welcome to the fest
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Anxiety, Depression, and Other Mental Health Stories
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sinfest Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Black Kitty



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 744
Location: Under your bed.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:11 pm    Post subject: Anxiety, Depression, and Other Mental Health Stories Reply with quote

A couple of years ago, I got medicated for anxiety/depression/ptsd. It was a last resort after a really arduous, decade-long battle of counseling, exercise, diet changes, supplements and meditation. I had a deep-rooted fear of admitting that I needed medical help, because that would mean I had failed, that I couldn't do it myself, that I was in some way "broken."

The first week on the meds was rough, as acclimating to any major lifestyle change is, but it wasn't long before I came around to appreciating the quality of life my meds brought me. And shortly after THAT I kicked myself. Why had I let myself (and my loved ones) suffer so long?

There is a major stigma on mental health issues (somehow, even though SUCH a large percentage of us deal with them at some point in our lives). If not for my fear that I might be in that percentage, I probably would have considered medication sooner. Since then, I've been championing mental health awareness in any little way I can.

I noticed an absence of a dedicated mental health discussion on the forums, so I thought I'd make a thread for it. If I find any interesting articles, I'll post them here. If you guys have any experiences to share, or might need empathy/advice from a supportive group, feel free to do it here.

I need to emphasize that this should be a safe place. I know Sinfest is an uproarious group, and I love you guys for it. But this subject is super delicate, so please save your rambunctiousness for other, more casual threads.

Thanks!
_________________
Live to laugh.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 11095
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*APPLAUDS EFFORT WILDLY*

I've battled depression a few times, I've talked about it here and there. I was put on prozac years ago when I was 18, although I had like three nervous breakdowns between ages 9 and 16. The details and memories have gotten fuzzy over the years, but I remember that it had to do with being picked on at school (yay being the outsider new kid).I cried for several consecutive hours straight, it was not good times. Two years ago was the last time I hit a pretty rough spot for a whole bunch of reasons.

I think there was a period about 5 to 6 years ago where I suffered from undiagnosed ptsd that came from a bunch of life stuff, but mostly my old job. A few years ago, when talking about the past with my wife the words "I literately almost died for that place several times, I was always putting my life on the line." came out of my mouth and it was like a light bulb went off:

Me in my brain wrote:
Holy shit!
I DID almost die -- a few times.
*mental face palm*
No WONDER working there left me so fucked up!


It was a shitty place where a bunch of people wound up backstabbing me and the person I trusted the most was one of the people I liked the least.

********

ANYWHO . . . . shit's pretty good right now, things are looking up overall.

Also, this is the first day in over a week I haven't woken up congested so WHOO HOO! Very Happy
_________________
...if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there.
http://about.me/omardrake
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Mr Gary



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 6607
Location: Some pub in England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta applaud anyone who has been smart enough to realise they need some help living (given we weren't built for this kind of social structure). I was sent to some counselling things* in my early very twenties. They weren't especially helpful in themselves, but they were precipitated by me reaching out to a relative with a mental health background. The fact that I'd reached out a little helped massively. Mainly it helped the people I should have been closer to realise that I wasn't being a dick deliberately, and my family situation changed massively. I was very lucky in having family who felt they could then become close - no amount of support can match family who care. Which I guess sounds kind of shitty to those who aren't as lucky, I don't know why I said it.

Within the last few months a very close older family member who has suffered a great deal of physical hardship acknowledged that he'd sought help for depression via counselling and medication. The relief me and some of my other close family felt was amazing, and my admiration for the man grew beyond what I'd ever thought I'd feel for him. It's not easy admitting you need help, and it's certainly not easy braving the stigma attached to it either.

The internet seems like quite an easy place to acknowledge your failings, along with being an awesome place for me to be awesome in (it also has cats). But there are bound to be people who read things like this and identify and yet feel they ought not or can not do anything positive. They can: mention it to a trusted friend, or family member, and then together arrange to see a professional (doctor, therapist, counsellor, Evil Hypnotist).

Unfortunately, many people who feel adrift might struggle to think of someone close who they can talk to. They might be wrong about that, but I bet it sure as shit feels a correct assumption. Thankfully there are organisations who can help them. They WANT to help them. They can't fucking wait to help. In the UK we have, to name just one: CALM. There are others all over the world. They're like the fucking A-Team of sadness, and you can be their Murdoch (I guess).

So in short, please don't die. And Libya is a land of contrasts.









