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  • Showing only topics with the tag "mental health". Back to normal view
    1. I'm miserable

      Sorry if this comes out as a stream of possibly unrelated thoughts. I hope it makes sense anyway. If it doesn’t, or does it poorly, then I’m probably already insane. I’ve been lying to everyone...

      Sorry if this comes out as a stream of possibly unrelated thoughts. I hope it makes sense anyway. If it doesn’t, or does it poorly, then I’m probably already insane.

      I’ve been lying to everyone about my situation with regard to university. I didn’t use to be a blatant liar like I am now, but things have gone out of control. I think the last time I actually showed up for an exam was more than a year ago, maybe two. Since then, I’ve been faking going to exams, only to tell my parents and friends I had failed later.

      Despite being in my twenties I’m acting like a child who doesn’t want to go to school, or doesn’t want to take responsibilities in general. There was a time when I genuinely liked what I’m studying at university, but I don’t know if it still holds true now. It’s been a long time since my first year at university and I feel like I’ve lost direction (I should have graduated years ago). Actually, I don’t know what I like anymore, because I don’t have strong opinions on anything. I’m in a loop of denial of my own situation and pleasure-seeking behavior (doom-scrolling, porn, etc.).

      I’ve been thinking about suicide for years, but the fact that I don’t act on it makes me think I’m yet another attention seeking person who’s just pretending to be sick in order to avoid responsibilities. It’s difficult to understand what’s truly going on in my head. It’s very possible I’m lying to myself. Suicide is scary, especially because I have no access to methods that are simultaneously quick, painless and lethal. Though it’s possible that I didn’t research enough. Sometimes I think that If I had a gun, I would have already killed myself. The reality is that survival instinct is very strong, and so is the suffering of those left behind.

      I often think about life as a big scam: you don’t ask to be born, someone else decides that for you. But what if I realize I don’t want to live any more later in life? I’m literally stuck here because killing myself would make other people suffer. Ironically, it would make the very same people who put me here suffer. It’s absurd that suicide is regarded as selfish, when the only selfish act I see here is giving birth to someone who may not want to live. You grow up surrounded by love and stuff to ease your journey into adulthood, only to realize life’s been a joke all along.

      Maybe I’m just an undisciplined whiner: I’m unable to stop eating junk food, procrastinating, or watching (problematic) porn, among other things. There are short virtuously-lived periods during which I sleep and eat well, exercise and read regularly, interrupted by long, dark times during which I’m the worst, letting go of everything. Then there’s a whole bunch of regrets that keep cropping up in my mind (and which happens to increase over time), causing me distress in totally unrelated situations, for example when trying to focus on studying.

      I should also mention that I feel like I’m losing my sense of morality lately. Since I started blatantly lying about my situation it seems like a line has been crossed, and the more I go on with life, the more moral lines get crossed. I also have the feeling that there’s no going back from this, similar to the mantra “once an addict, always an addict”, or the opening of Pandora’s box, so to speak. I feel stupid trying to convey some meaning with such poor examples, but I hope you get it. To be really honest, I’ve never been that virtuous, since I have a fair record of bad things I regret having done, especially in my high school years. It’s possible that I’m just noticing it more now.

      Yeah, I know: I should see a therapist (am doing), practice meditation (kinda did, want to retry that), yada yada yada.

      Again, maybe I’m just whining. After all, I don’t live in a poor third world country. I don’t have any chronic disease (that I know of). I didn’t have a miserable childhood. I consider myself privileged, if you ask me. Maybe I am the result of contemporary society: if I were a peasant in the Middle Ages, I wouldn’t even have the time to dwell on such things. Granted, I would be unhappy in other (probably worse) ways.

      Maybe it’s just that being a loser is easier.

      Wish you happiness.

      22 votes
    2. 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.

      EDIT: More for posterity if somebody stumbles into this.

      Radiophobia was a part of it, but the other part was a sensitivity to sound. The sound design of the game messes with me, and causes me to have a panic attack. It does not happen in FO4, but does in FO3, which uses similar techniques. It doesn't happen with TES4: Oblivion, which is on the same engine from a similar era, but the sounds are different. I don't know what it is, but it did result in me ultimately abandoning the early Fallout series. I can't do it, the joy doesn't outcompete the dread and panic.

