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Women Of Reddit Are Sharing The Heartbreaking Ways Mental Illness Has Affected Their Careers

We don’t always think of mental illness like anxiety and depression as an exterior problem. Because it is so internal, we often think the signs of mental illness are easy to miss and as a result, should be covered up. Still, so many of us have experienced mental illness to the point of being incapable of dragging ourselves out of bed or heading out for plans with friends.

Surprisingly, research has revealed that workplace and personal relationships can lead to longterm trauma when it comes to the office and love.

Women of Reddit are sharing how mental health has affected their work and professional lives.

Check them out below!

“I tend to self-isolate when I’m in a deeper depression. I don’t accept invitations to do things with friends. I’m chronically single, so there is no SO for it to affect.

Mostly throughout all my depressions, I’ve still been able to make it to work. That would be all I could do in a day. Get up, go to work. Come home and sleep. Most of the time I could keep up the facade at work of being a chatty outgoing person. When I’d have my bad days, I’d just let my coworkers know I wasn’t feeling well so I probably would be really quiet those days. They’d assume it was a cold or headache, but really it was my depression weighing me down. I would occasionally take mental health days off work, but those were only when I knew I wasn’t scheduled for much and it wouldn’t negatively affect my coworkers much. I’d never do it on a busy day or if I was scheduled in something that it would be difficult to replace me in.

At my current job, I don’t have to interact with others as much. I am in an office environment now (I worked in a lab before), but sit at my desk/cube with headphones on listening to podcasts while I do my work all day. I’ve had some bad depression days, but I still come into work and just count the hours down until I can go back home and crawl into bed. Bed in my happy place.”- MadtownMaven

“ I have tons of vacation time and it feels like weirdly I take “too many” mental health days however I guess former jobs made it hard for me to “call in sick” just because ‘depressed’.

I’ve lost friends over my isolation ways. And a partner. Yay.”- duckduck_goose

“That was exactly how I felt right before I decided I needed help. It got to the point where I couldn’t leave and just called the house to beg someone to bring me a drink or food. hugs That being said, sometimes you just got to do what makes you happiest. And if that is your bed, you probably picked a good cozy spot.”- ktwat

“I’m an aspie. In my first two relationships, I was taken advantage of, taken for granted and left out of my social activities due to the fact that my interaction with others was often seen as “steely” or “intimidating” (unintentionally though). I found it difficult to get my feelings across or that my partners had very little time for me in terms of discussing interactional problems or even just simple things like my past. I was cheated on in both of those relationships, probably regularly, because any social training I have didn’t include how to interact with a romantic partner. I think I’m getting the grips of it now though and in my third long-term relationship. It helps that I am completely head-over-heels in love with the guy but also, he treats me with respect, points out when i do something wrong or say something inappropriate and I feel like I’ve learned a lot more over the past year in my relationship with him that I have in the past 30 years from therapists or other people. I’ve stopped all forms of medication now, and stick to a fairly strict routine which keeps me ‘in check.’”- Gamerdomme

“You know how when someone has PTSD in a movie they start drinking a shit ton and possibly sleeping around and denying anything is wrong with them? Yeah, that was me, all day. I wasn’t really in denial that I was fucked up, but I maintained it would just go away on its own and I could “work through it”. Ha.

I actually didn’t experience too many issues in friendships, I think I was pretty self-aware of when I was dumping my problems on people, and I have a lot of friends, so when one person was getting overloaded I could go to someone else. I’m also a good listener myself, so when I was dumping on people I made it clear I would return the favor any time, which most took me up on at some point. Focusing on other people was a great break from my own problems. I was convinced telling my parents about my issues would make them “real”, though, and I was convinced I was letting them down by having problems, so I lied my face off to them.”- SpermJackalope

“When I was depressed I made the mistake of relying on my friends and partners as therapists rather than friends and partners, and some of those relationships imploded as a result. I feel really, really bad about it now, but at the time I wasn’t in the head space to think about what I was doing. It got better when I got an actual therapist.

I pulled away from a lot of people too. I didn’t want my parents to worry, so I never told them it was so bad I was suicidal. Talking to them was exhausting because I was at university and wanted them to believe the experience they were paying for was the most amazing of my life, when in reality I was sleeping 20-22hrs a day. Eventually I couldn’t keep it up anymore and broke down in the middle of a restaurant and told them I was really struggling. To their credit they instantly had me in to see doctors, they did all kinds of research, they became cheerleaders … What I had needed all along if I’d let them know. There was one rough patch where my dad threatened to have me committed but I think, looking back, that it came from a place of fear for him worrying he might actually have to hospitalize his daughter for her own good. I can’t imagine how hard that was for him.

