Never Call Someone With Anxiety 'Crazy'

Never Call Someone With Anxiety 'Crazy'

It’s like making someone with a disability feel incapable.

Well, 3:30 a.m., we meet again.

And no, I’m not drunkenly at McDonald's with friends celebrating the weekend, I haven’t done that since college...or, uh, ever. I’m also not the spouse in a horror movie obsessively placing wood on the fire in our newly purchased haunted home.

Nope, tonight I’m in bed, and though I brushed my teeth, shut off the light and put my phone down hours ago, I’m still very much awake.

Here’s a little bit about me:

I don’t drink coffee past 4 p.m., I try to take melatonin at around 10 p.m. every night, and I practice yoga breathing because on the nights when it’s an option, I want some control over the sleep I get, but sometimes my brain has other plans.

My brain thinks 3:30 a.m. is an excellent time to go over things that I can’t at that moment, or in general, control. Like how I should be taking better care of myself, whether I’m progressing in the way that I want to in my career and how I should be reaching out to long-distance friends and family more often.

Well, those are the more reasonable concerns that cycle through my brain anyway.

But sometimes, despite my best efforts, my thoughts circle back to times in my life that aren’t entirely productive to relive. Like remembering that one time that that person that means a lot to me inferred that I’m crazy.

Listen, mental illness is no friggin’ picnic. I’ve been around it in one form or another my whole life, and it’s often trying on those who aren’t directly suffering. But you know what’s worse? What the ones who are directly suffering are going through.

It can be consuming, debilitating, isolating and make you feel like you’re inches below the surface, frantically swimming in place with a cinder block tied to your feet.

I can’t speak for everyone, only myself, but I can say with some certainty that even indirectly referring to people with mental illness as crazy is hurtful beyond measure. It’s offensive.

It’s like making someone with a disability feel incapable.

Mental illness is a hot topic right now because of all the mass shootings that have happened, but let’s get something straight.

Google defines crazy as, “mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way”.

Though not the sole definition of the word, it is a definition commonly understood in society.

There are varying degrees of mental illness and a majority of people living with it can not and should not be considered mentally deranged or aggressive.

Here are some statistics according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

In the United States, One in five, or 18.5 percent, of adults suffer from mental illness.

One in 25, or four percent, of adults, experience extreme mental illness that, “substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities."

And 18.1 percent of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder.

That’s 40 million people that suffer or have suffered from anxiety.

The point is, mental illness is fairly common. Anxiety disorders are fairly common, just ask John Mayer or Howie Mandel, and though there’s much debate as to whether the occurrence of mental illness is actually increasing, it’s most likely not going to go away either.

Granted, you shouldn’t call anyone or make anyone feel as though they are crazy, and especially not someone who suffers from a mental illness. Perhaps this snapshot will help float some further needed perspective into cyberspace.

Cover Image Credit: a-lish147 / Flickr

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If A 19-Year-Old Maniac Can Get A Semiautomatic Gun, You Can Too

Welcome to ‘Merica, where we can buy semiautomatic military-grade weapons before we can buy a brew.

How did a military-grade weapon become legal for practically anyone to purchase?

I asked this question after I learned that the AR-15 was a semi-automatic weapon. And this was the same weapon that was used this Valentine’s Day.

Originally designed for American troops to kill enemy fighters, the AR-15 is easier to buy then a handgun in Florida…

Welcome to ‘Merica. Where we can buy semiautomatic weapons before we can buy a brew.

Even living in Idaho, I had no idea that these guns were legal. I thought they had to be purchased from illegal arms trafficking. I would have been even more scared of guns and people who bear arms (especially concealed weapons… because well, it’s Idaho) if I had known it is that easy to acquire a type of gun like this.

Hell, if a 19-year-old homicidal maniac can get an AR-15 someone like me should probably get a gun too, right? I am sure that is what most people are thinking as well. Well if the insane and unstable individuals are buying guns, then the sane and stable individuals in our society should also be purchasing guns.

Whereas the second amendment was created so that we could rise up against our government if need be, actually, it is coming in handy so that we can arm ourselves against the insane people that our government isn’t protecting us against. I bet the founding fathers didn’t think this is what the second amendment was going to look like in 2018.

Of the recent deadliest mass shootings in the U.S., six of the ten have used an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. The most recent including in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, and now in Parkland, Florida in the nation’s deadliest high school shooting. Keep in mind we have to say high school because there is also the deadliest elementary school shooting, which had even more casualties and no action was taken.

Now, let’s just start from the beginning. What is an AR-15?

The AR-15, commonly mistaken as an “assault rifle” but actually standing for “Armalite rifle” was first used in the late 1950’s in the Vietnam war as a replacement for a heavier weapon, the M-14, as the U.S. military was trying to find a gun comparable to the AK-47 that their enemies were using.

Actually, the AR-15 was at first a failure because the military did not want to spend money on a new rifle when the M-14 was already being produced. Then, in the 60’s, the M-14 production came to a standstill and they began to mass produce the new official rifle, the M-16 assault rifle, which became the Americans match for the AK-47. After the war, the standard weapon became the fully automatic M-16 while the semiautomatic version, the AR-15, became available to civilians.

In the 70’s and 80’s no one really bought AR-15’s or used them illegally, but after deadly mass shootings, sales of the gun went up (some say this is due to a copycat mentality of mass shooters, the NRA would say this is due to its ability to be “customizable, adaptable, reliable, and accurate”).

