December 21 2011, 10:09:51 AM
The Serious Mental Health Thread
There's a need for a place to discuss mental health illness.
We aren't here to diagnose, but serve more as a group effort to failheap members where one can bitch and maybe get some serious advice from someone who's been there.
I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder when I was about 13. Have had it under control in various sorts since then. Medication and therapy proved decisive.
Viper Shizzle (Really)
Medication is another tool in the toolbox. They should be taken under the supervision of a psychiatrist and not be used in lieu of an actual treatment plan that includes both medication and therapy. It's like biscuits without gravy.
Side-effects exist but there's no way to predict whether you'll experience them or how bad they will be. It's your life, you choose how to live it. You have to weigh the side-effects with how bad your symptoms are. For some people it's a no-brainer and others you might want to use caution. Nonetheless, don't let your fears of side-effects completely turn you off from medication entirely. Sometimes you have to try several different medications to find the appropriate therapeutic effect with the least amount of side-effects.
~Be awesome people, you deserve it!
Last edited by F*** My Aunt Rita; June 10 2012 at 12:43:44 AM.
December 22 2011, 02:56:44 AM
so, how does one define depression? for example, i've lacked any motivation my entire adult life am prone to long periods of anxiety and left to my own devices i'll avoid people all of which i've a vague notion of being 'symptoms'. but seeing as i've always been this way i just see it as my 'personality' for want of a better word and have never felt an urge to be treated. sure i've felt low pretty frequently, but that's a logical result of not being motivated and therefor not acheiving as much as i want... given that feeling low is a logical response to a real world situation can this be counted as depression.
I guess this post is a 'wtf is depression anyway?' post.
December 22 2011, 03:50:44 AM
One thing I have learned is that the number of people who go through really shitty times is astronomical, everyone has skeletons so chin up when you go through it.
(Goddamn I want to help but I'm so terrible at it.)
EDIT: Id also advise that, if it means a lot to you, do not post about it in the emo thread. A lot of people do and it seems to work out most of the time but personally have had p bad experiences as far as that went which lead to a much worse situation.
Last edited by Shirazzz; December 22 2011 at 04:06:41 AM.
December 22 2011, 03:53:59 AM
The word depression itself is ambiguous. It has become a colloquial catchall for an array of mood disorders that are symptomatically grouped around "feeling down", more or less. It can be as bad as utterly incapable of taking care of yourself, in an active psychosis, and unless physically restrained you will do anything to kill yourself. On the lighter side, you can experience 1-3 weeks of being sad, lethargy, and just want to be alone. There's a whole lot of inbetween and what each individual experiences can be quite different.
Originally Posted by Shiodome
The big factor of when this period of "feeling down" becomes clinically significant is how debilitating it is for you. If you feel that these periods of "feeling down" have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life, you have every right to seek help. It may just be talk-therapy, but you may prescribed medication to treat your anxiety and/or depression.
If you choose to go that route, don't accept medication from a GP. See a psychiatrist and have him/her refer you to a therapist. Medication for depression-lite is ambiguous compared to talk-therapy. Nonetheless, it should be taken under supervision of somehow to knows a thing or two about mental health disorders. If your GP won't refer you, make a big fucking stink about it.
You have every right to not feel like shit. Treatment for your ails isn't a crutch. Hell, there's some frightening numbers that point towards men who "tough out" depression alone are more likely to have their situation grow worse and they have a higher suicide rate. So trying to be a tough guy comes with the chance of being hospitalized or dead.
Post/PM if you have any other questions or comments.
December 22 2011, 07:38:14 AM
I've got to be out the door in 2 minutes so I'll keep this brief and succinct, but I would like to touch briefly on what FMAR said about gp's and medication for depression-lite, and back him up.
