Everyone is dealing with something. Everyone has issues and everyone struggles.
Everyone, except me.
I hear stories about the students at my school; someone’s dad died. Someone else’s parents had split up. Another is depressed, another is anorexic.
Whilst all this is happening, I feel so guilty. I know it’s not my fault, but my life is so easy compared to other people’s. I just don’t think it’s fair. How can I talk to someone normally when I know she forces herself to throw up the food she eats every day?
That’s why I’ve decided to do everything I can to help people who are struggling.
At school, if anyone ever needs someone to talk to, they know that I am here. In fact, over summer I messaged my friend who is battling anorexia just to offer her some support and someone to talk to. It might not seem like a big gesture, but small acts of kindness like this can make someone feel worthy and encouraged to keep going.
I also know how intense some people find school and how they can find it difficult to cope with both their mental health as well as their grades. This is why, last year, I was a maths buddy to someone in the year below who was struggling, just to help them get back on track. I have also had a few revision sessions with my friends who work better in a more relaxed and one-to-one environment, because I understand how stressful they find the school atmosphere.
It’s also really important to just be there for others. My friends know I’m here for them if and when they want to talk about anything, and I always make sure to listen intently and try my best to help them in whatever way I can, even if that just means giving them a hug.
Here’s a few tips on how to help those who are struggling;
I’ve joined TWE to try and help others, like our readers. I just hope that these articles do help you in some way because the whole team is here for you. We want to support you in any way we can.
So really, I just want to write a quick note to you. Yes, you, the amazing, brilliant, kind, talented and worthy person reading this right now. You can do this and you will do this. You are loved and you are treasured by those around you and we all want you to thrive.
Overall, if you are on the ‘other side’, I advise you to do as many small things as possible to make the lives of those struggling just a tiny bit easier. You could do this by simply asking how they are doing, and if they need any help.
I hope this helped :) Have a fantastic day!
Trigger warnings. Everyone with a mental illness who is on the internet has heard of them. A trigger warning (or content warning as it may also be called) is a short warning at the start of a social media post, photo, piece of art, TV show, advert or any other type of media that alerts the consumer as to what kind of content could be in that product.
For example, you may have seen “TW: abuse, trauma” at the start of social media posts about the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp court trial, or “TW: suicide mention, drug abuse” at the beginning of TV shows like 13 Reasons Why. These are there so that if troubling topics upset you or trigger your mental illness or certain thoughts, you can either avoid the thing or you can proceed with caution.
Many people have triggers, and there are so many. However, that doesn’t make them any less important or relevant. If someone sees triggering content then they could relapse, hurt themselves, be upset or just be uncomfortable. We at TWE make sure to know people’s triggers so that we can let them know of any triggering content in our movie nights, or our articles and social media. That way, our members and followers can avoid the content and protect themselves.
TV shows like 13 Reasons Why have been in hot water over trigger warnings in the past. If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise, 13 Reasons Why is about a young girl who commits suicide and then leaves pre-recorded tapes detailing all of the reasons why she did it, intended for certain people to listen to. The show follows one of her friends listening to the tapes. The TV programme showed a graphic scene of Hannah’s (the protagonists) suicide, with very little warning. The warning that was there said that the content may be unsuitable for younger viewers. When the season launched on Netflix, social media erupted about how the gruesome scene triggered young people around the world who had mental health difficulties, and even contributed to some suicides, as they couldn’t get the image out of their heads. This shows the glaring importance of sufficient and informative trigger warnings.
Since then, Netflix has removed the scene from the show, and now shows a video of some of the actors before the series telling viewers to watch with someone they trust, or don’t watch at all.
The use of trigger warnings has thankfully been increasing, especially online. I personally try to use trigger warnings wherever I can, even if the topic isn’t triggering to me personally.
If you do see something online that doesn’t have a trigger warning, you may feel upset, scared, or anxious. If you feel comfortable, message the owner of the content (or have a friend do it for you) and let them know that the content they posted is triggering and they may have upset many more people. Hopefully, the poster will add a trigger warning and remember in future. We are all human, and sometimes we forget things.
If you do see something online that triggers you and you feel you may hurt yourself or someone else in any way, please don’t hesitate to tell an adult, a friend or call your local emergency number to get help.
999/111 in the UK
911 in the US
I found out I was a little during my freshman year of college.
Quite the time to figure it out, hmm?
I remember learning about “little gear”, or things that can help you into “littlespace” and feel more comfortable in your regression.
New things can oftentimes seem very scary because of new terminology, experiences, feelings, and terminology, so let’s break it down a bit!
Being an agere isn’t easy. There’s a lot of stigma that follows suit. A lot of people consider it to be very disturbing and oftentimes morally wrong, leaving ageres to be stuck in a place where we can feel like we’re doing something wrong—something that we oftentimes need in order to get through life.
Q: So how do you become more comfortable being an age regressor?
A: It depends on you. What is it that makes you uncomfortable about being an age regressor? Is it that it’s different? Is it the stigma? All in all, it might just be that you need to embrace it. Radical acceptance can get you many places!
