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AstonMartyn88

What is your experience of mental health?

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Re Chindie and Warnock and others. I've started seeing a therapist in the last few weeks for various degrees of anxiety and depression and quite frankly it was the single best decision I feel I've made. I know different solutions work for different people but I totally underestimated how valuable even just a 50 minute chat can be about whatever is on your mind. 

It's not a quick fix of course but it gives you a relief valve option when you've had a particularly crappy week. I've also tried the Headspace app too, and that is a little harder for me, as my mind is addicted to being overly busy and flustered but i think in the long run, that  can help too.

I am a massive advocate of talking myself however. Partly because I generally internalise quite a lot and didn't realise the effects of not speaking socially to people on a regular basis. Outside of my partner, sometimes I can go weeks without much meaningful chat, hence therapy has been great.

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50 minutes ago, Rodders said:

Re Chindie and Warnock and others. I've started seeing a therapist in the last few weeks for various degrees of anxiety and depression and quite frankly it was the single best decision I feel I've made. I know different solutions work for different people but I totally underestimated how valuable even just a 50 minute chat can be about whatever is on your mind. 

It's not a quick fix of course but it gives you a relief valve option when you've had a particularly crappy week. I've also tried the Headspace app too, and that is a little harder for me, as my mind is addicted to being overly busy and flustered but i think in the long run, that  can help too.

I am a massive advocate of talking myself however. Partly because I generally internalise quite a lot and didn't realise the effects of not speaking socially to people on a regular basis. Outside of my partner, sometimes I can go weeks without much meaningful chat, hence therapy has been great.

It is amazing how well it works and discovering that 'transference' really does happen is kind of amusing and builds confidence in the process. :)

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Really struggling at the moment although this isn't me personally. I met a girl few months ago have been getting on amazingly we really did click straight away, always have been open and honest with each other completely.

She has been going to councilling for a year or so about a couple of problems. But anyway we had a great weekend last week but on Monday there was a big kick off with an ex of mine and my girlfriend has just completely shut down. The best way I can describe it is she is like an empty robot no emotion no feeling just won't talk says doesn't think it will work doesn't want to discuss it or anything. Says her barrier is up and she can't see it coming down but I know when it does that loving amazing girl I know will be back.

I know I should give her space to work things out but my worry is is she seems comfortable in there and really don't want her to be this way

 

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15 hours ago, Rodders said:

Outside of my partner, sometimes I can go weeks without much meaningful chat

VT (Off Topic) is disappoint. ;)

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On 16/09/2016 at 18:23, Brumerican said:

Anything but nothingness would be eternal hell. 

That's an argument made from the position that you can understand nothingness (or differentiate it from 'somethingness', at least).

It requires (in order for you not to be in that eternal hell) that you're certain that you're not in an eternal state of nothingness (contemplating nothingness).

Then again, even if you aren't sure (and therefore in that eternal hell), it can't matter - it's nothing anyway.

Edited by snowychap

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12 hours ago, snowychap said:

It requires (in order for you not to be in that eternal hell) that you're certain that you're not in an eternal state of nothingness (contemplating nothingness).

I have days like that too.

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On 16/09/2016 at 18:23, Brumerican said:

Anything but nothingness would be eternal hell. 

The 14 billion years before I was born were quite relaxing IMO.

And remember, as we are effectively built from star stuff, we are essentially the universe observing itself.  Which is kinda cool when you think about it.  Then we just go back to being part of it again.

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2 hours ago, tarjei said:

Just thought I'd share a glimpse in to my experiences. If nothing else but to write it down and process it. I think I've posted before but I forget so easily.

I've been in and out of depression for the last 16 years.. mostly in. Possibly it's been even longer. Why, I don't know. I survived a lightning strike when I was 11 and some research suggest that can cause permanent changes to personality, long term issues with memory, concentration, mood swings and what have you. But long lasting depression can also cause all of those issue. Sometimes I wonder if I have ADD.. the non-hyper version of it. I hope I figure it out one day. The sense of freedom I would feel without a cloud over me or the constant anxiety. I guess we all have our issues though.

Typically I get a boost during summer and then I crash as autumn comes along. Last year I felt like I had a handle on it. I had been going strong since May, keeping to my own forced rules of getting up early no matter what, getting work done every day, getting lots and lots of exercise, spending time outdoors and sticking to my keto diet with intermittent fasting.

When November came along and I had finished all my work that lingered from the summer and I was free to take a break for a while my vitality vanished like a balloon poked by a needle. Suddenly it became hard to do the most ridiculously easy things. I went from being able to do 90 min of heavy weights work out to just lying there and being utterly bored and fatigued, not able do to anything. Not even my beloved games can entertain me these days.. I open them up... then close them down. I start a movie or tv show.. but can't follow it as my mind wanders of. I started to self-medicate with alcohol.. when I kinda busted myself in drinking a sip every now and then all day everyday just to stay slightly buzzed all the time, I knew it could potentially get serious.

