Category Archive: mental health

Pure OCD and the Groinal Syndrome: Body beyond control

Human bodies are trouble. They’re frightening and chaotic and often riddled with insurmountable paradox. All at once they are us – the site of our sensations, experiences, identities – not us – governed by unconscious, primordial systems, sometimes fiercely at odds with our desires and internal self-concepts – and perhaps most frighteningly, ours – like …

Writing for catharsis: The art of reworking negativity

I hold the thread and pinch one strand free from the four. I pull high and slow the way Mum taught me. This is a lie. I embroider quite well but YouTube was my main teacher. I consider the harshness of the word ‘lie’ as I stitch this thread with others of different colours: hues …

OCD and sex: When ‘pure O’ isn’t so pure

It was a Thursday and I was at work, sitting at my desk in a second-floor open-plan office with no windows. I walked over to the printer, swiped my staff card and waited while the pages of my report assembled themselves into a neat pile. Then it happened again, more powerful than before. Images flashed …

Navigating PTSD and the sexual self

Navigating PTSD and the sexual self

Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault and trauma.    Flat on my back in a dark, unfamiliar room. The door is shut but a crack of light seeps in from the corridor. A hand reaches to unzip my jeans. My pussy’s wet, my nipples hard. A heavy breath heaves and a deep voice whispers …

Dead canaries: Gaslighting in relationships

I had always considered myself a very empowered person who was able to be assertive in my relationships and maintain healthy boundaries with the people around me. Actually, my boundaries could sometimes be described as more robust than healthy. It often took people months to get beyond arm’s length. A year or so ago, I …

Navigating intimacy and post-coital dysphoria

I’ve been crying in the bathtub for the past half-hour. The tub is bone dry, but the sink is running in hope to stop my sobs from passing through the paper-thin walls and into the bedroom next door. I’m completely naked, covered in a stranger’s semen. A knock at the door forces me to lift …

Accessibility at queer events: It’s hard to have pride when you can’t access it

I am often at the mercy of my brain. My mental illness tells me that I’m worthless, pointless and that it’s useless to try and get out of bed because no one wants to associate with me anyway. I’m constantly fighting my brain. It makes it hard to function when your brain won’t let you …

Identity, mental health and postcolonial trauma

A good friend of mine recently asked me to write a piece on the way that depression has impacted my life for a friend’s blog. Thinking about it, I came to realize that the psychological illnesses I have incurred over the years are situated within the history of postcolonial trauma. My ancestral heritage goes back …

Staying Positive: Condoms, stigma and HIV advocacy in the age of PrEP

For 35 years, gay men have been told one thing: wear a condom. In my work as a journalist and broadcaster, I have specialised in covering gay men’s sexual health issues, and have always encouraged listeners to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing. Now, new forms of protection that do not involve latex …

Bisexual women and mental health: You must be this queer to enter

Ruby Mountford will speak about bisexuality and women’s health at the 2018 LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference, July 12 & 13 at the Jasper Hotel, Melbourne. For more information and to register for the LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference go to lbq.org.au   It started with a mention of The L Word. I was sitting at the …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity