Jump to content
cactusflinthead

Depression, OCD, and whatever else ails you between the ears

Recommended Posts

Feels like a cheap hotel stay for now but we're tired so this will do for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey it's better than the refugee camp over at Reddit. Shit will get back to normal. Or as normal as it ever gets.

 

Reviewing the thread made me think about life moving on whether we do or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So...I've recently been diagnosed with PTSD. I'm an Army veteran and was involved in some very heavy combat in Iraq. For a decade I've considered myself lucky so I never sought any help. So many of my friends from those days lives have completely fallen apart. Suicide, Alcoholism, drug use, divorce, prison, all around failure in life, etc. I'm fairly successful and still am married to the same woman. Have two kids who think I'm great. What is there to complain about? I was also one of those guys who considered admitting I have an issue showed weakness. 

Anyway, my wife has long told me I'm a recluse and not the same person she married. She still stands by me and we hardly even fight. I feel really lucky. I was one of the most outgoing people you could meet in my youth. I didn't join until my mid twenties so I had lived a little bit before going off to war. I loved being around people and loved hanging out with friends. I had a large group of friends and my time off was full of plans. I truly enjoyed a night out with friends and being in public. 

However, I know the way I live currently isn't "normal". I don't ever want to go into public outside my job. My job requires me to be a "social butterfly" and I excel at it. It's the weirdest thing, when I'm at work, I never have an issue with anxiety. I simply do my job. 

However, I don't go out to eat. I don't have close "friends". I don't do much of anything. When I'm feeling particularly angry, I shut myself in my room and immerse myself in sports or whatever. I intentionally make my schedule so that I have at least a day or two per week where nobody is home during the day but me. It's sad but I often avoid my own family and kids. 

I have incredible guilt over certain incidents during a deployment. I find myself angry fairly often and that's why I shut out my family and the public so often. I have extreme anxiety in large groups and refuse to go anywhere without a gun because of irrational fear. 

When I'm driving I often forget where I'm going and find myself 5 miles past turns in towns I've driven most of my adult life. 

I feel so relieved that I've sought help finally. A huge burden has been lifted off my chest. I truly hope now that the VA has found a service connection and confirmed PTSD I can find some peace and return to "normal". Through either medication or counseling. For the first time I'm finally ready to heal. 

I know these issues are small compared to many on this thread. I use to read it on the other site and it helped my in some ways. I appreciate all you guys and sharing your stories and pain. I truly believe it helped me reach out finally. 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hook'Em0608 said:

So...I've recently been diagnosed with PTSD. I'm an Army veteran and was involved in some very heavy combat in Iraq. For a decade I've considered myself lucky so I never sought any help. So many of my friends from those days lives have completely fallen apart. Suicide, Alcoholism, drug use, divorce, prison, all around failure in life, etc. I'm fairly successful and still am married to the same woman. Have two kids who think I'm great. What is there to complain about? I was also one of those guys who considered admitting I have an issue showed weakness. 

Anyway, my wife has long told me I'm a recluse and not the same person she married. She still stands by me and we hardly even fight. I feel really lucky. I was one of the most outgoing people you could meet in my youth. I didn't join until my mid twenties so I had lived a little bit before going off to war. I loved being around people and loved hanging out with friends. I had a large group of friends and my time off was full of plans. I truly enjoyed a night out with friends and being in public. 

However, I know the way I live currently isn't "normal". I don't ever want to go into public outside my job. My job requires me to be a "social butterfly" and I excel at it. It's the weirdest thing, when I'm at work, I never have an issue with anxiety. I simply do my job. 

However, I don't go out to eat. I don't have close "friends". I don't do much of anything. When I'm feeling particularly angry, I shut myself in my room and immerse myself in sports or whatever. I intentionally make my schedule so that I have at least a day or two per week where nobody is home during the day but me. It's sad but I often avoid my own family and kids. 

I have incredible guilt over certain incidents during a deployment. I find myself angry fairly often and that's why I shut out my family and the public so often. I have extreme anxiety in large groups and refuse to go anywhere without a gun because of irrational fear. 

When I'm driving I often forget where I'm going and find myself 5 miles past turns in towns I've driven most of my adult life. 

I feel so relieved that I've sought help finally. A huge burden has been lifted off my chest. I truly hope now that the VA has found a service connection and confirmed PTSD I can find some peace and return to "normal". Through either medication or counseling. For the first time I'm finally ready to heal. 

I know these issues are small compared to many on this thread. I use to read it on the other site and it helped my in some ways. I appreciate all you guys and sharing your stories and pain. I truly believe it helped me reach out finally. 

Cheers

Brother, you are not alone. Reading your post was eerie, like I was reading my story. I joined the Air Force in my mid 20's, used to be really outgoing, never met a stranger, etc. I was a medical technician, including some time flying as a rescue medic. My PTSD symptoms didn't show up until mid 2015, 7 years after I retired. My symptoms are very similar to yours, and my reactions too, right down to the avoiding family, friends, kids and grandkids. I had been seeing a mental health doc at the VA for depression since early 2014. I denied all the other shit that was going down in my life until late 2017. It got to the point I couldn't hide the anger, the guilt, the hermit that I had become. Now being tried on different meds looking for one or combo that works. still going through that, haven't seen much improvement yet, but a little. In the pipeline to be evaluated for one on one counseling. Pretty long wait here. There is a group that meets weekly here at the satellite clinic I go to mostly. been trying to work up the ability to go. Admitting you cant handle what is happening to you and taking that first visit is the toughest. Stay with the program, and don't give up. You will get better. It wont happen quickly, but you will get better. I don't know when you first sought help, but just in the 6 months or so since I admitted I could not take this shit anymore, but refused to check out, I have seen small, incremental improvements. You are extremely fortunate your wife understands and stands by you. That is huge. I'm not quite as fortunate. Hang in there. We will get better. Use your resources and stay the course. I tell myself these 3 things every day. And I hope and pray our brothers and sisters get help before its too late. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dances with Dachshunds said:

Admitting you cant handle what is happening to you and taking that first visit is the toughest.

Yep. For all of us. It's easy to look at the gash on your arm and know that you should probably go get that stitched up. The wound in your being takes a bit more to admit, especially when to the rest of the world you seem fine and dandy.

You have nothing to lose by going to talk to somebody. It might even make things better. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Dances with Dachshunds said:

Brother, you are not alone. Reading your post was eerie, like I was reading my story. I joined the Air Force in my mid 20's, used to be really outgoing, never met a stranger, etc. I was a medical technician, including some time flying as a rescue medic. My PTSD symptoms didn't show up until mid 2015, 7 years after I retired. My symptoms are very similar to yours, and my reactions too, right down to the avoiding family, friends, kids and grandkids. I had been seeing a mental health doc at the VA for depression since early 2014. I denied all the other shit that was going down in my life until late 2017. It got to the point I couldn't hide the anger, the guilt, the hermit that I had become. Now being tried on different meds looking for one or combo that works. still going through that, haven't seen much improvement yet, but a little. In the pipeline to be evaluated for one on one counseling. Pretty long wait here. There is a group that meets weekly here at the satellite clinic I go to mostly. been trying to work up the ability to go. Admitting you cant handle what is happening to you and taking that first visit is the toughest. Stay with the program, and don't give up. You will get better. It wont happen quickly, but you will get better. I don't know when you first sought help, but just in the 6 months or so since I admitted I could not take this shit anymore, but refused to check out, I have seen small, incremental improvements. You are extremely fortunate your wife understands and stands by you. That is huge. I'm not quite as fortunate. Hang in there. We will get better. Use your resources and stay the course. I tell myself these 3 things every day. And I hope and pray our brothers and sisters get help before its too late. 

I appreciate the words. And yes, I know how lucky I am with my wife. She's also a veteran (former medic) so I think that helps. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cactus, not sure your remarks were for me, or to all of us in  general. I'm seeing a VA mental health doc, but she is there mainly to diagnose and try to find the right med or meds to ease the symptoms with a little listening/counseling thrown in if there is time. and get you in the pipeline for counseling/further treatment. I am trying to make it to the voluntary group therapy sessions. But it's one thing to talk to someone you have developed a sort of trust with , and another to sit in front of a group you don't know (even though they are your peers and in the same boat you are). It's especially tough for me as I've had a bad experience with military/VA mental health before. (long story, don't want to talk about it.) But I am trying, and I will get there. One step at a time.

You are right spot on with your comments though. If you are fighting something as well, hang in there, seek help and you will get better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Hook'Em0608 said:

I appreciate the words. And yes, I know how lucky I am with my wife. She's also a veteran (former medic) so I think that helps. 

