Awareness of Depression

Mental Health (Trigger warning)

When deciding what to write about for our mental health topic over the coming two weeks I recalled several occasions where someone suffering depression was asked “how can you be unhappy?” and “can’t you just get over it”.

Mental Health has always had a taboo aura surrounding it in the general public. People don’t like to talk about it and over time a lot of stigma has attached itself to mental health conditions such as depression where people don’t know how to act when they meet someone with depression or a loved one is diagnosed with it and end up saying the completely wrong thing.

Therefore, today I hope to write a post that helps bring more awareness of depression and hopefully helps to inspire others to end discrimination of mental health and get rid of the ‘taboo’ label that society gives to depression. (See Me a Scottish charity looks towards ending this discrimination)

If you were on Twitter last week you might have seen the #TheWorstPartsofDepressionIs hashtag where people with depression took to the 140 characters to talk about how it really is to experience depression. If you have time why not check it out afterwards.

For now we here at TheFeministas would like to thank two people who experience depression and are willing to share their experience with us.

I suffer from anxiety and depression which although present doesn’t tend to affect my day to day life in a way that is outwardly noticeable- I can still go out with friends to eat and I can still go to work 3 times a week but I can definitely feel it still inside. I used to suffer from panic attacks and agoraphobia which prevented me from leaving my house for many months. Currently I’m okay and I can control my depression with tablets and my anxiety by seeing a councillor. I saw a psychologist for 9 months back in 2013/ 2014. Coping wise, the turning point was accepting that I’d had a bad experience thrown at me and that I just had to move on. For a long time I mourned the loss of my happiness and I couldn’t move past feeling angry, but once I had, I could work on feeling better.                                                                                                                   – Jasmine

Jasmine is a blogger who is very open about her experience with depression and you can find more about it on her blog under the mental health tab. JazzyFizzle

I was diagnosed at the start of 2011 while a second- year student at university, but I started feeling it mid-2010. My first serious consideration of suicide was in September 2010, when I planned it out. Since then, I haven’t been scared of dying. I don’t take medication. It was a personal decision. I trained in Occupational Therapy, so I’ve learned strategies for others that I used for myself. In 2010, I actually worked at a mental health hospital on placement with teenage girls locked in with severe depression and more. It was during that stint that I decided to go to a doctor, but I never told my university for fear it would affect my studies. If anything, I think it helped me relate to the girls in the ward, as I could understand their experiences more and think of strategies that helped me, so in turn helped them. I picked up so much there as well that I’ve been able to help myself with, e.g. sensory stimulation. In turns of self-harm, I’ve cut myself a few times, but I only have one visible scar. When I go through the ‘waves’ of despair, I tend to scratch myself instead. It doesn’t leave lasting marks, but when I’m lost in the emotions, I need the sharp pain of my nails scratching to anchor me and make me feel something real. It’s like all this overwhelming, breath- stealing fear and isolation and hopelessness and it’s all in your head and you need to pull yourself out of it. At least try to. Sometimes I wish it would leave marks so I could see that I made it through the other side. Sometimes it’s hard to believe there’s something on the other side of the mental agony. But I’ve learned through experience that the waves come to an end, so once they come on, I just tell myself not to fight it, just to wait. And I have a variety of activities to keep on hand when the waves come, as I can never be sure what will seem even remotely appealing. Knitting, reading, music, colouring in (this is good)… anything to keep me busy and try to tempt me out of the hole.                                                                                                                                                                                         -D


Friends and Families

One general thing that kept coming up when researching for this post was what advice to give to friends and families on how to help. Here are some do’s and don’ts on what to say and how to act but you can find more advice on Mind’s website.

Do:

  • give support ~ sometimes words aren’t needed or wanted. Silent support can mean a lot whether it’s a squeeze on the shoulder or leaving a note if someone with depression wants to be alone. Just a little something to let them know you are there.

Don’t:

  • ask general questions that can add pressure ~ such as “How are you?” “Are you           okay?”
  • Never tell them to stop taking their medication.

If you want to read more about mental health Theresa Borchard is a Mental Health writer and activist.


Helplines | Contacts 

If you live in the UK and want to talk to someone about depression or suicide you can find contact numbers on the NHS website here | Global Helplines

Mind – go to the Mind website for more information about depression, for people with depression and information for friends and family of someone suffering depression. As well as contact information for further help.

Youngminds –  is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.

