Hello, and holy crap welcome! This is my first real blog post! First off, I’d like to thank anyone who made their way to this blog, and extra thank you to anyone who sticks around!
Who am I anyways? You all can call me Nana. Not because I’m a cute old lady who gives you recipes and strange advice from a bygone age, but because that’s my name. (A nickname, at least.) I’m actually hovering somewhere in my twenties and share something in common with you, or someone you care for: I am a depressed and anxious person.
So what am I doing here, attempting to run a hefty psych blog? Reason one is a bit selfish. I love teaching people things and sharing what I’ve learned. Reason two is more applicable to you: Over this past year, I’ve noticed a gap. One that I think is fairly significant and possibly detrimental. The diagnosis of mood and anxiety disorders is on the rise, and I’ve noticed that most of the people I interact with have little functional knowledge about their own condition.
I’ve always been one to ask questions. Figure out why and how something is happening. Poke and prod until I get it. (I don’t always figure it out fast.) I was the kid to touch the stove to figure out what it would actually do to me. So when I was thrown through the diagnostic gauntlet to figure out why I was a moody, distracted, melancholy yet impulsive, shy but outspoken kid (they finally settled on ADHD with comorbid anxiety and depression. Delicious.), I decided not to just take their word for everything and figure this stuff out myself. I found that the general resources, what comes up on the first page of google when you set out to research, to be so general as to be useless. It falls just short of accurately relating to one’s own situation, and to explain the why of everything from causes to solutions. Not only that, there seemed to be a plethora of websites and blogs that discussed individual issues, but never one as comprehensive as I liked. Dissatisfied, I dug deeper.
It’s a rabbit hole, ladies, and gentlemen.
A strange, twisty-turvy, riddled with side tunnels, rabbit hole. The human mind is incredibly complex, and when things deviate from the considered norm, it becomes even more complex. There is so much information out there, some good, some useless, some even toxic or dangerous, half of which you can only find if you already know what you’re looking for, or have a great talent for poking at things. Then once you find it, there’s the next challenge of applying that knowledge.
That is the function of this blog: To bring that knowledge, both well known and not so well known, to your realm of understanding, and hopefully, help you apply it. (Oh goodness above be with me.)
Am I a professional with a fancy degree to stick on my wall? Hell no. My qualifications are self-taught, through online articles and journals, books published by professionals, and youtube lectures, coupled with my personal experiences and those of the people around me. Even now, I am still learning. The About Me section holds a list of all the books I have read, am reading, and want to read. In addition to this, I peruse Youtube and other internet resources to find courses to add to my knowledge pool. (No fear, I’ll be sharing these things with you!) My greatest asset is my own mind, and my passion to understand what really is happening within us.
The current structure of this blog is divided into months, and then into weeks. At the least, One post will go up every Saturday, focusing on one topic. The first Saturday will focus on the theories and science behind these disorders, the second will focus on self-care and coping techniques, the third on philosophy, and the fourth (and sometimes a fifth!) will focus on mythology. In the first week posts I’ll be splitting the post into two parts, one for Anxiety and one for Depression. Each post will be filled with multiple links and references for you to peruse on your own time, as well as a summary and interpretation of the information provided. It is my hopes that you will all take to these links to explore these ideas yourself, as to better understand yourself, and live a better life.
I have chosen the format of linking to other information around the web because, A) it saves me time in my life, B) there are people out there that have already done such a great job at explaining things, it would be redundant for me to explain again (possibly not as well!) and C) Most importantly, I believe in helping people help themselves. I don’t believe it does any good to simply spoon feed anyone information. Instead, I aim to give you tools and let you build your own metaphorical house. I believe you’ll come out stronger for it.
Okay, why philosophy and mythology? I can hear you cringe as you think of either an old bearded man in a sweater droning and putting you to sleep, or a scruffy Nice Guy in a fedora misquoting Nietzsche. But I promise. It’s not bad. I’ll focus on a few specific schools of thought, specifically Buddhism, Taoism, Stoicism, and Existentialism, that I have found to be the most helpful in combatting the types of thoughts that result from being highly anxious or depressed. I’ll also go over lessons in proper logic. But all the reasons for studying Philosophy really deserve their own show.
Now, mythology. It deserves it’s own show too. Stories, not only ancient myths, hold a very special place in my heart for all of my life. The short version is that I believe that stories are how we make sense of the world, how we relate, and how we learn to become greater than we are.
As Neil Gaiman famously misquoted G.K. Chesterton, “Fairy Tales are more than true. Not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
I hope I can provide a clear exposition of the strange world of the mind, but I put out the disclaimer that I am NOT a professional, and that this site is not, in anyway, intended to treat or diagnose anyone or anything. Please always listen to your doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist before you listen to me. These posts may give you a better background in which to hold more educated conversations with your care provider or help you find the therapy that helps you best. I also understand that the world of mental health is very personal to some people and that some of the theories that I will put forth are sometimes difficult, or even terrifying to accept. Please know beforehand that I understand those feelings and only have the best interests of people at heart. I ask that you take a deep breath, squeeze your source of comfort, and do your absolute best to remember that sometimes old things must be cleared away for new things that will serve you better.
The Unknown is a terrible and wonderful place, and new horizons are out there.
“It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.”
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit.
I look forward to going on this Adventure, unexpected or not, with all of you!