Sex addiction is a serious mental illness that makes the lives of people who suffer from it difficult.[TW: sexual assault and addiction] Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, among dozens of other powerful men, are being exposed for sexually harassing and abusing people. Each have left a trail of victims and tears. Survivors of their violence have come forward and risked either their careers, a peaceful life, their privacy, or all three to speak up. It takes courage for a survivor of sexual violence, whether they’re victims of famous people or not, to speak their experiences. To name and challenge your abuser is to upend your life and risk any semblance of peace you may have. For the first time, powerful men are being held accountable for their actions. Harvey Weinstein has been stripped of his positions and some of his power; Kevin Spacey has lost roles and House of Cards may go on without him. They’ve lost their shine across the globe. Further, they may even get criminally charged for their actions. To be expected, though, they’ve tried to trigger their own redemption arcs. In their effort to make themselves look like hapless victims, what they’ve done is try to hide behind the very real issue of sexual addiction. Sexual addiction is a serious mental illness that makes the lives of people who suffer from it difficult. In fact, research has shown that the brains of the sexually addicted when exposed to sexual stimuli, were seen to “light up” in the same way that the brains of drug addicts lit up when they used drugs, despite no chemicals being used in the study. But what these men have done is turned it into a justification for sexual abuse and violence, when previously it had been stigmatized as a joke among men and a “daddy issue” amongst women.
Filipino culture holds a heavy stigmatization towards mental health — it is either ignored entirely, or minimized and mocked.“Why, are you mentally ill?” My mom asked, the sarcasm dripping and oozing from her voice. I’d just handed her an article called “Cats Are the Unsung Heroes of Mental Health” to support why I wanted – no, needed to adopt a kitten into our household. “Yes, mom, I am mentally ill,” I bit back, looking her dead straight in the eyes. She knew that I was on medication for my sexual violence-related PTSD and that I’d been seeing a counsellor for over year to treat it. In the version of Filipino culture that my parents raised me on, we dealt with our suffering with laughter and resilience. Naturally, my mom’s ignorance was unsurprising. Filipino culture holds a heavy stigmatization towards mental health — it is either ignored entirely, or minimized and mocked. Anxiety? It’s all in your head. You’re making excuses. Depression? Sleep it off. You’ll get over it. While mental illness in the Philippines is legally protected against discrimination under the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, the law itself further perpetuates the stigma, using “insanity” as a blanket term to encompass all disorders.
Aloe is an app which promises to help you with the basics of self care which is crucial for those who can't afford constant care or therapy.In today's political climate, rife with negativity and hatred, it's easy to forget to take what one would think are the most basic, mundane steps in caring for ourselves. Often we're so caught up by what is going on around us that we become disconnected from our own selves and neglect what our bodies need to survive in this world. We all have days when opening our eyes, breathing, and getting out of bed are the most we can do. Sometimes tasks like brushing our teeth, eating, or drinking a glass of water fall to the wayside because we might be too preoccupied with whatever is going on in our lives. Developing a proficiency in self care was crucial for my own survival while learning to cope with the trauma after experiencing sexual violence. Learning a regular yoga practice helped me maintain a strong connection between my mind and body, and I learned that listening to my physical self and tending to its needs was what was going to keep me alive in such a mentally and emotionally tumultuous part of my life. Prioritizing my well being helped me overcome the challenges of trauma and now it helps me maintain my activism and advocacy as a feminist woman of color.
TW- Discussions about suicide, depression and anxiety. “Nothing in my life has ever made me want to commit suicide more than people's reaction to my trying to commit suicide.” ― Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls There's advice out there
This week, let’s talk about whether to get an emotional support animal (and my cat, because I’ll take any possible excuse to talk about my cat). Welcome to Crazy Talk: a mental health advice column written by yours truly, a mentally