If you haven’t found somewhere you can contact have a look at the helplines tag on Tumble there are a lot of posts there to help you with links to contact numbers. Anonymous and otherwise.


~ Cora

SmalltownBookworm | Bloglovin | Twitter 

Misconceptions of Feminism

There is a lot of stigma and assumption when it comes to Feminism. We have reached a point where when people hear the word feminist there thoughts instantly turn negative. They think of what’s “wrong” with that word and ways they can disassociate themselves with it. Somehow over the years people have lost what it truly means to be a feminist.

Merriam Webster states feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”

A feminist isn’t just someone fighting for the rights of women. It is someone who sees the need for change in the world to bring equality for both women and men.

Over the next two weeks myself and the other Feministas will be talking about why men need feminism. Yep that’s right feminism isn’t just about holding the belief and fighting for the rights of women. It isn’t about women and men fighting solely for the equality of women. It is about women and men who hold the belief that there should be equal rights and opportunities for all.

When researching for what to write in this post I found one very common thing: People saying feminists don’t really want equality because they don’t believe men need it.

This is not true.

Equality goes both ways. Feminists do campaign for the rights of men. For today I will not go into a lot of detail but I will tell you why men need feminism too. Each one of these issues needs to be addressed thoroughly and independently at a later date but for now here is a short description…

1) “Man Up”- This is the most popular topic when people think of equality, feminism and men. The pressure that men face to aspire to societies expectation of the manly perfect image. This can have serious and damaging consequences to the mental health of men and needs to be addressed.

2) Rape- There are a lot of ad campaigns that focus solely on women but yes as much as some people like to pretend it doesn’t happen and the media continues to shun it. Rape is real and can happen to either gender.

3) Parental rights- Governments have came a long way in creating laws and legislations to give fathers parental rights but there are still some very big issues to conquer.

4) Domestic Abuse- This happens and it is NOT okay to make fun of and ridicule and shame someone who has been domestically abused. Which is sadly very common when people hear of male domestic abuse victims or see it happening.

5) Mental Illness- This relates to all of the topics above particularly number 1) “Man Up”. Society wrongly suggests that men cannot be mentally ill or hurt because they should just “toughen up”. No. Mental Illness is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

For today I simply wanted to address this misconception of feminist beliefs and introduce our upcoming theme that men need feminism. As well as address some of the very important inequalities that men face in societies today.


– Cora @ SmalltownBookworm


If you live in the UK and want to talk to someone about any of the issues mentioned above you can find contact numbers on the NHS website here.

Global Helplines

If you haven’t found somewhere you can contact have a look at the helplines tag on Tumble there are a lot of posts there to help you with links to contact numbers. Anonymous and otherwise.

Pay it Forward: One Small Act a Day

For the first time on this blog there will be no official theme over the next two weeks instead The Feministas will be talking about topics of our own choice. This week I will talk about something that is very important to me.

Throughout our lives many of us want to be helpful towards others or support or change something we think is wrong. Making the world a better place to live in for all. However, the majority of people don’t know how to do this or feel that even if they do something it is not worth it. Well in my experience there are small ways to make big differences in the lives of others.

Random Act of Kindness

Have any of you heard of the movie Pay it Forward? It was released in 2000 and based on the book by Catherine Ryan Hyde and is about a young boy that attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him the chance. It is an inspiring movie/ book with a message that when someone does something nice for you pay it forward and do something nice for someone else. Helping out the world and the people who live in it one step at a time.

There is also a charity called Pay it Forward who has the motto “It’s possible for one idea to change the world” Similar to the book the Non-profit- Organisation signifies the importance of small acts of kindness on changing the world and hosts the Pay it Forward Day where people from all over the world join in. The event for this year has already passed but have a look out for it next year.

If you still don’t believe that the smallest acts of kindness make a big difference have a look at this video made by Life Vest Inside another non- profit that is “dedicated to empowering the masses to engage in acts of love and kindness” One small act of kindness towards another can lead them to do something nice for someone else.

General Things I Try To do

Here are some of the general things I try to do every day …

  • Smile at everyone (It may be the only kindness they see all day)
  • Talk to people that try to start a conversation particularly on public transport etc (you may be the only person they talk to all day)
  • Make someone laugh (people just need to laugh sometimes)

To Do List

Want to make a difference but don’t know how to? Here is 5 little things that you can try. Everything you do can have an effect on someone else let’s make it a positive one! Something that does not mean much to you can mean the world to someone else.