First off, anti-depressants are (mostly) serious stuff. There's obviously lighter dosages and not quite as invasive stuff, but I've seen quite a few friends and one family member on that stuff and in all cases it worked, but with severe side effects and don't even get me started on trying to quit the stuff. Especially the latter is something why I generally advise people to really talk to a therapist first, and not let shitty GPs hand out medication like that as if it's candy. Your body adapts to the artificial levels of seratonin in your brain from the meds, and as soon as you try to take less or quit entirely most bodies will need time to readjust their own seratonin production levels. Result? You'll fall in a deep deep chasm for a while, which can turn into a vicious cycle leading you back to depression without someone to talk to and a stable group of people who can support you.
Second thing: In my experience, GPs will try to peddle aforementioned meds as if they get some kind of medal for every 100th patient who gets that shit subscribed. Quite recently I've gone through a terrible year, with my already asshole father going into some psychosis like rage mode and assaulting my little brother, me needing to break into the house to try and get him out before serious damage occurs, death threats, police involvements, needing to move to prevent him finding us etc etc and that left me with anxiety attacks for a month or two. My body is still recuperating from the intense amounts of stress I've gone through, and I still have moments of hyperventilating when I'm not feeling stressed in the slightest which cause dizziness and stuff. Every GP I've gone to when the symptoms started immediately jumped to anti depressants, even though mine is not a clinical case but obviously related to the recent occurrences in my life. I sought out therapy myself and that both helped as well as vindicate my own assessment that going on strong anti-depressant meds would have been a bad idea in my case, with the two therapists I've seen both reiterating that GPs jumping to meds like that when it's unnecessary is a common problem that they are very fed up with.
Just my quick two cents on the matter, will post more elaborately when I get back home if you want.
December 22 2011, 08:09:38 AM
While I am feeling better, thanks to the I suck with girls and emo thread oddly enough, mental illness is something I'll always have and probably always suffer from. Depression, Bipolar, LDs ect.. ect... So I feel that it really depends on the Person when it comes to medicine, I myself am taking a 10 mgs of an anti-depressant which works well since it stops me from feeling like a worthless failure that should die for being a genetic eunuch and mentally ill fucker... In the end, it still does depend on the person. Sometimes talking works, sometimes alternative treatments work, but sometimes they don't, and a little boost can be helpful in my experience.
I'm no expert when it comes to mental illness, I myself seek advice and research these things in hope of understanding myself better in future days, I'm bright but I'm no genius and so I feel that it really all comes down to perspective and your outlook on life when Mental illness is concerned.
December 22 2011, 11:29:22 PM
Originally Posted by Shiodome
This explained it best for me
December 23 2011, 03:23:11 AM
56k Lagman I too dont think I have even seem someone sum it up better... +rep
December 23 2011, 10:05:49 AM
Hi, I'm also kind of an "expert" I guess. No; I won't diagnose you, I'm not a shrink and this is MY DISCLAIMER telling you that anything I say could be full of complete shit - I'm not a licensed medical professional and you should definitely consult with your mental health professional or GP if you think you're undergoing something serious.
That out of the way: I can help more with general (and specific) questions relating to psychology or neural physiology more so than any specific diagnoses. My background is pretty extensive (especially with social, trauma related and childhood experience based problems) and I'm pretty up to date with the latest DSM bullshit. And yeah, I'll say it now, I'm pretty heavily against pill pushing. Drugs definitely can help and in some cases make a huge difference but drugs alone aren't going to solve any problems.
That being said I'll pop in from time to time and see what's up. If anyone has questions relating directly to something I've posted above feel free to PM me if you don't feel like posting here.
December 23 2011, 11:37:10 AM
I may be overstating a bit, but this man saved my life.
