Tag Archives: depression

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFJ Problems (Or, Normal People Suck)

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Ok people, let’s get real for like 2 seconds here.  Last week in class I had a total INFJ moment, and was like…. fuck humans.

 

So there was this girl, she’s from North Carolina, she’s super annoying and loves to complain ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, she’s overweight, and she isn’t very attractive…like at all.   Now I’m not saying this to be mean.  I’m saying this to give you an overview because it’s important to the story.

 

So, I’m in a short story class for the summer, and naturally, we talk about books and stories a lot.  So we we’re talking about 50 Shades.  Like every random thing about it:  How crazy it actually is, how funny it is that older women read it, how it spawned from Twilight fan fiction, and then someone brought up how the BDSM community actually hates it because it’s a portrayal of rape, not BDSM.

And then, the North Carolina girl walks in mid-conversation and is like, “Im sorry y’all, I just don’t approve of BDSM”  and I’m like… Ok.  That’s fine.  This isn’t a conversation about our love of BDSM, we’re just talking about 50 Shades.   And then she’s like, “I’m sorry, I just..I just can’t.  It’s too much for me…” 

 

And so I’m looking at her like Please Shut The Fuck Up You Obnoxious Idiot.   And then I explain to her that even though she doesn’t like BDSM, it exists, and 50 Shades was a cultural phenomenon, and as writers we have to talk about it because it’s one of the best-selling books of all time.  It, despite your hate, is something anyone interested in publishing should think about.  It’s relative to our career field.  You can’t just tell people to not talk about it because you’re around an think you’re too good or too Christian to let your ears hear about it something.

And then she’s like, “Well I’m starting to think you must be into BDSM if you’re going to defend it so heavily”,  and in my head I’m like….

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And then I have to explain to her that just because I don’t care if someone is into BDSM, doesn’t mean I’m into BDSM.

And then she’s just starts doing a lot of like weird Southern-sound-things like:

“nnnnaaaawwwww ya’ll, nnnnaaaaaawwwwwwww, nerp, nerp, nnnnaaawwwww, sorry, but nnnaaaawwwww, just can’t ya’ll”

 

So then I break out the big-guns.  and am just like, “Look, I’m not saying this to be mean.  I’m saying this to be honest with you:  You’re relatively large, and you know a lot of society would cringe at the idea of you having sex.   Now I’m sure you can agree that that’s wrong… now take that logic, and apply it to your disgust to BDSM.”

 

But then she’s like, “I CAWNT believe you just said that to me, That is so rude, that is so offensive, blah blah blah” 

 

I however, am not the type to back down. 

 

So, I’m like, No.  I’m showing you that you are unfairly judging a group, the exact same way society judges you.  Now I have a feeling you don’t like the way society judges you, so take that knowledge, and apply it to how you treat others.

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The conversation ended with her basically just doing a lot of:

You’re so rude

You’re so mean

I can’t believe you’d say that 

I’m gonna cry

and so on and so on…..

 

And I was just constantly like… No.  I wasn’t saying it in a mean way.  I wasn’t putting you down.  I was showing you your flawed way of thinking.

However, of course, she didn’t care, and I know part of the reason why she got so upset was so the conversation could end making me look like the bad guy, and put the pressure off of her.  Now don’t get me wrong; I know that was a risky conversation.  I know I “went there”  and so forth, but sadly, with some people you gotta go there, otherwise they’ll never self-refelct.

 

Ok enough about that, let’s look into our INFJ-ness and see how that relates that interaction:

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So as you can see, INFJ’s are focused, yet big-picture thinkers, and are insightful, while using our outstanding sense of integrity.   When it comes to formulating ideas we truly use our introversion, intuition, feeling, and judgment to the best of their abilities.

~~What this means is we can put ourselves into other people’s shoes relatively effortlessly.  Such as seeing things from the perspective of someone who likes BDSM).

~~Our big-picture mentality also let’s us see many things too.   Such as, Who is BDSM actually harming?  Nobody?  Ok…then let them do it.  It also helps us to see things like, “well hey this girl is judging others the exact same way she hates being judged…this is wrong”

~~ Our undying integrity keeps our opinions unbiased and fair.  Letting us bring true conversation to the table, not just self-assuring pleasantries that we want to believe.

 

However, society doesn’t get it.   Most people don’t comprehend the idea of holding thoughts because they’re true.  They live in a world of self-propulsion, and if an idea doesn’t tell them what they want to hear, they subconsciously refuse to believe it.  Think of how EVERY smoker you know will always be like, “You know there was this article about a woman who lived to be 100 even though she smoked everyday!” ….that is some A+ self-delusion.  But sadly, it’s so common and most people do that type of thing.  So when an INFJ comes along and defends an opinion, even though we don’t directly benefit from that opinion, it’s seen as some form of witchcraft or something!