Being that I've been through this many, many times and that so many years have gone by without things changing, I know my patterns and I know that the veil of depression turns lies into truth. I'm aware of every dark corner of misery, shame and guilt. Frankly I'm done with it as I know it's an illness and not something I should blame myself for anymore. Knowing that it would just get worse an worse until it feels utterly hopeless, I somehow mustered whatever energy I could and forced myself to go to the doctor to try and nip it in the bud. I told him I wanted to see a psychiatrist to figure this thing out once and for all, and I implored him to help me to work something out with the work services agency (I don't know the UK equivalent). I also went and got myself one of those blue-light therapy lamps for seasonal affective disorder, forced myself to get some exercise and I've sought out some of the friends I have left to get them to help me go outside a bit more.

I'm freaking a bit out about the immediate future, anxiety and all that. I don't really see a possible scenario where I can become happy, well adjusted and so on. On a grander scale I don't see where humanity is going except every country on it's own separate island, 4 years at a time, into a toxic abyss void of meaning, and I feel worse for being a part of it. But I know i see it through depressions foggy eyes and that If I come out on the other side I will look back with clarity and not recognize myself. This last week I've been to the doctor, met a friend for coffee, had a haircut, gone on a hike and made dinner with a friend, played football with mates twice, exercised with weights and on a elliptical multiple times, been in touch with the work services and not touched alcohol. Doesn't sound like much but it's more action then I've seen the last two months combined. I feel a slight boost in my mood as a result so hopefully I can stay on that trajectory and fight of this beast.

You're not alone brother.

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2 hours ago, tarjei said:

I'm freaking a bit out about the immediate future, anxiety and all that. I don't really see a possible scenario where I can become happy, well adjusted and so on. On a grander scale I don't see where humanity is going except every country on it's own separate island, 4 years at a time, into a toxic abyss void of meaning, and I feel worse for being a part of it. But I know i see it through depressions foggy eyes and that If I come out on the other side I will look back with clarity and not recognize myself. This last week I've been to the doctor, met a friend for coffee, had a haircut, gone on a hike and made dinner with a friend, played football with mates twice, exercised with weights and on a elliptical multiple times, been in touch with the work services and not touched alcohol. Doesn't sound like much but it's more action then I've seen the last two months combined. I feel a slight boost in my mood as a result so hopefully I can stay on that trajectory and fight of this beast.

Mate you might not be able to see how you can become happy and well adjusted but by doing exactly what you are doing now you are giving yourself a great chance to do just that. You are seeking out professional help, meeting up with friends and getting out and about doing all the things many people take for granted. Be proud of yourself.

You have no control over issues on a grander scale in terms of what is happening in the world but trust that there are enough good people amongst us, like you, to ensure that we will all come through what is happening now.

With the bravery you are showing by facing your problems head on and overcoming the hurdles you are you will get through this and there will be light, and happiness, at the end of the tunnel. All the best.

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Cheers guys, a bit of encouragement goes a long way. I've been through it now enough times that I know I just have to force myself through those first step of action however hard it seems. Thinking back I was utterly helpless when I was young. The emotions were way way too blunt and the dullness and safety of isolation lured me in without me realizing the harm it has over time on a human being. The days moved by slow as death but the years sure flew by. Now I see that need of isolation as a warning sign. My social network has eroded but thankfully I still have supportive family and a few very close friends. Reading about how others struggle with no one to help them is overwhelmingly sad.

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2 minutes ago, choffer said:

Wishing you the best @tarjei

If you've not already done so, have a read of the Matt Haigh book.

Thanks. That looks interesting, getting it right now.

I've been watching movies about depression these last few nights. I find it helps a bit to relate and to open up some of those emotions and maybe heal a little bit.

list so far is Skeleton Twins, It's Kind of a funny story, A Simple Man, Prozac Nation, The Hours and Side Effects
Maybe add 50/50 and Manchester By The Sea to that list too. Any other movies I've missed out on?

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51 minutes ago, tarjei said:

Thanks. That looks interesting, getting it right now.

I've been watching movies about depression these last few nights. I find it helps a bit to relate and to open up some of those emotions and maybe heal a little bit.

list so far is Skeleton Twins, It's Kind of a funny story, A Simple Man, Prozac Nation, The Hours and Side Effects
Maybe add 50/50 and Manchester By The Sea to that list too. Any other movies I've missed out on?

Two days, One night.

By far the best imo.

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I've just found out today that this thread even exists. Nice work VT. I haven't read back through the previous pages yet so apologies if this is repeated from anywhere.

 

The Happiness Trap is a good book. Easy to understand, pragmatic, humanising, humourous at times.

https://www.thehappinesstrap.com/

Is the website. You can download the first chapter for free there and have a look.

 

Also good podcasts here from Oxford University well worth a listen and cost you nothing but time:

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/new-psychology-depression

 

I found this book a really good kind of introduction to neuroscience and how the brain works, the wonderfully titled "Sort your brain out".

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sort-Your-Brain-out-Performance/dp/0857085379

 

All a bit theoretical and dry but interesting TED talk imo, possibly a little hope for the future:

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_anderson_your_brain_is_more_than_a_bag_of_chemicals

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8 hours ago, snowychap said:

Too much bloody mindfulness shite.

