“What do YOU think?” That’s the number one phrase I hear in therapy over and over — usually because I’m asking my therapist for her opinion about some shit that is going down. But as those of us in therapy know, a therapist is not there to give advice or to tell you how to live your life. He or she will listen and offer observations about the way you talk about your life. But dishing out advice and tips is a big no-no. After a year-plus of asking my therapist, “What do you think?” and getting the response “What do YOU think?”, I’ve come to realize that what she really means is Stop asking me this because I’m not going to tell you.
Of course, that’s not the only thing my therapist says that actually means something else. Here are just a few things* that your therapist is saying to you and what it really means:
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Photographer John William Keedy was interested in trying to visualize the dark edges of anxiety. In his series, It’s Hardly Noticeable, Keedy generates powerful visual metaphors that encapsulate just how oppressive and maddening anxiety can feel. The title alone refers to what people with anxiety can fixate on, feel or worry about, that may elude people who don’t share their disorder. Keedy should know: He’s been dealing with anxiety issues for the better part of a decade. His images draw upon the desire for perfection, the need for order and the underlying obsessive need to control and manage one’s surroundings.
Keedy hopes that viewers will identify with his imagery, and feel comforted that they’re not alone. “Is it possible for a society to have a commonly held idea of what is normal, when few individuals in that society actually meet the criteria for normalcy?” Keedy wonders. “These images question the legitimacy of applying the term normal in a societal context by prompting a reconsideration of what, if anything, is normal, or at least what is perceived and labeled as such.” More images after the jump. [John William Keedy] Keep reading »
Do you have anxiety? You’re in good company. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there’s around 40 million people dealing with anxiety disorders in the U.S. alone. That’s a lot of friggin’ people — and I happen to be one of them.
Anxiety is something I live with and manage every day of my life. Most of the time, because I’ve figured out how to manage it in a way that makes sense for me, living on the anxiety spectrum makes me a sensitive, thoughtful and occasionally high-strung person. Sometimes it can really suck, but it’s my reality, so c’est la vie or something. I first developed anxiety when I was graduating from college, which I imagine is fairly typical. You’re birthing yourself into the Real And Terrifying World and there’s so much to think about. My anxiety manifested as insomnia, but, like, a particular kind of insomnia. Every time I would be on the verge of falling asleep, I’d have anxiety about falling asleep, which would wake me up. Awful. That went on for three months before I finally said fuck it and went to student health, where I was diagnosed as having an anxiety disorder. Whoops! Keep reading »
Fashion thrives on controversy in all of its many manifestations, but how far is too far? VICE, which has been distributing its fair share of maybe-too-much content since 1994, wants to test your limits. The free monthly magazine’s largely self-explanatory Women in Fiction issue brings us “Lost Words,” a fashion spread featuring models styled and posed as beloved female writers who have killed themselves, during the act of killing themselves. Keep reading »