Mental Health Thread

We had one on the old site and I think it’s a valuable enough thing to have here too. A place to discuss mental health and personal struggles with (hopefully) supportive friends and acquaintances. I’ll probably write a longer substantive post sometime soon when I can get my thoughts together a bit better.

This might need a thread in About the Forums or whatever, but I also think it would be a good rule that topics discussed in this thread are not to be brought up in other threads as an attack or an argument tool.

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The not attacking people about topics discussed here should be heavily enforced imo. Mental health issues are very misunderstood and still considered quite shameful within parts of society so it’s understandable why a lot of people won’t discuss their issues publicly.

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Something I’ve been struggling with is that I feel like shit, but that I also think I should feel like shit. Like grinning at a funeral, it’s seems inappropriate to feel good in the face of so much bad going on in the world.

I had a good talk with my wife about this a few days ago, and she thought this was a pretty bad. She even likened it to a form of self-harm. I might agree with her, but it’s a tough cycle to get out of.

Does anyone else read the news and then feel bad about feeling good?

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This is super pertinent. I have no answer but it’s pretty difficult to make a case for being cheery if you are aware of what is going on. That said, I know there is no good to be gained by feeling shitty all the time.

My kids are small. I made the choice to have them. I feel a responsibility to keep them free of the weight of the world because, well, what possible good could come from a 5 and 7 year old missing out on joy?

That applies to us as well, doesn’t it?

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I need to think on this before responding. I also have a young kid and have thought along similar lines. You’ve phrased it well

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I try and think of it as resistance and resilience if I manage to stay feeling good when the world is going crazy. Also knowing that if you’re feeling really bad you won’t be any help in implementing whatever positive change that you can.

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I wish I could talk in detail. I have a lot to say and a lot going on with me lately. However, it has been used against me in the past more than once. Maybe I make a gimmick.

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I think it’s helpful to frame the problem in a way that is empowering rather than demotivating. If my problem is “Trump is president,” then I don’t feel particularly inspired by my ability to make a difference. If the problem is “Trump’s presidency is creating x amount of suffering,” then I can put my effort into changing that equation to “x-y,” where y is the joy that I create in the lives of myself and those around me.

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I was diagnosed with OCPD and possibly on the autistic spectrum a few months ago. This followed what has been a hellish 2 years for me. I entered a gnarly depressive episode, lost a girlfriend, and have had an extremely stressful job situation for the last year and a half. I can trace the depression back to trump inauguration. I have analyzed this deeply and know why now but I can get into that later.

I have always struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. What prompted the diagnosis was I reached a breaking point and had a falling out with the last few IRL friends I had. I have difficulty relating to people, I have trouble in social interactions, I am a bit weird/odd and have limited interests and strange habits. They are too weird to even get into detail on this account. I’ve had problems with hoarding. I grew up in a really abusive household and was raised by a mom with bipolar disorder and was likely borderline personality disorder.

All this put together led to whatever I am now. I feel so isolated and alone. I feel I cannot relate to anyone and people find me strange and unlikeable. It isn’t just my imagination, I’ve had a few bad experiences lately when I’ve put myself out there. I get that I’m different but I really don’t understand why people find me weird and not normal. My therapist wants me IQ tested because she thinks that is the crux of my problem with relating to people. But I think there’s other things obviously going on.

It’s obvious to me I’ll never settle down and have a normal life. I don’t even want that. I like being alone but frequently feel lonely. I feel no one understands me. It isn’t just depression talking - I struggle relaying my thought processes to people in a way that makes sense. I frequently come off the wrong way. I piss people off unintentionally all the time.

There’s a lot of evidence for the autism, as a kid. I was taken to doctors a lot because they thought something was wrong with me. I had echolalia really bad as a kid which is where you repeat your sentences after you speak. I didnt even know I did it and my mom bullied me for it. As a child I alway got into fights with other kids for being made fun of for being weird. I never knew why, I still don’t.

I have problems drinking and I smoke too much weed. I’m cutting back but it is hard. I don’t feel I have a ton to live for and the worst part is I have everything I could ever want. I am well off, have a good job, and good career trajectory. But this is typical with OCPD people I guess - they are married to their work/careers. This has been typical all my life.

i am taking abilify which is an anti-psychotic that helps with rage/anger. It has helped a lot in my day to day interactions with people but I don’t have a lot of hope anymore. I need to up the doses probably.

I dont even know where I’m going with this post but wanted to share it anyway in case anyone else is struggling, you’re not alone.

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You’re not alone, either.

Around how old are you?

30’s

You and I have different challenges, and I’ll share more details of mine at some point. But one thing I can tell you is I pretty much gave up on having a passable “normal” life/relationship and assumed that everything was going to go in cycles of a few years and then enormous disruption for life. Then I had a full decade where things went pretty well. Well enough that it started seeming normal for things to go well. I’m not just talking about career and stuff.

