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mental health mondays :: mental health day [again]

i'm going to claim post-traumatic stress disorder from all the 9/11 coverage in the last week as the reason i didn't get together a piece for mhm this week. i was actually thinking of doing something on post-traumatic stress disorder itself, since it seemed appropriate, except that it occurred to me that the name of the condition actually pretty much tells you everything you need to know about it.

something bad happens.

your brain can't quite deal with it.

the stress of dealing with it causes your brain to start malfunctioning.

really, all diseases and conditions should be so clearly labeled. [i know that george carlin decried the term as an example of soft language, and i see his point, but you do have to admit, it's a lot more specific than saying that someone has antisocial personality disorder, which means that they're dangerous, but sounds like they just don't like to go out very much.]

the good news about ptsd is that, despite the fact that a majority of us will undergo some kind of trauma during our lives, only a tiny minority will actually develop a disorder as a result. it turns out that, appearances occasionally to the contrary, the brain is actually pretty good at dealing with the horrible things that can happen to it. the bad news is, the world is still full of the acute horrors that do actually cause the brain to start collapsing on itself like a dying star.

i chose to distance myself from the past week's reliving of the 9/11 attacks not because i found it stressful, but because i found it grotesque and exploitative. the psychological sciences haven't yet come up with a name for a mental disorder that drives people to use the most painful moments of others for their own gain- political, financial or otherwise- but the condition seems prevalent enough that it warrants being labeled. and studied. and fixed.

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write brain

i was talking to a friend of mine about coffee, specifically about our mutual need for coffee, yesterday and, literally as i was in the middle of a thought, an idea occurred to me that i felt like i had to note. so there i am, scribbling a note to myself that was really just a word salad of related terms, which i later transformed into a weird but more comprehensible note that i could refer to later. [i don't want another beatriz coca situation on my hands.] i feel like this idea isn't a story on its own, but something that i could incorporate into a larger project, which is good, because i have a few of those.

now, of course, i need to sit down and do research on this, because it's become terribly important to me that the details of this weird little idea that i'm planning on incorporating into a larger thing be totally plausible, even though no one but me is ever going to care. i'm increasingly convinced that the goal of every writer is to find someone who will t…

dream vacation

i've written about this before, but i have an odd tendency to travel in my sleep. i don't mean that i roll around  and shift positions a lot [although that was a problem in my childhood], but rather that i take these strange vacations in other places that do actually exist, for no particular reason. i would love to travel more, like most people i know, but in my dreams, i seem to pick places that wouldn't normally occur to me. [like greenland, which was actually green when i dreamt about it, and the volcanoes between chile and antarctica that i swear i didn't know about before i dreamt them, but which really do exist.]

for instance, a couple of nights ago, i dreamt that dom and i had gone on vacation to jerusalem, more specifically east jerusalem, also known as  the palestinian section, and also where a lot of palestinian homes get bulldozed. it's walled off from the west, israeli, part of the city, although the two are connected by a light rail line and a lot of h…

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…