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Okay, let's talk about something.

Let's talk about these fucking assholes who only care about mental health when they can act like only "crazy people" ever shoot a bunch of folks.

Let's ignore the gun control issue, the fact that it's pretty much only ever white dudes going on shooting sprees in public spaces, and let's ignore the way the media gives these people shitloads of attention.  I would just like to talk about the implication that any mass shooter is automatically crazy, and would not have gone on a shooting spree if provided with health care.

I am not especially qualified to say if this is true or not, but here are some facts.

(x) Treatment does indeed help decrease violent acts in mentally ill folks who've been admitted to a hospital.  So their premise is okay, I guess.  Though it looks like, just from this table which is by no means especially comprehensive, that substance abuse might be a more telling factor in terms of likeliness/frequency of violent/aggressive acts.

As a group, people with mental health issues are not more violent than any other group in our society. The majority of crimes are not committed by people with psychiatric illness, and multiple studies have proven that there is very little relationship between most of these diseases and violence. The real issue is the fact that people with mental illness are two and a half to four times more likely to be the victims of violence than any other group in our society.


Crimes and violence are not the purview of the "crazy".  Being mentally ill increases your chance of being a victim of violence by at least double.  At least double.  (also I can't find it right now, but I recently reblogged something that linked to studies showing that being on the receiving end of violence/abuse increases your likelihood of anxiety disorders and other things on that end of the mental health spectrum, SO THAT'S FUN)

And here's how much I hear about mental health care from these folks every other day of the year:

[image not fucking found]

NOTHING.  Okay, one of these images was taken from a personal friend's facebook page.  He is friends with me and my family.  Round these parts, anxiety, bipolar, and possible autism-spectrum stuff (in addition to various learning disorders) are pretty much the norm.  Do I see him talk about how mental health care should be more accessible when one of us has a panic attack lasting days?  Or a bipolar meltdown that ends with arrest?  Nope.

So dear everyone that likes to use these events as a platform for showing off how much you totes care about the mentally ill: SHUT THE FUCK UP.  SHUT. THE FUCK.UP.  If you really cared, I wouldn't have to choose between food and meds.  It wouldn't be fucking impossible to get accommodations or disability for mental disorders.  And maybe the odds of being on the receiving end of violence and abuse wouldn't be more than double for folks with mental disorders than for folks without.  Instead, you don't give a shit any other day of the year and then suddenly ignore actual facts to tout your view on gun control.

So please, just shut up.  Just. Shut. Up.  Your ignorance is actively contributing to the problems mentally ill folks face, and yet you're acting like you know shit.  You don't.

(This was thrown together after all this bullshit made me angry; I apologize if bits of it are awkwardly worded or poorly sourced.  Also, please do not come to me with "oh but he/they/I didn't mean it like that"; if it weren't part of a larger pattern that I see happen EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME there is some white dude with a gun shooting up places, maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal/so fucking irritating/completely harmful.)

(cross-posted from my Tumblr)
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On Anxiety and Medication

(Cross-posted from my Tumblr)
Content: discussion of, uh, my experiences with anxiety, depression, and medication for those things. Also discussion of my sex life as it relates to those things. Personal. Rambly.

I have an anxiety disorder. For the last several years, it’s been getting worse. It meant I couldn’t talk to strangers most days, or use the phone—especially to call someone—that I couldn’t raise my hand in class without my heartbeat speeding up and my hands shaking. It meant a lot of things, actually, and it got to the point where it was affecting my life pretty seriously. I had to drop a show this semester because I had my longest anxiety attack ever four days before dress.

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Hello, Livejournal, it's been a while.

I have a job. I work in the school costume shop four days a week, getting paid to do what I did all last semester (and one day a week) for free. It's pretty sweet. It doesn't pay a whole lot, but it pays enough, and it gives me something to put on my resume and things to put in my portfolio to hopefully get more jobs like this. It's fun and I enjoy doing it, even when I do it literally every day. In fact, the only reason I'm not working five days a week is because I signed up for the class credit to work in the shop before I knew if they were going to hire me.

My longtime obsession with analysis and exposure to social justice means I can throw together a paper that's not entirely BS with ease, which helps since I no longer have time to actually spend time on my homework.

My entire outfit today is stuff I made for myself.