  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Give up your seat on crowded transport for someone who needs it.
  • If someone drops something pick it up and give it to them.
  • Share with someone.
  • If you have something you don’t use or want pass it on to someone who does.

Let’s make the world a happier place to live in one random act of kindness at a time.

Lois Lane: The Superhero without Superpowers

Over the last two weeks all of us here at The Feministas have talked about the importance of celebrity feminists and some famous feminists that inspire us. Now onto a more personal element the theme we will be talking about over the next two weeks is female protagonists who we love and look up to. Whether they are from books, t.v. shows, movies or comics all of us have found role models in fictional characters. Some are ones that we found when we were little and some older but all still inspire us to reach further and never give up.

To start with let us talk about one of my all-time favourite protagonists and a role model that I have looked up to since I was a very young girl. Lois Lane.

For those who don’t know who Lois Lane is. Where have you been? She is a DC Comics character that was created in 1938 in the Superman universe. Everyone knows that Lois Lane is the main love interest of the man in tights but she is much more than that. Growing up Lois was one of the first protagonists that I really looked up to because Lois Lane is more. She isn’t just one thing or a character created for one reason. Lois is anything she wants to be.

I think that was one of the reasons that drew me to Lois and relate to her because Lois Lane has no limits. She sees what she wants and she fights to get it. People can tell her she will never be able to do things and she will find a way to prove them wrong which I think is essential in a role model fictional or real. Someone who can show young people, in my case a girl, that whatever you want to be when you are older go for it! Whatever you want to try, try it!

Lois Lane has been portrayed in many different versions over the years but the most recent and widely known version is the fighting, no nonsense don’t need anyone to save me but myself. Across many different platforms including comic books, T.V. Shows and Movies. Recently author Gwenda Bond has released the first book in a series based on Louis Lanes teenage years and I can’t wait to read it and the others in the series. It’s called Louis Lane: Fallout and to quote Gwenda who loves Lois as much as I do “Lois Lane is a superhero without Superpowers.” (depending on what comic book you read)

I’m just going to leave it here as I find it hard to describe why Lois Lane is amazing in my opinion without going into a rambling rant any more than I have already. Is there any particular platform that you like Lois Lane in such as the T.V. show Smallville or a particular movie where she is a character.Or who is one of your favourite fictional female protagonists? I would love to here about it!

Make sure you stay tuned to read the other Feministas blog posts over the next two weeks!

Why Celebrity Feminists are important…

Change is inevitable. Everything changes over time. People change over time. Just look at the progress we have made; 200 years ago slavery was widely accepted and gender equality was a far away dream.

Humanity has come a long way in terms of human rights and equality but there is still a long way to go. One of the hindrances in positive change is societies ‘norms’ and expectations of the people who live in it. Somewhere along the way people lost their voices. They lost their motivation and they lost positive role models to look up to, to admire and to follow.

But, there has been a change in the people who influence us now, just look at Time’s Top 100 influential people where increasingly there are more celebrities added each year, where some celebrities influence are ranking higher than world leaders.

The younger generations are looking at celebrities and writers and music artists as icons and that is why we need positive influential celebrities. We need ones who are not afraid to show the world that they believe in a cause and tell us why they believe in it. We need ones who are willing to campaign and fight for a better world and explain why and how we can help build it.

Over the years there has been an increase in celebrities who have voiced their support for Feminism, for Humanism and for Egalitarianism. With their actions and words they have inspired young people to find their voices, to act on their beliefs and once again bring positive role models back into people’s lives giving them motivation and confidence to speak and be listened to.

Over the next two weeks The Feministas will be talking about famous feminists that have inspired them to pick up a pen and tell the world that they have opinions too, opinions that discuss and challenge the social ‘norms’ that the world has fallen into. That generation ME (as we have been dubbed) have voices that need to be heard and listened to. To show others of our generation that it is okay to have your own opinion and to inspire others to reach within themselves and find their inner voices and share it with the world.

In line with our theme of celebrity feminists that inspire us I will tell you why I personally believe in the importance of celebrity feminists for me. The world needs celebrity feminists to teach the world that feminism isn’t a dirty word, that being a feminist does not mean you are a man hater, to show the world that being a feminist simply means someone who campaigns for and is an advocate for equality of the sexes.

– Cora


Hi everyone! My name’s Cora and you can find me…

Personal Blog | Twitter | Bloglovin