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  • Showing only topics with the tag "mental health". Back to normal view
    1. Six months after lifelong depression

      I've been thinking of writing a follow-up to my post about my now on only mostly lifelong depression. And surprise, this is that post. :) Its mostly stream of consciousness style, but I did try...

      I've been thinking of writing a follow-up to my post about my now on only mostly lifelong depression. And surprise, this is that post. :) Its mostly stream of consciousness style, but I did try and edit it a bit.

      I've realized that I have never had a friend before. I've cared about people, but the trust required to consider someone a friend was something I wasn't capable of. I only realized a few months back that trust is an emotion; it was always a rather cold calculus for me. I would think something to the effect of 'While I trust them not to kill me or physically hurt me...'. I would think a similar thing about best friends, 'Well they are literally my best(think closest) friend'. People have cared for me, but since I couldn't reciprocate, I can't call that a friendship.

      It does explain a lot of things that didn't make sense to me before. Everyone I knew always acted like I hated being around them, and in a sense, they were right. I hated being around people because I couldn't actually connect with them. It was like watching people feast while you are starving. I had to impotently attempt to form connections that were impossible for me, while the other person blissfully formed that connection without even thinking about it.
      I still have issues trusting people, but I have gotten massively better in this regard. There are a few people I consider casual friends now, but I cannot say I have a close friend.

      I also have a fair bit of anger towards people who called themselves my friends. I cannot remember a point when I felt like any of them seriously tried to help me. And its not like I didn't have people who stated they loved me, I've had a few, but that I never felt that love breathed into actions. I imagine I will always wonder if it was just because it was too hidden or if no one ever really tried. I have also realized that I don't think anyone ever realized how bad off I was. To be fair, I couldn't have told you how bad off I was then either, but I have the excuse of not knowing what happiness was.

      I've also realized how little people who have not experienced something like lifelong depression understand about it. I've discussed it with a few people, and even the one's who have been depressed and who have had serious issues, do not understand. In particular, a lot of people will use the phrase 'Making up for lost time' and do not understand how incorrect it is. There is no making up for the lost time; I will have always lived roughly a third of my life devoid of happiness and meaning. Nothing will change that, and nothing could ever remove the weight of that burden. Even if I live my best possible life from now own, it won't make my past self happy. Also of course I want to live my best possible life, but that's probably the most universal desire in existence. And my point isn't to insult the people who use this phrase, but to offer a particular example of what I mean by not understanding.

      This type of comment also implies suffering from being in a bad situation, not suffering from being in a void. (Though I imagine the vast majority of people do not understand the difference) What most people call suffering is being in the dark, a metaphorical, or sometimes literal, punch to the face; something clearly delineated and demarcated. Some moment of shadow within a wider context of light; even if the shadow greatly outweighs the light, there is still both light and shadow. The suffering of the void is a separation from even the dimension of light/dark itself. And it is a hungry void, it consumes everything and turns it into the Same. Even people who have experienced the suffering of being in a void for a time have memories of light/dark as a reminder of what they are looking for. I do want to be explicit here, I don't think suffering is useful or valuable. Suffering doesn't make you strong or interesting, it just fucking sucks. Nothing pisses me off more then when people dick measure with how bad their life has been. I do kinda feel like an angsty teen talking about this, but it is something I have feel so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      I have also been steadily seeing how fucked up some things in my past were. For example, as a 7 year-old I had to learn how to careful couch all my words to avoid pushing my mother to suicide. I realized that not feeling physically safe anywhere is a problem.

      I got a job working at a local restaurant. Its a mediocre job, but I wanted a zero-stress job and it provided that. I have a few coworkers I consider friends, but the one I am closest to just left which is a bummer. I do also feel like I am down with this period of my life, and I just want to move on right now but I still need to wait a bit.

      I am moving to Portland, OR in February. Its definitely the next step I need to take, but its obviously still scary.

      I have been working on some coding side-projects that I have enjoyed. One is a weather alert that only sends me alerts if X condition is met, so if the temperature drops 20 degrees or a blizzard is coming type of thing. I have the core logic working, but I am still working on the notification method. I am also working on a stenography theory that attempts to use semantic relationships instead of phonetics as the base dimension. Its still really, really early, but its in that fun, highly theoretical stage.

      I have realized that I am not actually ugly, but you know a little too overwhelmed to recognize normal people's interest. I was also surprised how enjoyable it is to wear clothes that look good on you. Unfortunately, there is no one I am particularly interested in right now, but at least I would be able to act if I met someone. I also still have no idea how to date; like do you just approach someone and ask them? Is that it?

      This post is much longer then I was originally thinking, so if you read through to the end, thanks.