You are welcome brother. You are definitely lucky to have someone close by that understands because she's been there too. My best friend is who I confide in the most. He is a veteran, and I can talk to him freely, without judgement, and he understands. He lives about 9 hours away, so I mainly text, talk on the phone and Skype. But it helps a lot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hook'Em0608, thank you for sharing.

Celery Man (from the Guitar Porn Thread) sent me the new address, so I made the jump over here.

New avatar since the old one was a beer logo, and I don't drink anymore.

Let's keep doing the same thing we did at the old place before we got evicted, okay?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/19/594719471/guys-we-have-a-problem-how-american-masculinity-creates-lonely-men

 

Quote

Kugelman's story isn't unusual: researchers say it can be difficult for men to hold on to friendships as they age. And the problem may begin in adolescence.

New York University psychology professor Niobe Way, who has spent decades interviewing adolescent boys, points to the cultural messages boys get early on.

"These are human beings with unbelievable emotional and social capacity. And we as a culture just completely try to zip it out of them," she says.

This week on Hidden Brain, we look at what happens when half the population gets the message that needing others is a sign of weakness and that being vulnerable is unmanly.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/25/2018 at 11:06 PM, Hook'Em0608 said:

THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE. MY WIFE IS A SOCIAL WORKER FOR THE VA. I KNOW ITS NOT EASY BEING A VET. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. THERES ALOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE PULLING FOR YOU

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2018 at 3:05 PM, buffalobill989 said:

 

Out of curiosity, does she see lots of resentment from vets toward vets? That's something I'm really struggling with. I have zero patience in listening to someone glorify their war stories over and over again. When I think back to my service overseas, my most fond memories are stupid funny moments with a bunch of 18-22 year olds doing typical stupid shit you do at that age. Even though I was older than my peers, those crazy bastards always made me laugh and made a bad situation not so bad. Meanwhile, everybody else seems to enjoy talking about the fighting they did. That shit fucking sucked, I don't want to talk about that. But I guess it's all relative to your experience. When you have approximately 200-250 combat troops in your unit and 58 "earn" a purple heart and 9 are killed you don't remember things so rosey I guess. Maybe I should lighten up on other veterans. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad is a Vietnam veteran and he's that way. Talks about breaking stuff, fishing with concussion grenades, etc. Makes it sound fun. But that's all he talks about.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'all I need to know what to do with the old thread. 

Do I quote with the names and dates? Is it better to make them anon now?

Do we leave it buried over there and move on?

I'd like to think there are more than a few things worth keeping over there. When it looked like we might be stuck with the r/emergencybackupshag I was grabbing anything I could. Retread has saved some stuff, but doesn't seem to be thrilled with how it turned out. 

 

I think there are things worth keeping from the last year or so. It sure feels like we have come a long way since I got the bright idea to plunk down a thread. 

If there are some of you that want to stay anon, but tell your story from then,...

well do we have PM now? 

spitballing here, I could use some feedback

Edited by cactusflinthead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say move on. I’m happy to keep posting though.

 

Saw Love, Simon with my gf tonight. Cried a bunch. Coming out is a mother f**ker. I feel like my transition (6 long years) just ended six months ago. Anyway, cute movie but a tear jerker as a gay+...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cactus, I admire how well you and Retread have taken care of the old thread.  As far as what to do with it, I don't really know.  If it can be kept intact, that would be great but if that's not possible, I'll be just fine without it.  I'll leave that to everyone else, but there's been a lot of painful stuff but a lot of good advice given in this thread and I think it's benefitted a lot of posters. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had some issues uploading my screen caps to imgur, but I think that was b/c I was uploading anonymously. When I'm signed in, I think the uploads work well. I have all 18 pages.

Page 9 - https://i.imgur.com/2gNFxp2.png

I can upload all of them if you like. This is y'all's baby, so just let me know what you'd like to do with the screenshots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's so tiny. I think I am going to do the copy and paste and make them anonymous. If someone wants to claim their own that's up to them. If I miss something let me know.

I gotta go kill some weeds this morning. I'll plow into it later today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a cropped version that may show up better.

https://i.imgur.com/xdF6VZd.png

Also, I may be able to scale the image up some. I'll be glad to scale them up, upload temporarily/permanently/whatever, etc. If somebody in here wants all of them, I could upload them to imgur for a day or two and then delete them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's a cropped version that may show up better.
https://i.imgur.com/xdF6VZd.png
Also, I may be able to scale the image up some. I'll be glad to scale them up, upload temporarily/permanently/whatever, etc. If somebody in here wants all of them, I could upload them to imgur for a day or two and then delete them.
I'd like to save it for a bit. I dunno why. Archival pack rat maybe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grief will rob you from today’s joy and opportunity too. It’s the worst. Like an asshole, toxic person but instead of cutting them off and walking away, the only way to get grief to leave is to embrace and befriend it. The horror and tragedy of working through grief is as awful as the event that brought it to us to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Veteran that never saw combat here. Getting shot at seems like the worst thing in the world. Shooting at someone seems like a close second. I can't imagine ever wanting to think or talk about any of that.

 

There's a certain part of military culture that revels in that stuff, but I'd guess that it's just a way to cope. I bet the vets who seem to love talking about the fighting are going through the same stuff you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentioned Jordan Peterson on the old site. The more I listen to him the more impressed I am. Try watching a few of his lectures on depression.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I get bouts of zero inertia. 
I often get stuck because a contract, inspection or estimate is on the tip of my tongue & I cannot push past the block.
I suppose it is also in the border of depression & probably a shitload of ADD as well.

When I was around the age of my son (9) up until probably 12, maybe 14 or so, I had OCD problems that I self-identified.

Say a fork would fall off the plate & manage to bounce a certain way through the legs of a chair & then the table. Well, I'd have to retrieve it backwards in the EXACT same path it worked it's way through. In one way, out the same way - possibly even level flat or on its side if I managed to spot that specific action.

Later, this also manifested itself into things having to be 100% balanced or even, i.e. 1 for this meant 1 for that as well & if it was something in odd #'s, say 7 rows of something horizontally, then there had to be (example) 4 on the far L, 4 on the far R & enough in the dead center so it would be symmetrical. 

I'm past that OCD-ness now however other things still happen that get me frozen in place & I cannot advance the project or process... which pissed off customers (& yes, some Shaggers as well).

I think I have been waiting on this thread to be started for quite some time but couldn't bring myself to actually start it.

I am not leaving this one behind. Gold Jerry

Quote

My parents thought I had depression/anxiety/ocd/etc, and took me to a doctor to be tested.

Turns out I'm just a dipshit.

Quote

Get help. Getting help does not mean you are weak. Open up and talk to others. You will see most everyone is suffering from something. You are not alone.

It's only a 14 because it won't go any bigger. That sentence sums up this thread perfectly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I feel bad for even posting this because it seems so unimportant in comparison to other issues but I'm a nail biter. I can't stop doing it when I'm bored. It didn't stop there though, at some point I started scratching at my nails with my teeth, filing them in a way to the point that my right thumb nail was completely gone and a small corner of one of my top teeth has slightly chipped (not noticeable thankfully). The nail grows back into something that resembles a nail but it looks shitty. I guess this indicates that I've got some kind of anxiety/OCD or some other issue. 

I'm pretty sure I went through a bout of depression while barely making it through UT Engineering. I've used weed for over 10 years so that's probably done some neurological damage (but damn was it fun). I know my short term memory is shit. I've also never told my doctor that I smoke weed because he could possibly avoid prescribing me pain meds if I ever actually need them in the future. 

It's nice to tell someone on the internet because this is not something I talk about with anyone. We all try to pretend like we're perfectly normal. I don't want to go to get this diagnosed by someone official because I work for a defense contractor. I imagine that this type of stuff could impact my ability to get security clearances in the future. 

My father tried to commit suicide a few years ago. He has some very obvious mental problems but the day my mother was forcing him to go get checked out he decided to try to kill himself instead. They wrote it off as temporary depression but I think he was showing bipolar signs. He's fanatically religious to the point that Catholic priests even get tired of talking religion with him. Before he tried to commit suicide he kept mentioning how one of the leads at work was trying to kill him, that he was paying the police to watch him. He thinks all doctors are evil and out to kill him so he never goes to the doctor (even though they have saved his life countless times). My mom is just as fanatically religious and talks about visions she sees (Virgin Mary, Jesus etc) but she's not as crazy as my father. I'm pretty sure my parents resent me because I'm not religious like them. They think I'm going to hell and they probably hate me because they know my son will likely grow up without his parents showing religion down his throat. All that to say that I have some interesting genes in my blood and I hope I'm not headed in the same direction that they are. 

I do exercise almost everyday. My passion is playing basketball with my coworkers. It keeps me sane for sure. Things that make me happy are seeing my 6 year old boy be happy, playing basketball, watching Texas Football, playing FIFA on XBOX, smoking weed, hanging out with my frat brothers and eating some good food.