 

 

So, what does this mean?  We’re going to be perpetual outcasts?  YES

We will normally hold opinions that may get on other people’s never?  YES

But look above at the jobs that INFJ’s do best.   We are also the movers and the shakers of this world.  We get some of the coolest jobs ON THE PLANET!  We do the things that most people only dream of.  INFJ is know as:

The Protector.

 The counselor.

The Philosopher.

 

Our set of skills (Our very unique and rare set of skills actually) is the combination that has the power to set this world on fire.

 

So remember: Never give in, Never surrender, always stand up for what’s right, and always always always be true to yourself!

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Rock on INFJ’S!

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

My Sexual Assault Story

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Alright, so, this is Mackinac Island.  A small resort island in the Great Lakes.  I’m going to share with everyone a story about what happened to me there.

But first let me say, this isn’t a memory I’ve thought about recently.  I was reading a book yesterday called Suicide Notes.  In the book something happens to the main character that was very similar to something that has happened to me.  He wakes up in the suicide wing of mental ward.  He is there with about 5 other teens who are in extreme mental distress.  One night, the big football jock (who never discloses the reason why he is there) named Renken comes into his room while he’s sleeping and… you know.

After reading that scene, the memory of Mackinac came flooding back into my head.

Here’s what happened:

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Although it seems like a sleepy little resort island, behind the scenes is a whole different story.  When you work on the island you stay up in the middle of the island.  The part where nobody goes.  Most of the hotels put you up in “dorms” which is basically 2 old houses that have been connected together.  I was staying in one of the dorms for the hotel called The Island House during the summer of 2014.

My roommate was this kind of machismo guy who’s dad was in the military.   He didn’t go to college and he smoked and drank and did drugs like a fuckin’ crazy person.   But then again, everyone on Mackinac Island did drugs.  Drugs were everywhere.  For me, someone who doesn’t drink or do drugs, it was a horrible experience already.  The dorms were separated by gender.  There were guy dorms and girl dorms.   So you can image, a building filled with a bunch of guys between 20 and 28 who drank, fucked, and did drugs like crazy…it was kind of like living the worst frat-house nightmare imaginable.

 

So, one night about a month into my stay there, I’m sleeping and suddenly I start having this horrible dream.   In my dream I woke up and saw a shadowy figure standing in the room staring at me.  I remember it was making this weird kind of incoherent noise.  I felt so scared.  I remember in the dream I was saying “No…please go away….go away…please go away…”  and I felt so cold. I just remember this intense feeling of being exposed and cold and scared.

Then, I actually opened my eyes and saw that there was something in my room staring at me.  It was a person. But it was so dark I couldn’t really make out who it was.  I remember having this feeling like my stomach was in knots but at the same time it felt like my stomach was also clumped in my throat.  It was so difficult to process because I was still only half-awake.  I put the covers over me and tried hiding. I was so scared because I didn’t know what was going on, I just knew there was someone in my room.

Suddenly I could hear the sounds of someone climbing up the bunk bed and into my bed.  I was so scared I couldn’t breathe.  Then it laid down next to me.  At this point I kind of woke up a little more and was confused… If someone had come into my room to kill or rob me or something, they wouldn’t just lay down.   I took the blanket off from over my head and looked to see that it was my roommate.

I became a little less stressed knowing that I was safe and that it was just my roommate.  I figured he just got super drunk or high and had no idea where he was and came into my bed by accident.  I started to fall back asleep until suddenly he grabbed my hand and put it on his penis.  At that point I suddenly realized my roommate wasn’t wearing pants and was erect.  I quickly moved my hand away but he grabbed it again and put it back on his penis.     I moved my hand away again, and then he put his hands in my underwear and grabbed my penis.

I said, “What are you doing…dude stop”.   But then he started this weird incoherent low-level mumbling….the same that I heard from the shadowy figure in my dream before I woke up.    Suddenly I was terrified again, knowing that he must have been standing over my bed watching me as he mumbled whatever the fuck he was saying.   That must have been why I was so scared in my dream and why I felt so exposed.  My body must have known that someone was standing and watching me.

He grabbed my head and tried pushing me down to suck his dick.   I pulled away again and said, “Dude stop it, seriously.  what the hell is going on?”.    It was so weird because he kept his eyes closed.  Like he didn’t want to mentally be part of the moment.   Then the mumbling became more audible.  He was calling me “fag” and “slut” and was saying things like “Suck it you fuckin bitch”.

I was pretty much awake at this point, and I was scared.  This guy wasn’t the most stable I had ever met to begin with, plus I didn’t what kind of drugs he was on that night so I had no idea what he would be capable of doing”.  I tried playing stupid and so I did one of those koala cuddles to him, where you put your leg and your arm around the other person.  I tried doing it in an ‘Oh lets cuddle’ type way, but what I was actually doing was trying to hold his arms down so he couldn’t grab me.

He kept pushing my arms off and kept trying to push my head down to his crotch.   When he saw that wasn’t working he grabbed my penis again, and obviously it was limp because…how the fuck am I supposed to be aroused in a moment like that?   Then in his weird mumbling he said, “why aren’t you hard you fuckin fag?”.

