How To Talk To Your Parents About Your Mental Health

Talking to a parent/guardian about mental health can be difficult and tricky for several reasons. Many people that I know who suffer from mental health problems have said how difficult it was to talk to their parents about it because they didn’t want to upset or disappoint them.

In this post, I will discuss common concerns people have with talking about their mental health with parents/guardians along with ways you can tell your parents you have mental health problems…

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The Pressure of Coming Out and Why Homosexuality Shouldn’t be a BIG DEAL

This article was originally published on my older blog, Absurd Nerd. I was browsing through it and thought this article is as relevant now as it was four years ago.


As the saying goes, it’s better to just speak up than keeping something buried inside you, waiting until this something becomes so unbearable to keep you it explodes in someone else’s face. Speaking from experience, this is mostly the case… emphasis on ‘mostly’. It’s the case when you accidentally break your mum’s favourite vase and blame your sibling/pet, or when you tell your best friend you liked their outfit when in reality you didn’t. But it’s not the case with coming out being gay.

For most people, it’s easy to just open up and say, “I’m gay.” but living in a world where being different is almost a crime, it’s harder than ever, especially in the present Christian society. Christians believe that, since the Bible starts off with saying the world’s first two humans were male and female, then that’s still the case to date: only a male and female are allowed to fall in love, get married and have children. Despite that being the case, there is nothing in the Bible where it’s opposing homosexuality. Nowhere in said Bible has Jesus ever discussed or merely addressed same-sex marriage.

Going back to the ‘love should be between a man and woman issue: does that mean that the love a parent shows her child isn’t real? Or the love a friend shows to another? When I, pro-LGBT, ask this question to a hardcore Christian, all of them reply with the same answer: “But that’s different!” Why should love between friends, family and people of the same sex be different? What’s so different and ‘immoral’ about it? Nothing. It’s nothing different. During a discussion I had with a former teacher about whether gay couples should have kids, the first thing he told me was that he had nothing against gay marriage or gay couples in general, however he didn’t agree with them raising children as the latter would grow up being gay.

This last statement made me—and most people in the class—cringe. It was like saying that all children born to a man and woman should be straight, when in reality this is mostly never the case. Most homosexuals are born to a man and woman, so why is it that Christians point at gay couples, telling them they can’t raise a child because they might grow up ‘just like them’? Furthermore, children born or raised by a gay couple is also believed, by Christians, to grow up ‘sad, broken’… doesn’t this happen in every family regardless of who the parent is?

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Searching through the internet, I stumbled upon several pictures of a celebrity gay couple, consisting of actor Neil Patrick Harris and husband, chef David Burtka (pictured), with their twin children, and there was nothing that showed that these children were sad or different from any other children.

The question I ask myself when I see gay couples with their very happy and very healthy children is why is homosexuality a big deal? A bigger, more general question is why there’s a label when it comes to love. There shouldn’t be pinning when it comes to something like love: people are people, not cans of food. There shouldn’t be such thing as being straight or gay or anything of that sort. With several hundreds of campaigns to raise awareness against homophobia, there is hope for a more equal, united world.

#ClaireNotes – December 2017

Closing the year 2017 with a bang…! December 2017 was probably the most eventful month since I started blogging. And since it’s the last month of the year, I have decided to highlight even MORE things that happened, and what is yet to happen for the year 2018.

Hope you enjoy reading this post! Let me know how your December was in the comments below ❤

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I’m Sorry

I know those two words seem small, and they actually are. They are nothing more than seven letters, but I don’t know where else to start. So I’ll start with:

I’m sorry.

There are, obviously, things I am not and can never be sorry for. I’m not sorry for my illness. It’s something beyond my control; it is a physical disorder as much as it is a mental one. But I am sorry for the years I’ve wasted feeling sorry for myself. I’m sorry for the years I’ve tried to hide my illness, to keep it a secret.

I’ve pushed you away, though you never knew why. You may not have even realized I was doing it, but there were cancelled plans and social gatherings I forced myself to go to, resentfully and begrudgingly.. even just recently.

It wasn’t your fault. I was too broken to hold it all together, but because I was also too scared to tell you the truth, I would just sit there, forcing an awkward smile and some bland conversation. I would excuse myself from social events and I would withdraw to a corner and watch while you laughed and had a ball.

You thought I was a buzzkill (and you were right), but what I’m most sorry and hurt for is that you thought I was too good for you. But that was never the case. The truth is I wanted to be happy. I wanted nothing more than to laugh beside you and enjoy myself the way you do, but I felt disconnected. Sure, there are moments of happiness and joy, but most of my life is about just getting by. So instead of pretending, I pulled away.

I’m sorry for not being present, for not celebrating your successes and joys. Please know I wanted to, but sometimes the pain held me back — the pain of seeing everything I wanted but would never have, could never have. It’s selfish, I know, but I didn’t know how to handle it.