Some flaws that I see in me besides what's been stated is that I feel like I'm very selfish. I work late hours or go play basketball and don't even see my son for a whole day at a time sometimes when I could make the sacrifice of not playing bball that day so that I can go home and play with my son. I don't compliment my wife enough, it seems like it's always a competition with us two. Always debating with each other on what is fair on who gets to do what task. I don't call my friends enough, I can't even say that I have a "best friend", just several good friends. I don't open up to people. I don't call my parents enough or visit them enough. I'm a perfectionist and have an obsessive personality. If I get into a hobby I obsessively research it because I want to be the best at it. That doesn't mean I'm great at everything just that I try to be because I'm afraid of mediocrity. 

Anyways I'm just rambling about all of my problems that I wouldn't tell anyone about so thanks for reading :) I know my fraternity brothers are on shaggy so if you read this go fuck yourself and I love you!

Quote

It's a legitimate, hereditary biological disorder. I tracked down my biological mom about two years ago. My grandfather, mother and two of her siblings suffer from acute clinical depression, and one of those sibling's sons shot himself 18 months ago. I've dealt with it since early college, though it wasn't diagnosed till my mid-20s. My daughter (24) has it and my son (19) has shown some signs of it. 

I'd recommend significant cognitive behavioral therapy, steady amounts of exercise (at least an hour a day), considering what in your life creates stress and whether you can remove it, and -- if you can commit to FREQUENT appointments for a physician's oversight -- medication. 

It is possible to find happiness in the wake of it, though. After spending several years working on the above I'm definitely the best I've been in 25 years and -- for the first time in life -- am looking forward instead of backward.

Quote

This is a great thread.
I have typed 10 different replies and deleted every one of them. My anxiety that I'll be misunderstood or ridiculed has held me back since grade school. It has made me do the safe thing every fucking time. Never stick my head out very far. I tried pills years ago and have to agree with McQuinn that boners are important. I have found that golf and outdoor activities help tremendously. Flame away but I can't be the only one that shitcans 10-20 replies for every one that gets posted. Threads like these are the reason I visit here. Best damn board on the internet.

Quote

Not an expert, and maybe I don't or have never even actually suffered from clinical depression (or at least of the type that wasn't caused by something else), but I also want to bring up alcohol. I think a lot of non alcoholics or people that haven't developed into actual alcoholism don't understand what happens with the mind/brain chemistry/etc when you really start leaning on alcohol as a crutch and eventually become chemically dependent, and the warning to "not drink too much" is regarded with the same casualness as "don't machine wash" or "operate heavy machinery" etc. Alcohol may calm you down, settle your nerves, etc. but eventually it doesn't and only brings you back to 0 or whatever your 0 is. So, when you're not drinking, now on top of whatever anxiety/depression you had, you've got the additional jitters from alcohol not doing to your brain what it wants and plus now you have a drinking problem which is just additional heavy problems/hopelessness and the only thing that gets you calm is to drink. I'll stop there, since we have an alcoholics thread and this is not that, but don't disregard the advice to not use alcohol as a crutch when dealing with your depression.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

OCD is terribly misunderstood. I've read quite a bit on the topic since I have multiple family members who have been clinically diagnosed as OCD. What most people think as OCD behavior is really closer to anal retentive behavior, perhaps with a healthy dose of anxiety.

The best clarification I've read about compulsions is that they aren't the underlying disease -- they are the mind's attempt to deal with the underlying disease (which is the obsessiveness). A person who washes their hands 10 times per hour MIGHT be OCD, or they might just be anal retentive. If they're suffering from OCD, the compulsion (hand-washing) is more than likely the mind's attempt to "distract" itself from the obsessions (quite often harming thoughts). I don't know if self-harming falls under that umbrella, as everyone I know well with OCD obsesses over harming others. (Ironically, these are statistically the least likely people to ever harm anyone else, but good luck convincing them of that fact.)

Quote

I think I'm similar, I'm wondering how much of it stems from: my dad constantly telling me I was the stupidest white person he'd ever met, + I was the youngest kid in my family (3 of us total) and my brother always called me a dumbass and beat the shit out of me every day, at least once. Fuck I just turned 53 and this shit still impacts me. Funny because I actually made great grades throughout school and am the only one to graduate college.

Also I suffer because I witnessed my dad put a pistol against his head when I was just 8 which scared the fuck out of me, still affects my ability to fall asleep today. Mom swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills when I was 12 (she survived) and frankly I just didn't give a shit by that point. No psychologist here but I'm very good at distancing myself and not getting too emotionally involved with anyone other than my wife & son. Guess if your own parents will just up and leave you at any time then why put in the work to get close to people.


 

Quote

I had about a 3 year stretch where I had daily suicidal ideations. My thoughts were generally detailed plans of how to do it while causing the least amount of damage to others.

I distinctly remember the first one, which I shared with my wife. She reacted very poorly, which I guess is understandable. She had a combination of dismissiveness (thinking the problem was related to my external condition) and derision (placing the blame on me for these unwanted thoughts).

The biggest lie for me during this time was that these thoughts were part of my identity - they were me. I correctly recognized them as bad, but bought the lie that I was bad because of them. The way we talk about suicide is littered with this accusation and lie.

I'm not going to cloak this up with a religious discussion, but faith is a big part of my life and identity. The language used when talking about suicide from a faith perspective is particularly damning. This goes beyond thoughtless claims of burning in hell for killing yourself (which 100% contradicts the Biblical narrative, but that's a lie to discuss at a different time and place). The language cuts right to the core of a person of faith - accusations that these thoughts stem from something spiritually wrong. These thoughts, which are very much unwanted and are so hurtful to me, are said to define who I am in a very negative way.

I don't want to bring up a discussion about whether religion is good or bad or whatever. That's for the poo flinging of the Cloak Room. What I do want to highlight is how the language we use to discuss these issues can impact those dealing with them.

The way out for me came through the same spirituality that was used against me. I was eventually able to see those thoughts as separate from my identity. They weren't me; they were unwelcome intrusions. They could not cause condemnation, because they were not mine; they were imposed upon me and not welcome.

I had been lied to, mostly by the unwanted thoughts but also by the world around me. My worth, value, and identity had nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of those thoughts. I am no more valuable today, currently free from those thoughts, than I was at the height of my pain. If they return (and they have tried at times), it has no bearing on my worth as a person.

Once I saw these intrusions for what they were and strongly took hold of my real identity, their power quickly faded. I also had to have a lot of grace for myself. Some days, just making it to bed alive was a success.

This is only my story of how I found my way out of my secret darkness.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I rarely post anymore, but this thread title caught my eye so I thought I'd do sort of a PSA. As some of you know, I contracted and beat cancer a few years ago. This month is my 4 year anniversary, by the way. Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Anyway, after going through a year of hell via chemotherapy and radiation and getting the "all clear", I just fell apart. I spent the entire year of my treatment running my own business, playing in my rock band, rehabilitating wildlife, and even traveling internationally. I was determined to live my life on my terms. However, once I completed treatment I was unable to cope. The diagnosis: PTSD. I'm usually pretty savvy when it comes to things like this, but it never crossed my mind that PTSD might be an issue. I mean, I hadn't been to war, I hadn't experienced a terrorist attack, I hadn't been in the middle of a natural disaster. I just...got sick and got well. Come to find out that PTSD is very, very common among those who have undergone serious and/or lengthy health problems and medical treatment. Mine was physical, but I have no doubt that anyone who has experienced serious mental illness might be subject to this condition as well. Mine manifested in extreme anxiety, panic attacks and unwillingness to leave my house. The treatment that worked for me was a combination of anti-anxiety medication, yoga, a low-fat diet and regular exercise. Also some counseling geared toward Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I am still prone to anxiety if I get out of my comfort zone or my routine, and I will spiral down into a profound depression if I don't arrest the symptoms pretty quickly. Just another little tidbit to deal with as a result of the regimen that was hard on my body as well.

So please consider PTSD as a possibility if you're having problems after everything else has cleared up. I wish everyone on this thread the best.


 

Quote

I think if someone confided something like this to me today, I would start with really trying to hear what they are saying and understand what they are trying to explain. We're all a little different, so forcing my experience down their throat probably wouldn't help. Some people have survived major external traumas, others are maybe more like me. Some people might not want to live, others might be having unwanted thoughts. Beyond that, I think that reminding them that their distress/suffering doesn't define their value or identity as a person and that they are loved and valued for their intrinsic worth would be helpful. It would have helped me. I don't think there's a good response to something like this, but anything that makes the person feel loved and safe to share and work through things is probably less bad.

