mental illness


So my mental health relapsed for absolutely no reason. It’s awful. My only solace is that it isn’t half as bad as it was last time, thank god. But rough. :(

I should have gone to see GOTG Vol 3 this week. Instead I just lie on the sofa feeling like death. If I only knew what had caused it I could take steps to prevent it happening again, but I have NO IDEA, you know?

Beth Matthews’ raw honesty saved lives, say mental health experts — BBC News – Home

It was only when she died that her family found how many people she helped with her writing.

Beth Matthews’ raw honesty saved lives, say mental health experts — BBC News – Home

This is an incredibly sad story, made all the worse by all the healthcare professionals who let this woman down.

But reading about all the lives Beth Matthews touched… I think there’s a tiny element of hope in there too. Very tiny. But still there.

“Why did you say that name?!”

(spoilers for The Batman ahead)

I’m back from seeing The Batman and it’s a very good movie, absolutely deserving of all the hype. Excellent deconstruction of Bats and his supporting cast. But there’s one character I want to single out specifically…

As the founder of the Dead Fictional Mothers Club (it contains one member, me) I’ve always been quite interested in how Martha Wayne is used in Batman stories. I recollect the Nolan movies barely acknowledged her as anything other than an afterthought, and I admit it, I have quite a lot of goodwill towards Batman vs Superman and that scene simply because it didn’t do the same thing.

Now we have The Batman and Martha gets a new backstory, or I gather a mostly new one anyway: after witnessing a horrible tragedy as a child she suffered serious mental health issues and was sent to an institution. This information was used by a journalist to blackmail Thomas Wayne and it led to not only his and Martha’s deaths but also the various increasingly horrific things we see taking place throughout the movie. And I walked out of the theater thinking, “WAIT A MINUTE. Could a lot of this have potentially been prevented if a woman’s mental illness hadn’t been treated like a shameful thing?!”

Unfortunately the movie doesn’t go much into this, which is fair in many ways, it’s got a lot going on. But I do think – and bear in mind I’m not thrilled about the portrayal of the Riddler here either – that the Batman franchise in general has A LOT of heavy lifting to do when it comes to mental health stigma. So I really wish they’d taken the opportunity to delve into Martha’s backstory here. Hell, her thoughts, even. There’s lots of talk right now about potential Batman spinoffs, well, I want a Martha Wayne one.

By the way, that picture up there is seen for a couple of seconds in the film, but is also found on the secret tie-in website built for the movie. You can find it here! But I wonder what that image is meant to invoke when the audience sees it. Fear? Revulsion? I hope not.

My Harry Osborn article for the Mary Sue

Nick Spencer’s New Spider-Man Twist Literally Demonizes The Mentally Ill

I’m very pleased to announce I just got an article about Spider-Man, Harry Osborn and mental illness published at The Mary Sue! It’s, uh, not positive about Nick Spencer’s writing.

I hope you enjoy it. There are some nice comments on there, including one that actually vocalised something I’ve been thinking for a while – for all the terribleness of this storyline, the backlash to it did highlight how unexpectedly beloved Harry is among Spider-Man fans. (Maybe the real Harry was the friends we made along the way.)

OCD things:


  • you never know if an intrusive thought will pass for just a minute or it will have a 4-month stay in your head.
  • you know your fears are irrational but yet you don’t because they just feel too real.
  • feeling guilty when you get a disgusting thought even though you know it’s out of your control but you feel like you’ll be an awful person if you don’t feel guilt over letting something so awful in your head.
  • being scared of being scared.
  • feeling like you won’t be able to go on with your life normally after a certain thought.
  • wanting to speak to someone but yet feeling too ashamed to speak up or you know that the fear is too idiotic.
  • when people think that OCD is just being tidy and washing your hands often.
  • feeling scared when you don’t feel scared over something you’re usually supposed to be horrified by.
  • every episode usually has one main thought that bothers you but other thoughts might occur too.
  • being told that you’re too smart to have such irrational fears. like, i know but i can’t help it.
  • it can be triggered by something most people would just pass by.
  • feeling like you’re sharing a body with something/someone that’s not you.
  • wishing you could just delete those thoughts from your head.







This Comedian Nails Why The Mental Illness + Creativity Connection is Ridiculous

I used to really worry that medications would harm my creativity and it’s part of why I resisted taking them. It hasn’t. If anything it’s allowed me to be more focused and able to complete things. My imagination hasn’t changed just because I’m on anti-depressants.

a lot of my family didnt want me to start medications because they thought it would impact my ability to create, and I believed them.

Now im getting better and better with my art because i dont have to fight through the brainfog or the constant panic attacks and can dedicate my energy to my work.