I acted today for the first time in nearly two years. I hadn't realized how much I miss it. As much as my anxiety makes it difficult to audition, I think actually acting really helps. My social anxiety's been much worse since I went off to college/stopped acting, and today was possibly the easiest day for me to cope with people in a long time. It was amazing. (Although I have no idea when the hell I'd have time to attend rehearsals and learn lines when I'm trying to design for shows.)

I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire (I'm on A Storm of Swords) and good lord but books.

I have a job, and a place to stay, and a stable relationship, and a plan to go to grad school. Some days I almost catch myself believing I'm an adult. Which always makes me laugh at myself because I am wearing a novelty spiderweb barette in my hair and spend time nearly every day yelling about My Little Pony.

The more things change, etc.
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(no subject)

It is six a.m. I am awake, taking a break from ironing a wedding dress for a wedding that is going to take place in 12 hours.

I hate weddings. I hate this wedding especially. I altered every single dress in the bride's party, save one (the matron of honor, pregnant, paid to have hers professionally altered, thank the gods). I hate the groom. I hate most of the groom's family. I'm exhausted and stressed out and have been sewing or socializing basically all week. I hate socializing.

Okay, that last one's a lie. I don't mind socializing. I do mind when I don't get any down time in between socializing. There have been like four parties so far this week, and people coming to my house to do wedding prep, leaving me unable to turn my socializing off. Introversion 101: get the fuck out of my house so I can sit down and rest for an hour or two.
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One for the Vault

So I wasn't aware this was going to happen, but this has apparently turned into the summer of concerts for me. I think the biggest factor in this was the fact that I was in Milwaukee for Summerfest, could get to Summerfest, and cared about music, things that have never managed to overlap before in my life.

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Also this summer: books. I've read so many books this summer. It's very nice. I went through Sophie's whole Neil Gaiman collection (two books were short story collections, which make me happier than most things), all of Transmetropolitan, the Ocarina of Time manga, the comic adaption of Neverwhere, the Zombie Survival Guide, the Illustrated Outbreaks comic, several Georgia Nicholson books, The Giver, a short book of captioned illustrations by Edward Gorey, and am currently working my way through Pretty in Punk, about girls' gender resistance in the punk movement.

Also also this summer: markers. Sophie's mom had a bunch of old Prismacolor markers from her school days, and gifted them to Sophie, who has allowed me to use them while I'm here. Most of my Prismacolors are skin tones, and none of hers were, so our two collections combined are very effective for arting, and we have been doing a lot of it.

And finally this summer, video games. I replayed Wind Waker and Twilight Princess (both depressing beyond all reason), Sophie just bought God of War, and I'm going to start in on Final Fantasy IX again (because I love it). This is not to mention our countless combined hours of the Sims 3.

In sum: it is muggy, and my feet have often hurt, but I am very happy and keeping busy. Also there is a cat, which never hurts.
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So I'm in Milwaukee, I'm happier than I have been in a long time, I'm not getting a lot of writing done but I've read more in the last two weeks than I did in the two months before I left. My computer charger stopped functioning the night before I got on the plane to be here, so I left my laptop at home. When I got here, I discovered Sophie's computer uses the same charger as mine.

Still, though. I've beaten video games, I've read several books, I'm halfway through Transmetropolitan, I have access to a huge marker collection. And, you know, I'm in a place I don't hate with a group of people I love. So. There's that.

(Seriously though I could have brought my computer and my entire life would be so much easier NO BUT REALLY IT'S FINE)

Also, I joined Sophie, Sara, and Jake on an apartment-hunting trip to Minneapolis and Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ, that is a nice city. Apparently the theatre program there is really nice (Sara is in it). Way more costuming classes. The shops aren't in the basement. The floor tiles aren't made of asbestos. I'm going to look into if my financial aid will transfer.
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Tired, feeling like crap, threw up my delicious dinner, started my period, still have to write a five-page paper on the definition of censorship and a one-page paper in Spanish, won't have time tomorrow because it's family Easter, which means I'll probably get involved in arguments with my family about religion, haven't been back to my room in way too long, didn't get my daily minimum of hugs.

However, I did color eggs, and I did get to shindig, I'll see my mom, my cats, and my dogs tomorrow, there will be yummy burgers, plenty of hard-boiled eggs, lots of candy, I'll get to show off some art, and I'm currently listening to the Across the Universe soundtrack. Also papers on censorship are super easy for me to write, because I automatically start ranting and fill the space before I know it.