* It was a long time ago, my early twenties, but I remember there being some blather about my drinking. I think it was a recommendation that I do it more. Yeah, that was probably it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 18381
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah - i had some trouble with depression at my old job. some community group advertised depression screening, so i went. and one of the things they asked about was how many friends i had, and at that point i felt like i didn't have any...which apparently is something depression does to you, it makes you feel like no one cares...which of course makes it a lot harder to talk to anyone about it, since you feel like no one cares.

i walked out with a diagnosis of depression that i then didn't do anything about - except i think that was about when i decided i really needed to find another job, which helped _immensely_. but i certainly understand the feeling that you have to deal with it yourself, that asking for help makes you even more of a failure than needing help in the first place does. so i hope this can be a place where people can feel safe to talk about mental health issues. we may not be able to do anything more than lend a sympathetic ear (or i guess eye, actually) - but maybe that can be a start.
_________________
aka: neverscared!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 6929

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time I've asked for like, a recommendation or tried to find out how to do literally anything about my probably-depression I get told there isn't really anything any of them* can do about it and I'd have to talk to someone else. So I ask who and get vague handwavy answers.

I mean, I don't think it's that abnormal to stop asking after a while. So I mostly just ride the rollercoaster and try to hang on. I don't know why its so hard. I have the same problem with scheduling doctor and dentist appointments.

*'them' being the counselors i could afford at the time. I assume most of the brushoff i get is because i can't afford much.
_________________
Samsally the GrayAce
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 11269
Location: PDX

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not normal for a counselor. Do you want advice on this?
_________________
"Worse comes to worst, my people come first, but my tribe lives on every country on earth. Iíll do anything to protect them from hurt, the human race is what I serve." - Baba Brinkman
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 6929

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure. I'm not seeing a councelor right now, though. Even that got really expensive fast.
_________________
Samsally the GrayAce
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 11269
Location: PDX

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are three approaches to treating depression.
1. Medication
2. Therapy
3. Therapy plus medication

They're all effective, but therapy takes time. However, anyone with a license to practice in mental health (see patients) necessarily should be able to offer at least one of these. So it's... odd that counselors would tell you they couldn't offer you anything. Unless they were counselors from an EAP, or someone else who is contractually bound in what they can discuss. Even then, they should be able to refer you to someone.

You might be able to find someone who offers counseling on a sliding scale, based on income. If you have insurance it helps - those providers may be more willing to fit you in to get paid by your insurance until coverage runs out and you go on the sliding scale.

Unfortunately, like any kind of health care, it is expensive. The most direct route is to ask a PCP to write you a prescription for an antidepressant. Something like 75% of psych meds are prescribed by the family provider. It's not ideal, but you're young, so you're less likely to suffer from side effects. If you go that route, make sure you have a follow up visit 2-3 weeks after you start a new med, and tell the provider if you have any changes in your mood at all except an increase in energy.
_________________
"Worse comes to worst, my people come first, but my tribe lives on every country on earth. Iíll do anything to protect them from hurt, the human race is what I serve." - Baba Brinkman
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Echo



Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Posts: 1148

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talking therapies are being mentioned more often as something that should be offered more widely in the UK. Sadly, that's happening at a time when the health service is constrained by austerity levels of funding while facing not just increased demand but also the overspill from other services (like social care) that have been facing cuts. So, while that could have been an interesting thing to see, what actually happens will depend on politics and economics.

And, really, what Dogen said. Those are the three approaches, what works well for someone may not work for another, so whatever works in each case, but... medication can be a very tricky thing to get right.

Then again, so can talking, sometimes. ;-D
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 11269
Location: PDX

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny you should mention it, I was just talking with some friends about the British Psychological Society's report on schizophrenia. Yeah, psychotherapy has been shown to be effective for a huge range of issues. It's my preference when it's an option.

In an ideal world it would be an option every time, but in the real world where money and time are issues, medication is often the only one available. It's not a bad choice if you have a provider who will work with you to dial in the dosage, and if you're patient with the 2-4 weeks it takes to see significant therapeutic effects.

EDIT: I don't want to dominate this thread with discussion of therapies and the problems of the health care system. Ignore me.
_________________
"Worse comes to worst, my people come first, but my tribe lives on every country on earth. Iíll do anything to protect them from hurt, the human race is what I serve." - Baba Brinkman
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 6929

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the advice, Dogen. I'm still not sure what I should do, ultimately. I think the counselors I talked to were fully willing to just meet on the regular and talk about shit, but that hasn't helped much for me. I talk about this stuff all the time. Sometimes it's nice to have someone new to tell all my fucked up stories to, but it doesn't really change anything.