Antidepressents didnt take my emotions away, they made them easier to handle.

also Van Gogh was literally in an asylum receiving mental health treatment when he painted ‘Starry Night’.
It was one of the most stable & productive periods of his life, despite the fact that wasn’t hugely effective treatment, because they didn’t really have modern understandings of what things work on mental illness. Like, you know. Medication.

This is why we don’t romanticize mental illness or chronic disease.

ALSO because I am reading a book of his letters right now, Van Gogh himself addressed the idea that the best art came from pain and said that his art tended to suffer when his depression was hitting pretty hard. So don’t even pull that shit where you give his untreated depression credit for his art. Van Gogh would have hated that, and if antidepressants/better treatment of mental illness HAD existed then we might have even more of his work now.







Carrie Fisher explains to a little boy what ‘bipolar’ means, at Indiana Comic Con 2015.

I love her so much.

I will always reblog this because it’s the best description of bi-polar I have EVER seen.

(Especially to people who don’t understand what mania means. You aren’t HAPPY, you’re very fast.)

It was SO important to 15-year-old me to learn that PRINCESS LEIA (whose hair I have envied since age 7, btw) was bi-polar.

she is so good and i love her so much, and so so much for TALKING about everything so frankly. (without losing an ounce of her humor).

I never gave Carrie Fisher much thought until she was the guest on Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me – If you aren’t familiar with the show, it’s a news-related comedy podcast recorded weekly in Chicago.

She was hilarious and everything I have read/seen since has made me like and respect her more.

Reblogging because it is so important not to hide things from kids. This is an awesome example of explaining something to a kid by relating it to things they already understand. Then they can accept it, process it, and move on. Otherwise, the hidden thing can become a source of fear or shame.

what do you think of so many people labeling amy as violent and sexually aggressive?yes she’s flawed and i’m aware of that but in dw there is a lot of insulting, pushing each other around and slapping going on between the characters in general, for example donna, clara, river song and the doctor himself (for example when he forces a kiss on jenny) don’t get me wrong this behaiour is wrong but in dw it’s smth that as good as all characters do, not just amy and it gets ignored a lot in other ones


Thank you for waiting anon you’re a gem and so is this question.  Please drop me a line and let you know if you saw this because I know it’s been a few days.

To begin I’d like to point you towards sarah531​‘s amazing gifset regarding Amy Pond and symptoms of PTSD, not only because it’s flawless but because it’s very relevant to what you’re talking about here.  You guys know that I’ll scream until tumblr deactivates me (and probably after to anyone who’ll listen) that Amy Pond is mentally ill in some respect, whether you subscribe to the abandonment issues theory, depression theory, PTSD theory, or other theories.

Sarah did an awesome job of citing evidence for each of these characteristics, so I’m definitely going to build on that (hope you don’t mind) to answer this question.  If you’ll notice, many of the characteristics pertain to what you’re talking about: suicidal impulses, inappropriate sexual conduct, reckless behavior, difficulty working through conflict, difficulty expressing emotions, aggressive behavior, and thoughts of revenge on perpetrator.  I’m going to go through each of these and hopefully by the end we’ll have an answer to your question.

Suicidal Impulses/Reckless Behavior

I felt like these two went hand in hand as they tend to have the same source in my opinion.  I’ve spoken at length on this here, here, here, and here, also tillthenexttimedoctor talked about this recently here and with me on my blog here, so basically there’s a ton of reading you can do about Amy and this specific kind of mental illness in case this was something you’re interested in.  Some of these metas overlap into “difficulty expressing emotions” as well.

As Julia pointed out in one or more of the links above, Amy’s suicidal impulses often make her more likely to put herself in life-threatening situations, which often result in violence.  Her pushing and shoving the Doctor at the end of Cold Blood, her crashing the car in Amy’s Choice, on the surface these look violent but if you delve more into it you see the underlying pain that Amy’s going through that drives these impulses.  Since I and others have already written so much on this I’m going to let those metas speak for themselves and move on.

Difficulty Working Through Conflict/Expressing Emotions

Some of the metas linked above overlap in this, but I’d like to point out that this is one of Amy’s most consistent and interesting flaws, in my opinion. While people often write off Amy’s inability to express herself and solve conflict as a sign of her being uncaring or rude, I’d argue quite the opposite: she cares too much.  Amy puts on a hard, uncaring exterior because she’s afraid people are going to abandon her.  She pushes Rory away because she thinks he’ll leave her, she’s afraid to let the Doctor in because he’s left her in the past.  Everyone she’s ever cared for: the Doctor when she was little, her parents, even her aunt later, all leave her.  Of course she’s not going to be emotionally vulnerable when people are constantly hurting her, and this results in her lashing out.  I don’t think that’s violence, I think that’s a natural response to past trauma.

