Mental Health: If you're off your dot yourself...

The Deep Hurting gets us all sometimes, particularly if nature didn’t gift you with precisely the right marinade in your brain-pan. Odds are good you found this show as a somewhat depressed, anxious misfit in the first place - at least here you know you’re not alone.

Let’s really get inside ourselves, just run around and have a good time!

In crisis right now? Please click here for a list of resources and reach out. You are not alone.

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Not to toot my own horn, but I’m Type II Bipolar. Yes, I am that lucky, thanks for asking.

That said, it’s mostly under control through the wonderful world of chemistry, so I’m mostly normal apart from also be incredibly eccentric.

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I created this topic when I started writing a gripe but it turned fancy.

I got what seems to be the standard dose of depression and anxiety for my generation, and PTSD on top of that, but that’s all managed relatively well these days. (Related: Medical cannabis has probably saved my actual life and I’ll tell that to anyone who’ll listen.)

As some of you know, I moved to a new state in May! It was a change for the better, but of course the best-case scenario for moving is an expensive, stressful PITA, and I’m single so I do these things all by myself. There was other stuff going on too between late April and late June, including but not limited to my brother’s sudden hospitalization. Basically, a long stretch of days where I woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror, said “I really don’t know if I have it in me to do this,” then went out and did it anyway because it had to get done and no one else was gonna. You know? Those days.

Things have more or less settled down, and boy am I paying for everything I asked of myself. It’s funny, I gave myself tendinitis during that 2-month stretch, and I’ve been grumbling about how stupid long it takes me to heal from an injury now that I’m in my forties. What I’m now starting to realize is that my brain is the same way - older, less elastic, slower to recover.

Having to run on empty and stow all my self-care until later has really done a number on me; I’m finally facing the low-key sadness/fear/anger/general crap that’s been creeping up on me. I’ve been eating too much sugar and drinking too much booze as a quick and dirty “self-care” shortcut, and of course that’s only been adding to the long term mental health deficit. I haven’t meditated, gone for a nice walk, or even had a good cry in months.

I had no plans this weekend and have basically just spent it flopped on surfaces staring at soothing things. It’s helping, but it’s also showing me that I’ve spent the balance in my Non-Crazy Account down to basically nothing and I have some hard saving up to do.

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I am also Bipolar II, or as Maria Bamford calls it, “the new gladiator sandal”. I also have ADHD on top of that, which means executive dysfunction all around. Finally having enough money to hire a cleaning person once a month has been a lifesaver.

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And it’s a wonderful thread you’ve created! We all need to talk more openly about this to de-stigmatize, and to support those we didn’t know needed support!

I’m in the same boat as you with the depression/anxiety/PTSD (so much PTSD), but it is at a manageable level, outside of provocation from violent neighbours, family issues, or sudden housing/food insecurity issues that trigger. A lot of my journey dealing with this has been entirely on my own, because Canada’s (at least Ontario’s) “great socialist health care” is not what anyone perceives it to be - we do have to pay for most things apart from emergency care or basic doctor’s check-ups (if you’re lucky enough to have a family doctor), and an artist’s/educator’s pay is not enough for therapy and meds.

HOWEVER

As a VERY HELPFUL TIP for those suffering from mental health breaks without coverage or insurance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy REALLY helped me to get through those little steps you need to take in moments of crisis. Not to pitch, but the book Mind Over Mood by Greenberger and Padesky is filled with very helpful tools and activities to help get you through the despair to a moment of better clarity where you can rationalize next steps.

MSTies never cease to warm my heart; it’s so important to have each others’ backs! Keep caring! :heart:

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Oh, yeah, well I’m tri… qu… I’m septopolar… type… XXL!

You think they bought it? Yeah, I think they bought it. Free room and board here I come!

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I don’t have any diagnosed disorders, but I had a really bad experience in grad school that did leave me with a persistent level of anxiety (Describing it in writing the first time took four type-written pages). Basically, I now frequently worry about finding out I did something wrong and that I’ll be blindsided with it. I had to tell my new coworkers about that simply because I know it will seem like I overreact to things (and I will be, especially in the beginning). In fact, I already have once. The pandemic didn’t help since doing something wrong could have led to people literally dying.

But getting this new job and moving, while stressful, is something I think that will be good for me. At first, when I got it, I thought about how long I should stay before I started looking for a new job, but after just a week, even with the stress of a new position, I’ve been thinking that this might be where I want to stay.

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I don’t know. I’ve never been convicted, so as far as anyone knows, I’m as harmless as a fly.