Quote

This is an important point for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that every religion (and even the lack of religion) is susceptible to the kinds of abuse that specifically target emotional health. I was having this very discussion last week with an acquaintance who knew how many Muslim friends I have, and could not reconcile it with his preconceived notions. But Islam is just exactly like every other faith on the planet in one very important respect: the same exact scripture is used by different Muslims to justify completely opposite conclusions. Which is how you end up with Sufi hippies in contrast to suicide bombers.

Every faith has an element of the "you've been possessed" superstition which can cause inestimable damage -- and yet... in some ways, it's a helpful metaphor.

I liken it to J.K. Rowling's dementors. Are they real? Well, in a strictly material use of the definition of "real" then, no, obviously they are not. But as a visualization of what depression really means, I don't think I've ever encountered a better description, whether in fiction or non-fiction literature.

So, if your demons, jinn, Thetans, dementors, poltergeists, or whatever are attacking you, just remember that they are external and have nothing to do with your essential value. I can't think of any examples of highly spiritual (in a genuine way) people who have not been able to make some kind of accommodation for this particular problem, and I have come to believe that it is an essential part of the healing process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I don't have my PM's turned on, because a few jack holes like to fill it with "slut," and "whore," Which would be A)ironic if you knew the truth and b) doesn't help with the depression. I was in an accident in a rarely heard of theme park in lake Bueno vista Florida almost 9 years ago. Nerve damage, unable to move head, neck, couldn't stand, couldn't life my arm, couldn't see out of my right eye, and couldn't open my mouth enough for a spoon. Workers compensation doctors couldn't find anything. UNC doctors couldn't find anything. In the meantime, isolated myself because no one could find a reason so surely my pain was fake. Stopped talking to people. Finished a MBA through the least amount of human interaction possible. Moved to o Charlotte. Surgeon there asks...solo what are they doing for the fracture? Three years after the initial accident. I have diagnosis! I have surgeries. Surgeries don't fix, meanwhile I'm on opioids, NSAIDs, bemzos. And feeling even more upset because surgeries were supposed to fix. I move back to Texas. New surgeon completely replaces joints with titanium. Supposed to fix pain. This was two months ago. Still on medical leave. Still on heavy duty meds. Still very isolated. Family not super supportive. Getting harder to get out of bed. And even harder not to swallow any number of the meds I've been given. How do I get out of this cycle! Because going to sleep and not waking up for a while sounds like an awesome idea

Going to repost this one because the person that wrote it rolled back around and told us things seem to be getting better. Positive reinforcement 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Trauma is a big deal that we're just coming to terms with, scientifically and medically. And Ms. Macallan is totally right, any major, non-positive event can be a trauma that affects you afterward and it doesn't have to be war, or sexual abuse or anything that dramatic. Divorce of your parents, things at school, witnessing an accident, illness can all have lasting negative effects on the psyche. And there seems to be a cumulative effect, that is, a series of relatively minor things can have worse effects than a single major thing.

Unfortunately, there isn't a uniform answer for dealing with the effects of trauma, but there are things that can be effective, mostly in the realm of cognitive behavioral therapy.

One of the things that I have learned from AA, and it seems to be generally applicable to anything that is assisted by "getting out of your own head for a while," is that making yourself of service to others can be a real positive. It's a little more purposeful than "forcing yourself to get out of bed" and just going to work, and it has a positive effect on just about anyone's mood and attitude. YMMV, but something to consider.

Quote

 

My chronicles with recent suicide have been well documented. Today is my first appointment with a therapist since her passing. My only drive is her, that for her I won't give in and I won't quit. That I promised her, somehow, sometime, I don't know when or where but I will talk someone off whatever ledge they're on. I owe her that.

I know I don't have the energy or passion that I had, so I guess that falls into depression, had an attack the other night driving home was shaking in the car, sweating bullets at 10pm. But if any of you guys need an ear as much support as this place gave me I owe you too.

08-16-2016 at 06:38 AM.

 

I'd like to keep the time stamp on this one. You have been on a long, dark journey bubba. I am glad to see you here today. 

Also, it would be cool if this person came back around for a check-in

Quote

I think about killing myself pretty much everyday - not in the "am i going to do it or not today" way - just in a "hey it would be nice to be dead" kind of way... I know exactly how i would do it. I'm pretty sure i wont ever go through with it because of my 2 daughters and the pain it will cause them. My daughter's friend committed suicide a couple of weeks back and it crushed her. That and DG's daughter helps reinforce the decision not to do it because of the devastation it would cause my two girls... 

So I self medicate with Whataburger and chips and queso. It will eventually kill me, there are very few 65 year old fat guys that work 60 hours a week. But at least they won't know I did it on purpose. 

Of course its a bad spiral, because this is a life wasted, which makes me more depressed etc etc etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I've struggled with sporadic bouts of severe anxiety and depression since I was a teenager. I cannot even count the number of times I've checked myself into the local ER of whatever shithole western Oklahoma town I've lived in at the time, thinking I was in having a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, whatever in the last 20 years. It's an exhausting ordeal.

I've found different ways to battle the storm, but none to completely defeat it. It doesn't help that it seems to be a self-fulfilling cycle of doom. Depressed and anxious over some stupid, terrible decision made in the past. Make stupid, terrible decision in present. Deal with consequences. Get depressed and anxious over most recent stupid, terrible decision. Make new stupid, terrible decision. Rinse. Repeat. Until you look up and you're in your 30s living in the wasteland of western Oklahoma, working in a high stress / economically dying energy service industry trying to provide for a family while tapdancing on the boundary line between the middle class and working poor economic bracket.

And there are no such things as "mental health professionals" in this part of the world. Only meth rehab facilities, trailer park pill mills, and general practitioners. For the last four years, I have basically played a never-ending game of anti-depressant / anti-anxiety roulette with my doctor. None of which has really helped except for benzodiazepine, which isn't really a long term solution and something that my doctor prescribes only about twice every 12 months. 

Sometimes Most times, I wonder if I will ever be able to get the hell out of my own head, because the ups and downs are really hard to hide from your kids. And they did not ask for a headcase for a dad.

Other times I wish I was just a normal person, though I'm not sure I know what 'normal' is. I assume the opposite of me?

tl;dr 

Quote

Went to a psychologist on my own for the first time today. He has seen every member of my family, including me, in the past, but they were always in group settings to try to help my older brother. He displays the classic traits of Asperger, but this psychologist has tested him and says it isn't Asperger, but rather, his social stunting was a result of severe emotional trauma inflicted by my dad (his test scores showed greater emotional trauma than holocaust survivors). The psychologist has his PhD and teaches at UT Austin, so I put a lot of weight in his testing and opinion. 

To make a long story short I caught a lot of the same shit as my brother and dealt with a lot of shame having to follow in the footsteps of him in a small town of 5,000 people. I dealt with it by trying not to be a "trouble" to my parents and trying to be a "positive" to the family name. Ended up internalizing everything and building a seemly perfect house on the exterior. Was popular in high school, did well in college, undergrad & masters in accounting, worked at a Big 4 accounting firm for 3 years and then went to law school and did very well and have a big law job lined up.

Sadly none of those "accomplishments" mean shit to me. Self-loathing and self-doubt have really manifested strongly in the last 4-6 years... I think it corresponds to subconsciously realizing degrees, prestige, and good paying jobs don't fill psychological holes. Anxiety has fueled bouts of "functioning" depression. To keep my head above water, I have to eat perfect, exercise, and force myself out socially.

Had a recent experience that finally sunk my ship and the facade is crashing around me. Basically have been in the fetal position for last 3 weeks preparing for suicide. Have quit doing all those things that "kept me afloat." Doc basically said that even though I consciously know that exercise, eating good, and making myself social will get me possibly floating again, subconsciously my body is tired of just surviving. Basically, it is in get better or die mode. Have already set up future appointments... hopefully they will help.

Sorry for the novel. I finally got the nerve to share, because this thread has helped me. Reading all the different ways a human psyche can be broken has made me not so ashamed of seemingly having so much and still feeling totally worthless, anxious, and depressed.

Quote

Don't ever apologize for sharing your pain -- any place and any time you are able to do it after all those experiences makes you stronger. Vulnerability is far more powerful than so-called "strength".

I can definitely relate to the feeling of "worthless accomplishment". I remember coming back from the national speech tournament in high school, knowing full well that just getting there was something nobody from my small town should ever have been expected to be able to do, and not really giving a rat's ass. It felt hollow. Academic and professional successes have felt the same way over the years.