I was now pretty pumped up with adrenaline and so I sat up and I said, “You need to get the fuck out of my bed right now”.   He tried grabbing me again but I swatted his hand away.  Then, silently, he got up and left the room.  I could hear that he walked into the bathroom which was the door next to ours and I heard him get in the shower.  I locked the bedroom door and tried to get back to sleep.

 

The next day when I saw him I asked what had happened last night.  He of course was like, “What do you mean?”   So I told him that I was talking about him coming into my bed.  Then he responded with something like, “Oh man I was so drunk I probably had no idea which bed was mine..”  Which you know what, I wouldn’t have cared if that was the case.  Had he been drunk and passed out in my bed I wouldn’t have cared.  But that wasn’t all that happened…

So then I said…”dude, you didn’t pass out in my bed…did you not realize that you didn’t wake up in our room this morning?”   And he was like… “Oh ya I crashed in my friends room”.    kept pushing him.  I said, “Do you know why you had to do that?”  And he was like… “No man, why?”  So I straight up told him.  I told him that he came into my bed and tried making me suck his dick.   To which he responded with, “Oh dude, I was so high I probably thought I was crawling in a girl’s bed or something….”

….SERIOUSLY?   

So then I mentioned that that doesn’t make any sense considering that he he grabbed my dick, which isn’t something you would normally do to a girl…

Then he got all quiet and was like… “well that wasn’t me man, must have been someone else…”

 

I knew it was him.  I wasn’t the drunk and high one in that bed.  I clearly remember who was in that bed with me and I remember what he did.

We never really spoke after that.  However, 2 days later he switched rooms.  Then he told all the guys in the dorm that the reason he left our room was because I was a fag and would stare at him when he was naked.

Furthermore, anytime I would pass him in the building or on the lawn he would always call me a fag as I walked by.  He of course was always sitting with about 5 other guys at all times so it wasn’t exactly like I could have fought him or anything.

 

People would say things to me like, “Oh man I don’t know what you did to him but he’s always talking about how he wants to beat you up” and “You really shouldn’t have come on to him….it’s kind of your fault”.

 

But you know what people, I’m gay and from Ohio.  Sadly, I know how the world treats gay people.  From experience I know that adding flame to the fire is the worst thing you can do.  Going around and telling everyone what really happened was only going to make him even more mad.  And a closeted drug addict son of a military father is not the kind of guy you want to question the sexuality of.   That would just be me asking to get beat to death one night.

 

So I justified it to myself.  I told myself this is just how the world treats me.  Nobody ever cared about me before, so why would they now?  I remember thinking that, after all, he was the hottest guy who has ever wanted to have sex with me…so maybe I should have been grateful?   I just did what I had to do to make it through the rest of that summer.

 

But now, after reading that book all these years later I’m fucking pissed.   Present-day me would have beat the shit out of him.  Present-day me would have raised the kind of hell most people could only imagine the devil himself could conjure.

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO LISTEN TO HIM CALL ME A FAG AS HE TRIED TO FORCE ME TO SUCK HIS DICK

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO HEAR HIM CALL ME A FAG EVERYDAY AFTER THAT

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT HE COULD TELL EVERYONE A FAKE STORY BECAUSE HE KNEW THEY WOULD BELIEVE HIM OVER ME

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO LIVE BEING AFRAID OF GETTING BEAT UP THE REST OF THE SUMMER

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT IT WASN’T FAIR.  IT WASN’T RIGHT, AND IT ISN’T JUSTIFIABLE

I called the sexual assault hotline and spoke to a consoler on the phone last night.  I told her the story and asked if I had a right to be mad.  I was wondering if I was being a drama queen, or if I was correct in my new recognition of this event.  I told her that when I think of rape I think of some girl who gets jumped in the woods and is gang-banged or something….but this event also felt like it was so wrong.   She told me over the phone that I had every right to be angry.  She said this was a violation and that I wasn’t being a drama queen.

It felt good.  It felt really really good actually.  After having everyone tell me it was my fault the entire summer.  After having myself believe that it wasn’t a big deal and that it’s just something you have to go through as a gay person… it just felt amazing for someone to actually sit there and say, NO.  BE MAD.  You’re allowed to be mad.   There was such relief and such power in it.

So to anyone out there who has had something bad happen to them, BE MAD.  YOU ARE ALLOWED.  I don’t care if it was sexual assault, physical violence, emotional abuse, or anything else.  If someone has treated you like you’re sub-human, you can be mad.  It is your right to be mad.

And if anyone is dealing with a similar issue, please call a sexual assault hotline and just talk about it.  The woman who spoke to me was insanely nice.  They don’t judge or get mad at you.  You are free to talk about anything you want.

And furthermore if anyone is hurting for any reason remember that there are crisis lines all across the world.

Below is a link to all the crisis lines across the globe ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS talk about it with people.  It helps so much:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

 

I sincerely thank you for reading this post,

~ The Dark Horse

… sorry it wasn’t proofread well

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