I’m sorry for the times my temper has been short, and you’ve been the recipient of my rage. Anger has been the most unexpected symptom of my sickness. When I was a teenager, and even now in my 20s, my depression was marked by melancholy. But as the years passed, the symptoms shifted. It’s the anger I cannot ignore and scares me.

And I’m sorry for all this.

It’s embarrassing and scary to admit you need help, to admit you are not OK. You know once you let your secret out you’ll have no choice but to follow through with therapy. You’ll have to talk to friends and family about your illness, even when you don’t want to. You know you can’t close the curtains and hide anymore, and that thought is terrifying. God knows how scared shitless I was, which is why it took me over ten years to seek treatment.

Sometimes, we “find the light” and make it out. I have, but depression is a lifelong disease, and may return, guaranteed. There is nothing I can do to stop it. The only thing I can control is how I handle it when it does. And for me, handling it means not hiding from it.

So, to everyone entangled in this mess with me, I’m sorry. I never wanted to hurt you or drag you into this nightmare I call my life. I love you for standing by me, and hope you still can.

The Symptoms of Depression Nobody Talks About

Depression is often very misunderstood. Some believe it means simply being sad and unmotivated, when in reality, the symptoms of depression often have a way of infiltrating everything, from the smallest, most unsuspecting details, to the biggest, most significant aspects. And trying to explain this often feels like trying to hold onto water.

I did a lot of research on this, both as a curious person and a sufferer of mental health illnesses, which is why it took me over two weeks to publish it.

By opening the dialogue and trying to put words to these symptoms, we can continue to deepen our understanding and unveil the misunderstanding that leads to stigma. 

Here is what I found out:

  • Wanting to say what’s on your mind, but can’t explain it, so you just cry because you don’t even know what you’re feeling
  • The exhaustion is equally mental as it is physical. Mental exhaustion from having to apologize for who you are, from trying to convince yourself you deserve to be alive. The physical and mental exhaustion from living in general
  • The black hole felt in the core of being. It sucks in life, motivation, concentration, etc. It’s drowning in the the ocean in the middle of a tempest
  • Not showering, combing your hair, brushing your teeth or changing clothes for a long time. Basically, all hygiene just goes out the window
  • When having an episode but you are not so far gone, and part of your rational mind is telling you there’s no reason to feel that way, yet the dark part of your mind still won’t release its grip
  • You can see and take in your surroundings, but you don’t feel a part of it, as if in a dream
  • When you’re depressed, your ability to feel joy from the things you normally love fades, but the worst days are the days where you are so numb you can barely even feel compassion or empathy
  • Your aching body from staying still all day, whether from laying in bed or just sitting. People think people with depression are just lazy for doing so
  • Disassociation. When you are so depressed and consumed you are no longer yourself. It feels like you are in a videogame. There is no emotional connection to reality
  • When you are so tired you do not manage to get to places in time. It takes you a lot of energy to get up, get ready and go
  • Not knowing that something is wrong in the early stage, and hurting other people with your behavior, and this is of course not done on purpose. This results in people accusing you of the things caused by the illnesses you could not control
  • The amount of migraines you struggle with when you go through depressive episodes which makes dealing with everything a million times harder
  • Anger, agitation, irritability and the feeling of having little to no self-control. This often gets to a point where you cannot bottle it up anymore, and you go down a downward spiral over the simplest, smallest of things because you cannot manage your emotions. Basically, depression is anger turned inwards
  • Thinking depression will be passed on to your children, and you cannot explain this because it is not tangible. Fact: children are more likely to develop mental health problems if their parents experienced them
  • This one is for the ladies: your period reacts to your emotional stress level and depression can cause you so much stress because people don’t understand, your period sometimes either stops or it just keeps going and becomes super irregular and painful
  • You are not able to talk and voice your thoughts because depression makes you believe your opinion does not matter
  • Sometimes you think: am I just exhausted because of my sleep schedule? Or because my mind hasn’t stopped working or stressing for days? That constant need to rationalize your mental health makes the depression symptoms even worse
  • Preoccupation. Depression can make you preoccupy yourself with game apps and simple things I know I can do or change because I feel that I can’t change or control anything else in my life
  • Promiscuity. You get so down and depressed you just want to do anything to feel better, even though you hurt yourself at the same time
  • The internal frustration that you are too scared, guilty or embarrassed to speak out because there is still so much stigma and lack of services, and people who say they are there for you when actually they aren’t. So you just end up drowning in your own thoughts and your depression or anxiety worsens