Q: What little gear can I get to help age regress if I’m not in a place I can freely be one?
A: It depends! If you’re not in a space where you can freely be one, you might want to have some incognito ways to do so. Personally, I have stuffies from my childhood I “don’t want to let go of because of memories.” I love penguins and get cute things with them. I make being animated and cute part of my joking personality so I can get away with it sometimes. Sometimes it’s holding someone’s finger or two fingers with my whole hand to feel smaller.
Q: I’m x age, can I still be a little / middle / agere?
A: Of course! Being a little / middle is only dependent on you being older than your little / middle age.
Q: Is being a little / middle / agere bad?
A: Not at all. It’s a way you’re coping and you aren’t hurting anybody at all. Be yourself, you’re beautiful and valid.
Keep your head up, the sun still rises!
Mercury ( Pitch ) Neon
When hearing the word “daydreaming”, I imagine getting briefly distracted in math class before snapping myself out of it. That may not necessarily align with how you imagine daydreaming, but in the end, it can be harmless. Daydreaming is defined as separating oneself from external reality and immersing oneself in their head. It is surprisingly very common among people. A study conducted by Harvard in 2010 found that people spend about 47% of their waking hours daydreaming. Upon hearing that statistic, you might panic and think that is too much time to spend daydreaming; however, a wandering mind can be beneficial as it can motivate you.
If daydreaming can be harmless, why am I writing this article? In my case, I am not just daydreaming, but I am maladaptive daydreaming. Maladaptation is defined as the inability to adequately adjust in an environment or situation. Maladaptive daydreaming are daydreams that are so intense, they can interfere with daily life. I have suffered from these for years, they became the most prominent when I was in middle school. I knew that I had an issue when I started to feel genuine emotions from my daydreams.
If you are hoping that I somehow overcame these intense daydreams and am sharing my advice, I am sorry to inform you that is not the case. Writing this article allowed me to learn more about this condition and explore the possible causes and solutions for my problem. I spend a significant amount of my waking hours daydreaming, a lot more than the common 47%. The content of my daydreams are intense as well. In my head, I have created a whole new life, the only thing I have kept is my name. I will not be going into details about what these daydreams hold, due to sheer embarrassment, but at least I can recognize this is not normal.
Anyone who suffers from maladaptive daydreaming can agree that we have had issues arrive from our inability to live outside of our heads. The list I have provided below are issues I have because of my maladaptive daydreaming.
Along with the issues I have from maladaptive daydreaming, it is important to target the causes for my refusal to face reality. Facing these and figuring out healthier ways to cope is vital in the process of stopping my maladaptive daydreaming.
The good thing about this situation is my awareness that I am daydreaming too vividly and too much. Unfortunately, it is not officially recognized as an illness, but it is much rather seen as a symptom of other illnesses. Maladaptive daydreaming is the most present in people with anxiety, depression, and OCD. While I am not clinically diagnosed with any of these conditions, I know that I suffer from maladaptive daydreaming and I hope to eventually overcome it.
Maladaptive daydreaming is an addiction for me. My fantasy world constantly entices me, even when I am in the middle of a social interaction. I hope that my experiences with this condition has helped other people realize they need help, or even educate people who may not suffer from this. Maladaptive daydreaming is an issue that needs to be talked about more, and I hope that it becomes a stronger talking point when it comes to mental health.
Okay, so a lot of people have their own viewpoints on what autism actually is, and a lot of these opinions are media based. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder, and has many different factors, including but not limited to, social interaction, communication (both verbal and non-verbal), intellectual capacity and repetitive behaviours. When people hear autism, they typically think of Rainman, Sheldon Cooper, or the highly intelligent, quiet person at school that is socially awkward. That is autism, but that isn’t solely what it is.
I was diagnosed a few months ago with high-functioning autism. This basically means that I’m able to communicate to a degree, although I find it difficult, and I struggle picking up on a lot of different social cues, and struggle in some social situations. I do have a higher IQ than a lot of people my age, and I have some extreme obsessions, namely with music. It’s my strongest passion. Mention George Ezra or Lewis Capaldi and I could talk for hours with no issues.
It took 17 years for me to actually be diagnosed, because first of all, I’m a girl. There are so many differences between boys and girls being diagnosed. Boys display autism differently from girls. It’s so much harder to receive a correct diagnosis as a girl, often being told that it’s “typical girl behaviour” because of our obsessions, or social awkwardness and that all girls do it. I showed behaviours from a young age, but was told “I’ll grow out of it.” I didn’t. Fast forward to age 15, I was receiving some help for my anxiety when I was asked about my thoughts on Autism, and if I thought I maybe had it. At first, I was in denial, going off the stereotypes. I did some research, and deliberated for a while. It makes so much sense. I went through a test called an ADOS, which is used to help diagnose autism in children and young people, and a week later I was given a diagnosis.
I’ve found over the past few months, when I tell people about autism, or have seen other things on social media, there are a lot of misconceptions and people jump to conclusions. I want to address a few of these.