I don’t want to be trite and say just hang in there and it will turn around, I just want to tell you I 100% guarantee that it can and does sometimes. Things can fall into place in meaningful ways that seem impossible from previous experience. I wouldn’t have believed it myself and didn’t for a long time until I just couldn’t deny it anymore.

Anyway. Be proud of yourself for what you have pulled together already, my man. Don’t discount the accomplishments even if the rewards are not the perfect package in the end we wish they could be. And be kind to yourself.

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I haven’t given up on anything really and a lot of people tell me “oh, you’ll see, oh, you’ll change, oh, it’ll just happen.” all the time. but I am likely well past the halfway point in my life, if family medical history is any indication. I don’t even know what the ideal situation looks like for me. Like honestly, the one I have is probably the “ideal” dream life for me. I have literally everything I can ever want and I am miserable. Any whim I have within reason can be met immediately. I think of having a wife and kids and that loss of freedom terrifies me. I never want that. But the people I see that have that look happy. At the same time, every married person i work with seems miserable.

It definitely isn’t wife/kids. But I’d probably like to have someone that just “gets” me. I think I had that at one point but I blew it and it haunts me a lot. Because I don’t think I’m compatible with a lot of people.

Anyway sorry for rambling had a lot to get off my chest. It is hard to write about even semi-anonymously. I hope to hear from other people here.

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Yeah I understood what you meant and I don’t mean wife and kids are the key. I love my kids and love having them, but I wouldn’t have them today with all this shit going on.

Anyway, if I came across condescending in any way it wasn’t my intent. I know it’s hard to share these things. It really just is the fact that I related to how you felt when you say you lost the best chance you had at someone who gets you and that it’s likely going to be difficult relationships at best going forward. I felt the exact same way and it turned out I just didn’t know relationships could be relatively easy because I’d never seen it, never mind experienced it. But I got super lucky and it proved me wrong.

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J I read your posts and want you to know that I empathize with you and think you’re a good person who I really enjoy interacting with on here. I wish I had some better insight like JT, but I really don’t at the moment. Just wanted you to know your posts and your presence here are appreciated.

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I really want to write a long post and lay out what I’m feeling and how I think I got here but honestly it all just sounds stupid and ridiculous when I write it down. Like, if I had a pain in my knee I wouldn’t question whether actually my knee was probably 95% ok and I’m just exaggerating how bad it is, but I find it really hard to self assess whether things are really as bad as they feel or if I’m just like self loathing and telling myself they’re worse than they are. So, everything after this point may or may not be melodramatic bullshit. Who knows.

Anyway I am really struggling to find happiness in pretty much anything, and it is really bothering me. Like basically 24/7 I feel like really uneasy and have a nagging feeling like there are other things I should be doing or could be doing, but like none of the options feel like they’re going to help. This is maybe a dumb analogy, but like you know that feeling when it’s like 3 AM and you’re sitting at the blackjack/poker table down 500 bucks, and you know that you should just go to bed but you know that’s going to feel bad just laying in the dark with your thoughts, so you keep playing even though it’s not enjoyable and it’s like there is no end point where you’re going to be happy with the decision you make. It’s kind of like that.

I’ve also been dealing with some bad anxiety. Last week there were a few days where I could not move my head or neck because my neck and shoulders were in so much pain from being tense and struggling to breathe. I don’t know why, which makes it worse. In the past I’ve had anxiety attacks and they’ve been over largely stupid things but at least I could identify a trigger. I’ve got nothing right now.

As a side note I have been trying to listen to anxiety self help podcasts at work to help me breathe and, like, function, and I find it so incredibly insulting that every one of them is filled with bullshit pseudoscience and like 5 minutes of ads before the thing even starts. Like I know it’s stupid, but it feels like Jesus I’m fucking desperate enough to be seeking out help from some asshole on a podcast and they don’t even bother to hide their contempt for me.

I just really don’t know what I’m supposed to do, and my support system at this point is basically my wife and cats and that’s it. As wonderful as she is, it feels even worse to have her drop what she’s doing and sit with me when I’m just like curled up on the bed acting like a dramatic teenager.

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The other big difference between mental and physical health is that if you were sure your knee hurt, you’d just go to a doctor and have it checked out. I was in a similar situation to you with just a wife and cats supporting me and my wife asked me to talk to a therapist. I only went a couple times but it helped immensely.

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I agree that a therapist is a good idea. I have had several, only one of which I thought was helpful, but I’m very pro therapy. I don’t know. I just really dread the idea of trying to find a new one, and honestly sitting and talking to a stranger about all of the shit that’s wrong and then realizing that the person is just not equipped to deal with it feels worse than not going at all.

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Anyway, thank you. I appreciate the reply, honestly

The first part of your post sounds like classic anxiety. Anxiety is really treatable - don’t be afraid to take medication. Like you said if you hurt your knee you wouldnt hesitate to see a doctor.

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