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  • Paranoia. You think that people are getting annoyed with you and the awful symptoms
  • One minute you’re having fun with your friends and family, and then it hits you hard and begin to shut down without an explanation, nothing to have triggered it. Suddenly you have trouble enjoying yourself with people you are happy around
  • Foggy thinking, making it impossible to concentrate or remember anything
  • Gaining weight because you don’t know what else to do. Or the weight loss because you are just not hungry and don’t have the energy to cook
  • You’re guilty all the time. Hurting friends and family, lying about why you can’t do something or go somewhere, not going to work, staying in bed all day, not taking proper care of your responsibilities… It’s consuming and never ending
  • The uncertainty. You don’t know if you’re going to wake up in the same horrid mood, a worse or better one. Not knowing if one day you’re going to stop functioning. Not knowing whether you will be able to keep your job while keeping your head above water
  • Cancelling plans last minute, having your friends and family think you don’t love then when this occurs constantly
  • You don’t know if your thoughts are real of just effects of depression feeding you lies. You feel betrayed by your own brain and you’re not able to distinguish the true and depressive thoughts
  • The need to put on an act so everyone thinks you are OK, but inside you feel worthless. Sometimes you just want to shout that you are suffering and cannot cope, but you’re made to feel like you are not allowed to show weakness. The exhaustion and the physical pain caused by holding back tears because you have to appear to function well at home, at work and in social situations
  • Not knowing how to explain why you are depressed. People constantly ask you “What’s making you depressed?” or “Why are you depressed?”. It’s hard to keep saying that you have no clue. Because if you knew, you would have loved telling them and fix it, but it’s tough… you just don’t know why. You just are
  • Awareness. Awareness of all the things that are wrong, but the inability to fix any of it
  • The physical and emotional pain and weariness and feeling like you have to apologize for all of it. It’s exhausting!
  • Wanting to put yourself in dangerous situations. Depression isn’t always about laying in your bed, it also can be the urge to be self-destructive. People don’t talk about this because it’s a kind of a grey space. You’re not really suicidal, but you have a kind of urge to put yourself in dangerous situation
  • When you’re typically a super responsible, organized person, and you slowly feel all of it start to unravel. You start showing up late to work, falling behind on tasks, stop eating, start praying that your kids (if you have them) won’t notice and you put on that fake smile and try to keep it all together. Through tears and self-doubt, you pull through for them because they need you
  • Thinking you’re no longer in love with the love of your life. Becoming paranoid of them thinking they’re bad for you. It causes the partner to feel unloved, no matter if you still say ‘I love you,’ they can feel it
  • When every decision, no matter how small or big, becomes an insurmountable burden because of your indecisive mind. Then the guilt of having made a decision that always seems to be the wrong one. And then more guilt that makes you think you are useless to anyone in the world including yourself
  • Selfishness. You tend to isolate yourself and put your depression first, and the rest second. Depression takes the spotlight, and everyone and everything else is in the backseat
  • Constipation. Whether it’s because of something bad you ate, the medication or because all you do is sleep. It takes you weeks to start getting back to normal, and nothing prolongs the cloud in your head than feeling bloated and sick on top of lack of motivation and self-deprecation

It is important to remember that no matter how much you are struggling or how overwhelming your symptoms may feel, you are never alone and you are worthy and deserving of help.

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#ClaireNotes… London Edition! – July 2017

London baby!

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My most anticipated holiday to date has to be this one. It had been planned and booked for over a year! One week in London, jam-packed with fantastic events and banter (knowing me) with my bestfriend of 12 years.

The downside? Being at the airport at 4 in the morning. Yeah, I am not a morning person. But there were some upsides!: seven days with my bestfriend in the whole world. And shopping. And musicals. And souvenirs!

BFF’s Birthday in London

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Why the Cursed Child poster, you may be wondering…? Well, because we booked to see both parts of the play on her birthday!

I cannot share any details on the play itself (#keepthesecrets), but let’s just say it was beautiful and the transitions from one scene to another were out of this world and… dare I say… MAGICAL!

Brighton

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The day before Cursed Child we went to Brighton. We attended an event called Pop Up Pug Café which you can assume what it was all about.

After the Café we caught the bus to the Royal Pavilion…

Me

… and then headed to the amazing Brighton Pier, which was a lifelong dream of mine to visit.

You can tell the weather wasn’t in our favour, but we still had the greatest time!


Would you like a post on my week in London? Let me know in the comments’ section below!

Dim the Spotlight on… Chester Bennington [#3]

THIS IS A NEW SERIES WHICH CONSISTS OF ME LOOKING BACK AT ARTISTS I LOVE AND HAVE INFLUENCED ME THAT ARE UNFORTUNATELY NO LONGER ALIVE.


If the previous DtSo post was tough to write, then this one is a hundred times tougher. I found out about Chester’s demise during the Hamlet intermission last Thursday… so that’s one whole week of research upon research. I saved and bookmarked up to thirty – yes, thirty! – articles. Despite the fact that I knew about the singer’s turbulent past, I still wanted to base this post on more facts that you might not have been aware of.

Warning: A very long post is ahead of you, you’ve been warned.

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