      17 votes
    3. 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
    4. 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
    5. 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
    6. 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
    7. 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
    8. 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
    9. Why do people follow social media from those presenting a perfect life when it makes them feel inadequate?

      I've never been one to follow much social media - certainly not the kind that is just a (almost certainly fake) presentation of a perfect life. Someone's highlight reel. But I did catch myself on...

      I've never been one to follow much social media - certainly not the kind that is just a (almost certainly fake) presentation of a perfect life. Someone's highlight reel. But I did catch myself on the other side of this. I spent hours on some days baking or cooking specifically to flex on people with well-crafted photos of the finished food. I still enjoyed it, but once I realized what I was doing I started cooking much more reasonably difficult dishes - so I'm sure it was motivated by a wish to instill envy in others.

      So I think I understand that side of the equation. But I had a more or less captive audience (a Slack #food channel). Can anyone speak from the side of the willing consumer? The avid subscriber?

      14 votes
    10. Does anyone else struggle with existential thoughts?

      I've had derealization since august 2019, and about 1-2 months after that I started having uncomfortable existential thoughts. It all started with super reductionist thinking which made me aware...

      I've had derealization since august 2019, and about 1-2 months after that I started having uncomfortable existential thoughts. It all started with super reductionist thinking which made me aware of nihilism and had me struggle with that for a while before I finally stumbled upon existentialism which basically rendered nihilism void.

      However, after that I read about Sam Harris and got into the whole free will rabbit hole, but nowadays I take solace in knowing that most philosophers believe in free will and think Sam Harris is a goof.

      After that they kinda subsided for a while... but nowadays I freak out over the whole "self is an illusion" thing that's super prevalent in buddhist/drugs users/science circles, and it's by far the hardest to overcome. Like, with nihilism the solution is existentialism, with free will, well, there's compatibilism, but this? It seems like everything skews toward it being true and it deeply scares me. In fact, if it is true indeed, doesn't that automatically render existentialism and free will impossible as well? I mean, existentialism relies on the self and free will to create meaning, so if those aren't real, then the meaning crumbles apart as well. And free will also seems dependent on a self to exist.

      Most people seem to not really care either way when I talk about it with them but for me it's nearly an obsession and I feel like I've discovered some sort of dark secret truth that I wasn't meant to see.

      Does anyone else have this issue?

      26 votes
    11. Replacing ableist and mental health exclusive language (crazy, insane, whack, ...)

      Vernacular mental health terms are used in everyday language as a nonspecific indicator of extreme value judgement or deviation from an expectation or norm. Examples of words include 'crazy',...

      Vernacular mental health terms are used in everyday language as a nonspecific indicator of extreme value judgement or deviation from an expectation or norm. Examples of words include 'crazy', 'cray', 'insane', 'whack', 'mental', and 'retarded'. I think we can criticise the language on numerous grounds:

      1. It normalises poor mental health as something extreme or atypical
      2. Where the language is used to connote a negative value judgement (example 3) it reinforces the association that "poor mental health" = "bad"
      3. It can be triggering to people with mental health issues because of the way they are or their condition is perceived or because of experiences they have had
      4. It can be imprecise, in the sense that there are often more contextually appropriate words to describe the specific quality being discussed

      Examples:

      1. "This new track from Lone is insane!" -- positive use cf. 'extremely good'
      2. "I can't believe Tesla bought all that BTC, that's insane!" -- neutral use, no value or ethical judgement, observing deviation from typical or expected behaviour cf. 'unexpected'
      3. "Trump is fucking insane" -- negative use cf. 'extremely bad'

      Some alternatives:

      1. 'wild' -- I use this particularly for positive and neutral connotations
      2. 'ridiculous' -- for the negative connotation
      3. Something more specific to the context, e.g. "Trump is fucking evil", or "This new track is banging", or "I had a hectic morning" instead of "I had a crazy morning"

      Questions:

      1. Why has 'retarded' faced so much backlash and fallen out of acceptable usage, but other terms like 'crazy' have not?
      2. Are the criticisms valid and do they apply to all of the examples? Are there more grounds to criticise this language on that I have not listed?
      3. Are there other ways the language is used which is not covered in the examples?
      4. What alternatives do you use?
      5. Is use of crazy/insane/mental/... common in non-English languages? If not, what is used instead?

      Thanks for your input! 🙏

      36 votes