Originally Posted by Viper Shizzle
December 23 2011, 02:44:44 PM
(S/F)HC brosefs best brosefs at times
Originally Posted by F*** My Aunt Rita
December 23 2011, 03:07:23 PM
Ironically viper, it was one of your posts that pushed me towards pills lol
December 24 2011, 04:13:26 AM
So how do you get out of depression when it feels like a part of you that will never go away? I just have no motivation or willpower to do anything productive etc cos it just feels so pointless. Like i'll try and start going to the gym, and i'll go twice, and then stop. Or i'll say I won't stay up all night on the computer, which I can manage for one, maybe two nights before I find myself at x am having the oh so fun decision of staying awake and feeling like shit the next day or going to bed and missing whatever appointment I had that day cos I can't wake up. Or i'll make an appointment at a recruitment agency and then get a fucking attack of nerves and not go.
I mean really, what is the point, I never understood those people that have that drive to work super hard and struggle all their lives. You're probably just going to end up 60 and divorced and broke anyway.
I mean for me now, the best case scenario that I can imagine realistically, is that I could get some shit job that I would hate, due to my extreme lack of work history the last few years. Maybe if by some miracle I manage to stick at that and develop my writing in my spare time or something I could get a non awful job in x years, and maybe if I could stick at the gym I could feel better about my looks and get a girlfriend or whatever. But it just seems so unlikely, so unrealistic, like trying to do an iron man when you can barely walk.
December 24 2011, 09:10:25 AM
First: If you feel like this is affecting your life in a negative way, talk to your GP and get a referral to a mental health professional. I can offer some advice and insight but not much more.
Originally Posted by Al Simmons
A large part of what we call depression is perception. It's pretty cliche but perception actually is reality. How you perceive your life and your outlook on things genuinely influences your happiness and the outcomes you can expect from the actions you perform. If you view your life in a positive light you're far more likely to take actions that lead to further happiness, the same thing applies in reverse. Yeah, a lot of psychology can be bullshit and pseudoscience and it can be manipulated by people with agendas to fit their needs but this is one of the things that actually remains true throughout empirical studies.
So really, life is about what's going on in your head. If you feel like things are pointless and you're better off not doing them you're not going to have the motivation to carry on with them. I mean, from what you've posted it seems like you have a pretty bleak outlook on life. I'm sure certain life events have influenced this (and if you feel like posting or PMing them I can give further, targeted, insight) but really what you have to keep in mind is that life doesn't suck all that much.
Why can't you get a job you don't hate?
Why can't you do what you want to do?
What's stopping you from being successful and having a worthwhile life both personally and professionally?
The answer, genuinely, is nothing. You can change everything about your life, you can reinvent yourself. The only thing stopping you is you. This sounds like a horrible self-help book but it's absolutely true. You're blocking yourself from happiness. Why would you continue to stand in your own way when you know it's not how you want to live? Why would you continue to be unhappy when you can change how you feel?
You're not the first person to feel like this, trust. Not all that long ago I was in the same spot. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and I resigned myself to thinking that everything was shitty and that I'd never make anything out of myself, I would end up alone and that I could never end up doing what I loved as a career. I internalized this for a long time, longer than I can even really want to admit to myself now. I let myself go to shit during this time too, I didn't do things that I wanted to do, I didn't keep commitments, I let myself go physically to a point where I wasn't happy at all with who I saw in the mirror anymore. I honestly didn't like who I'd become; my friends and family didn't either.
It took one of my closest friends telling me (in no uncertain terms) that I was fucking up my life before I really realized what I was doing to myself. The kicker, it was all mental. Every last bit. Every self-doubt, every time I thought "oh I can't do this" or "that'll never work" before even trying something, it was mental. To this day I don't know why I allowed myself to act this way, I don't know why I allowed myself to form those thoughts and believe them so readily. It pretty much just hit me at that moment that I had to change, I had to do something about it or my life would actually end up like that. It was on me, it always was.
I'm not telling you that you have to become a SUPER HAPPY ALL THE TIME PERSON or someone that always has the best outlook on life. Nobody can do that, nobody real anyway. Rather, try to focus on the good sides of everything instead of dwelling on the negatives. Try to improve yourself every day instead of thinking of reasons you're not good enough. Focus on how to succeed instead of dreaming of reasons how you can fail. Go after what you want in life, nobody else is going to get it for you. If you want to get a job you love, get a job you love. If you want to go to the gym and get healthier and feel better about your body, do it. If you want to develop your writing as a hobby in hopes of one day getting published, do that too. Nothing is stopping you except your own thoughts.