But you know what? I've recently come to appreciate my real accomplishments. I am blessed with a joyous wife and children, first of all. But beyond that, I have been a genuine help to people around me. I used to not feel anything at all about that fact, but I'm beginning to find pleasure in the knowledge that people come to me all the time for help with their DIY projects. I have a background in English literary criticism, for cryin' out loud, but what people know me for is backyard chicken farming, edible landscaping, and scrap-wood carpentry. Now that I'm on the right meds, have told the right people from my past to buzz off, and have come to a proper appreciation of my own worth and my place in the universe, it makes me happy looking forward to the next friend to text me wondering which garden weeds are edible, or whether I can help them build a meditation platform in their front yard from all the pallet wood they've just collected.

Whatever it is that you do or are interested in, no matter how trivial it might seem to you when you are in the midst of depression, is far more important, and far greater, than any of the bullshit you are carrying around from the people who hurt you when you were the most vulnerable.

Quote

This right here. There's a big lie the a lot of us carry around that does nothing but hurt us. The lie is that there's shame in our mental brokenness and hurts. That lie keeps us from getting the help we need or even voicing our pain. It manifests in different ways, but always figures out a way to place the blame on us.

If our external conditions are good, there's the shame in why our internal condition doesn't match up. It says, "How could you feel like this? Your life is so wonderful? Others have been through so much more. There's something wrong and bad about you."

If our internal state is hampered by some past hurt, there can be the lie that our life experience has tainted us in some way. If our external conditions are currently bad, we can find shame in that. If we seek help, we find shame there. If we don't, we find shame in our fears.

No matter what, our minds can do a wonderful job of placing unhelpful judgement and shame on us. It's a lie that keeps us from getting the help we need as well as helping others. Seeing people work through their own brokenness can be a huge encouragement to others.

Quote

Brother, don't think that. As someone who just lost someone to suicide don't ever think that. Glad to see you made appointments. And yes, this place is a great sounding board, I can't tell you how much just venting on here has meant to me. If you're on the ledge, talk, you want my phone number I'll talk to you. There are lifelines out there. It's a bitch but there's a whole lot of people who you don't know in your corner. They want to see you keep fighting and living. I'm one of them. Prayers and peace my man.

Quote

How about sprinkling in a little purpose? Your skill sets would be very welcome by charities and non profit causes. Do some pro bono work? My wife did pro bono work for these guys a few years back in honor of an ill family member. http://namigulfcoast.org Or look here- http://www.volunteermatch.org

Quote

This. The Doc said something that surprised me at first, but makes a lot of sense. He said that studies show physical and sexual assault victims often have a much easier time obtaining healthy mental states with therapy. They have an event or person to point to that is recognized by society to be horrendous. Sometimes the people responsible even get criminally punished. 

Alternatively, emotional trauma is usually done by a thousand cuts and done in private and often many different people have varying degrees of responsibility (direct actors, enablers, etc.). The mind (especially an ill one) isn't able to process all this nuance w/o help and just turns inwards, especially when the abusers are not recognized as such by the community or worse if they are highly respected by the community. 

As fucked up as this sounds, I have sometimes wished I was sexually abused by my dad, so that I had a "justifiable" reason to reach out for help and so that he would be torn down in the eyes of the community (he is a doctor, very active in the community, etc.). Please understand that in no way am I discounting sexual or physical abuse. I can't even imagine the horrors of that, but before I finally crashed, read this thread, and finally got help, it seemed like one of the few "justifiable" reasons for someone with my background to be having emotional difficulties. 

Catus thanks for the thread. Waldon thanks for the kind words and I hope I can make it to a place similar to yours. dgvillere thanks for the kindness and prayers. The thread about your daughter broke my heart for her and for you. Hang in there. 

Rippin'_lips, I think that is something I am definitely going to look into once I get back on my feet. Thanks for the resources.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Quote

 

I feel you Walden, my son Devon died from sids in 1996 at 12 weeks. So I'm 0 for 2 in the children department. Go me.

Well, I'm going to hell...that made me giggle. Sorry, but that amount of gallows humor is right up my alley. It is the way I cope and I'm sure if people heard the shit that I think or say when life is overwhelming me, well I'm sure they would consider stringing me up. I can't help it though, it is just the way I am wired.

I laugh hardest when the shit is on. It has been over a year now since my husband croaked and I still don't give a lot of fucks about things that should matter like work or bettering myself, but I'm still laughing. I guess that makes me profoundly human or fucking stupid. Maybe I should go back to talking to someone. I did that at the Hospice place that we used and I could look into talking to someone again. I don't think I'm depressed but I don't really even know what that is, so how would I know if I am? I just think it is weird how I don't give a shit about so-called important things like work. 

The thought of a big change sounds really good but I am hesitant to think it is really a true answer to "fixing" me. I just want to find the place of contentedness and purpose that I have had in the past. His needs became bottomless but I learned to deal with them and they gave me purpose. I had to focus on them and prioritize everything and I still found some me time. I did okay. Now all I have is me time and I am adrift. It is so weird that when I don't have him to fuss with anymore that I am so lost. I don't care, I don't have priorities or goals or fucks to give. I can't see past my nose on what I'm supposed to be doing. The loss of purpose is the thing I think I am most hung up on, aside from missing him. The loss of the why I do what I need to...that is the most disconcerting change. I don't have the same big WHY anymore...I don't know how to recover from that. I am not depressed or anxious, but I am not focused and that is strange since I have had to be for a very long time for someone who has relied on me so much. 

I guess I need to look for a new job, so I can figure out a way to give a shit about what I do for a majority of my time. I want to be a contributor, which I am not right now. These are trivial issues in comparison to what others are going through so I'm am glad for this thread and the chance to vent. I am also glad Owlvis found his way to it since I was worried about him. Take care, man. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Ugggh anybody else go through periods of loneliness every so often? Early 30s single as of August (2.5 yr relationship), no kids/dogs, and I'm beyond lucky in that I have a very solid family base and small but tight group of inner circle friends that live within 45 minutes. But damned if I dont feel totally isolated and lonely every 6-8 months roughly. 

I already work out daily and just started volunteer tutoring. I've always been ok being a homebody generally, and have enough interests/hobbies to stay occupied and pass time. But just battle this shit, feel totally disconnected from everything and stuck in a rut. I don't think it's depression or anything but I really don't know the difference off hand.

Quote

You're describing something that is epidemic in our culture. We are more frenetic than ever, and more isolated than ever. Even married folk go through it frequently. I changed jobs last June, and it has changed my life; I used to be holed up in my own office all day (and the office was a reward they gave me for high performance!) where my only interactions all day were by phone and email. But connection -- real connection -- requires physical interaction.

Only advice I can give is to make the most of those times when you are interacting with people; just enjoy the hell out of those moments.

Quote

Well, I think I'm going to finally bite the bullet. (Figuratively)

I've battled depression/anxiety for years. I've tried a lot of drugs under the sun but just couldn't handle the side effects that came with them. (ED being the most common. That made me more depressed...) I just can't find that happy place. I've spent almost two years moping on the bed instead of enjoying life and my now limited time as a family before my oldest goes to college. Everything in my life is great. Jobs are always stressful, but not having one is even more so. Financially, everything is fine. Marriage is solid besides my laziness causing issues as she has to take on the burden. I don't have any reason, other than losing some weight, to bitch about. I'm tired of self-medicating and can't remember a time where I was truly "happy" or laughed. My OCD is becoming bothersome. I'm convinced that you have to be a little OCD to do travel the way I do it. But little things, like my stapler not being in a perfect angle on my desk, bug the shit out of me. I get ragey for no real reason and shut down listening in a conversation. I crave isolation yet hate loneliness. I attributed this to being an extrovert back in the day and now being a family man. But, it's gotten to the point where I blow off social gatherings because I don't derive the satisfaction from them I once did. Yet on the rare occasion I go, I'm glad I did. I'm just basically tired of waiting on the sweet release of death to take me away from the anxiety and stress.

Not sure where to go from here. I'd love to be a little more active but the weather is a little brisk up here and the gym near me sucks balls and is open less than HEB. I'm already taking a medicine cabinet as it is.

"asking for a friend"

Any of you guys worried about going to see someone for help?

 

Quote

I can just imagine how this would go with a doc

Friend: I get angry
Doc: How often?
Friend: everyday
Doc: How do you feel about that?
Friend: Angry
Doc: How do you sleep?
Friend: I dont sleep well - ever
Doc: How do you mostly feel ?
Friend: trapped at home,trapped at work,trapped at life
Doc: Do you suffer from depression?
Friend: everyday
Doc: Do you have suicidal thoughts?
Friend: everyday. 

Doc gets up, leaves office and returns with two big mofos and a white long sleeve designer jacket...

