Tag Archives: mental health

In Sickness

When I picked “leaving” as the theme for the March Carnival of Aces just a few months back, little did I know that March would become a time of not leaving. This month, Siggy has picked the theme of “quarantine,” and I’m taking that as an opportunity to reflect here on the implications of contagious disease for a geographically-scattered community, as well as some potential directions for ace advocacy in the area of health & medical issues.

[Note: This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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Ace Community Issues Linkspam

A short linkspam of linkspams (and some individual posts) on ace intersections, including intracommunity issues and problems faced outside the community.  I’m still not all there in the head but, hey, wanted to do a thing, still.

Note in case of tumblrwarp: please visit the original wordpress post in case of future edits/updates.

Gender (Identity and Alignment) – Carnival of Aces November 2011: Gender and Carnival of Aces March 2016: Gender Norms and Asexuality feature posts on being trans, being female, and being nonbinary.

Race and Ethnicity – Vesper’s APoC Resources page has tons of links to content on/by/for asexual people of color, including articles and videos on racism inside and outside of the community, such as The Large Space That White Supremacy Occupies In Conversations About Sexuality.

You can also find some posts on being Jewish in the roundup for Carnival of Aces October 2014.

Gay, Bi, and Queer – On this subject, I’d highlight Living gay (and ace), On “no romo”, and Being asexual, “of the bi-ish persuasion,” and afraid, as well as this post on guilt over desire for representation. For further reading, see Queenie’s so-called teeny tiny linkspam on asexuality and queerness.

Illness and Disability – Carnival of Aces June 2015: Mental Health  and Carnival of Aces October 2013: Disability and Asexuality feature posts on being mentally ill, being disabled, and choices on the part of the ace community, disability activists, and health care providers.

Sexual Violence – Queenie’s Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices series explains how to avoid damaging rhetoric about survivors of sexual violence.

The RFAS (Resources for Ace Survivors) Recommended Reading page covers a broader range of topics under the same umbrella of asexuality and sexual violence.

Miscellaneous – Examples of Bad Ace Advice and Hezza’s Asexual identity prescriptivism linkspam address identity-policing and other issues.

(in which the blogger continues to be grouchy)

“I am currently looking for people along the mental illness spectrum who are also asexual, and willing to write about their experience!”

People along the mental illness spectrum.

I’m not familiar with mental illness being referred to as a spectrum.

Would that include people who are skittish and anxious in relation to past abuse, who might want trigger warnings for that quiz you linked, that I assume you never got the comment notification for?

Would that include people who suffer from paranoia or have stigmatized diagnoses they might not want disclosed to just anyone, who as kink newbies might want to be informed of the security issues that “most of the users on FL have been aware of for several years now”?

Anything like that, maybe?

Advice for Therapists of Asexual Clients

Note: This guide presumes a passing familiarity with the asexual identity.  For some basic 101, you can view Asexuality: Basics for Health Professionals.

There are many issues to bear in mind when conducting therapy with a client who identifies under the asexual umbrella.  Aces may have unique needs and experiences that challenge traditional practice and conventional wisdom within the mental health field.  It’s best to educate yourself and learn how to account for these differences in order to preempt damage to the therapist-client relationship, or, worse, compounding the hurts you’re supposed to heal.

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Protected: WIP: advice for therapists of asexual clients

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brainstorming therapist ace-(client)-advice

I’m still mulling over Elizabeth’s suggestion to put together some advice (or “what not to do”s) for therapists of aces.  It wouldn’t need to be ace 101 for therapists, since that already exists.  Building off of that… here’s what I think would be some applicable sub-topics.

  • signaling that you’re ace friendly — Some therapists will put it in their bio or have a little sign in their office indicating they’re (at least nominally) supportive of LGBT identities.  Given the… complex relationship between the LGBT community and the ace community, aces can’t always take this as a sign that they’re in a safe space.
  • making negative assumptions — A client who brings up their asexuality may not be doing so because their asexuality is something they want your advice on.  Like other biographical information, this may be some background information that’s necessary to clarify other things the client wants to tell you about their life.
  • pathologization — Sometimes clients may express personal or interpersonal distress over not feeling sexual attraction/not wanting sex/being averse to sex, etc.  They may or may not identify as asexual.  This distress is the problem to work on, not their sexuality itself.

Obviously, I’d go more in-depth with these.  These are just summaries of what springs to mind.  What other “Don’ts” would you want a therapist to be aware of?

Examples of Bad Ace Advice

A brief collection of examples of advice you shouldn’t give and advice you shouldn’t listen to.  Perhaps illustrative of why I have my concerns about ace advice blogs.

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Aces Low

A post about asexuality and depression.

I’ve been curled up in my living room trying to dig my way out of a bout of mental and physical lethargy for a few days now, so since I haven’t been able to force myself to work on anything else (even other posts on this blog), I figured, hey, you know, you can do that post on depression you thought about writing months ago.

CW for suicidal thinking, med talk, and religion talk.

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On Repression and Oppression Terminology

Three points, two of which I expect most of y’all to be familiar with already:

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note to self

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