I'm not saying it's not going to be easy, but it's going to be one of the most worthwhile things you do. It's one of those kind of life-defining moments when you stop holding yourself back and you actively go after the things you want in life. Change won't happen overnight, your problems won't go away without struggle and it's not going to be easiest thing you've ever done by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, if it was easy it wouldn't be worthwhile.
I guess to sum this up all I can really say is that if you're not happy with your life, it's on you to change it. Nobody else is going to do it for you. If you continue thinking like this it's only going to drag you down further and you're only going to feel worse and worse. I'm pretty sure that's not what you want.
December 24 2011, 05:13:00 PM
Al. First off, I've been there, I've managed to get out of it to a large degree, it is possible to do so.
Secondly, find someone to talk to. I'd recommend a therapist and a GP visit to ask for a referral to a Psychiatrist: just to talk to at the moment. Like AA says, admitting you have a problem is the first step. The second step is admitting that this problem can be fixed. There's no instant fixes, it does take work, but you can do it. And if you ever want to talk about something, FHC is good for that. I've been posting my mental health emo stuff in the emo thread since FHC started last April. Writing down your problems, even if you expect no real help from anyone is a good thing to do. It clears your mind and gives you some respite. It will also allow you to view them a little more analytically.
Viewing something analytically is absolutely necessary. One thing told to me about depression and mental health issues is that they cause you to view things as "absolutes." You start saying things like, "I will never," or "I can't..." And such thoughts are absolutely untrue.
Apart from going to see doctors and therapists, there are somethings you can do for yourself. But I have to ask a question first: What do you enjoy? Is there anything that at the moment that gives you respite? And the wrong answer to that is drink, drugs and sleeping all day. When you do think about that question, you need to be able to forgive yourself for not being able to do said activity as well or as much as a healthy person. Chances are you're not healthy now. So don't beat yourself up because you think you're not doing something as well as someone else would do it. They're not suffering from what ails you. So you need to forgive yourself for not being able to do things to perfection. However, that doesn't mean you should absolve yourself from trying. Nor when you hit a roadblock should you abandon all future attempts. That's where the absolute thinking comes in, "I can't do it now, so what's the point?" That's absolutely the wrong way to think. The answer is "I can't do it now because I don't feel ok, I have reached a stumbling block, but I know I enjoy what I'm doing, so I will pick myself up and try again later today, or tomorrow."
You mention going to the gym as a problem you've had: how far away from you is the gym? What is the stumbling block that stops you going? Is there a crunch point where you give up? For most unhealthy people going to the gym is difficult. For someone with depression it may seem impossible. So break it down into managable steps. First off, work out when you could go to the gym, look at your weekly schedule and think about when you have free time to go. You don't have to write it down, just keep those times in mind. Next step, every night before you go to bed, pack your gym gear, clothes, shoes, towels, flip flops, shower gel, etc. in your bag and unpack and wash the stuff that you left in the bag from the previous night (even if you didn't go to the gym, it's still probably a little smelly.) Then, with the time you decided you had free to work out, walk to the gym, or get the bus in or drive to the gym. At this point you don't even have to go in and work out. Just try getting to the area where the gym is. If you feel like going in, do. If you don't feel like going in, buy a newspaper or bring a book or smartphone and go get a coffee or pint and read that and relax a bit. You did good just managing to get out of the house. When leaving your house doesn't feel so hard, you might feel like going into the gym when you get to its door. In fact the first day you arrive at it's door you might feel like going in anyway.
