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Early Childhood Depression and Anxiety

It's time for another mental health post.  :)  Winter seems to be a time when things coalesce, as we have to stay quieter and more contained and this drives us to face ourselves even more.  The low light probably has something to do with this as well.

Today I would like to discuss something I touched on in my previous post about mental health.  I said I wanted to talk about disorders in children and some things to look out for.  Now, I'm no expert -- I'm just someone who's gone through it and still going through it -- and even in my own journey things change.  (I finally connected, thanks to a lady I know who studies psychology and very kindly took the time to answer a few questions, that I may be experiencing something more complicated than just depressive disorder, because hallucinations and delusions are sometimes involved. This means my journey might be a bit different than someone who only deals with depression or anxiety -- or maybe it doesn't!)  But I do wan…
Recent posts

Why Do I Always Side With the Bad Guy?

Recently it's been way too cold to play outside with little ones, so I've begun watching a Turkish drama called "Gonul" on Netflix.  It is in my opinion a pretty cheesy and stereotypical drama about a woman who has to escape from a murderous fiance; I was intrigued by the initial story line and always up for a good woman vs. patriarchy drama!  But this serial has quite surprised me and given me a new angle to think about, which redeems it a lot from the worn-out tropes they've assigned to the main characters.  And I find that I'm suddenly sympathizing a lot more with the villain than I expected I could -- a familiar scenario for some reason.

I often identify with the "bad guys" in movies, although not always, and I think it's partly a reaction to the whitewashing that is done with our hero figures.  We're supposed to romanticize them beyond the point -- to me -- of willing disbelief, and their "purity" becomes a character of its ow…

Muslim Identity Crises

Assalamu aleikum to all!  Thank you everyone who gave feedback on my previous posts!  Your encouragement means so much to me and inspires me to write more and more!

I just wanted to put up a brief, less formal post today about something I've struggled with for a VERY long time but alhamdulilah has become a great lesson.  I spend a lot of energy thinking about identity and how to define it.  Even though I dislike labeling in theory, I end up constantly searching for labels to explain who I am, why I do and think certain things, and most of all to find WHERE I belong!

The last point is one that causes a lot of pain for a lot of people.  We are community-oriented by nature and I think everyone wants a niche and a place they can point to as "home base."  Most of us use our professions and cultures to do this.  Many people will choose their friends based on where they come from because those backgrounds come with a set of ground rules and expectations.  Others of us choose ba…

3 Things I Learned From Major Depressive Disorder

Mental health is something I feel very passionately about and that is because I have first-hand experience with it.  I have had major depressive disorder pretty much all my life.  It's shaped a lot of who I am -- although not all of that is in a bad way, let's be clear -- and colors some of my earliest memories.  (Yet it is also why I have significant memory gaps.)  I also know what it's like to have these types of issues when no one around me really understands them.  When I grew up, I had no idea that the things I suffered were out of the ordinary.  It never occurred to me that I could be "crazy," and because I kept much of it secret, my parents also only saw me as a normal if rather emotional and sensitive child.  (Please also understand, I don't mean any aspersion on my parents for not knowing.  None of us were aware of what was going on and I never told them about my symptoms until I was an adult and had learned what they were.)  Now, as a writer who has…

Why I Don't Believe in Creating Purpose

The culture I live in is increasingly utilitarian when it comes to living. We're all about productivity; if you're not making, creating, on the move, or bent on achieving, you're viewed as a low-life or a waste of space. (This has serious and deadly ramifications for disabled people and for children, but that's an entirely different discussion.) Because of this constant drive to do and achieve, which is often praised as a hard work ethic and an excellent trait, many in our society suffer from poor self-esteem and even from self-abuse because they can't allow themselves to take things in stride. It also feeds a growingly dire identity crisis for young people, whose very being and right to life nowadays seems to be shaped by their career choices and how much they contribute specifically to the national economy.

 Don't get me wrong: of course I realize that our experiences shape us, and the jobs or careers we pursue are a big part of that. But as I grow up an…