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  • Showing only topics with the tag "mental health". Back to normal view
    1. Insomnia, anyone?

      I keep reading about people getting "covid insomnia". You could say, it's keeping me up at night. Really though, it's been getting pretty regular for me. I take xanax once in a while but keeping...

      I keep reading about people getting "covid insomnia". You could say, it's keeping me up at night.

      Really though, it's been getting pretty regular for me. I take xanax once in a while but keeping it to an absolute minimum (no more than 0.25mg, once a week or so).

      I tried the Sleep With Me podcast mentioned by @noblepath. It sort of helped. I kind of like the experience of it, the mindlessness, but I didn't continue past the second night.

      It did give me the idea to just run a youtube video of rain sounds on my tv though, a lot better than what I used to do (leave netflix on some rewatches I know by heart). This is the one I'm currently enjoying: https://youtu.be/_x3hVRSIe2g

      14 votes
    2. I'm stuck in an endless loop

      For several years now (4-5-ish, but hard to pin down when it started), I have been stuck in a cycle of enervation/depression. I don't really like to use the word 'depression' to describe this,...

      For several years now (4-5-ish, but hard to pin down when it started), I have been stuck in a cycle of enervation/depression. I don't really like to use the word 'depression' to describe this, because in my youth (I'm in my early 50s now), I suffered from serious bouts of extreme depression, and by comparison, this is a walk in the park ... so I've gotten into the habit of colloquially referring to is as "ennui".

      The duration varies (a lot), but the cycle is most often roughly 7-14 days long, where 60-70% of the time, my energy, motivation, my ability to focus on and accomplish tasks ... all goes into the toilet, and I spend most of my day reading news, surfing the 'Net, playing video games, watching re-runs, walking about town with my dog, or even just sleeping. The other 30-40% of my time, I feel good -- clear-headed, focused, motivated and energized -- and I spend most of this time catching up on all the stuff I neglected during the ennui phase, and making Grand Plans for the future.

      It is hard to tell, objectively, whether I am getting better, worse, or just treading water ... in part, because the cycle varies enough that it's hard to see any clear trends over anything less than 6-8 month time frame ... but more so because my ability to objectively assess my status is so colored by the cycle itself ... when I am in one of my ennui phases, it feels like I am getting worse or, at best, maintaining. When I am in the manic-ish phase, I feel like I will never feel unmotivated again, and I must often remind myself that it is temporary, and in another day or 3, I will be back in a funk. As objectively as I can be, however, I think I am actually treading water or, possibly, getting gradually worse at a very glacial pace.

      I know the "up" phase of my cycle sounds a lot like the manic- part of a manic-depressive bipolar thing. Maybe it is; as I said, it is hard to be objective. That said, though, I am really, really confident that, prior to the beginning of this, ~5-ish years ago ... that "manic" phase was my normal state of mind. I used to be a very focused, productive individual.

      So ... I've tried many different things to address this. Assorted doctor visits have mostly concluded that either they don't know what the problem is, and/or, I'm exaggerating/imagining it (no doctor has explicitly said this -- it is my interpretation of "we can't find anything wrong with you"). I've tried increased exercise, more time outdoors, more sleep, less sleep, meditation, a wide variety of changes in diet, vitamins/minerals/supplements, etc. I've lost over 40 lbs. I'm currently trying (for a 2nd time) large daily doses of turmeric, and contemplating trying (also for a 2nd time) a round of tDCS self-treatment.

      For context, I am right now on an upswing, coming out of my latest "ennui" phase and feeling optimistic and productive.


      I should also add that I have another issue ... one that I believe is unrelated, but sounds similar when I describe it. This dates back to about 15-16 years ago, and is another thing I have seen many doctors for, and tried various things to remedy. In a nutshell, about 15 years ago, I got dumber. Prior to that, my ability to learn and remember, my executive functions, my ability to deduce, my ability to focus and prioritize and plan ... were all much better.