And you shouldn't deny yourself that good feeling. If something is going well for you, don't let your depression take over like a fait accompli. If you got out of the house, and into the town where the gym is doesn't mean you have to give up now. Getting out of the house was probably a hard enough thing to do, and if you're anything like me, you'll feel good that you've done so. So if you feel good, keep walking into the gym, try twenty or so minutes sweating on an exercise bike. If you don't feel up to that, how about spending 20 minutes in the steam room or sauna? If you can't walk into the gym, don't worry. Go for your coffee or pint.
You may be thinking, "Exercising every day will make me feel better, so I really should go to the gym every day." Then you'll straight away put three or four massive barriers in the way of doing so, and abandon the idea of exercising at the gym every day. The point I'm making is that you don't have to achieve that much, you sound unwell at the moment, and I doubt very many un-well people have climbed Everest. So stop thinking about these grand ideas that you have to achieve to become healthy. Instead of exercising every day, say you will at least try and make it to the door of the gym. If you don't feel up to working five days a week, nine to five, find something with flexible working hours and an undestanding boss. Even if this means volunteering handing out soup to homeless people one night a week, then do that.
Dealing with depression, outside of medication and therapy, is all about taking the small steps towards a healthy life. But you're mental health will look at the broadness and vastness of "getting healthy" and say, "IMPOSSIBRU!" So do what you think you're capable of. Don't say you're going to have a wank every day, that's easily managable. Push yourself a little, push yourself towards something small that will have a positive effect. So instead of wanking every day, say that you'll have a wank in the bath with bubbles and candles and aromatherapy shit and once a week you'll go out and buy such accoutrements.
Really, it's all about accepting that you're unwell at the moment and doing what you can to stop that unwell feeling. But at the moment saying, "I WILL BE HEALTHY DAMMIT" is just stupid, no-one can go from depressed to life of the party in one easy step. You need to take things in a managable way, a small amount of pushing yourself, and absolutely forgiving yourself when things don't work out, but equally allowing yourself to enjoy when you have made a small step towards a good day.
If you feel like writing here or on #failheap about what's getting you down, I think that would be a good first step. Simply recognising what it is that you feel bad about, and what scares you or feels unmanageable will be a huge help towards looking at what you can do to help yourself.
December 24 2011, 06:15:50 PM
I am going to chip in here as well, it's going to be a short post, posting from my phone in a hotel up north.
There is a uk charity called mind. And simply put they are amazing. If you have concerns about either your own mental state, a fiends or a loved ones, you can call them, in confidence, and talk.
They also run support groups for people effected by a family members mental health issues.
December 24 2011, 06:47:33 PM
I'm actually quite a lot like al simmons in mind. In fact about 10 days ago i almost killed myself. I got oh so very close to it but backed out - thank goodness
In any case, after that I looked at what is wrong with my life - I made a list of everything i'm not happy with. It's a long list and I know I can't change all of it - especially all at once.
The big thing with me is self confidence. I don't have a high opinion of myself at all - I don't like the way I look, I don't like my weight, I don't like my face (to the point of not having a photo taken in years and no mirrors in my house except one I can't get rid of but cover up). I don't like my voice, I don't like how I walk.
I'm also seemingly unable to maintain a long standing relationship - and I don't just mean romantically - I mean friends as well. I have... 3, perhaps 4 friends who I ever consider doing stuff with. Ofc I have acquaintances and people I get on with - but outside of whatever setting I've met them (work, college or whatever) I wont socialise with them.
I'm also incredibly lazy. I am not a driven person - and I don't think I ever will be. But then that's not my goal in life - I don't want to be a CEO or some high up manager. Doesn't interest me.
But something happened a couple of months ago - something I didn't notice until recently.
I put on an old pair of trousers which I'd had for a while and noticed I'd "shrunk" 4 belt notches. Didn't even notice it. Of course, day by day, you don't. It's like grandparents who don't see their grandkids for 6 months and are amazed at how much they've grown.
So Al - there are little steps to take... I've still got to see my GP because I'm intelligent enough to realise that what was/is going on in my head isn't normal and obviously nearly killing myself was silly - that's not right and needs to be fixed... but one thing that made me smile were the belt notches.