      12 votes
    2. Flustering quickly, often escalating to panic

      I get very confused and urgent and it can be many minutes before I understand that I'm arguing from nothing but internal stress. It's a maddening habit that everyone around me finds repulsive. I...

      I get very confused and urgent and it can be many minutes before I understand that I'm arguing from nothing but internal stress. It's a maddening habit that everyone around me finds repulsive. I have thought that it would be possible to make friends who could help to intervene when I am losing polite perspective, but I am not sure if this expectation has ever really functioned. I don't want to disavow any responsibility in telling my friends they have to jump in on my frequent malfunctions, that sounds unfair. But I'm not making much progress on getting over myself by myself. What to do.

      7 votes
    3. Any tips for dealing with games that make you too uncomfortable?

      I mentioned in this weeks "What are you playing" thread that I'm starting Fallout: New Vegas. I'm really digging the game, but I'm also having a hard time playing it, mentally. I've got something...

      I mentioned in this weeks "What are you playing" thread that I'm starting Fallout: New Vegas. I'm really digging the game, but I'm also having a hard time playing it, mentally.

      I've got something of a phobia when it comes to nuclear radiation, specifically in the context of, say, a nuclear apocalypse or meltdown. The issue is that any amount of knowledge about nuclear safety doesn't help, the very topic causes anxiety. I use the term "phobia" because I haven't got any rational reason to respond this strongly to this concept, especially since like most people I'll never actually be exposed to dangerous amounts of ionizing radiation. Surprisingly, I have no problems getting x-rays.

      The specific issue I'm having is with the entire setting of Fallout: New Vegas, and the rest of the series, being in a post nuclear apocalypse setting. I get extremely anxious when my Geiger counter goes off, even if it isn't affecting my RAD levels in-game. I flinch when I do something that increases my RAD level like eating or drinking new items, and am paralyzed when it comes to consuming anything that boosts the RAD level, even after reading about the system and how it works. I was wound so tight tonight I blacked out for a short moment when a robot came around a corner and surprised me. I'm not screaming or anything, and it's not giving me nightmares or anything, I'm just panicking even just walking peacefully around the world dealing with minor enemy encounters.

      My current solution is short frequent exposure to the game at appropriate times of the day/night. I want to play this series and at least finish the main stories of the games.

      Does anybody have any similar experiences, and any advice on dealing with this fear and anxiety? I don't see not playing as an option simply because I'm enjoying the hell out of the game, so I'm trying to find a healthy way forward with this.

      17 votes
    4. Adoption isn't happily ever after

      This will probably make some people uncomfortable and even angry, but it needs to be said. Adoption isn't happily ever after. The media loves to portray it that way, especially for foster kids....

      This will probably make some people uncomfortable and even angry, but it needs to be said.

      Adoption isn't happily ever after.

      The media loves to portray it that way, especially for foster kids. Everyone loves the fairly tale story about the poor abused kids that get rescued by the selfless hero foster parents who then adopt them and everything is all good after that. I mean, the kids now have loving parents and a stable home. That's all they need right?

      People love a happy ending. But fairy tales aren’t real and life isn’t that simple. Adoption is messy, and I don't mean the legal process, I mean the actual adoption itself. Adoptive parents aren't selfless heroes, they are regular flawed people just like everyone else, they just happened to choose to adopt.

      These kids have been through bad things that are beyond the imagination of most people who don't have experience with the kids themselves. I hear it all the time. People say "They just need a good loving home". Loving and stable homes are great, but they don't make those bad things go away. Even if the adoptive parents were perfect (which they definitely aren't) these kids will be dealing with their trauma for the rest of their lives.

      And for these kids trauma isn't simple like so many people assume it is. It isn't just bad dreams and sadness. It's rage. It’s frequent meltdowns over the smallest things. Sometimes it’s hurting pets, or even other kids. Sometimes it's trying to burn the house down. Other times it’s stealing from kids at school. Sometimes it’s grade schoolers finding ways to look at porn. Sometimes it’s trying to molest other kids. This doesn’t describe all kids from foster care. It’s not meant to scare you. It’s meant to show you that there’s more than what you see on the outside.

      For these kids meltdowns have a completely different meaning than for most other kids. A meltdown isn't crying and getting angry for 10 or 15 minutes. It can be hours. Hours of true screaming. Hours of punching doors and walls. Or punching us. Or hurting themselves. Total non-compliance. It's a total inability for them to calm down at all. Sometimes we have to physically restrain them for safety reasons. Usually, they have to physically exhaust themselves before they finally begin to come down.

      And it's not their fault.

