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Spoon Theory

The mental illness cutlery drawer: spoon theory, fork theory, knives, and more

Big-T Trauma, Little-t trauma, and Mental Health Cutlery

I’ve heard quite a few people talk about not having been traumatized enough for their trauma to really count. I love me a good metaphor, and I think spoon theory and fork theory can be useful in explaining how little-t trauma (i.e repeated smaller stressors) can cause serious damage just like big-T trauma can. Spoons …

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How hard do you push yourself? Cartoon of a person straining towards an out of reach carrot

How Hard Do You Push Yourself Against Mental Illness?

Perhaps there are things you want to do, or think you should do, but they’re just not happening. How hard do you push yourself to try to get ‘er done anyway? Do you keep trying even when it becomes clear there’s no way it’s going to happen? I can think of a few factors that …

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The mental illness cutlery drawer: spoon theory, fork theory, knives, and more

The Mental Illness Cutlery Drawer: Spoons, Forks & More

You may have heard of spoon theory, a popular metaphor for dealing with chronic illness and energy-depleting activities. You’re probably less likely to have heard of a variant called fork theory, and you probably haven’t heard of knife theory. In this post, we’re going to do a deep dive into the mental illness cutlery drawer, …

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Mental illness life: comparing spoon theory and fork theory

Fork Theory: How the Anti-Spoons Affect Mental Illness

In my 15 years working as a mental health nurse, I had never come across the concept of spoon theory; I only learned about it once I started blogging. More recently, I came across fork theory, which we’ll look at in this post. I’ve gotta say, I’m loving the cutlery metaphors to represent mental illness …

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illustration from Molly's Fund of spoon theory and number of spoons needed for daily tasks in chronic illness

Applying Spoon Theory to Living with Mental Illness

One of the many things I’ve learned about through blogging is Christine Miserandino‘s spoon theory. In a 2003 essay, she described using the metaphor to explain to a friend what it felt like to have a chronic invisible illness (in her case, lupus). She and her friend were in a restaurant, and spoons were easily …

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