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Stigma Fighters: Paakhi Bhatnagar

Is it true that deluges fill a void in your heart that many drugs fail to numb? I have heard wolves crawl into my skin and wither their way into my insecurity. I have felt the novel shift of having a skeleton and collapsing under the weight of it. My mother dreamt of a night [...]

By | 2016-04-23T06:59:39+00:00 April 27th, 2016|Categories: Stigma Fighters|Tags: , |0 Comments

Stigma Fighters : Matthew Eaton

Is admitting being a victim of child sexual abuse courageous? There are times I doubt this power as I look at myself in the mirror. I am still remarkably human. The hair fades in color and quantity. The waist still expands as if my stomach had a mind of its own. I still have flaws, [...]

Stigma Fighters : Shawna Ayoub Ainslie

Anxious All Over I’m anxious all over. You can’t know me without seeing it. You don’t really need to know me to see it. I am told frequently to calm down. Strangers reassure me that “everything is okay.” And I know they mean well, but it hurts sometimes. I’ve been guilty of this myself—looking at [...]

By | 2015-09-15T10:34:28+00:00 September 23rd, 2015|Categories: Anxiety, Brave People, Stigma Fighters|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Stigma Fighters : Lindsay Holmes

A handful of pills, alcohol, and a full bathtub. That's all I need. I had the perfect plan to finally give me peace. I climbed in to relax, tossed my pills in my mouth, drank and relaxed waiting for bliss to take hold, that moment when oblivion would release me from my nightmares. I've always [...]

Stigma Fighters : Jason Insalaco

Freed Control is my Insanity My name is Jay Insalaco. I am a husband, father of two beautiful children, and a public worker. Life wasn't always like this, here’s my story. In 1995 when I was 19, I started going to a rave club in New York City called "the tunnel".  At this club I [...]

Stigma Fighters : G. Donald Cribbs

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) vs. Posttraumatic Growth (PTG): Focusing on Symptoms vs. Resiliency in Survivors of Trauma I’m no expert. I may be a counselor-in-training, completing my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at CACREP-accredited Messiah College Graduate School, but I’m not the authority on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Posttraumatic Growth (PTG). Here’s [...]

Stigma Fighters : Wendy C. Garfinkle

Trigger Warning: Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse I still remember my first sexual encounter. I was 4 years old. I remember every detail, as if I was a spectator, rather than the child. I don’t remember the physical sensations, but I do remember every word spoken, every scene enacted. Since it’s with me more than [...]

Stigma Fighters : Casey Sheridan

This is hard for me write because I've never written about this before, nor have I talked about it to anyone other than my psychologist. Rachel Thompson has a saying she often posts on her social media streams, "Write what scares you." Or something to that effect, anyway. Writing about this doesn't scare me and [...]

Stigma Fighter : Pepper Joy Greggs

I Found Mental Illness The technician called my name. I checked my phone to see the time. I was 45 minutes in on my 2nd dose of Xanax. I hoped it would help me. On my way down the hall the technician was chatty.  I remember swallowing a lot but being silent. "Lay down on [...]

Stigma Fighters : Michael Sherry

SMILE “Why don’t you smile more?” I have heard this comment more times than I care to remember. It seems like an easy thing to do, right? Two corners of your lips up, a couple of teeth showing and …. It’s a constant in my life – both the “Would you please smile?” and the [...]