ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: mental health

The Psychological Impact of the Climate Crisis

This week across the nation and the world, powerful climate activism has taken place. Young activists have been able to coordinate a global climate strike week in 150 countries that began Friday, September 20th with protests around the world. Currently, in New York, different nations of the world are convening at the United Nations Climate Action Summit to discuss global initiatives to combat rising sea levels, increasing average global temperatures, increasing global greenhouse gas emissions, and the economic costs that come with powerful natural disasters and climate change. The climate crisis as stated by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres this morning, “is moving faster than we are.”  The climate crisis is a direct threat to our existence and threatens to dictate our future with catastrophic effects. Scientific findings of rising sea… Read more »

Stuck: Black Women And The Country That Hates Them

In December, I wrote a 12-page paper for a feminist theory class that analyzed the historically violent and parasitic relationship between black women (and those who identify as women or are perceived as women) and the United States. As I wrote the paper, I asked myself how all the black women before me were able to get through their lives knowing that they would continuously be disrespected and dehumanized by their own country. With each sentence I typed, I felt pain and stress thinking about how America has sucked the humanity from black women and still expects more. By the end I was physically and mentally exhausted. I am still exhausted. In the past week, I’ve read countless reports of black girls going missing in D.C. and their disappearances going… Read more »

SPF 50 and SSRIs: My Summer of Struggle and Self-Love

I first knew depression ran in my family when I was about thirteen, searching the names printed on my mom’s prescription bottles on the internet to see if any of them could be a substitute for Tylenol. Most of them turned out to be antidepressants and sleep aids, plus a few for nausea and allergies. I put them back, and moved on with the day. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first glance. It explained why she slept so much on weekend afternoons, yet was always able to catch me awake at 3am watching cartoons on a school night. I also remember brushing off the worry with the faux assurance of SSRIs working just like all medicines do: pop the pill with a glass of water, and she should be… Read more »

An open letter: How the Reproductive Justice movement taught me self-love

To anyone who struggles with what they see in the mirror, To anyone who finds themselves avoiding a mirror, To anyone who struggles with self-love, I recently learned I am a huge hypocrite when it comes to self-love. If I see someone tear themselves down, I’ll immediately intervene and do everything I can to reassure them of their worth. But when I look in the mirror, I tear myself down more than anyone. Being a reproductive justice activist, and  a part of URGE, has shown me that. I always knew it was important to help make other people feel good about themselves, but I didn’t see the value in making myself feel good; I thought it made me egotistical. I always told myself that looks didn’t matter anyway. I later… Read more »

Reproductive Justice and the Right to Die

One of the greatest achievements of the reproductive justice movement is the considerable work that has been done to weave the injustices faced by poor women seeking an abortion and the police violence that black folks face together into a coherent critique of structural violence. Recognizing that marginalized communities must stand together when calling for the right to live a life free of violence and full of love is powerful. Despite this far-reaching agenda, considerable silence still surrounds our final phase of life. If the goal of the reproductive justice movement is life on our own terms, then we need to embrace the uncomfortable truth that death will always lurk on the other side. This means that the reproductive justice community must engage with the grim reality that just as… Read more »

Reducing the Stigma: Stop Blaming Mass Shootings on Mental Illness

As yet another mass shooting occurs, we are faced with the same bullshit excuse that we hear every time a white man commits one of these heinous acts; it must be mental illness. I am SO tired of the media throwing the mentally ill under the bus as a cop-out to avoid discussing the real issues of gun control and toxic masculinity in America. A Salon article written by Arthur Chu (which is actually the article that inspired me to write this post) discusses how after the Sandy Hook incident the NRA claimed that creating a national registry of firearms owners was a threat to the safety of the citizens, but a registry of the mentally ill was acceptable. Chu goes on to say, We’ve successfully created a world so… Read more »

I Didn’t Love My Newborn

I didn’t love my newborn. I had loved him before he was born. Through the pregnancy complications, the month of bed rest, I had loved him. Feeling him kick, seeing my huge stomach sway with his movements whenever my husband spoke. Knowing he was there brought me comfort when I was afraid. I even loved him when he had a foot wedged in my rib, as he often did. But here he was, my baby, finally in my arms, and I didn’t love him. “This is not how I’m supposed to feel.” Nothing about my son’s entrance to the world happened the way I’d hoped. I’d planned for an unmedicated labor, complete with yoga balls and a jacuzzi tub. What I got, thanks to a terrible case of pre-eclampsia, was… Read more »

2 Things I Learned About Sexism While in a Mental Hospital

In 2013, I had the very interesting experience of spending five days in a mental institution. I’ll be really upfront and say that it extremely different from what movies and TV make it out to be like. I mean, there wasn’t even a Native American trope to rip a sink out of the wall. But I did learn some really interesting things while in that hospital. I learned a lot about myself, and the causes I fight for. I learned a lot about how people see women in conjunction with mental wellness. And I learned that even though a bunch of people are in a mental hospital, some will still find time to be sexist dickbags. 2.) It’s Really Subtle (And It’s Everywhere) I was one of the younger patients…. Read more »