      And we parents aren't perfect either. Sometimes we scream back at them. Sometimes we escalate the meltdown even more. Sometimes we restrain when it's not necessary. Sometimes we just layer on consequence after consequence, not because it's helping, but because we are mad and caught in a power struggle.

      We take them to doctor appointments. We adjust meds. We get to counseling every week. We literally pull them out of public school because they can't function there. We are usually exhausted. We are often hopeless. We fear they will never have a normal childhood. We fear that they won't have a good life as adults.

      We can never replace their birth parents. They will always miss them, no matter how bad the abuse was. They will mourn what could have been. They will mourn what should have been.

      They point that hurt and anger at their adoptive parents. They say they hate us. They say they will kill us.

      We aren't a fairy tale family. We aren't some success story about the power of love.

      We were the safest option in a bad situation.

      We will always love them as our kids. We will always strive to be there for them, to support them, to give them what they need to have whatever healing is possible.

      For them though this will never be as good as having birth parents that were safe and loving in the first place. This will never compare with what should have been.

      34 votes
    5. Tinnitus is making me crazy

      Everything indicates that the continuous tinnitus I've had for the past 20 years cannot be cured. Up until very recently, I was able to live relatively well with it. White noise was only required...

      Everything indicates that the continuous tinnitus I've had for the past 20 years cannot be cured. Up until very recently, I was able to live relatively well with it. White noise was only required when things got too quiet and before going to sleep. In the last month or so, my tinnitus got much worse. It is hard to quantify this, but it went from a nuisance, something I'm reminded of every once in a while, to an overwhelming presence.

      I now listen to white noise for hours several times a day, sometimes even while watching TV. I try to avoid this, but the feeling of despair is sometimes inescapable. I will make a doctor's appointment tomorrow, but I gotta be honest, I'm not very hopeful.

      A Brazilian celebrity said his tinnitus went way when he stopped eating sugar, so I'm controlling my sugar intake. I sometimes wonder if I could just remove the freaking ear canal altogether, and become half deaf. But then I would be just one ear way from becoming completely deaf. My grandpa was deaf in one ear, and all his brothers were completely deaf. So genetics is against me. Oh, well...

      18 votes
    6. Who am I?

      I'm constantly torn between things. It's like I never have a strong opinion or stance on things. It's like I don't have an identity or values. This has become difficult to sustain mentally....

      I'm constantly torn between things. It's like I never have a strong opinion or stance on things. It's like I don't have an identity or values. This has become difficult to sustain mentally.

      Example #1. I despise Instagram because of the way it transformed people's behavior and because of its privacy abuses. For these reasons, I refuse to have an Instagram account and I don't participate in it. At the same time, Instagram is admittedly essential in today's social life, so I feel I am missing out.

      Example #2. Sometime in the past, I got interested in climate change. I read books, papers, articles... You name it. I changed my lifestyle to better align with the values I had internalized. I started preaching others about the real threat of climate change, about the need for action by everyone. Now, years later, I don't care about all that any more. I believe doom is inevitable, and that there's nothing we can do about it. So I stopped pretending.

      Example #3. I've been an open source enthusiast for quite some time now. This means I run open source software wherever I can. This idea got to the point where I refused to use any software that was not open source, much like a vegan does with food. No WhatsApp, Spotify, Microsoft Office, ...basically any popular software that everybody uses. Over time, I got tired, and stopped caring about open source that much. I'm even thinking about going all-in Apple now (yes, one of the worst enemies of open source you can think of).

      You should have a general idea of how it works by now. One day I'm a diehard Linux enthusiast, the next I don't care at all. One day I delete my social media accounts, the next I create them anew. Not literally the next day, but there's always an internal conflict or a straight U-turn with regard to what I believe in, or what I stand for.

      Especially examples #2 and #3 could be generalized to any hobby, habit or interest I pick up. They eventually fade out or are replaced by other things. Things I strongly believe in suddenly lose their meaning or value.

      I don't know who I am, or what I stand for. What's wrong with me?

      I'm not even sure I'm saying something that makes sense. Maybe I'm just conflating totally unrelated issues about myself in one single post.

      13 votes
    7. Thoughts on SSRIs?

      Hello everyone, I recently got put on some SSRI for my worsening suicidal ideation and honestly I can't believe the difference it's made. It's like a version of myself that I find hard to believe...

      Hello everyone,

      I recently got put on some SSRI for my worsening suicidal ideation and honestly I can't believe the difference it's made. It's like a version of myself that I find hard to believe existed, but can draw parallels with the version of me before I got depressed, etc.

      I'm just curious how I should be viewing these changes in me: Are they really me without depression/anxiety or is it a more lurid exaggerated version of that?

