boshemia magazine, mental health, Personal Essay

A Love Letter to Antidepressants

by Georgia White. This piece appears in Boshemia Magazine: BODIES. 

At the Museum Brandhorst in Munich there’s an art installation, comprised of rows of shelves two metres tall and nearly nine metres long. Sitting on the shelves are hundreds of small multi coloured objects, varying slightly in size. I thought, at first glance, that they were miniature painted cars. The installation is actually one of a series of cabinets by Damien Hirst; the work is entitled In This Terrible Moment We Are All Victims of an Environment That Refuses to Acknowledge the Soul. The objects are pills.

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guest writer, mental health, opinion

Men Must Stop Using Male Suicide as a Trump Card

Regular contributor Liam Atterbury discusses the frequent mis-placing of important discussions around male suicide and mental health. You can see more of Liam’s work in Issues 02 and 04 of Boshemia Magazine, available from our online store.

Six months on from the death of Anthony Bourdain and the topic of male suicide still lingers on the tip of our collective tongue. Horizon has since produced an incredibly articulate and sensitive documentary on the subject of male suicide, and institutions such as Samaritans and Verywell continue to raise much-needed awareness through prolific research and writing. As I lay in my bed, trawling through my Facebook or Twitter feed, I can see that the issue of male suicide is still very much at the forefront of conversation, yet I cannot remember the last time I saw an article on male suicide that did not refer to it as a gender-based issue. This is, of course, because male suicide is a gender-based issue, and has a rightful place in discussions of such. However, the topic seems to be surfacing in the strangest of places, and as a weapon. Continue reading

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author: alex n, mental health, Personal Essay

Sometimes, I Don’t Feel Anything

cw; mental health, depression

Two paper bags on my floor, several errant socks and a pile of clothes at the end of the bed (and spilling out of the washing basket). Dinner was a prepacked sandwich and two bars of chocolate. I think it’s been over a month since I called home. It’s been worse than this. At least this I could clean up in half an hour, or less. No mounds of orange plastic bags or infestations of flies. Chemical air freshener over the smell of rot. Not this time, at least.

No one knows how bad it got. I can’t find a way to talk about it that makes sense, and the words come out like I’m spitting wet hair. I’ve deleted and rewritten these sentences several times already because I feel like I’m admitting a terrible a secret, that people will view me differently. That they will see me as something wrong. Or that my words will be trite, because they add nothing to the conversation. My intention isn’t to be dramatic, or imply that I’m unique in how I feel. Just to articulate something difficult.

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guest writer, mental health, Personal Essay

A Self-Care Approach to Mental Health Isolation

by Kelly Ronaldson. Photo by Naomi August.

This time last year, I was halfway through my first year of university, living in the heart of my favourite city, and on my way to securing my dream career. Things weren’t perfect, but I had an incredible group of friends, a revitalised love for writing and a newfound hope for my personal future. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out exactly the way you want it to. Within a few months, my mental health began to deteriorate as a severe wave of depression took over and eventually led me back to where I started. Three weeks ago, I packed up everything I owned, drove 250 miles and moved back into my mother’s house.

What I hadn’t considered was how living alone for the past year had clouded my memories of living in an environment where discussions of mental health issues were extremely limited. The truth is, not everyone has the ability to reach out to friends, family or partners and explain what they’re going through. With such a negative stigma surrounding mental health, those who care about us are likely to deny, trivialize or dismiss our feelings and our symptoms, simply because they’re struggling to understand, and trying to explain ourselves over and over can be exhausting.

Living in an environment like this can be toxic, and speaking from personal experience, avoiding these types of conversations can lead to conflict, hostility and emotional repression. Not everyone has access to a healthy and encouraging support network, and having no one to turn to can be incredibly isolating. There are plenty of resources online for people who are trying to help loved ones with mental health issues. But where are the resources for those of us who have to work towards becoming our own support network and deal with our mental health struggle alone?

One of the most significant things I’ve learned on my own journey is the importance of making time for self-care. Even the smallest things will make a difference, like brewing a cup of your favourite tea, or just watching a silly, feel-good movie. It’s the kind of thing you’ll find in every single self-help book on the market, but it’s there for a reason – it works. Sometimes shutting the world out every once in a while and taking a mental health day can be extremely beneficial too, or focusing on something that you’re passionate about. For me, this involves throwing myself into my writing, and pushing myself to discover as much new music as possible, ultimately tackling my own isolation on a social level and serving as a useful and enjoyable distraction.

That said, a crucial element of being your own support network is not allowing the distractions to take over. Let yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling, and if necessary, write it out. Journaling is one of the most common methods for coping with mental health, as it allows us to process and understand our emotions – particularly when we have no one else to confide in. Find whichever outlet works for you, and roll with it. Meanwhile, take note of what your triggers are and learn when to say no if something doesn’t benefit you or make you feel good. This has without a doubt been one of my toughest life lessons, but you should never apologise for putting your mental health first.

With this in mind, make it a priority to get the treatment you need. For some people, this is medication; for others, it’s therapy. Do your research and find out what resources are available in your area. From mental health projects to activity clubs and support groups, every local community has something going on. Ask your doctor, email your local council, or search online, but make the most of local support. Some of us don’t have an immediate support network to rely on, but if experience has taught me anything, it’s that there will always be someone to listen if you take the first step and reach out.

I’m nowhere near where I want to be on my mental health journey, and I know that it’s going to take a long time for me to get there. Taking a step back and moving home, no matter how stressful and hostile the environment may be, has actually been incredibly helpful. Allowing me to employ these techniques and understand what my real needs really are is the most useful thing I’ve learned in 23 years. The most important thing is to remember, however, is that we’re not actually alone; everyone has a story to tell.

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author: kylie, mental health, news

Issue-Attention Cycles // The Media’s Short Attention Span & Your Mental Health

from Kylie Krummel. 

It seems that lately, there’s a new scandal around every corner. Breaking news can seem overwhelming if you’re not in constant contact with your phone, a television, the radio, or your annoying coworker who always has something to say about the news. Being away from the news for a while can feel similar to that “phantom vibration syndrome” you feel after a long text conversation ends but you’re still imagining that your phone is vibrating every few minutes. Something new is always popping up.

For politicians or celebrities involved in certain career- and image-damaging scandals, the rapid movement of the news onto different topics can be a good thing. But for those of us trying to keep up, those of us trying to make a difference, or those of us who have something important to say—this speed can be a hurdle that seems difficult or near impossible to clear. One National Public Radio analysis placed the speed at which news stories pass out of the media’s attention span at just a few weeks, maximum.

rawpixel-com-369789-unsplash

via Unsplash

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