I’m better now. I have friends and my family and an awesome SO. It took me almost two years after I got better to really relearn who I was apart from my depression but the people in my life have been really patient about it. They’re generally understanding when I feel like I’m backsliding but I’ve learned to cope better than dumping all my problems on them as well.”-snapkangaroo

“I have an anxiety/panic disorder and sometimes depression. It really affected my schoolwork back in 2009. I went on academic probation. I was afraid to leave my apartment. Etc etc. Then I started getting help. Three semesters later I made Dean’s List. My anxiety has been up and down since then, but I’ve never let it affect my work again.

A year ago on the 15th of February I broke up with my most recent ex-boyfriend because of it. I had been open and honest with him in a way I had avoided before because I was scared of the stigma. He seemed receptive and empathetic. Then one day I came home, complained about a panic attack, and he laughed at me. He called me ridiculous. All of a sudden I realized what a tremendous asshole he was and broke up with him.

It’s hard for me to know the line. Who can I talk to about this? Who can I trust? My mom, my best friend, and my sisters I can trust. Anybody else? I don’t know. When can/should I start talking to the person I’m dating about it? Will he laugh me out of the room? Will he pretend to care for months and then laugh me out of the room?

I’m doing really well right now. I haven’t had a panic attack in months. My anxiety has been at an all time low. I’m hoping this is actually me getting better rather than me having a good spell. But I don’t think so. It’ll come back. It always comes back. And that’s part of the disorder. Being so afraid of the panic that it causes me to avoid thing and panic about things and let it control me. If it does come back, I can beat it again. I have in the past, I can in the future.”- BagsOfMoney

“It’s really inspiring to hear how you hauled yourself back up! Have you had to have any of those conversations lately? How does it differ to talk to family vs. friends vs. romantic interests about it?”- ktwat

“I have severe anxiety and depression. This is not your normal “sometimes I feel sad” shit. Also, I’m a hypochondriac and neurotic. What I’ve seen is that people need a lot of patience for me. They need the ability to listen to me as I coach them through my anxiety attacks (“don’t touch me; okay now I need a hug; give me space; I need water” etc.) and they need the ability to distract me when I get into neurotic/hypochondriac fits of anxiety. When I’m depressed, they need to understand it’s not because of them. This is always tricky to convince someone of.”- giottoblue

“One of my boyfriends didn’t “believe” in mental illness, and decided that therefore I shouldn’t be taking my medication for anxiety/ADD because “I shouldn’t be dependent on a chemical” and “it was all in my head and I could just feel better if I wanted to.” That relationship did not last, and that was a big part of that. That’s a thing that does actually happen, and was pretty harmful for me (although that’s part of the larger scheme of that relationship which tended to be rather manipulative, which is a whole other can of worms. Feel free to pm me if you’ve got any questions about it though.)

My current boyfriend is very understanding and supportive of that, recognizes that sometimes I need my space and that sometimes there are things that won’t just immediately “get better” and he’s really great about wanting to see me happy and calm and if my life gets super stressful (which happens somewhat frequently as a grad student) he does whatever he can to make it better! But he might be extra great about it.

I haven’t ever had anybody ever ask to have some of my meds (some of them being controlled substances that people pay a lot for on the street) with any seriousness, but I usually include that in my opening spiel about the problem. I’ve also had some experiences where people are talking about getting them from a doctor when clearly they don’t have a real problem (like, “yeah I went to my doctor and told him I can’t concentrate and now he gave me meds to take during finals…” sort of like that. I don’t mean that I’m an expert in when people do/don’t have a mental disorder. This is kind of like people who clearly smoke a lot of pot saying they suddenly go to their doctor to get it when before they had no indication of a problem. I’m trying to word this well and it really isn’t working but I hope that makes sense). In those situations I tend to just not say anything because it’s not something I tell a lot of people.”-all_that_glitters_

“I’m now in recovery for an Eating Disorder and have had a massive battle with anxiety.

Personally I’ve been able to see who my real friends are. My ED took over my life slowly but surely and as I started on the slope a few friends just seemed to distance themselves and then stop talking to me. I’ve got a smaller group of friends now but I trust all of them and wouldn’t change a thing.

The other aspect that was affected personally was my relationship with my boyfriend, he stood by me every single moment and helped me through basically every single panic attack/purge etc. He was my rock, but it almost split us up. During recovery I made a stupid mistake as my self destructive part took over, however, we made it through. I think the hardest part for him was that he just couldn’t see my train thought, he didn’t understand how my skewed logic made so much sense to me. There are still knock ons from this time as my libido dropped during my ED and I still find it really hard to initiate any sort of sex. I still have a poor view of what I look like, which is worse when stressed, but we continue to work through it.

