive atmosphere, you shall receive more positives.  If you create a negative atmosphere, you shall receive more negative.

So, to all my homies out there with depression and anxiety (what! what!) This is SUPER BAD NEWS FOR US because we have a tendency to get lost in the negative and are unable to come out of it.  And you know what DOUBLE SUCKS? A lot of us out there have good reason to be the way we are.  A lot of us have been trampled on by others.  We’ve been treated unfairly.  Perhaps have been through traumatic experiences that haunt us.   So managing to produce positivity into the world is a lot fucking harder said than done.

 

But lets all be real here…

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If these two fuckers can do it, then so can we.

 

Yeah Pierce Brosnan, enjoy your happy-ever-after you lucky bastard…  Ok ok ok wait.  This is wrong.  I need to be positive and happy.   Must produce good will amongst men and whatnot.

How about this chart?  Let’s see if this helps:

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Ok nowhere on this chart does it say that I have to be happy for Pierce Brosnan…

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Ok but lets be real here.  We need to remember to focus on the good in life.  On something big and meaningful. something good!  And then you need to try and achieve those goals with the most honest and kind intentions you can muster.   Even if others treat you poorly, don’t then also treat others poorly, because all you’re doing is creating another unhappy person on this planet.

 

Still don’t believe me?  Well let’s just see what some other people have to say…

 

 

Ever hear of a little fellow named Albert Einstein?

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How about a certain someone named Buddha?

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Or maybe a man named Pierce Brosn…..what wait what?

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Dammit Brosnan!  get out of my damn blog post!  …altought, great quote.

 

So there ya go people.  Just remember.  Produce good.  Receive Good.

 

The Dark Horse

 

The Innocence Of Anxiety

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So, I was thinking the other day about the last few years.  About how I had been depressed for so much of my life, and then suddenly; anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia were thrown on top of it.    Sometimes I look back and I get tears in my eyes.  I think of how scared I was back in Melbourne.    Australians are great people if you’re looking for a party…but they’re not the kinds of people who are there for you in times of need (They don’t really comprehend the idea of “times of need” actually).    So there I was, alone.  Dealing with crippling anxiety. And when I say crippling, I mean crippling.   I was literally collapsing and felt like I was dying.

 

But the other day I also got a little smile on my face.  It was odd, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was a child again.   I mean when you really think about it, when you start dealing with mental illness it’s almost like starting a whole new life.   Your entire world has changed.  You have to learn how to overcome obstacles.  You have to ask people for help.  Easy things becomes monumental successes.

 

Like I remember back when the panic attacks were happening a lot, even going to the grocery store was hard.  Just going around the block could bring about a massive panic attack.  I remember at one point I finally had had enough and so I called Lifeline and was like, “The grocery store is about 7 blocks away…I’m worried I’m going to pass out on the way there…can you help me?”

I got to the grocery store and was like I DID IT!!!!!    And the lady at Lifelife was like, Congrats!   This is such a big moment for you!   ….Yeah people, have you ever felt so proud of just making it the grocery store without dying?

 

 

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I think it’s interesting though.  This new idea I have.  Looking at the last four years of life as potentially a “rebirth” in a way.  And who doesn’t make mistakes as children?  We all do right?  How many of us would be alive right now if it wasn’t for our parents taking care of use when we were four years old?     So maybe I need to stop being so hard on myself for these last four years.  What happened in 2013 and 2014 was me trying to learn and figure out what the hell was going on without any help from anyone else.   Mistakes were bound to happen.

Mistakes are the only way we learn even when we have people teaching us, so when it comes to mental illness when so much of it has to be us hiding it, and pretending were fine… where society doesn’t want to help us…when were in it all on our own…

WE SHOULD BE FUCKING PROUD OF OURSELVES THAT WE ARE STILL ON THIS DAMN EARTH! 

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Look at that little girl?   Falling down on your face is normal when you’re a child people, ok?  Don’t let it get you down! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, falling on your side is completely acceptable when you’re trying to learn to navigate a new obstacle!  

 

 

 

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And sometimes you just fall on your face again… thats just life.  

 

 

Point is, I think were all doing a great job.  We are trying and dammit that means something, and fuck anyone who says differently.

Keep trying.

Keep working.

And keep falling! 

 

~ The Dark Horse

(No, of course this wasn’t proofread, why would you ask such a silly question?)