Rape is an Economic Crime: The Case for Mental Health Restitution

On TV, the plot looks something like this: a woman is raped or abused. She is a sympathetic character, traumatized yet brave. She reports the crime to the police, who perform a detailed forensic investigation and arrest the perpetrator. A trial ensues, and the survivor steps forward to tell her story. She wins over theContinue reading “Rape is an Economic Crime: The Case for Mental Health Restitution”

Why It’s Harmful To Tell Kids “He’s Mean Because He Has a Crush on You”

If you are a child of the 90s, you might remember Helga Pataki. She was blond, had a strangely shaped head like the rest of her peers, lived in New York City, and, most importantly, relentlessly bullied television’s cartoon sweetheart, everyone’s favorite oblong-noggined Arnold. A character on the Nickelodeon kids’ show Hey, Arnold!, Helga typified theContinue reading “Why It’s Harmful To Tell Kids “He’s Mean Because He Has a Crush on You””

How to Tell Someone You’re Not Interested

The anxiety starts in my chest and then blooms, smothering my lungs and filling my belly: a guy has just asked me out. Oh no, I think, panicked. Am I interested? How do I turn him down? I’m not a character in a preteen novel, with butterflies in her stomach because she’s never been asked on aContinue reading “How to Tell Someone You’re Not Interested”

Dealing with Complicated Feelings Around Abusers

Recently, a man I know was outed as a serial sexual harasser. I say “know” in a rather unfortunate sense: I’d been approached online by, went on a date with, and even kissed the guy a couple years ago. His too-forward sexual advances had always left a bad taste in my mouth. When the revelationsContinue reading “Dealing with Complicated Feelings Around Abusers”

One Year After #MeToo

The day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before congress about her experience of sexual violence in relation to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) received the highest number of calls in its 24-year history. More than 3,000 people connected with the network on September 28, part of a record-breaking increase inContinue reading “One Year After #MeToo”

When is Talking About Looks Damaging to Mental Health?

I’m a pretty confident gal. Actually, that’s an understatement. I am a seriously confident woman. I think I’m gorgeous, exceptionally talented, super interesting, and not least of all, very humble. I’m lucky to have a fantastic mom, who always modelled body confidence, never talked about weight, and told me I was the most beautiful woman in theContinue reading “When is Talking About Looks Damaging to Mental Health?”

Why It’s Healthy To Lower Your High Expectations in College

A group of us were getting together for the first time since graduation, reminiscing about our earlier selves. “We were all horrible in college,” my friend said recently over drinks. “We were so status-obsessed and trying to keep up with everyone else who was status-obsessed.” Another friend, sipping his beer, put it more succinctly: “We were allContinue reading “Why It’s Healthy To Lower Your High Expectations in College”

How to Emotionally Prepare Yourself for Your Next Relationship

I’ll admit it: when my Talkspace editors suggested that I write about how to overcome harmful relationship patterns, my first thought was “Hey man, I wish I knew.” I, like most of us, have had my fair share of bad relationships, from “it’s complicated,” to “it’s really complicated,” to abuse (and there’s no Facebook status for that). I, like mostContinue reading “How to Emotionally Prepare Yourself for Your Next Relationship”