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The Mental Health thread

lemonjelly

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A thread for posters to discuss MH, and support each other. It doesn't matter whether we're affected directly or indirectly by MH issues, we should talk about these, and encourage, support and celebrate each other.

This is, in part inspired by a pm discussion I have had with one poster here. We have Deutsch who has blogged more than once regarding his MH, and the challenges and experiences he has as a result. Without wishing to identify people directly, I have also seen references (both explicit and implied) to others with their own MH issues, or affected by partners, family members and so on.

I work with people affected my (amongst other things) mental health difficulties. Have done for many years. However my reason for posting is that my OH has battled depression for many many years - indeed, prior to our meeting OH was medicated for a long time.

OH is no longer medicated. That isn't to say she's better, or worse. It is different now. Thing is, her MH doesn't only affect her. Like a person in a temper, the person most likely to cop it, is the people who are closest. I copped it...

Recently in a bad downturn, it got so bad that I have actively avoided her. Partially for my own safety, but also for my own mental health. I could feel significant increases in my own anxiety, and experienced feelings of paranoia, and extremely low mood. I became quite concerned at times as to the implications of supporting someone with MH difficulties, especially when I have an emotional involvement with them (different to my working life). I especially felt hurt by the lashing out that my OH did. Despite knowing that it wasn't meant, or intentional, and was probably down to their MH, it still hurt me.

We don't fully understand MH. However the likelihood is that all of us will directly or indirectly experience issues with MH at some point. These may be longer term, or temporary owing to certain life changing events. The idea of the thread isn't necessarily to provide answers, but hopefully an insight into Mental Health and its implications, information to those who want to know more, ideas and tips on how to manage, how to look after yourself and your own mental health, and simply to vent when those bad times happen.

Over to all forum users. Please be nice to each other.
 

Trips

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Have suffered and struggled with depression and anxiety since my teenage years. Throw in a gambling addiction and drinking problems and I must have been a real hoot to hang around with in my early twenties, not sure how my wife put up with me all those years ago.

Took me a long time to realise that losing a weeks wages, on pay day, and getting blind drunk actually made me worse. Having my daughter was probably the turning point for me to curb my gambling and my drinking. I still gamble now, but am much more controlled in how and when I do. And made changes to my lifestyle to help with my drinking. I don't think I will ever stop gambling or drinking, but the things I have in place to manage them help massively with my depression.

Try my best now to not take my 'happy pills' as often as I did when I was younger, and am in a much better place personally than I was a few years ago. Still have the odd day/few days where I'm not great but those are less frequent than they used to be. My last seriously bad episode was around 6 years ago after a personal tragedy (decided that knocking back vodka and rum neat was a great idea and got woken by paramedics, passed out on a wall overlooking a canal - proud moment) Luckily have had nothing as bad as that since, but understand the need to manage myself to not get in that situation again.
 

Parkins left foot

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Have been fortunate and not suffered apart from a twelve month period which was job related - when that was resolved the issues went away

Gave me a better insight into what people who suffer generally have to deal with & have my great respect for being able to & understanding when that is not possible (had a cousin who committed suicide after being bi polar for his whole life)
 

SLA

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My wife's suffered from serious depression for most of her life. It's better now than when I met her 20+ years ago but still rears its head on a fairly regular basis.
I'm a pretty robust, positive person but it does get wearing and one does have to fight the urge to scream "Oh, just cheer the fuck up!" on occasion.
 
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Deleted Cyber

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1 in 4 of us will have mental health issues this year. That's ACAS figures not mine. So its normal to have these issues and to deal or struggle to deal with them. Sometimes its just life. Others its the straw that breaks the camels back.
 

Deutsch Wolf

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Ultimately no-one likes admitting defeat, and that's what it feels like when you admit that you need help with MH issues. For many, many years I didn't deal properly with issues that were obviously there, didn't try to fix anything, picked up bad habits, treated people badly, behaved badly....and no-one could really help me out because no-one knew what was wrong. That's on me rather than anyone else. No-one's just going to guess that you're struggling and what the heart of the problem is. There are and have been some external factors which don't help my mindset but it's really an internal matter at heart, a health matter, a condition that needs treating.

I still struggle now at times, it's a fight I have to go through every day and there are aspects that I'm not sure I'm ever going to get fully rectified (my confidence is still absolutely shit, for instance). But I look after myself properly now, I look better, I feel better, I get through life better and if there is a problem then I tell people...and they all want to help out. I've got a great network around me now they understand what my issues are and how I have to deal with things. I know there are certain things that I cannot do and I have to limit myself, especially work wise.

It feels a bit self-indulgent sometimes to be banging on about it on my site but I find if I put everything down on virtual paper every few months, it helps me keep everything in some kind of order. Also helps remind me (although enough people tell me) that I've come a hell of a long way in the last three years or so. I don't feel any shame any more about the way I am, it means that sometimes I'm not always the easiest to deal with but openness is definitely the way forward.