I don't know what it's about. The Ted talk was interesting though. Who doesn't like Cocaine-feed fruit flies, but seriously I don't think we are even remotely close to understanding how these things work and how our brains work. And in these situation whatever works will do, I guess.

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21 hours ago, tarjei said:

When November came along and I had finished all my work that lingered from the summer and I was free to take a break for a while my vitality vanished like a balloon poked by a needle.

I don't know what work you do but is this loss of direction a factor in your illness? This loss of impetus coupled with SAD could be a factor.

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10 hours ago, snowychap said:

Too much bloody mindfulness shite.

Well I suppose if nothing else we found an answer to how long it would take someone to dismiss a post written in good faith, about 8/9 minutes. So thank you for that.

After I posted that last night I went back and read the rest of the thread so at least when I came to @Straggler 's post on page 11 I at least had some context as to why you would jump on a post in a thread about mental illness to label it as 'shite'. Just the same as him then, I have no agenda here other than seeing a thread that caught my eye and leaving some information people close to me have found very interesting and useful.

FWIW, which I assume is nothing at this point, I hate the term mindfulness. I have an inbuilt defence mechanism against pseudo hippy nonsense especially if it's offered up as a solution to people who may be in a moment of weakness. From having learnt a little about what it's about it seems to repackage Buddhist ideology mainly. The biggest laugh of my Christmas was the very tongue in cheek Ladybird Book of Mindfulness. I would say it is one of the top 10 most annoying words in circulation at the moment. I imagine golf widows sitting around discussing the latest rubbish they've read about in the Mail on Sunday magazine. I get it, I get the backlash against it. Maybe that's why Straggler's post hit home with me though.

Anyway Snowy if you were trolling, well done, coz you got a reaction. After the initial WOW moment of genuine surprise to that being posted in response to me I fought off the initial instinct to delete it all and withdraw. I drafted and re-drafted a response which I'm glad I didn't post because it just got angrier as the time got later. I clicked off the page and lost what I was writing twice. I'm trying to catch the essence of it here and I don't think I'm really doing myself justice. So I decided to get a few hours shut eye. But I have no passionate defence, I'm not here to argue anything, let alone for something which more learned people than I will know so much more about. In my relatively short time as a VT member it's apparent there's little point bullshitting people in this place, as is the same in life. I know it's an internet forum so anything goes, I'm not so thin skinned as it defeats me or I wouldn't have been here 4 years. What is a shame is I thought we were better than that basically.

What I do know is this. I left a link to a book that I found a great introduction to neuroscience which was suggested reading to me when a close friend was in a car crash which resulted in him being in a coma for 7 weeks, having multiple operations on his brain, face and body and thankfully now alive and living unassisted. Yet with a lifelong mission now of reprogramming his brain basically. It's a bit self help-y but I learned things reading it.

I also left a link to a TED talk about brain testing on fruit flies which I and others find quite interesting in regards to chemical treatment of brain functions and how that may be applied in the future to all sorts of mental issues.

I left a link to some podcasts from the oxford university, I guess the place Straggler's partner went to? I don't know. A family member put me onto those as they found them interesting listening on the train during the mornings on a packed commute.

The book which was the other link I left was also recommended to me by someone close to me that is receiving treatment from the NHS (not sure what medication or dosage they are prescribed) and along with dealing with all sorts of issues has been self harming. They have lapses all the time. They can go months without an episode and then something will trigger it and they will start repeating a pattern of behaviour. That person put me on to this book citing it as helping them understand and change their perception on how they process certain emotions in order to try and change those patterns. And so whether or not there's a 'miracle cure' here - which I presume is what you'd be aiming the 'shite' comment at even though it's a little extreme to assume that would be anybody's motivation imo - there's a resource which if nothing else helped someone I care about greatly deal with their emotions more effectively in a moment of darkness. It gave them some hope. Nothing more. But importantly imo, nothing less. Not that I want to start quoting the 12 steps at people (and I really, really don't!) but "progress, not perfection" is something it's hard not to see some worth in.

Personally, and unrelated to those people I have a story that has similarities to Stragglers and far from being any sort of answer or cure, what I have found is that the usefulness to daily situations of being able to step back from the 'triggers' and process what your feeling without being confronted by a wall of anger or defiance have proved valuable in my daily life.

I will stress that I believe councelling to be the most useful tool at our disposal in combatting individual cases of mental illness. Mainly because of the way that it inherently opens up communication. I don't know one sufferer who feels worse after discussing their problems with an open hearted and open minded audience, whether that be a councellor, psychologist or, as others have said, don't forget the amazing ability of friends and family to care and empathise. That's not to say you might not revisit some dark places, but it's cathartic. Seeking help is far from the scary behemouth we can build up inside our own perception and I urge anyone who may still be bothering to read this far whether you're a member or not and is still considering if they should make that step to just speak to your doctor. If you are holding off because of the medication aspect discuss that with your GP it's not an uncommon response and they can set you up with some councelling even if it does only run for a few weeks. But also, don't dismiss it out of hand.

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