I would like to find my hair curlers and curl my hair a few days before I chop some of it off. I'm not planning on it, but as much as I like my hair like this, I've had pretty much the same hairstyle and color for two years now. I can't afford to bleach and dye it, but I can afford to painstakingly cut my hair myself.

Now, I'm going to try to do some writing before I blow up the air mattress and pass out.
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Got torn up at Crit Group tonight.

I feel like these five individuals are teaching me more about writing than all of the classes I am taking right now are teaching me about everything else.

I feel like I should take notes on everything they ever say.

I do have to wonder, though, why I have kept so much of the beginning of Silver Chain the same when it has always been the weakest and most obviously conceived before I was in high school. Totally got called out on that tonight, haha.

Also wonder why I constantly analyze the shit out of the tv I watch to the point of annoying everyone around me, but I don’t usually analyze literature unless it’s for a class or I’ve read it like a million times. It’s starting to be an issue with regards to crit group.

This might be one of the most stressful parts of my week, but I feel like it’s the part that will be the most important later in life. With the possible exception of learning the Spanish language (because hello how could that not be important to me?).
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Apparently family dysfunction is heroic. GOOD NEWS FOR MY FAMILY.

It really makes me angry when people in or outside of the Supernatural fandom say that the Winchesters are noble and heroic and shit. I mean, yeah, sure, they are, but they are also profoundly fucked up. One of my favorite parts of the show is that they've never backed down from showing how completely screwed in the head you'd have to be in order to live the life that they do and make the choices they've made. And I feel like this is pretty explicit in the show--John talks about how he screwed up Dean's childhood and made him grow up too fast, Dean blames his father for sacrificing his life for Dean's, but then sacrifices his life for Sam's anyway, and even as the brothers have more and more troubles with the angels and the apocalypse and fight, they grow even more codependent.

The show doesn't glamorize this. They're shown committing fraud, stealing things, dealing with their problems in unhealthy ways because they figure, hey, they're going to die anyway--this is all stuff the show routinely puts on the screen. And yet there are apparently segments of viewers that somehow manage to see them as positive role models (?), that the destructive cycle of self-sacrifice and self-denial is a good thing (??), and that the choices they make are the choices any good, wholesome people would make in their situation (???).

Okay, seriously. They started the fucking apocalypse. They've both done terrible things for any number of reasons. They've both given up the life they want in order to protect people who couldn't give a shit, and it's had predictable results on their worldviews. I really don't see how anyone could see this show as inspiring. This show is more depressing than Angel, and that is saying something. At this point, I'm honestly expecting the season to end with Lucifer winning and the end of the world. I mean, it always gets worse, and at this point, that's the only way it could.

Seriously, this show is not full of good role-models and healthy decisions. People need to stop acting like it is.

(Disclaimer: this is like my favorite show on tv right now. Probably says something about me. But anyway, I don't mean this stuff in a bad way. I don't know if I'd like it at all if things didn't suck and the characters didn't make the worst decisions in the history of decisions.)
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Settling into a groove

I had the best Crit Group experience tonight. It was just fantastic. We all have similar senses of humor, we get along well, overall everyone is a very good writer, and everyone takes criticism well. Honestly, it's like a dream. Tonight we ran late (almost an hour!) because we were so involved in talking about someone's story, offering suggestions, and making sure he knew what he was doing (he did when it came to the magic and the setting--mostly--but the characters had issues, and we spent a lot of time on that) that none of us even looked at a clock.

And even though we were pretty much tearing this guy's story apart, he was accepting the criticism, explaining things when we asked questions, and when someone offered alternatives or pointed out things that contradicted each other, he would explain how he would change it and what that would do to the rest of the story. Everyone so far has been about that wonderful at taking crit, too. I'm the only one whose story we haven't discussed yet, but I did send it around and the few comments I got on it were positive, which makes me feel pretty good. But of course, I've seen how the group works and offers crit, and man, this is a group I trust with my work.

This is also apparently a group I trust to give me a ride home, because since we ran late, I was concerned about the bus I needed still running, so the couple offered me a ride since my dorm is on their way. And I enjoyed the ride home, too--we talked about Iron Man, discussed the night's stories a little more, and the woman driving actually thanked me for sending my story out (!).

I feel like I have a lot of fun at these meetings, but I also learn a lot--and I feel like I'm helping the others out as well, and it's pretty fucking awesome.