“You don’t look autistic.” This is probably one of the worst things that you can say to someone who has been diagnosed. There isn’t a set look when you’re autistic, it’s not like we have 3 eyes or a horn coming out of our heads. “Oh my god you must be so smart can you do my homework?” No. I’m not doing your maths homework. Or your science homework. I’m hopeless at both, they’re not my thing at all. “Are you sure you’re autistic? You don’t act like it?” This is one of the more annoying ones, where people look taken aback because you’re actually able to engage in conversation. “Don’t you have those ear defenders things?” Nope, I like to joke about it with close friends, but I can actually process a lot of sensory things. They’re helpful, but I’m not reliant on them.
Now this one is even more annoying, but people try to compare me to another autistic person they know. “Oh but my friend's cousin's sister is autistic and she’s non-verbal.” Okay? It’s called a SPECTRUM. Where everyone is completely different. This also means it isn’t just a straight line, with non-verbals at one end, and high functioning, maths geniuses at the other. It’s so much more complex than that. No two autistics are the same.
So, I hope I helped with some of the misconceptions. For any autistics, or those waiting to be diagnosed, if you ever want help, I’d highly recommend looking at the National Autistic Society’s website. They have a lot of information, and in some areas, they even have support groups, which I personally think could be brilliant!
It is not uncommon to gaze off into the distance when distracted or deep into thought. At times, our surroundings may seem blurry and noises may become quiet as we sink into our mind. However in some cases, if one feels themselves disconnecting frequently or for long periods of time, it may not be typical. The difference between simply daydreaming and dissociation is that dissociation is the lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, and one’s identity. This includes feeling detached from your environment and the people around you. This can include feeling emotionally numb and light-headed.
So why do some people dissociate? There are many reasons as to why one may disconnect. The majority of the time, it is a response to trauma, including memories of the trauma. However, it can also be a sign of mental exhaustion. Dissociation can last anywhere from hours to weeks, and can be a symptom of a mental disorder such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, PTSD, etc. Dissociation might also occur more often if one is not getting enough sleep, food, or water. Another common time when one may dissociate can be during a breakdown. One may find themself crying and hurting emotionally one moment and then suddenly stop. It may appear as though they are doing better but in reality, they have become mentally exhausted and dissociate to subconsciously attempt to “leave” the breakdown.
I have experienced periods of dissociation on multiple occasions, struggling to bring myself out of it. Although these periods did not last more than a couple hours, they were challenging to deal with while trying to focus on school, or any other task I would have to complete. After dealing with short periods of dissociation, I then experienced longer periods of dissociation, that would last weeks or even months. Although I was still able to complete my daily tasks, it made simple tasks much more challenging. At times, it would feel as though I was in a dream rather than reality and I would have a difficult time feeling anything emotionally or critically thinking.
Although it is challenging to focus when one is dissociated, there are ways to aid in stopping it. First, it is important to make sure that you are sleeping and eating enough as lacking to do so may cause one to dissociate more frequently. If you or a loved one experiences dissociation that is a symptom of a mental disorder or a traumatic event, therapy could greatly aid in addressing the struggles and therefore stopping dissociation. Similar to when having a panic attack, it is also important to use your five senses. Naming three things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
https://batonrougebehavioral.com/5-tips-to-handle-a-dissociative-disorder/ (Gives tips on how to handle dissociation)
Being alone is a bit hard and a bit sad. I have noticed that when you are alone every problem in your life is somehow causing more pain than ever. I have noticed that being alone, especially at school, is tiring. I thought being alone would be easy until being alone meant feeling lonely even when thousands of people are surrounding me. I want to say that it will get better. But I somehow have been alone for 5 years. I know of people and they know of me but when I am sad or happy I have no one to tell. When I want to rant, I see myself in the mirror as the only option. I see people getting called by friends, lovers, and family and yet I am the one calling others. I have heard that I am a person who loves risky. Loving risky means loving someone more than they would ever love you. I realised with time that being alone has clear consequences and benefits:
Consequences aka cons:
I put my attention into getting busy. I made playlists for every emotion I could possibly have. My life is eating, exercising, studying, sleeping, reading and working. I don’t have fun because it has never been an option for me. I realize again being alone for sometime meant becoming a boring person. I honestly think my situation is a bit ironic. I am a high school student who has never done high school things. I have an ability of carrying high expectations while being remarkably pessimistic and sarcastic.
I’m trying to tell you what and how you shouldn’t be. Live your life as if you would die the next day. I can’t tell you I remember a lot of my recent life that wasn’t overwhelmed by work. There were summers that I wished to be back in school. There were times even when school was my sanctuary because life is not that fun when you are a solo warrior. We are not all solo warriors. I believe there are many people with friends; having one or two good friends is all that matters.
Honestly I can say for myself that this article is a rant. A rant I can’t tell anyone because I don’t trust anyone enough for them to understand. This is my experience while growing up. I am hopeful that yours is completely different and happier. But you never know, 5 years from now I could be the happiest woman alive.
(717)394-2000 - Emotional listening support line
1-877-870-4673 -The Samaritans HelpLine