Professionally, ED and then recovery has ruined my job. My boss has been pretty unreasonable with some aspects of it and continues to stress me out. She also told me during recovery that I wasn’t ‘crazy crazy any more, just girl crazy’. Also, any time something is wrong with me she automatically assumes its an ED issue and asks if I’m eating. It’s horrible to be constantly probed over something that you are trying to overcome/move past.”-marty1411

“The stigma is terrifying to me. I can’t imagine any other time when people find it okay to berate someone over an illness. Your boss sounds like she is asking for an HR conversation. And what in the everloving fuck does “girl crazy” mean? Like “your invalid problems are even more invalid because they are female invalid problems”? Bullshit. Every element of it is valid whether someone chooses to acknowledge it or not. I am glad you have such great support, though. Your SO rocks! Tell him some random chick on the internet loves and respects his patience and strength.”-ktwat

“My eating disorder has affected every aspect of my life since I was 13. I am in recovery now, but for over a decade, I was in and out of inpatient/residential treatment centers.

Professionally and academically, this affected me because I had to leave school and work at very inopportune times. It took me 7 years to graduate college because I had to take 5 medical withdrawals. It was an embarrassing reason to leave, so I usually wouldn’t tell any of my friends. One day, I would just not show up and stop responding to texts. Then when I would return, I would say I was just sick. I told my close friends, but it wasn’t something I wanted to broadcast.

All of my relationships have ended because of my eating disorder, whether indirectly or directly. I remember a situation with an ex where he wouldn’t let me purge. I became a different person. I screamed, kicked, cried, bit, punched, and hit him because he wouldn’t let me go. I called him extremely hurtful names. I didn’t care about anything in that moment except getting to the bathroom to shove me fingers down my throat. Eventually, he gave up and let me go. I ran to the bathroom and threw up. When I came out of the bathroom, I was so embarrassed.

My boyfriends do not just date me; they also date my eating disorder. I went to Germany with an ex, and he ended up calling his mom asking her to get me an early plane ride home because he couldn’t handle my eating disorder. I didn’t experience the trip while I was there because I only cared about food. I ended up convincing him to stay, but our relationship was never the same. We broke up very soon after that. When I climbed the castle stairs in Germany, I only wondered how many calories I was burning. I didn’t care about the beauty of the castles or the country.

Therapy has affected me in an extremely positive way. I have learned amazing communication skills by being in therapy for 12 years. I know how to effectively relay my feelings in every situation. I learned that it’s okay for me to have needs and that they may not always be met. I would recommend therapy to anyone. It is not just something for “crazy people.” It can be beneficial for anyone.”- toritxtornado

“I have bipolar II and generalized anxiety disorder. I also am currently dealing with post-partum depression.

I am on medication, but I am not in therapy right now. I’m doing pretty well for the most part.

I have a lot of problems with controlling emotions in general. But anger is the most difficult. It has almost destroyed my relationship with my husband a few times over.

He used to have a difficult time understanding that my disorders were causing my erratic behavior. He didn’t understand why I could just be happy and calm like him. He even talked me into quitting all of my medication early in our relationship. It was awful and I was having a lot of awful problems for it.

These days, especially after the birth of our first child and the post-partum psychosis that followed (complete with hallucinations and paranoid delusions) put things into perspective for him. He understands now that my mind just isn’t working properly in regards to mood regulation and perception.

I have lost friends due to it, mostly because of my rage problems where I would tell them off in the most cruel, painful, and humiliating way possible if I felt slighted or insulted by them. I don’t do that anymore, thank god.

In the past, a lot of my medications killed my libido. Right now I am on a good medication combination, my libido feels fine, maybe slightly lower, but I don’t have the problems reaching orgasm that I did with other drugs.

It hasn’t really effected my work much since I manage my disorders well with meds.

It did become a problems during my second pregnancy. I tried quitting all of my medication and started having back to back panic attacks. At work. I remember a few times getting panicked and just blacking out and wandering around the town I work in. That stopped happening when my OBGYN put me on wellbutrin.

I used to see a psychiatrist for my medication. It was expensive and felt creepy because he would analyze my every thought and movement. I see a family doctor right now and he has done a better job of finding good drugs for me than any of the psychiatrists ever did.

