To The Boy Who Loves His Girlfriend With Mental Illnesses

To The Boy Who Loves His Girlfriend Despite Her Mental Illnesses

I can be exhausting!

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First of all, thank you. Thank you for hearing me, comforting me, and staying with me.

But also, thank you for holding me accountable for my words and actions, and making me more aware of how my bad days affect the people around me.

Thank you for surprising me with a piece of cake and a bouquet of my favorite flowers when I had a loud, ugly anxiety attack when I was planning my fall semester schedule. Thank you for letting me scream it out, laughing at me when I wasn't looking, and for stealing bites of my cake even though I pouted about it. You help me take life less seriously.

Thank you for making a mental list of all the things I told you that help me come down during a panic attack and never forgetting them. Thank you for squeezing my hands and looking into my eyes and telling me that I will be okay and telling me that you're with me.

Thank you for offering your home to me when I was unhappy in mine. Thank you for letting me get to know your mom and for letting me lay on the floor with your dog.

Thank you for staying up all night with me when I told you I wanted to kill myself. And thank you for telling me to go get help and telling me that if it happened again you'd call the cops. Thank you for not babying me and forcing me to see the serious reactions that my words create in others.

Thank you for sending me your favorite song the first time I went through a depressive episode when we were together. Thank you for admitting that you didn't have the right words. Thank you for appealing to my love of music to bring me back down to earth. Thank you for referencing that song every time I struggle, to remind me that you've been here since the beginning.

Thank you for hearing me even when I think my words make no sense at all. Thank you for offering to walk me to my therapist appointments and wait in the lobby with me. Thank you for encouraging me to overcome my eating disorder by asking me to go out on a dinner date once a week.

Thank you for asking how I feel every day. Thank you for asking what has changed, what you can do to help, and how you can be there for me. Thank you for loving me no matter how damaged I feel.

Thank you for the words you say when I can't see through my own tears, the ones that make me see everything clearly again and breathe a little bit slower. Thank you for forcing genuine belly laughs out of me when I can barely force myself to fake a smile.

Thank you for letting me express my struggles. Thank you for not telling me to fake it until I make it. Thank you for letting me cry, letting me yell, letting me not speak at all for hours on end.

Thank you for showing me the pain you feel on my behalf. It makes me want to get better even more. Thank you for holding my hand through this process and reminding me that it's not always linear and perfect.

Thank you for assuring me that it is okay if my progress slows, stalls, or even regresses. But also, thank you for pushing me to not be okay with it. Thank you for pestering me relentlessly to fix my sleep schedule, eat regular meals, see my therapist.

Thank you for being compassionate but not complacent. Thank you for loving me enough to want to see me love myself.

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Despite What The Media Says, Video Games Don't Cause Violence And Aggression

The answer to a question that has been asked for many years.

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Often at times when a young teen (usually a male) commits an act of violence such as a school shooting, people try to blame the tragedy on violent video games and other forms of media. What I'm here to argue is that violent video games do not cause violence among children. The one question that needs to be asked, though, is where this blame is coming from, and my answer is the media who distributes this claim to society.

Although there may be some valid arguments as to why violent video games lead to aggression that can turn into potential violent behavior, there is plenty of research that proves that violent video games do not contribute to aggression as much as the opposing view tells you. Right now, there are thousands upon thousands of children who play video games every day and don't become aggressive and violent. In instances such as school shootings, people love to steer the conversation away from topics like gun legislation, which is generally how the NRA prefers things. It's less pressure on their department and more questions and pressure on departments such as The Entertainment Software Association.

The ESA is a U.S. association representing companies that publish computer and video games. The NRA is the National Rifle Association of America, a U.S. nonprofit organization that advocates for gun rights. In 2012, after a shooter killed 20 children and six faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NRA president Wayne La Pierre said, "There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against its own people."

He was talking about video games, not the gun industry.

Most of the time people who blame video games for being the cause of these problems don't play them themselves. According to a study the researchers at the University of York performed with more than 3,000 participants, video game concepts do not "prime" players to behave in certain ways, and increasing the realism of violent video games does not necessarily increase aggression in game players. Another study corroborates the ongoing body of evidence that being good at video games plays an important part in our cognitive development and improves our ability to learn new things.

An article from Psychology Today states, "after surveying over a thousand 14- and 15-year-old adolescents of both genders and their parents in Great Britain, the researchers found that teenage gamers who played violent video games did not exhibit higher levels of aggressive behavior than age-matched peers who didn't play violent video games." This evidence along with the numerous other arguments provided suggest that violent video game play does not have a detrimental effect on levels of aggression.

In the future, video games will become more and more life-like and violent, which will inevitably cause people to question whether teenagers playing such games might become more aggressive. I just only hope for one day when people will examine the value of gaming in an open-minded manner and put all options on the table instead of one.

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To The Girl Telling Herself She Doesn't 'Catch Feelings,' Stop Lying To Yourself

"Catching feels" is not synonymous with a sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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We're all guilty of it. We think we have this incredible Great Wall of China protecting our vulnerability; however, we tend to overestimate its security with defense mechanisms that could potentially hurt us in the long-term, concerning the formation of future relationships.

We must let others in to embrace the process of falling for someone

If you're like me, constantly busy and preoccupied with life's demands (sometimes going days without proper inhalation and exhalation), we become almost numb and ignorant of our emotions, mostly as a result from not putting ourselves out there. But this lack of experience is wrongly mistaken for the notion of attachment resistance. It's OK to focus on yourself, but after a while, it is necessary and fun to reawaken those feelings and jubilant moods associated with falling for someone, because in the midst of life's madness, we often forget how to feel.

Do not attempt to avoid to "catch feels" like it's the plague

We're consistently bombarded with false advice from society to avoid "catching feels," or falling for someone, no matter the costs. Why is it suddenly so frowned upon to actually like someone you met? Why should we feel shame in wanting to continue a relationship with this person? Dating is evidently complicated in the 21st century, but don't let this make you try to consciously repress those newly-formed feelings since repression essentially leads to escalation. Embrace the feels because it's the human thing to do.

Loosen your wall's bricks with vulnerability

Some of our jerk-alert senses are more activated than others, mostly due to past experiences, but it's important to hammer into our heads that they're not all the same.

Stop lying to yourself. No matter how much you repress it, you will feel, you will get attached, and you will allow yourself to do this, despite what the norm is for what "dating" is today. Break off from your defense mechanisms and your wall will slowly follow. Remember: "catching feels" is not synonymous with sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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