Friend gets locked up and people wonder why. The town would say " He has good health, great family, loving attractive wife and awesome kids, successful job. What could he possibly be depressed about? He should just get over it. He is being selfish"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Jan. 27 sucks for the rest of my life. 2 years ago my daughter had just graduated college and was teaching in Czech. Rep. so she could travel and do the stuff we wanted her to do. While on a weekend excursion to Berlin, she went into a coma from brain swelling and remained that way until the doctors said there was nothing else they could do. She was healthy and her organs were harvested and are all over Europe.
I'm teaching Hamlet today and for those that don't remember H's mother, the queen keeps telling him to get over the death of his father, the King. Fuck you bitch!

Quote

Yeah, pretty much. The "get over it" brigade can go suck an industrial waste spill-valve.

I have no idea how I'm going to be feeling on January 30th, but that's the anniversary of my first daughter's death. Some years are worse than others, and I never really know until I wake up that day.

One thing I can tell you for sure: It gets better, but not all the time. Sometimes it sucks every bit as bad. That's just how it is.

Quote

I am so sorry to hear this. I'll be thinking of you guys.

I know this is different, but your Hamlet reference (it's my favorite Shakespeare work, btw) reminds me of when I had a miscarriage and people would say everything happened for a reason. I'm not religious and I don't believe that sentiment in general, but when the pain was so raw and fresh I could hardly bear it to hear stuff like that. Maybe it's true, but it did not give me comfort.

I've been on Zoloft for about 5 years now. I most definitely had post-partum depression after my oldest, but it wasn't until 4.5 years later, after I had my youngest, that I decided to get help. It was far, far too long to wait. Zoloft saved me, and I'm not being hyperbolic. I was in a bad place. All this to say that I understand how hard it is to battle depression. It feels like you're fighting yourself, and goddamn if that isn't the worst. We're here for you.

 

Edited by cactusflinthead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Was diagnosed with bipolar type II a few months ago. Type II is different from Type I, the most socially known version, in that if you take the wave of depression with its highs and lows, the middle being "normal", top/crest manic, and the trough/bottom depressed, BTII has the wave shifted down. The manic stage is called hypomanic because it really isn't dangerous like BTI, but I'm generally a depressed person. Probably doesn't help also have Asperger's.

Talking to a therapist can help, exercise doesn't, meds generally help the most.

Quote

When you need meds you need meds, nothing wrong with that. Good for you figuring it out

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Damn, I was coming here to bitch about my sciatic nerve flaring up for the first time a few weeks ago. Could barely walk for two days. But after reading just this one page, it really doesn't seem so bad in hindsight. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Yeah, finally decided to call my doc and told him I was tired of being a zombie. He suggested putting me on a different med. I told him I just wanted to be clean of the shit. He finally said it was ok as long as I kept him up to date on my moods. I will tell you it was a fucking struggle. I probably had 3 hours of good sleep over a 2 week period of time. But finally once I hit that REM sleep I was good to go. What I like to say is I have my war councilor back at my seat again. It doesn't feel weird and I finally feel feelings again. I much rather have that than to just be zombied out. It's going to be a fun few months as I roll myself back into society.

Quote

 

Neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy

The tl;dr:
 

 
1. The most important question to ask when you are down: "What am I grateful for?"
2. Label negative feelings
3. Make that decision
4. Touch people

Obviously, context is important. That's why I say don't go for the tl;dr. Go ahead and read it. Otherwise, you'll get punched for your trouble.

 

Quote

You know, I keep cruising by this thread all the time. Lately it's been hitting me and driving the point home closer and closer. I have a pretty good job, I'm not married, but I have a really good family. Everything on the outside seems like it is the fucking best. I was diagnosed as bipolar 4 years ago. I'm on serequel. While the shit helps, it lets me be logical and functional in my day to day life. However, it makes me feel no attachment to the decisions I make to every day life. I keep feeling more and more withdrawn from the shit that I call every day life. Each day that I roll on, I either say go do something great or just turn the lights out. And it seems like I'm getting closer and closer to saying yeah man, turn the lights out. This shit isn't fun anymore.

Quote

If you aren't already, I urge you to seek help. find a therapist. you deserve to be happy. maybe they can adjust your meds?but I think talking things out can be helpful and get you out of your head maybe. Maybe it gets you to taking steps to get where you find that greatness is all around you. You deserve being able to take pleasure in the little things, so go get help to make that happen. good luck to you and let us know how you are fairing.

Quote

Fr. Jim had a Lent challenge this outlaw Baptist picked up on. 
Be kind. 
I can barely get down 10 miles of I-35 without cussing. No, I don't think there have been many commutes where I did not question the intelligence of my fellow drivers. Give up raging at my fellow idiots on the roadway is the challenge. 

Then there is your post today and all the other reminders around here on the shag; over at the AA thread and bits and pieces here and there. It isn't about the destination. It's the journey. Where are we headed and why? Staying in the now is not exactly easy. Seems like we go from one crisis to another some days. Some days I have to ask myself. "Do I want to die on this hill? Is it worth it?" 
Not yet has challenging my fellow driver for the next space in line been worth it. I feel better letting somebody in than I do when I flip them the bird. 
And it is not fucking easy. It's tough to ignore slights. It is hard to push through when shit goes sideways that you didn't have a got damn thing to do with and yet now you have to deal with it.

Now off to CR to see if i can do this kindness thing over there.

 
Quote

 

Did you recall the trauma before therapy?

I did not. Long story short, it was all emotional abuse from my father and a mother who did nothing to protect my brother and I. Father is a doctor and prominent figure in the community who has an ability to turn on the charm in public, but the monster comes out in private. I grew up with everyone telling me how lucky I was to have such a great family, and I had no idea how a normal family operated behind closed doors, so I ended up normalizing all the shit that went on.

Married a great women and have had academic and professional accomplishments that make my life look good on the outside, but I was ready to end it all 6 months ago. 

Did a number of tests including the MMPI-2 and a test to determine of the health of my childhood attachment to my parents. Was a sobering moment when the doctor said "most people with your scores are unable to get out of bed or are institutionalized."

 

Quote

Anybody dealing with the stress of parenting a troubled teen? I feel like when you are in a bad relationship with a significant other, except that there is no divorce. I don't know if what I feel would be called depression or anxiety. Maybe both. Don't know what to do.

Quote

No, no substance abuse. The main source of stress is that my kid has more or less quit giving a shit about school and is failing. This stresses the shit out of my wife, and me as well but to a lesser degree, but then my wife's stress imprints on me too. If you do bad enough with your grades, do they actually make you repeat the year? Does anybody have a kid who was forced to repeat a year?

Quote

When I say "no substance abuse", no, I'm not sure. This kid of mine, for years now she doesn't see the point of school and learning a bunch of stuff. What she likes is the yokel lifestyle from rural Missouri where people fish and hunt varmint and live on the government's dole. For a few years she has been often on the edge of letting a bunch of schoolwork fall through the cracks, with us the parents (and particularly her mother) hounding her to get her to pass her classes. A couple of months ago I got her through a psychological assessment and they diagnosed ADHD, not so much hyper but mostly inattentive. Her doctor prescribed Adderall. We knew a couple of people who told us that their kids with ADHD had experienced a "night and day" change with Adderall, so I was hopeful that this medicine would help her turn the corner. After a few weeks on it (and a dosage increase), there doesn't seem to be any change. So I'm just out of ideas. She has zero interest in talking about her issues with anybody (as in, a counselor). I feel hopeless. But it's not so much that the kid has a problem, as much as it is that we the parents don't know what to do with this and how to handle the stress. I wish I could find a support group for parents of teenagers.

Quote

Yeah, she's not an academic type at all. She is a maker and sometimes, when her brain is not in a fog, she can be quite entrepreneurial. I feel bad for her because she goes to public school (Austin ISD) and school just doesn't have a path for somebody like her. I guess I will find out soon enough if they make her repeat the year or if they will pass her to the next grade even with a bunch of failing classes. 

Walden:

Good to hear about your kid "graduating" from therapy. My kid doesn't want anything to do with therapy. We've taken her to a couple of counsellors, and she just sat there and didn't want to talk about anything. Stubborn as a mule.

 

Edited by cactusflinthead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That last one is out of chronological order. The first one should be a follow up, so you get the last part first. 

 

This is not unlike Burroughs doing cut ups. I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The gold standard for "real" anxiety is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, with an emphasis on mindfulness. When I say "real" I am tending toward the kind that causes panic attack. I think what's true of "real" anxiety is also true of milder anxiety, which may be more of an obsessive-compulsive reaction to things or even depression. Seems to be frequently misdiagnosed. CBT (dont google this, spell it out), is basically talk therapy, but with a focus on cognition, how you process thoughts. Anxiety is generally the problem that any negative thought can go straight to the amygdala and produce a fight or flight reaction, the key to solving it long term seems to be processing thoughts better to slow them down and avoid the fight or flight reaction. Mindfulness is most prominently a Buddhist meditation technique that focuses on being in the "here and now" and seeing things as they really are, without misperceived biases.