But it’s definitely not something I can be open about. I just don’t bring it up unless I know someone very well.”- antisocialmedic

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All The Reasons Why Married Women Are Keeping Their Last Names

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All The Reasons Why Married Women Are Keeping Their Last Names

While in many cultures and world and circles it might be considered tradition for a woman to “take” her husband’s last name, many women have opted to buck tradition. In 2017, a study found that nearly half of Americans believe women should be required by law to adopt the last names of their husbands. It’s a reminder that despite all of the progress we’ve made as women— where now we are able to drive on roads, drive the vote, and even drive entire companies— social conventions still have quite a ways to go.

Below, women are sharing the reasons why they didn’t change their last names.

“I hate the “isn’t your name a man’s name anyway” argument. When do I ever get to own my name? Men own their name from birth, apparently women just borrow their surname from their dad and then from their husband. It’s ridiculous.”- pan_alice

“I came here to reply but honestly you’ve said it perfectly.

My sister asked me ‘but what if you have children!?’ And I said ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ? A name does not a family make. My fiancé’s mum never changed her name. I haven’t heard of any legitimate reason why I should change my name.”- vanessaj1990

“The “but what about the children” argument I see from time to time on Reddit makes me laugh, because where I live, married women HAVE to keep their original surname, which means often families with children are “Mr Smith, Mrs Jones, and their kids Alex Smith, Bart Smith and Christine Smith”. AND NO ONE GETS CONFUSED.”- ChibiSailorMercury

“I was shocked when, after about a year, that the majority of the comments I got were “I wish I had kept mine.” There are a lot of rude people in the beginning, but the majority of people don’t give a fuck or think the idea is great.”- Pethoarder4life

“Big yes on being known professionally as my own name. I’m one year away from getting my MD. I’m the one earning that and the one who published research and did conference presentations. Not my partner.”- elwynbrooks

“I came here to say this but you said more eloquently than I ever could. It is MY name. Why change it? I informed people when asked I won’t be changing my name and neither will my husband.”- WINTERSONG1111

“I feel the exact same and have the same reasons as you for keeping my name!! My partner and I do want children so I’m trying to navigate that right now. Wonder if anyone has any tips abt that!!!”- TacoSluuut

“I don’t want to get married, but THIS, also I love my last name and don’t think I should change it cause of a man, I find it fucking sexist, where im originally from it doesn’t work that way, and I’m GLAD. I have an uncommon Dutch last name I can’t imagine changing it. Also if you marry and have kids your kids get both parents lasts names.”- sadqnn

“That’s same with my parents. They kept their last name but and my siblings have a hyphenated last name. Same with my cousin’s.”- -captaindumbass-

“I like my name, simple as that.

A lot of women in my family have kept our family name because it’s somewhat rare. There’s like 200 people with this surname, and about 50 of them are in my family, and most of us keep the name regardless of gender, when we marry.”- amazingstillitseems

“A childhood friend of mine only had a first name and a last name, (like, Mary Smith) when as far as I knew, everyone had a middle name. She explained that her father only gave her the two names, because one day she would marry and drop her middle name anyway. (And I thought, what if she didnt marry? Couldn’t she drop his name?) Even as a kid, I thought this was horrible reasoning.

In genealogical circles, this leads to Mary NMI Smith (No Middle Initial) and Mary NMN Smith (No Middle Name.)

I was married 40+ years ago and kept my maiden name.”- SilverVixen1928

“I’m a guy and dislike my last name and the people who gave it to me, I would honestly consider taking her name because fuck gender norms.”- arrowff

“I’m one of 2 people in the world with my exact surname, as far as I know. There’s no way I’m giving it up, and I hope my kids want to carry it on someday.”- TossItThrowItFly

“Same here. Married 14 years with two kids. Never changed my name. It’s been a complete non-issue. Occasionally my husband gets called “Mr. Mylastname” or I get called “Ms. Hislastname” but neither of us care.”- Misschiff0

“Im on my second marriage and both times my husband changed his name to mine. People kinda shrug when they figure out I didn’t change my name but I do get some open-mouthed stares when they realized that my husband changed his name…

I just don’t see any reason to change my name, my first husband found it convenient to change his with weird spelling and difficult pronunciation. For my second husband it was important to him that we had the same name, so he changed his.”- SteelQueenToo

“My father changed his name to my mother’s name as well, but I actually don’t really know why. I guess they liked it better? It is kind of random I guess. He just told me it can kind of suck because people don’t realise you are the same person if they lost touch or something.”- leedzah

“I didn’t change my name for all the reasons already cited about, but when someone sends me an invitation with Mrs [husband’s Last Name], I don’t even bother to correct them. I didn’t care about the hassles of changing mine and I made a name for myself professionally before I got married so I stood firm to not change mine. It raised a couple of eyebrows but my mother and her mum didn’t change theirs also, so pulling the cultural card really helped.

