Why am I sad all the time?

A thread about the ways minority stress affects us and how we can fight it

1/n
Minority stress refers to a variety of physical and mental disorders that political minorities experience.

It was first noticed and studied in American Black and LGBTQIA+ communities

2/n
The research on this topic proves what many of us have intuitively realised.

Here's the crude summary: minorities have a much higher chance of getting cancer and committing suicide, among other stress-related disorders

3/n
I wake up at 8 AM with a clenched jaw. My chest is tight. My head is filled with thoughts of things I haven't done.

This feeling of doom persists over the course of the day. The most common emotions I feel are lethargy, hopelessness, sadness, anxiety and irritation.

4/n
If you are a woman or enby, a Bahujan, a Non-Mainland Indian, neuro-divergent, disabled, queer, trans, a survivor of sexual assault or
a Muslim or a Christian,

The chances are high that you've experienced something similar

5/n
The reasons for the isolation of these minority groups is different but there is a common consequence we all face

Chronic, high levels of stress that make daily functioning difficult

If you fall in more than one of these categories, you are more vulnerable as well

6/n
There's only one lasting cure for this life-sapping stress and it is this: wide-spread political change and policies aimed at reducing our discrimination

For us as minorities, political revolution is a form of long-term self-care

7/n
Here are 4 other ways I've used to cope with minority stress:

(I want to add a disclaimer here that I am physically safe and financially stable, which makes it easier) :

8/n
1. Learning more about the historical and current
causes of my community's isolation - for example, endogamy is the backbone of the caste system and that's why, as queer women, our sexuality is policed and punished

9/n
2. Finding role models to identify with. Knowing that Shakespeare and so many others are bisexual was huge for me.

3. Meeting people like me online and talking about our unique experiences. Reddit, Twitter and Instagram are the forums I've used for this

10/n
4. Recognising my stress, observing its physical manifestations and realising that it's a consequence of my political isolation

I spent so long wondering why I couldn't be happy. Then I realised it was a natural response to a system designed to work against people like me

11/n
In conclusion, your health is a political issue.

You can't be healthy and happy in a system that's against you.

Don't demand health from yourself and be understanding of other minorities with similar issues.

We will overcome this together

12/12

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More from @joannakoshy1

10 Sep
Thread of ridiculous things my Syrian Christian loved ones have done:

I love my family but we need to claim our role as a Brahmin-adjacent political group

1/n
My grandfather has told me about a lower caste family that worked on his farmland.

He said that even after the son of that family got a good job, he would address my grandfather respectfully with a word that means 'Lord' in Malayalam.

2/n
As a child, it was common for other Christians to ask me what church my family attended.

It was many few years later that I realised there were two CSI churches in Trivandrum. One for UC Christians and one for LC Christians.

3/n
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