CBT is helpful for almost all mental illnesses. Even if there is a brain chemistry problem, a lot of the time it causes or is accompanied by really distorted thinking.

Quote

I didn't read the whole thread, because I just saw the OP.

I have serious depression seasonally and occasionally brought on by stress. It runs in the family along with other forms of mental illness.

Exercise is the best way to manage it for me, especially lifting weights. I'm scared of becoming dependent on pills and talk therapy turns into a contest of wits for me.

Quote

well shouldn't it? I am not there to be spoon fed. If I can't confront the therapist with my doubts and misgivings about the information they are handing out then I am probably going to find someone willing to challenge me. I have to be able to trust them enough to believe what they are saying and desperate enough to try what they suggest.

Quote

Outwitting the therapist is a natural response, especially for a bipolar. But at some point you have to take inventory of what they can and can't offer you, and just submit. I am more convinced than ever that mental illness is just a side effect of intelligence having evolved well past its most optimal level. It is much easier for morons to be happy. I think I will rewatch "Harvey" this weekend, now that I think about it.

Quote

And if that works for you, that's great. I really wish I could do talk therapy, nothing would make me happier. I'm...difficult. 

Anyway. I've often thought that two types of people work out and stick to it: the 20% who love it and the 80% who need it to stay sane. I'm in the second group and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Quote

who am i to judge another? if pumping iron or pounding the pavement keeps you sane how can I argue against it? 

I'll leave off the discussion of the relative merits of that piece of iron also being attached to a stick and it being used as a device for turning the soil to a later time. I will say I am in favor of being in touch with the dirt near you. 

If I need to throw some scripture in there I can cite Jacob wrestling and Habbakuk 2:1 " I will stand my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what to he will say to me and what answer I am to give to this complaint" or "and what to answer when I am rebuked."

I think there is a place for wrestling with this. How we grapple and get there depends on what works for you. I am in no position to judge anyone's path.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Yeah I'm a big fan of drugs when you're where you are - they can get you to a place where you're able to start addressing your issues and not just spiraling down whenever you think of everything you have to deal with. As for non-medication methods, I will probably take Zoloft till the day I die, but I also find that regular runs and/or walks help a lot. I also do barre workouts, which are like yoga plus pilates, so they're really effective in building muscle without the frou frou zen stuff in yoga. Which totally may be your cup of tea. It is not mine.

Also, and this sounds super cheesy but it works, every day at bedtime I journal and list my "5 greats". Usually it's stuff like "my 50-lb dog still loves me enough to want to sit in my lap" and "my 5-year-old came up and gave me a kiss for no reason." When you are standing at the edge of the abyss, reread your 5 greats or write new ones. You'll be surprised how much it helps.

Quote

See, here is where I might think that CBT/talk therapy comes in handy. My suspicion is "everything you have to deal with" is a) not really something you have to deal with, ie not something you control and/or b) not that bad. I don't want to minimize what you have to do, but many times that sense of dread and being overwhelmed that accompanies mild anxiety/depression is nothing more than a series of distorted thinking patterns that "catastrophize" (a fantastic cliche, btw) ordinary life events (life sometimes does kinda suck, it's up to you whether to get sucked into the suck).

Also, I'm a bit puzzled by this battle of the wits with a therapist. Now, the therapist I spent some time with was a pretty gifted psychiatrist and his most effective tool was to hold up a very clear mirror to me to see how distorted some of my thinking had become. through whatever mechanism leads to it. I mean, I suppose I could have declared everything he said "bullshit," and got nothing out of it, but most of the things he pointed out to me were near-revelational.

A lot of the time, trying to put dark feelings and problems into words and breaking them down into component pieces for and in response to skilled questioning by a competent professional that you trust has the effect of removing the darkness and sending them to the realm of ridiculousness.

Also the things like gratitude lists/great lists are really helpful as distorted thinking and I guess the wiring of the mind of the depressive, tends to send one into a negative mental do-loop that can otherwise be hard to escape and it seems those sort of things are sometimes just like hitting ctl-c.

At least in my experience. YMMV. Holiday Inn, all that shite.

Anyway, I may be getting into insulting territory, not my intention.

Quote

You're probably right about CBT. I have looked for a therapist on and off for years but haven't found one. When I was early into post-partum depression, I remember this day when I called four therapists listed on my insurance site and no one even picked up the phone. I left messages and no one called me back. I've also had a hard time finding one who takes insurance and/or doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The meds do work for me for the most part so I haven't aggressively pursued it, but it's definitely something I've thought about.

Quote

am not a counselor but my spouse is. My advice is to always get a recommendation from a doctor, a friend, or someone else you trust. Great therapists don't need to advertise or be on every insurance panel. Even if you are referred to someone that doesn't take your insurance or live in your area, call or email them anyway. They can probably refer you to someone they respect and trust.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I'm struggling today. It's been 11 days since I found out my wife was cheating on me with a coworker. We started dating in high school and have been together for almost 20 years. It just doesn't feel real. I don't see how someone can just flip a switch like that and forget all of that. I'm also worried about my kids (5 and 1) and what's going to happen now with them. You get limited time on this earth with your kids and now that time has been cut in half at least. I go from raging mad, to depressed, to numb and then back around again. I can't focus at work, I've been going to the gym but my head still goes 1000 miles an hour with questions and thoughts. I made an appt with a counselor last week and she wanted to go. In the session, she said she wasn't sure she wanted to stay together but told me she stopped talking to him while we try to work on things. I caught her the next night talking to him via facebook video chat and not just a normal chat either. There has been so many lies in all of this. I feel lost and like I constantly have the weight of the world crushing down on me.

Quote

That sucks. That just really, really sucks. Obviously, you need to document everything you're going through, but I'm going to suggest very strongly that you also find time every day to be completely away from your thoughts about it all. As in, find at least 10 minutes where you are literally just not thinking about any goddamned thing at all. Your brain will simply fry if you try to deal with it all 24/7, so don't try. Deal with it in spurts.

Quote

Keep going to the counselor. Even if she decides she can't. I am reluctant to bring up the d word right now, but I am going to anyhow. Hornian has a good reply on that road and from the sound of it you are doing the first step he recs, counseling. I hope you can stay out of the courthouse and work it out. 

Hug the kids and play with them every chance you get. Read Fox in Sox to them. Go fishing and take them with you. Or insert happy fun time activity here. It helped me from drifting off too far into my own head when the split happened to me. The little kid was just glad to have dad take her to the park. It's a few minutes you can think about somebody else instead of staring down your navel.

Quote

If you don't mind I would like to share my experience. In 1996, after 10
Years of marriage I caught my wife with her boss. It devestated me. It took 15
Months before I could even go out in public. I didn't think things would ever turn around, and it even cost me a promotion at work. An opportunity I would never get again.
Then out of the blue I ran into a woman who's nephew I had coached in Little league. We started dating and we're married in 2000. Her and I have been together since, and I have never been happier. And the thing that blew my mind is that I had no knowledge that she came from a very wealthy family. No one every talked about it, but when her grandparents passed away they left her a substantial amount not of money. Enough that we are able to do pretty much whatever we want, when we want.

And to make it really a Ha Ha moment. About six months ago my exwife called and asked to borrow $10,000 dollars. She had been kicked out by her lover and she had no money and nowhere to go. Knowing it was a hot potato issue I told her she would have to talk with my wife......who said fuck no. And told her that she had her chance and blew it. And that she should examine her life as she could have been more loyal, responsible and made better choices over these many years of her life. 

So I guess what I am saying is that you just never know. And when it looks the darkest, life has a way at throwing you a life preserver. Keep your head up and know that even though most all of us who post on the Shag don't actually know each other. But, we all share a common ideal and if you ever need someone or something reach out to one of us before making a bad decision. Help is out there but you must ask for it.
Take care amigo...

Quote

Thanks for all the words of encouragement and for the PMs as well. I was just having a rough day that day. I've been pretty chill through this process for the most part but I have little swings where I get extremely angry or extremely sad. As time goes on, it's mostly anger, lulz. I'm trying to be amicable right now so we can work something out with unwinding all of our assets and custody arrangements without having to get attys involved.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

Holy shit, a revolutionary breakout of common sense in the field of psych care:

Addiction doc says: It’s not the drugs. It’s the ACEs – adverse childhood experiences.

Dr. Daniel Sumrok, director of the Center for Addiction Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Medicine, is out to set the world's psychiatrists and psychologists right when it comes to treatment of a host of ills, not just addictions, but also Post-Traumatic Stress (he says we should drop the word "disorder" since it's a healthy response -- "If your foot has been eaten off by lions, you are going to be vigilant about lion attacks") and who knows what all else.
 