Speaking of culture, I come from one that places massive respect for the elder so it’s okay for some older relatives who can’t adjust as well or have bad memories to call me whatever, I will graciously respond to them as the Mrs.”-

“I didn’t want to take his name as I believe marriage is a partnership. We’re marrying each other, not me marrying him only. So we were going to choose a new surname together but one that was in the family to signify the unity but never really got it sorted so we still have our own surnames.

People always assume I have his surname or that we’re not married.”- Hulahoop81

“I grew up in a privileged area which had a very little variety of cultures. Being from an Eastern European background with a different surname, I was badly bullied for it as it wasn’t “normal”. This made me super embarrassed of it when I was younger. As I got older I grew to become very proud of my heritage and surname. Therefore, I kept it as its me. And I’m proud of it.

Edit: when I tell people the above, most people just say ‘fair enough.’”- natalieb07

“This. I’m from Puerto Rico, and people rarely do this. It’s actually considered weird when people do change their last name. We just have two last names: our father’s and our mother’s.

ETA: Forgot to say that, although not super common, it still happens. Some women keep their full last names, but then tack on their husband’s first last name with a “de” preceding it. Marta Quintero Arenas married Pedro Quiñones Balboa. She decides to keep both last names, but also wants to add her husband’s first last name? She could do Marta Quintero Arenas de Quiñones. The “de” is basically an ‘of.’”- chromachord

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Harry Shum Jr. And Zoe Saldana Share Their Personal Mental Health Journeys In the ‘Getting Better Together’ Campaign

Culture

Harry Shum Jr. And Zoe Saldana Share Their Personal Mental Health Journeys In the ‘Getting Better Together’ Campaign

Photos via Getty Images

Mental Health Awareness Month is going on right now and this year, Americans are struggling more than ever. The pandemic has forced us all into our homes, shutting us off from our communities and our support systems. For people who already struggle with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, the isolation of the pandemic simply exacerbated our problems. For children, the problem is even worse.

The Child Mind Institute launched its yearly campaign for mental health awareness. This time, the campaign is called “Getting Better Together”. The campaign is meant to give support, encouragement and connection to kids struggling during this unprecedented time.

Celebrities like Zoe Saldana, Harry Shum Jr., Diego Boneta and Jordana Brewster, and many more, will be sharing personal videos of their mental health journeys for the “Getting Better Together” campaign.

Recently, Costa Rican-American actor and dancer Harry Shum Jr. shared his mental health checklist for dealing with anxiety and depression.

“You’re not alone if you’re feeling anxious, dealing with anxiety or depression, because I’ve felt that way, not just this past year, but all my life,” he started the video. “Over time, you just find things that will help you through those times.” He then shared what helps him stay in good mental shape.

“My checklists are very, very simple things,” he said. “Are you getting enough sleep? Two is, are you eating the right things that are helping repair your body that are giving you nutrition? And if you’re not, then you might want to take a look at that.”

“And then three, what I love to do, I love to dance and sing and exercise, and sometimes just lifting weights and sometimes just dancing and acting like a goofball by myself in the room, and sometimes doing it with other people if it’s safe to do. And other times it’s really just about having a good conversation with someone that will listen and that you’ll do the same for them.”

Harry Shum Jr.’s advice is both incredibly helpful and spot-on. Mental health experts agree that sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, and talking about your feelings as excellent methods of dealing with mental health issues.

Dominicana actress and sci-fi queen Zoë Saldaña also revealed her personal mental health journey in her Getting Better Together video.

“Growing up with ADHD and dyslexia meant school was challenging,” Saldaña said. “I can’t imagine how hard a year like we’ve just had would be for kids who face the same classroom struggles that I did. Adjusting to remote learning, trying to stay focused on a screen hour after hour.”

She continued: “I know some of you may need more help. And it’s really brave and empowering when you ask for it. From a teacher, from a coach, and from your family. I remember when I reached out for help and it was such a relief.”

According to the Child Mind Institute, 1 in 5 young Americans struggle with a mental health or learning disorder. Additionally, they also estimate that today, 5 in 5 young Americans are feeling increased anxiety, fear, and uncertainty because of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need to open a dialogue with younger people about mental health. Let them know they’re not alone.

Learn more about the Getting Better Together campaign at www.childmind.org or follow them on their social media channels.

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