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Mental Health NiteChat Unlimited

I've been thinking for a long while that I would like to start a thread, so here it is! Recently I've been thinking about life, etc, and realized what a central role mental illness plays in my experiences. As someone with major depression, anxiety and possibly bi-polar type II, I deal regularly with my mood. Yet because of society's stigmatization of mental illness, I feel unable to discuss this key part of my life with others. I've found that people who have not personally experienced mental illness often find it difficult to understand, or may even consider mentally ill people threatening. Rather than telling friends when I'm feeling badly, I might mention that I'm feeling ill, but not give details. I've got a "headache," I like to joke. Here however, I'm going to talk openly about my experiences with mental illness, and I encourage others to do the same. If you've had a bad mental health day and want to tell folks who'll understand--go for it! If you've been doing well lately and are proud of your progress--shout it out! Or, if you've never experienced mental illness yourself but are curious about what it's like--just ask, and people can answer your questions from their own experiences. Let's do this thing!

Be as Specific as You Can!

If you search for something general like "sex," you aren't likely to find what you're looking for. Try "sexual intercourse," "worried about sex," "oral sex," or another more specific phrase. If you have a specific question, go ahead and type it right in the field, for example, "What are the symptoms of HPV?" We have so many questions on file, that someone may have asked EXACTLY what you want to ask before, and the search engine will pull it right up. We do not tag for mispellings or typos, so be sure to try and spell what you're entering correctly to get a good result fast. Same goes for slang:: use the most general terminology as you can. You're likely, for instance to find listings about "penis," but unlikely to find anything on "dicks." If you don't know what the right spelling of something is, look it up in your dictionary first. Our searches include results from all the sections of Scarleteen. However, to search the boards, you need to use the search function at the boards which is specific to them. You'll find it in the right hand corner of every board page. As always, if your question is of an emergency medical nature, please call your doctor or your local health care clinic. If you need help with a life-or-death emergency, talk to your parents or your local authorities.

Sexuality "safer sex"

Thankfully, some people are now using safer sex throughout their sexual lives, beginning from day one. But for some, that isn't the case. Perhaps you started your sexual life irresponsibly or without learning how to protect yourself from pregnancy, infection or disease, and you're ready to wise up. Or perhaps in any given relationship, you and your partner started taking risks somewhere along the line, and now you're having some trouble breaking those bad habits. Some people even think that being responsible -- or asking a partner to -- is somehow insulting or rude. Regardless of the scenario, it can feel awkward and seem really difficult sometimes to settle into healthy practices without feeling like the Sex Decency Brigade. But it doesn't have to be that way. Really, it doesn't. We promise. Because of the way that sexuality works in all of us, the more responsible we are, and the more safe and protected we feel, the easier it is to be really aroused and to enjoy sex. Worry and fear (which is valid, especially if you aren't playing it safe) about disease, infection and pregnancy does actually inhibit our brains from firing off all the pistons that make us aroused and sexually excited. In men that can mean premature ejaculation, or trouble with erection. In women that can mean a lack of vaginal lubrication, vaginal tightness and discomfort and inhibitors to orgasm. So, aside of the mental anguish, there are also very real and visible physical effects to taking risks we just don't feel good about. And since sex isn't a requirement ≠ you wonít die if you donít have it, honest -- but something any of us should only do to feel pleasure, closeness and joy, if it's riddled with anxiety and fear, there's just no point to it.