I'm pretty sure I need a fair amount of hand-holding when it comes to setting up appointments. I do not know why, it's such a weird thing to get anxious over when you consider how -normal- talking on the phones is to me. I did it professionally for 5 years so you'd think that'd transfer over to making appointments with doctors and the like but it really really doesn't.
_________________
Samsally the GrayAce
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Echo



Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Posts: 1148

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do they have an e-mail or some other sort of communication mechanism which isn't, you know, live and in the moment, and where you can just leave a message/whatever for them rather than immediately have to engage and respond?

I hate phones too. It's OK for work, when I'm representing an organisation and just trying to fix problems or whatever, but if it's something personal then I'd much rather do things by text/e-mail to give myself more time to think about stuff.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 6929

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that I have ever seen. It's not really the phones that bother me though its the act of setting up an appointment. Specifically figuing out who I even need to talk to. Getting told "oh you have to talk to these people" and then talking to them and getting told to go somewhere else, and half the time you get dumped right back at the first person you talked to.

The only time phones are a part of the problem is if I keep getting hung up on and have to start over.
_________________
Samsally the GrayAce
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 11269
Location: PDX

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
I think the counselors I talked to were fully willing to just meet on the regular and talk about shit, but that hasn't helped much for me. I talk about this stuff all the time. Sometimes it's nice to have someone new to tell all my fucked up stories to, but it doesn't really change anything.

I don't really know what this means. Psychotherapy is talking, but it's not like talking to your friends. It's talking with a purpose and a goal. Usually the first visit is 80% you talking about the things that have made you seek treatment, and 20% the counselor asking questions to flesh out your answers (things like, "has this affected your ability to work?" or "what makes your symptoms worse?" or "do you have trouble sleeping?").

I don't want this to sound condescending, so my apologies if you know this. The reason psychotherapy takes longer than meds is because the counselor has to understand the issues behind the symptoms. For instance, a person can have anxiety as a result of feelings of fear, guilt, inadequacy, etc. You can't just treat anxiety, you have to find out what the underlying motivation is and treat that. In order to do that you have to gain trust, because most people don't tell you about their shame and fear the first time you meet them. So, it can take a few weeks of meeting, talking, maybe going home with homework and seeing how that changes things, before you get to the root of an issue.

I can't say anything about your situation, obviously, so I can't say that it was or wasn't normal. I can only speak in broad generalizations about what it's supposed to look like, and you can tell me (or not) if it was anything like that.



... am I taking over this thread? I mean, I don't want to prevent people from talking about things that matter if me rambling about therapies and what not is overbearing.
_________________
"Worse comes to worst, my people come first, but my tribe lives on every country on earth. Iíll do anything to protect them from hurt, the human race is what I serve." - Baba Brinkman
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3579
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it's uncommon to need help with the phone calls for getting mental health help. I know of several people who need it.

I got started on a very, very low dose of Citalopram last month, for social anxiety. The effect is not very noticeable, but so far I am sleeping a little better (Still waking up a lot through the night, but I can actually fall asleep.), and I am told I am less snappish. So that's pretty awesome.

One of the parts of anxiety that is both a result and a cause is clenched muscles. It can lead to all sorts of things like TMJ. Fuck you, TMJ. >Sad Anyway, I take ibuprofen to help with it, and have gotten to the point where I generally only need it at night or if events have converged to make everything stressful.

Well, I have figured out how to relax my shoulders and everything, even though it doesn't work all the time. But one thing I could never fix was a tight through. I finally found something that appears to work. Trying to figure out if it's just a psycho somatic thing or if it actually works for real by itself. So far, I'm leaning towards the latter.

I've been looking up different voice exercises to help me with my puppetry, and found one that involved singing the word 'none' to help loosen vocal muscles. The explanation was something like the tongue controls these muscles, so it can be used to reverse engineer some relaxation.

So I've started to silently repeat the word 'none' several times in a row a couple times a day, when I notice that my throat is all clenched. I don't want to do it too much, because it seems to lose all effectiveness when I do that. I pick and choose when I want to work on relaxation and do it then. So far, it works every time I do it.

I've tried just thinking about or imagining saying the word 'none,' which doesn't work at all. So that leads me to think this is something physical. I'm going to experiment more with it, but this is delightful. It's like the last piece in my anxiety toolbox that I needed.

Huzzah for the simple silly things that work, and would have been helpful if I'd known them all along.
_________________
[Stripeypants has enabled lurk mode.]

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sinfest Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group