      Any other thoughts on SSRIs in general welcome! I'm interested in seeing Tildians' thoughts on them :)

      18 votes
    8. To all the shrinks I've known before

      Is this what therapy looks like for other people? I can't tell you how often I've come to the edge of sharing the following experiences--destructive, traumatic, bizarre: all the opposites of what...

      Is this what therapy looks like for other people?

      I can't tell you how often I've come to the edge of sharing the following experiences--destructive, traumatic, bizarre: all the opposites of what therapy is supposed to be. For months after the latest incident, I've needed to tell someone. I've struggled so hard with life and with putting things into writing, typing and erasing H-E-L- into the title field on Tildes over and over. Where do you go when therapists are the problem? Then, this morning, I woke up with this idea of squeezing the facts into a lightly comedic lyric. Try as I might, I guess I can't deny my métier. (I can clarify what gets lost in the parody.)

      Sing along if you know the tune and have a high tolerance for aural ipecac from the 1980s.

      To all the shrinks I’ve known before,
      I was ten and your help I begged for.
      You said, “Those aren’t real issues,
      Please spare some of my tissues.”
      You were a shrink I’ve known before.
      To all the shrinks who somewhat tried,
      Who thumbed their whiskers as I cried,
      One had a light-bar toy
      And called me a scared boy.
      He was a shrink I’ve known before.

      The winds of fashion keep on blowing,
      With each conference you attend.
      The only constant is me going.
      What won’t I do for friends!

      To the shrink who said, “talk speedier,”
      Then stalked my social media,
      You came to session with the flu,
      And so I got it too.
      Now you're a shrink I’ve known before.
      One hid his grins with coffee mugs,
      While second-guessing my psych drugs.
      He phoned the very dude
      With whom I had a feud,
      Now he’s just a shrink I’ve known before.

      The pandemic brought us video,
      Any doctor can be seen!
      But it’s the same as ab initio,
      Behind or just off screen.

      To the one who should have HIPAA claims,
      Whose spouse listened outside the frame,
      I heard him eating lunch,
      But you dismissed my hunch,
      Now you’re a shrink I’ve known before.
      To all the shrinks I’ve known before,
      Who apparently could not close doors,
      You broke my fragile trust,
      So say goodbye I must,
      To all the shrinks I’ve known before.

      13 votes
    9. Coming to terms with a lifetime of depression

      I am just coming out of a lifetime of depression. I am 24 now, and I have no memories of an idyllic childhood, carefree adolescence or an exciting college life. Sure there were moments I enjoyed...

      I am just coming out of a lifetime of depression. I am 24 now, and I have no memories of an idyllic childhood, carefree adolescence or an exciting college life. Sure there were moments I enjoyed more than others, but all were consumed by that all encompassing grey void. The one that makes everything have a dreary sameness. The one that steals every good thing and every bad thing, and just makes them both nothing

      I have been crawling out of my depression for the last 6 years. I made small steps through college, but due to a horrible junior year, I fell back a lot in my senior year and the year after that. I worked a horrible job as a phone support technician. However quitting that job was my first step of healing, so that was one good thing I got out of it. I have been unemployed for the last year and a half, which has been the most valuable period in my life. I could do nothing but look into my own pain, observe my own wounds. It fucking sucked. But sometimes the only way is through.

      Being depressed all my life, I haven't really done anything. I am a virgin and I've never been in a romantic relationship; I still feel a bit ashamed and uncomfortable with this. I've only ever had a few friends, though me having any is a bit of surprise. I've never focused on something, worked on it day-in-day. Thinking of all the opportunities I've never had for friends, for quiet moments, for the nervous butterflies of just meeting someone you like, fills me with an overwhelming sense of anguish. It hurts so much to imagine all the possibilities that I could have had if I had escaped sooner. But dwelling on it doesn't help me at all, so I try and not think about it too much.

      Now that I am not being crushed by depression, I am filled with so many conflicting emotions. I am impatient because now that I can experience some of life, I want it all now. I am terrified because I am, for all intents and purposes, a new person who has no experience in anything. I am excited because I have so many first times for so many different things. I am scared shit less because I am unemployed and I don't have a clear path to finding work. I am constantly stressed that everything will come crashing back down around me, and I will fall back into depression. I am happy because I am going to see my best friend soon, for the first time I am on this side.

      I am writing this because I want to say it to people who know nothing about me. I want other people to acknowledge my pain. Its a bit selfish, I know, but I am okay with that. So if you read through all of this, thank you

      And if you are going through depression or even just hard times, please feel free to message me. And no you won't be bothering me, no I dont have better things to do, no I won't judge you.

      27 votes