Something that was not measurable day by day, suddenly became something tangible.
It made me happy.
December 24 2011, 09:27:34 PM
I'm feeling a bit emo at the moment. Kind of fucking weird that FHC, a hive of scum and villainy is a place where there's a Serious mental health/serious sex/serious women troubles thread.
The past few days of srs bsns, my grandmother pulling a stunt, and internet trolling (not to mention changing my medication's dose time) have fucked me up a little.
Last edited by Mrenda; December 24 2011 at 09:29:49 PM.
December 24 2011, 09:36:44 PM
When fmar pm-ed me i thought it was a good idea but im also a bit worried someone will figure out who i am in real life. Im gonna take a chance here and just see what will happen but i expect some blowback.
I have bi-polar disorder and i figured this year that i most likely have had it since my early teens. The first trigger was my parents divorce. It was a major clusterfuck, i was 13, and ended with my mum hiding for my dad in a womens shelter. Mania 1 was there. I had all the signs back then, sleeping 4 hours, flying of the handle, addictive personality etc.
It is a small miracle i actually got a degree (masters in polisci and a bachelor in contemporary history). As i got older, 33 now, the cycle worsened. Last year i had a huge depression with suicidal thoughts. Now im also a smart guy so yes i figured out what was wrong with me. But i couldnt break the cycle, i knew what to do but completely inapt to make a change.
Early this year i finally went to see a pro, i had a strong hate against shrinks having seen my grandma die in a psych ward after a psychosis. She spend the last 10 years of her live there with the diagnosis korsakoff.
Seeking help is the smartest thing i have ever done and would have been dead now if i hadnt taken that hurdlle.
Meds and therapy work wonders but i also see i am one of the lucky ones.
Its a struggle to find the right pills and therapy. With me its both my second pill and method of therapy.
Im a big believer in paying it forward and with my own company plus project work im doing just that.
One of the best methods, for me, is just being brutally honest. I dont go around with a big sign hailookatmethebipolarguy but honesty with the people i work with, new friends i made and on fhc.
I just finished a course 'working with experience' (no clue what the proper english lingo is for that one). Starting februari i will be training social workers and psychologists, i also work for a client interest group as a lobbyist until april. Then there are various more commercial projects. I have a lot of experience in and with this.
Its been a rough year but i am finally happy in what i do and my future looks bright. I did completely break with a lot of old friends and my entire family this year. They were a constant trigger for me and with their inability to understand my situation even after hours and hours of talking just made me say fuck this i cant have it both ways.
The only thing lacking is a steady girl. I have been going from one to the other and that really doesnt help me, triggers etc.
On the matter of meds vs therapy i take escitalopram, 10 mg, and visit my psych every week on thursday.
There is no one or the other. The meds help with my serotonin levels and against general anxiety disorder and the therapy helps me get perspective weekly and take the appropriate action.
I also have sleeping pills, mirtazapine, for when i need them. So far my box of 30 has lasted me 4 months.
A plus is the escitalopram works like viagra a neg is its hard on the liver and there is a whole score of other meds i can not take also i cant stand heavy liquor anymore. All things i can live with.
I hope my trust in fhc wont backfire.
Last edited by Sacul; December 24 2011 at 10:15:49 PM.
Reason: being dutch etc
December 24 2011, 10:09:20 PM
Just remembered 2 more side effects. One is that like most meds from the ssri type aswell as most anti-psychotics they fuck with your dental health. Im still a bit unsure how but it has to do with having a dry mouth and your enzyms being off balance which leads to nr. 2.
I have hunger pangs on the oddests moments. After a big lunch i can suddenly feel like i havent a bite all day. This made me very conscious about what i eat and when.
Still losing weight due to that but combined with jogging for the marathon thats ok. Lost over 24kg in a year if i keep it up ill be a skinny fucker in 2013.