I'd never pretend to have all the answers but I can at least speak from (extensive) experience and I'm happy to try to help anyone who's struggling, as I say sometimes just talking helps.
 
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Deleted Cyber

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I still don't admit my diagnosis unless hard pressed. In my former career any mh issues were the kiss of death to promotion. So once diagnosed I ensured it could never be held against me by working a career pathway that was unlikely to be affected by a leader with issues even if those issues were being managed very very effectively. Can't quite believe I am posting this tbh. Trusting you guys more than I have anyone.

It doesn't help that I am very much a loner. Despite being gregarious and hopefully decent company I can retire behind my rock and just be me. It took me 30 years to like me and accept me for who I am. Very hard to stop trying to be what others want. But my experience has left me very cold. I am awesome in the worst situations as the emotion chip switches off. Its my control. My check and balance. It stops me from hurting.
 

Derby Wolf

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I've shared a lot recently about graduating with a good degree and finding a new job, life has generally been pretty exciting over the last few years but it wasn't always so great.

I was bullied pretty relentlessly during my school years even moving schools but it continued at the second.As a kid I wasn't very vocal and didnt/couldnt stand up for myself much. It invariably destroyed my self esteem and for many years after school I put obstacles in front of achieving or doing anything... I started college and dropped out several times even though I was getting good grades. It was only when I did CBT several years later I'd see my behaviour for what it was.

I gave up on academia thinking it just wasnt for me and found a job, I plodded along working in The Moon for a number of years and eventually the London. I was promoted at the London to duty manager, became a personal licence holder and loved the job. People may scoff but for somebody who'd had the feeling of worthlessness as a best friend the responsibility boosted my confidence and self worth. It can be best described as an emotional crutch. I lost my job in July 2012 owing to a restructuring exercise either side of my mum being diagnosed with cancer in the May and the relationship I was in falling apart in the August. Oddly it wasn't then I 'collapsed' but several months later when I had found new employment and my mum had been given the initial all clear. I sort of let my guard down and was completely overwhelmed. I literally couldn't get out of bed at times and slept for hours on end.

My friends took me out the one day and I couldn't shake this feeling of sadness and fatigue, I knew I had to go to my doctors but at the same time had 'friends' filling my head with the oldies but goldies of "what've you got to be depressed about" "you just need to get laid"(!) etc I sobbed like a baby coming out the doctors because she just listened, empathised and suggested how we treat it, it was empowering.

I sat CBT and avoided meds, I found the CBT particularly helpful in identifying things about my behaviour, I was guilty of sin for putting obstacles in the way of things and sabotaging myself. The folder of work I did I kept hold of and if I have a bad day now I can still look at that folder on the shelf (not in, at) and it give me enough to step back and compose myself.

In a sense I'm really grateful that I lost my job in hindsight, my life was a house of cards and I wouldn't have gone on to achieve a thing I have if it didnt blow down. I do still hear that 'voice' telling me I'm worthless especially when I've been getting knocked back for grad jobs but I now have tangible things to tell myself to shut the fuck up :)
 

Paddingtonwolf

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I have had depression for many many years. Sometimes it is awful. Most of the time it is manageable without intervention. I have the Prozac available should I need it, but I try to avoid having to do that as much as possible.

I also had a massive gambling addiction as a student, but I broke that and I quite simply won't touch a bet now. If I put a few quid in a fruit machine I would probably be back to square one.

Alcohol is my main problem. You try and keep it under control. Sober days and sober midweeks are almost like blissful holidays, but at the end of the day, I really REALLY like a beer. I never touch spirits now (bar the very occasional gin and tonic, and that is super rare). The days of a bottle of vodka not lasting a weekend are long gone. Also my wine consumption is the odd glass rather than the bottle a night it was. So it is under control, but you always have to be vigilant.

Every member of the Paddington Towers household has their own MH issues. Not for me to discuss their personal stuff, but we all look after ourselves and each other.
 
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Deleted Cyber

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Fair play guys. I empathise. Online casinos are banned by me. Its just too easy. I probably drink more than I should but don't like being pissed so its manageable. Two or three nights off each week is normal. Life four me began at 40 so lots of catch up to do. Sometimes to honest for my own good if that's possible. A bit like data in star trek!

On a positive I am meeting my son for the first time in 11 years next week. Life moves on!
 

darlowolf64

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Fair play guys. I empathise. Online casinos are banned by me. Its just too easy. I probably drink more than I should but don't like being pissed so its manageable. Two or three nights off each week is normal. Life four me began at 40 so lots of catch up to do. Sometimes to honest for my own good if that's possible. A bit like data in star trek!

On a positive I am meeting my son for the first time in 11 years next week. Life moves on!