I’ve had near-crippling anxiety most of my adult life, but I don’t know. I got “better”? It got a lot better when I stopped using booze to self-medicate.

I also depended on romantic women in my life to make me feel like a person. Nobody got hurt, but it wasn’t the way. I always had sexual partners to validate me. I suppose.

And yet, I always ended up alone, which is the way I wanted it, I suppose.

For me, it’s come full circle and I face myself and the world. I don’t want any panacea or stop-gap. I like it the way it is, because that’s the truth.

/* I’m going to add a late edit, in part because I didn’t want to give the impression that I just through sheer force of will fixed my messed-up brain.

It was a combination of being more rigorous about my use or disuse of alcohol, applying some CBT techniques, and finding a balance between socialization and sitting alone in misery in my house, in a nearly agoraphobic tendency.

And it is still a struggle at times, but 99% of the time now, I attribute my own anxiety/panic disorder to moments when I’ve not been disciplined in my use of alcohol, combined with the associated problem of lack of quality sleep. */

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I’ll also say that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped me a lot with irrational anxieties. In the 90s I got so bad I was having serious issues with just walking out of my apartment to do anything, just thinking about dialing a phone was panic inducing.

I still have issues with depression but a lot of the issues that were making me suicidal in the 90s were banished with CBT.

Pretty sure if I were born now I would have been diagnosed with some kind of autism, but that was not a thing in the 60 and 70s. I can type for hours very easy but talking takes 100% of my brain power and exhausts me pretty fast. When ever I see one of those lists of things people wish others knew about dealing with autistic people about 3/4 of the items I identify with.

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ADHD, here! I was diagnosed back in the '80s before it was cool! Fortunately, because it was caught early, I was raised with a level of understanding that helped me avoid many of the mental issues that can arise from untreated ADHD. Didn’t stop me from getting a healthy dose of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, though. It’s ADHD’s close friend and it comes from the fact that ADHD can cause failure in activities we know we’re equipped to handle. Because of that, we deal with a lot of “Holy crap, I should have been on top of this” type failures which build up so that even the slightest hint of criticism leads to, “Great. What ELSE am I getting wrong!?” If THAT goes far enough, it triggers a little bit of imposter syndrome, which is the nagging feeling that everything I earned was just a fluke and one day everyone’s going to realize I’m flawed and then it’s all going to come crashing down.

Generally, I’ve learned to handle it all fairly well, so I’m not a total mess or anything, but all those little issues are always just waiting in the shadows to throw me a big surprise party.

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Well hey, friends! One nice thing about MSTies, no matter what’s going on with you, you’re always in good company.

I think what I was most unprepared for is how parallel mental and physical health are. It’s not something you achieve; it’s something you maintain day by day. You can make choices that are gratifying in the moment, but you’ll pay for them later. Illness or injury can come along any time and set you back, and as the machine gets older, it’s harder to keep in working order. I can wake up in a bad headspace just like I might wake up with a sore throat, and either way I have to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it so I recover.

This all sounds so obvious and dumb when I write it out, but it’s certainly not how I learned about mental health growing up, you know?

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I just suffer from manageable depression, but it always wins when I lose a job and need to convince strangers to hire worthless old me. This has gotten worse with age and 30+ years of experience - what more do I need to do, how many more times. It certainly contributed to my marriage crashing, but that actually turned out very well. I’m not going to thank it, though.

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I need to get back to sleep, but I’ll drop this post here as a reminder to come back and say a bit more.

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This has happened to me at every single job I’ve ever had. I start, realize I have a lot to learn, get overwhelmed and think “I can’t do this, I’m gonna run away and hide first chance I get.” Then I find my feet and realize, oh yeah, I actually know how to do things. But thanks for stopping by, Imposter Syndrome!

Good for you riding it out. It’s not easy!

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I have some sort of work PTSD (I’m really not trying to trivialize PTSD here, I haven’t been diagnosed or anything)- I have had so many terrible and abusive bosses that, even though my current bosses are really nice, I’m constantly waiting for them to get angry and yell at me. Like every single day I have anxiety about that despite knowing it won’t happen. I don’t know what to categorize that as.

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I think it’s called catastrophizing, and it’s a pain.

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I called that the Shawshank syndrome when I had that experience. “Institutionalized” to that behavior so that when you go someplace new, you think that’s the norm until they tell you the equivalent of: “You don’t have to ask up every time you want to take a leak”.

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I just hope it goes away eventually, because I’ve been at this job well over a year now.

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It took me 2…

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