It’s Black Friday, a day where tonnes of stores have sales, and everywhere I turn I’m being bombarded with alerts about sales and “bargains”. It’s giving me anxiety! Until I reminded myself that the Black Friday sales are a great opportunity to pick up something you’ve been wanting for ages, or things you know you’ll soon need more of anyway. Or grab some Christmas presents for people at a reduced price. But it certainly doesn’t mean we need to buy stuff we don’t actually need or really love, just because it’s on sale. If you wouldn’t have bought it full price (out of need or love) then you don’t need it at 20 or 30% off either. It will just become more stuff in your home that makes you feel bad. So if Black Friday sale alerts are giving you anxiety, try logging off social media for a few days until it dies down, or sitting down and making a proper list of what you really actually need and try to stick to that.
Over the last few weeks, there has unfortunately been some very biased and factually inaccurate reporting in a particular newspaper regarding the treatment of Transgender children. This poor journalism has sparked debate that has deeply hurt many Trans people, including children who are already extremely vulnerable, and their loved ones. Fortunately, health professionals in this field, including the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health (AusPATH) have rallied together to provide a factual and evidence based counterpoint. A reminder that all Trans children treated in Australia are treated according to the Standards of Care guidelines which already have a very well documented evidence base behind them. There have also been some media outlets that have printed factually accurate pieces, such as this one by Teddy Cook, in the Guardian,
As of July 29th 2019, Lovell Psychology will be moving locations. We will be based in Victoria Park (near the Causeway end), at WA Psychology and Wellness, 1 King George Street. There is free parking for clients behind the building, and if that is full there is also a free 1 hour parking lot directly across the road. We are right near the corner of Albany Highway if you feel like getting a coffee or a bite to eat after your appointment.
World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released guidelines recommending that in the new ICD-11 the diagnosis gender identity disorders will be reframed as gender incongruence. It will also be moved from the chapter on mental disorders into a chapter on sexual health. It sends the positive message that trans identities are part of human diversity. Read more about how the changes in this classification could affect trans or gender diverse people here.
Did you know that almost 75% percent of woman have experienced painful sex at some time, with more persistent painful sex affecting 7-22% of women? As this article explains, painful sex can create a cycle of anticipation and tension which exacerbates pain. Seeing a Psychologist, either as an individual or as a couple can be very helpful in interrupting this cycle of pain. Couples can learn how to be intimate in ways that eliminate pain or minimise pain experienced. Unfortunately, lots of women don’t ever seek help with painful sex because they don’t realise how common and treatable it is.
Yesterday the WA Parliament removed outdated laws that forced Trans people to divorce if they wished to update their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity. In the old system, Transgender people who applied to have their birth certificate updated to their affirmed gender could not remain married. Ever since the Marriage Equality Laws were passed the Trans community and advocates have been campaigning to rectify this situation. The law has finally been changed!
The festive season can be a lovely time, but for many people it can be stressful, exhausting, may trigger depression or anxiety or be a reminder of grief and loss. Click this link from Psychology Today on surviving the festive season. In addition to those tips, I would also add to be mindful of not allowing perfectionistic tendencies to take over, particularly if you know you are a people pleaser and get anxious about trying to make everybody else happy. In all likelihood, the demands of family get togethers and managing different personalities or relationships mean you won’t be able to make everyone happy anyway! Try to focus instead on keeping it simple for yourself. Try to also be kind to yourself and recognise that this time might also bring feelings of grief or sadness, especially if you have lost someone or can’t help comparing how things are now to how things maybe used to be (or an idealised idea of how you’d like them to be).
All that being said, hope you enjoy yourself whether that be with family, friends, or something else.
Please note that Lovell Psychology will be closed over the festive period from 24 December through to the 7 January.
If you require assistance during this time, you may find these resources helpful:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Crisis Care 08 9223 1111 or 1800 199008 (for outside Perth metropolitan area)
If you feel unsafe, go to the hospital emergency department. If life is in immediate danger call 000.
We already know that LGBTIQ young people face much higher rates of mental health issues than their non queer peers. A part of this at least is likely due to discrimination or fear of discrimination. The last thing young LGBTIQ youth need is a public debate about whether Private Religious Schools should have the legal right to exclude students and teachers based on sexuality or gender identity. I can’t believe we’re even having this debate in contemporary Australia, knowing what we know about the risk factors for mental health, suicide or self-harm for LGBTIQ youth. This from an article in Junkee.com published yesterday.
“Most of all we need to remind the nation that Australia is a better place for having anti-discrimination laws, and we will be a better place still when we improve those laws to offer ever more protection for vulnerable people.”
This morning our Prime Minister tweeted a very harmful tweet regarding Transgender children:
“We do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.”
His tweet was reportedly in response to an article in The Daily Telegraph. It concerns me when news publications and Politicians promote inaccurate and harmful information about transgender identity and care. However, Sam Langford from Junkee published this piece, which is informative and well researched in response. I can’t say any of it any better myself, so instead I’ll just post the article here.