 
Addiction shouldn’t be called “addiction”. It should be called “ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking”.

And the solution, he says, is to help the patient find alternative ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking that won't harm them or put them in jail.
 

 
Ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking (what traditionalists call addiction) is a normal response to the adversity experienced in childhood, just like bleeding is a normal response to being stabbed.
 
Surprisingly, it’s a fairly simple formula: Treat people with respect instead of blaming or shaming them. Listen intently to what they have to say. Integrate the healing traditions of the culture in which they live. Use prescription drugs, if necessary. And integrate adverse childhood experiences science: ACEs.

“My patients seem to respond really well to this,” he says.

Well, no shit, guy. You don't blame them, you respect them for having survived whatever horseshit life has thrown at them, you give them minimally invasive medical treatment, and you treat the base cause of their problems, not just the symptoms. I'd say that's a winning formula.

Meanwhile, when you look at his research, you realize that, huh... addictive behavior (whether addiction to pain killers, alcohol, cigarettes, food, whatever) is the response to adverse childhood experiences... and two thirds of our country is overweight by virtue of food addictions (among other things)... we as a culture have clearly been treating our children like shit. We'd better clean up our collective act, fast, because that's just not cool.

 

 

Quote

So according to this guy, is addiction always the by-product of childhood trauma? Can a person have a happy and normal childhood, then as an adult suffer an illness or accident, and get addicted to pain killers?

Quote

I think that is a seriously oversimplified take on addiction. Completely ignores the apparent-to-most genetic link or predisposition to maladjustment to life's vicissitudes.

I don't mind ritualized compulsive comfort seeking. That's fairly accurate.

The problem is what makes addicts uncomfortable, which is just about every-damn-thing, including, without limitation, sobriety.

Quote

I've always been bothered by the selection bias in assigning a genetic link in mental illness, though, for precisely the reason that your genes come to you from the same place as trauma is most likely to come to you: your parents.

It's true that not all traumas leading to addiction necessarily have to be childhood in nature (see: combat related stress, adult survivors of rape or other violent crime, etc.)

And you'll note that he does talk about medication "when needed" -- presumably, if you've got a genetic predisposition to depression, anxiety, bipolar mood swings, schizophrenia, etc., medication would be required no matter what. But the bottom line is, even the way mental illness is categorized has a tendency to stigmatize, and further, places physicians (whether they intend to be or not) in a judgmental capacity, rather than a supportive capacity.

Shit's hard enough to deal with without there being a component of moral culpability, as well. It's like Mitch Hedberg says, alcoholism is the only illness you can get yelled at for having. "Chad, you're an alcoholic!" or "Chad, you have lupus!" One of those don't sound right.

 

Edited by cactusflinthead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I'm in a rut, gotta make some changes as I've had a string of serious dressing-downs by my wife...my son is a very challenging 3yo that I frequently butt heads with and now my 9mo daughter is very mobile which leads to someone needing to be watching the kids full time. Given my wife needs all of 90 minutes to get ready in the morning, it leads me to manage the dogs/kids in what is just a recurring beating in the morning. I've reacted to it poorly, letting my anxiety run mornings where I'm always in a rush leading to leaving the boy alone in the garage for 30s today (he could have wandered into the street) or drinking too much which lead to me forgetting to give the baby her last bottle of the night this weekend.

My initial reaction is always to pity myself about how I have to do 90% of the work in the mornings, or how I spend so much time with the boy I lose my patience too quickly...but after those two dangerous situations with my kids the past week, I've had to take a step back and do some serious soul searching as I've gotten threats to get kicked out of the house or "fix this before it's too late" kind of mandates. Having read the alcoholic thread for years, I know losing what's really important is a very real possibility.

Looking back I'd had patience problems with my 3yo, but the slide started when I finished grad school in late March...which had kept me busy enough to minimize the time I had to dwell on stress or drink to excess. Once I finally finished my 3 years of hard work in a technical Masters degree, I told myself I'd take it easy which initially led to a lot of time with the kids and partying. It doesn't help that my wife is an elementary school counselor with her own graduate degree and experience with young children, which arms her with tools I don't have. 

Anyways I'm going to swallow my pride and make the commitment in two ways:

1) Take an alcohol break. We have a party bus rented on the 10th for a group birthday party doing some distillery tours, and a 4-night trip to Chicago to attend my graduation the following week...but no alcohol except for those events when I won't be around the kids. I'm already feeling better, sleeping better and losing that desire to build a buzz to "help" with the evening madness of dinner/bath/bed that basically takes up the entire evening. I'm already looking forward to not waking up hungover on Saturday/Sunday this weekend so I can take the boy to some local parks.

2) A huge effort to stop and refocus my priorities...dishes, picking up, loading the car in the morning, etc can wait...my kids need constant attention right now and I have to acknowledge that. I'm also trying to get scheduled with a therapist that helped my wife when her father died unexpectedly. 

Sorry for the long cat post, I already had some problems late last year when battling a newborn and newly minted 3yo, leading to taking Lexapro and Wellbutrin...but it's time to take the next step with some lifestyle changes.

Quote

Why does your wife need to be undisturbed for the 90 minutes it takes her to get ready? (Also why does it take her 90 minutes to get ready?) She can't multitask? When my kids were that age I'd have sold my soul to Satan for 90 consecutive undisturbed minutes at any time, much less when trying to get ready for work. My husband and I tag teamed on mornings we both had to get ready for work (I work from home now so it's moo most of the time) but neither of us would have ever expected the other to do all of the morning duties with the kids when both of us had to work. She could bring the baby in the bathroom and give it a toy or something while she does her hair, makeup, etc. I used to alternate doing the kid morning routine stuff with my own - for example, I'd put on makeup then go get a visual on the children and make sure one hadn't tied the other to a chair or something, then go back and fix my hair, etc.

It's not fair to ask you to do it all yourself when you have to work, too. This would stress me out too, and I'd also harbor a lot of resentment towards my husband, which would lead me to blow my top at some point. No one wins then.

Quote

Well to be fair you're hearing one side of a story...but per Twice a calm talk about it as I tend to internalize it then express it in a way that just makes it seem like I'm doing 'everything'. After work it's a balance if someone with the kids while the other cooks/cleans. She works at a school and has to be there earlier than I have to get into the office + I can work from home easily. But by the end of the school year I'm pretty burnt out on having 5-545 to get myself ready with the rest of the time waking/dressing/feeding/packing kids. 

Per usual it's a mix of external pressures and my own inclination for high energy anxious behavior coupled with poorly expressing myself. 

The baby is much more of a dare devil than my son was, instantly knocking herself over on chairs or trying to chew on power cables so she can't just be plopped down somewhere with a toy. Upstairs we have a closed in play room that's fine for a more lax supervision but it's not practical in the morning rush. 

I'll find a quiet time to talk about it more but right now it's a fact of life given our schedules, her more complex makeup/dressing/diet/etc. but your point is very fair and I'm willing to get up a little earlier if it can reduce the hectic morning stress a bit. 

Gotta keep in mind my recent actions with a few lapses in judgement with the kids makes everything 10x scrutinized but all I can do is manage those situations better and can't control how she feels...

Quote

I get you. It just sounds like you're kind of resentful, so it makes sense to do what you're thinking and have a talk when you're both in a good mood. Maybe she's just oblivious to the fact that you feel like you're doing all the work. Regarding the baby, yeah, they are little terrors at that age. With mine it was all about containing them. Stick them in a walker in a room with the door closed, or bring her in the bathroom and use a baby gate to close it off so she can't escape. We liked doorway jumpers too but I don't know if they sell them anymore.

Quote

You have good insight on the situation, I think. Also experiencing a fair amount of guilt that may not be appropriate. She may also be cutting loose some resentment, now that you aren't neck-deep in school, for your being neck-deep in school for so many years.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Maybe... just maybe, some people are meant to not just live, but to thrive having crossed over the line and who find themselves living in a type of darkness ... an emotional wasteland. Maybe we are required to have the things, or persons we loved most ripped from us as the only possible way to mold us into what we were always meant to become. Perhaps we were destined to have warmth and light taken from us so that we can truly function and accomplish what we were always meant to do.. and to become what we truly are.

Perhaps we are able to construct this rugged, iron exterior, albeit covered in part with rust, because that is the only possible shell that can contain an ocean of immeasurable grief.

And, that journey, in the darkness armed with a steel will while covered in our flawed, iron armor is what we will be remembered for and what we were always meant to be.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


mpu


Football ... Basketball ... Baseball ... Other Sports ... Recruiting ... Gambling ... Movies & TV ... Music ... Hobbies ... Lulz ... Food & Travel ... Daily Texan ... Help ... For Sale ... Politics ... Board Discussion
×
×
  • Create New...