In 1994, Congress, along with President Bill Clinton, put a ban on the manufacturing of a number of assault-weapons and the AR-15 was one of them. The production of the AR-15 was then stalled for ten years until the ban expired. If a ban is not renewed after ten years, then it dies. So even though the majority of the American public did not want this ban to go away, it wasn't renewed or reauthorized and the weapons were available to sell to the public again.

Of course, there was a large amount of support for this ban to expire (looking at you, NRA). And just like prohibition, once it was taken away, everyone seemed to want it even more, and do anything to get one.

But wait, it’s not that hard to get one in the state of Florida, as well as most other states.

So how did troubled 19-year-old, Nikolas Cruz, buy a semi-automatic assault weapon? Before he can buy an alcoholic beverage he can buy an assault weapon? Not to mention a 19-year-old with a history of erratic, troubled, antisocial behavior who was expelled for physically abusing his former girlfriend. A 19-year-old whose Instragram account was filled with guns and dead animals. In fact, many in his school were not surprised that he did something like this. Oh, and to top it off, the FBI had a tip about this man… So they obviously shouldn’t be surprised he did something like this either.

You have to be 21 to buy a handgun, but 18 to buy an AR-15, so it really is easier to buy this assault weapon for someone like Nikolas Cruz. You do have to pass a background check, however, and here is the federally prohibiting criteria from the FBI. But still, none of these would prevent him from owning and buying a semiautomatic weapon… A deadly machine that was designed to kill enemy soldiers and is now being sold to civilians and used to slaughter their own people.

And simply put, the only reason for these laws is because this is how Congress put them in place and it is all through gun lobbying and support that has just kept it easier to get these type of weapons. So each shooting is basically endorsed by Congress and the NRA.

So there you have it. The origin, uses, and process of obtaining an Armalite rifle, not to be confused with an assault rifle, which is also created to kill mass amounts of human beings. At least we all have more information about this weapon so we will know more about it for the next shooting.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube | IraqVeteran8888

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Apocalypse not Armageddon

Why Humanity Needs To Seek An Apocalypse, And Completely Reject Any Notion Of Armageddon

When civilizations teeters on the brink of change, typically the breakdown of complex society; beliefs in the “end of the world”, end times prophecies from religions, and other notions of the world as one knows it ceasing to exist grow popular amongst segments of society. This phenomenon has been witnessed throughout history, with a famous account being within the fall of the Western Roman civilization. What became Christianity had elements of some of these end times mentalities that are still present in the religion to this day. One can observe, particularly in the Western world where Christianity is most prominent, a notion that as western civilization faces the challenges of its own in a contradiction; so the appearance that the world is ending is both merited and irrational.

It is undeniable that the social constructed institutions and mechanisms of society, not just in the West but globally, are failing to deal with their own contradictions in terms of economics, politics, religious strife, social discontent, etc. These factors all play a part in the destabilizing of society and the undoing of complex systems of civilization that make up modern life. Added to this, the mechanisms that are breaking down have been for centuries contributing to the slow ecological suicide of anthropocentrism. This philosophical mentality that humanity first and foremost has the right to do whatever humanity wishes with planet, its resources, and the other lifeforms harboring within the biosphere; which has accumulated into the literal breakdown of the massive complex systems of nature. The contradictions of global civilization are creating the circumstances in which the entire biosphere risks collapsing. This indeed would lead to the end of complex human society and possibly the species as a whole. The skies may not rain fire, demons may not rise from the depths of the underworld; but for all intents and purposes, it is likely the closest humanity will come to a self induced Armageddon, short of a global nuclear war.

But this is where an interesting linguistic focus creates distinctly different ideas. Many attribute the idea of Armageddon with the idea of the Apocalypse; but this is largely a mistake from centuries of translation. Apocalypse is rooted in a Greek terminology that essentially means “revealing“, an awakening of perception to reveal the greater truth of reality. Where Armageddon is a distinct idea built around Christian end times mentality; Apocalypse does not imply the end of anything. It does not imply that the world is ending, society is falling apart, civilization is destabilizing; arguably quite the opposite.

The Apocalypse, as a concept, is a moment that offers change in either direction of positive or negative repercussions. The reaction to the revealing of perception and the awakening of what the human species could evolve into leaves us all with the recognition that humanity does not have to die off; we do not have to let civilization collapse. Apocalypse occurred in the past once before, the transitioning of the European dark ages to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This transitional period allowed a completely new perception of existence for human life to be built out of the knowledge gained from the expanded perception. And considering events like the bubonic plague and other mass deaths occurred during this timeframe, where massive portions of the worlds population died off in a short period of time; the possibility of European civilization collapsing beyond repair was a real possibility. But as we reflect back today, the apocalyptic unfolding of this era proved not to be a breakdown of complexity, but an expanded and energized growth and evolution on scales unseen in Europe for centuries, not since the days of antiquity before the fall of Rome.

So as we humans deal with the stress of balancing civilization in a manner that can prevent complex structures from buckling under the weight of modern life; we must also learn to grow and strengthen the bonds of society and the connection shared between all members the human species. The threat of Armageddon we face is on a global scale; no longer will one region fall into dark ages as others continue on. Twenty First century global civilization means that we are all in this complex situation together. We must therefore recognize that a willful and deliberate Apocalypse is the needed alternative to awaken the minds of the human race in order to create the conscious awareness that we require for survival.

Cover Image Credit: Mystic Investigations

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