Good luck with meet your son, Cyber...Must be a bit nerve-wracking
 

Trips

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I have had depression for many many years. Sometimes it is awful. Most of the time it is manageable without intervention. I have the Prozac available should I need it, but I try to avoid having to do that as much as possible.

I also had a massive gambling addiction as a student, but I broke that and I quite simply won't touch a bet now. If I put a few quid in a fruit machine I would probably be back to square one.

Alcohol is my main problem. You try and keep it under control. Sober days and sober midweeks are almost like blissful holidays, but at the end of the day, I really REALLY like a beer. I never touch spirits now (bar the very occasional gin and tonic, and that is super rare). The days of a bottle of vodka not lasting a weekend are long gone. Also my wine consumption is the odd glass rather than the bottle a night it was. So it is under control, but you always have to be vigilant.

Every member of the Paddington Towers household has their own MH issues. Not for me to discuss their personal stuff, but we all look after ourselves and each other.

I don't touch fruit machines now, that is where my money would go. Then I would start chasing cash with silly bets on other things I knew nothing about and got into a whole world of mess. Luckily my parents bailed me out of a lot of my debt (credit cards and loans) when I was about 22. Only time I bet now is on a weekend on football and during Cheltenham. I have set limits that my wife keeps me to on football, and Cheltenham is funded with coins I throw in a pot through the year.

As for drinking, we don't have any alcohol in our house anymore. Haven't for a few years.
 

darlowolf64

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My only brush with depression of any kind came on New Years Eve, 1999...I dropped my first wife off at work (in a pub) and said I'd call in as close to midnight as I could and she decided it was a good time to tell that it was over between us, she'd been seeing someone at the pub and they were seeing New Year in and I was barred from the pub. She then got out of the car and toddled off.
Needless to say it wasn't the greatest New Year but I'm still here and a stronger person, I feel.
 

Parkins left foot

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The fact that we can have this thread & post in a mature way is why I am here and not other other fora
 
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Deleted Cyber

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The fact that we can have this thread & post in a mature way is why I am here and not other other fora

Agreed. We may not agree on lots of things but I think the hearts are in the right place. Even johnny75. But don't tell him.
 

Johnny75

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Agreed. We may not agree on lots of things but I think the hearts are in the right place. Even johnny75. But don't tell him.

Haven't got one of them. The Mrs has it encased in stone, just next to my balls.

As for my brain. I am heartened reading these stories and the strength of some of the posters on here I find awesome. I wish I had some of that mental strength sometimes when I'm having a dark day.

I had some CBT for a while and it worked for me (and still does) and I can still get dark days.
 
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Deleted Cyber

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Haven't got one of them. The Mrs has it encased in stone, just next to my balls.

As for my brain. I am heartened reading these stories and the strength of some of the posters on here I find awesome. I wish I had some of that mental strength sometimes when I'm having a dark day.

I had some CBT for a while and it worked for me (and still does) and I can still get dark days.

Dark days are better than dark weeks. Agree with the heart. I don't know why but black and white works for me. Still take some things too personally. CBT is great and I have seen great results. I hope people will forgive me for being misanthropic. Life experience has made me doubt so much about humans. My wife calls it everyone's a cunt until they prove otherwise. I guess that's why ,despite me going to games, we all have never met
 
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Deleted Cyber

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I don't touch fruit machines now, that is where my money would go. Then I would start chasing cash with silly bets on other things I knew nothing about and got into a whole world of mess. Luckily my parents bailed me out of a lot of my debt (credit cards and loans) when I was about 22. Only time I bet now is on a weekend on football and during Cheltenham. I have set limits that my wife keeps me to on football, and Cheltenham is funded with coins I throw in a pot through the year.

As for drinking, we don't have any alcohol in our house anymore. Haven't for a few years.

I did some estimated calculations of how much I put I fruities over the years and stopped when it started to get into scary numbers. I reckon somewhere between a new car and a house. The machine always wins in the end and did with me. I still have a spin but have self excluded from online. Its too easy to win and lose and sit there drinking.
 

PPB

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Having never gone through depression, or had to live with it on a daily basis it's sometimes hard to understand what some of you have gone through, and are still going through. After reading your stories I admire every single one of you. Like Johnny said, your strength is awesome.
 

FrankMunro-371

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This thread is eye opening. And I feel safe to open up.

Following the strokes my good lady suffered a few years back, (when the wonderful members of this forum rallied round us, something I will always be grateful for), in the last few weeks Christine has been in and out hospital as her health has deteriorated. She has been diagnosed with vascular dementia, which we have been told has been caused mainly by the stroke and the disruption in the supply of blood to the brain. We have also been told the the illness could compromise her life expectancy. How this wonderful lady has coped with it all is beyond me.

I feel so desperately sad to see my best friend in such ill health, and would do anything to make her better.

Sorry for the rant, but this thread has allowed me to express feelings I have struggled to keep to myself.
 
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