Aggressive Behavior

Amy’s frequently seen slapping, hitting, or lashing out in some way (mostly against Rory, which isn’t a coincidence).  Some of them are playful punches on the arm, but sometimes they’re not.  I feel like this goes hand-in-hand with Amy’s inability to work through conflict.  She doesn’t know how to express her emotions or talk about how she’s feeling, so she reacts physically.  This isn’t good, it’s definitely a character flaw, but it’s part of who she is.  She’s not violent for the sake of being violent.  I think that’s where the fundamental misunderstanding comes in.  What Amy’s doing shouldn’t be condoned, but people often call her violent as if it’s just there, instead of thinking about why she’s acting and reacting this way.  She’s doing it for control, to try to feel like she’s not drowning, and she’s doing it in an attempt to express how she’s feeling.  That doesn’t mean it’s okay, but that also doesn’t mean her violence is baseless and should be treated as such.

Inappropriate Sexual Conduct

This is, as you aptly pointed out, the one that Amy gets so much criticism for.  I think the fact that it’s on the list of symptoms for PTSD speaks volumes already, but let’s dive deeper into this.  Firstly, from a feminist standpoint, there’s literally nothing wrong with being open and confident in your sexuality as long as everything’s consensual.  Usually this isn’t a problem for Amy as most of her sexual interactions are with Rory, who accepts and even encourages them.  Amy’s flirtatious nature on the surface isn’t really an issue either, because as far as we see she doesn’t actually cause discomfort to anyone besides the Doctor.  This is what I want to talk about.  The scene at the end of Flesh and Stone draws both shippers and criticism alike.  

I have to agree with Sarah who said “this is wrong, icky behavior” on Amy’s part.  There’s no way to spin this to say that this is okay: Amy forced herself on the Doctor.  She’s flawed, and she made a bad choice and now she needs to own it, period.  I wish we’d seen a bit more of her owning that, but we do see her work out her issues with Rory and grow as a person.  I’d like to point out that not only did this occur at the beginning of Amy’s run, but also occurred at a time of anxiety for her.  This explains, but doesn’t excuse, her behavior.  Just like above, Amy’s not sexually aggressive for the sake of fan service or just because, she’s sexually aggressive due to some underlying issues related to her character.  That doesn’t make it okay, but it’s part of the picture that needs to be addressed.

I point all of this out because as Amy evolves through three seasons of the show, by series 7 you’d never see her do anything like this.  She’s much more grown up, much more in control of her emotions, and much better at dealing with her anxiety surrounding stressful or uncomfortable situations.  She doesn’t feel the need to be so sexually aggressive because it’s not a coping tactic or a way for her to feel in control.  Amy made a mistake and learned from it, and I think the show did at least an okay job of pointing out that this wasn’t okay.

Thoughts of Revenge on the Perpetrator

This is the one that I honestly don’t understand why people get so angry. I’ve talked before about how Amy’s actions towards Madame Kovarian could be considered an act of love, but even if you don’t subscribe to that concept, I want you to honestly tell me that, if you were a parent, you wouldn’t try to take revenge on the person who not only kidnapped your child, but preformed mental and medical abuse on her.  People have justified parents left and right for killing or being otherwise violent towards the people who want to or do cause harm towards their children.  Why is Amy any different?

People tend to either forget that Amy’s a mother or get angry at Moffat for bringing it up too much or “not developing it well enough” or something in that vein.  Regardless of your feelings on who River Song turned out to be, a mother’s love is a concept we as a society push and push, and now people turn around and use it against Amy?  Shows a lot of unfair bias to me.

To conclude, I think that labeling Amy as violent and sexually aggressive is only partially true.  I think to blanketly label her those things ignores a lot of depth of character.  Yes, Amy lashes out, and yes, she owns her sexuality.  Yes, sometimes she takes it too far in both respects, but those are character flaws. You’re right in your assessment that Doctor Who often showcases a lot of violence and some sexual aggression in other characters.  I think it’s more pronounced in Amy because it’s part of her character, but we’re not supposed to condemn her for it, we’re supposed to look at it in conjunction with who she really is.

People love to ignore the good parts of Amy to slap labels on her.  I’ve talked about this more in depth over here (which I also linked above for another reason), as well.  It’s the classic strawman tactic to try and take down Moffat, or something of that nature.  But we, dear anon, know better, and I hope in some way that’s a comfort.


Mara Wilson’s Important Message For Teens Living With Mental Illness

Looking back on her experience with

mental health issues

, Mara Wilson wishes someone had told her that being depressed and having anxiety was OK. Since no one did that for her growing up, she’s taking the opportunity to tell young people now. The former child actress and current writer teamed up with

Project UROK

, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping teens with mental illness.