      Over the course of 12-18 months, I lost a lot of my mental functions. For anyone who has read it, it felt a lot like the tail-end of the book "Flowers For Algernon". The simplest quantifiable example I can give of this is the notion of ... how many things are on your mental shopping list (stuff you need to get at the grocery store) before you realize you better write it down? For me, prior to this loss, my magic "I'm gonna forget stuff if I don't write it down" number was around 12-13 items, that I could fairly confidently remember. Afterwards, that number dropped to around 3.

      At that time, my doctor found a (benign) lump in my throat (a goiter), and ultimately, they removed half of my thyroid. After they removed it, over the course of 6-12 months, my mental faculties improved again, but I feel to this day, that they never returned to anything close to what they were before. My mental "shopping list" number today is around 5.

      Multiple tests since then have repeatedly confirmed that my half-of-a-thyroid is fully getting the job done, and I do not need any kind of supplemental hormone treatment -- with the possible exception of testosterone (ps: I'm a guy), which I tried for a little while -- and dammit, it helped, too -- but then I freaked out and quit once I started reading about side-effects.


      I am writing this explicitly looking for suggestions and advice. Keep in mind, though, that (I'm guessing here), 80-90% of my responses will be "already tried it, didn't help".

      In advance, danke y gracias.

      16 votes
    3. What happened to those mental health threads?

      I think those could be real useful especially now. Sometimes I want to share related stuff but they would not warrant a full thread . It’s possible that they never existed and I’m delusional. In...

      I think those could be real useful especially now. Sometimes I want to share related stuff but they would not warrant a full thread .

      It’s possible that they never existed and I’m delusional. In which case, I think they should be a thing.

      9 votes
    4. Anyone else diagnosed with depression? I need others to talk to

      Hello, So I've been officially diagnosed with depression a few years ago. I am on medication for it and I've done therapy in the past. I am a more functional person than I was, let's say, one year...

      Hello,

      So I've been officially diagnosed with depression a few years ago. I am on medication for it and I've done therapy in the past. I am a more functional person than I was, let's say, one year ago as I've adjusted my medication.

      However there is something that is SEVERELY affecting my quality of life and that is the generalized lack of interest or extreme difficulty in doing almost anything. Yes I've talked with my doctor about this. It's "normal" and we are working on it.

      I don't know many people and COVID-19 took a hit on my already limited social life. So I guess I want to share my experience and hear from others who experience(ed) the same difficulties. When you are trapped in not wanting to do anything, what the hell do you do?

      Recently I've started reading a physical book again. I think it is a good thing for me to have something to do that does not involve a screen. Plus it makes me sleepy if I am a bit tired which, for me personally, is great. Aside from this next experiment, the activities I do the most are playing one or two video games, study for my degree and work part-time.

      Another thing I've started doing is doing the bare minimum in terms of physical exercise. I am working on doing pull-ups (I went from doing 0 to 1,5 =) ) and doing some squats. School and work rob me of a lot of energy so I tend not to exercise. But now I'm trying to at least do something.

      I will try to keep up with this post but I have a tendency to procrastinate on them if I get a lot of replies. Thanks for bearing with me =).

      32 votes
    5. Coronavirus isolation affects your brain — a neuroscientist explains how, and what to do about it

      Social media makes it possible for us socialise far and wide. Reach out to friends online, call your parents, and learn how to practice mindfulness or meditation. Head to the backyard for a dose...
      1. Social media makes it possible for us socialise far and wide. Reach out to friends online, call your parents, and learn how to practice mindfulness or meditation.

      2. Head to the backyard for a dose of nature, or if you're in an apartment with no nature to gaze at, be sure to get to a green space for your exercise.

      3. To help improve your sleep, try sticking to a routine and avoid screen time for at least an hour before bed. And lay off the alcohol – it reduces the quality of your sleep.

      4. Just 10 minutes of exercise may improve our attention for the following two to four hours, so if you're struggling to focus, get that blood pumping.

      5. Give your isolation brain a boost by laying off the high-sugar or high-fat treats. Have healthy snacks on hand instead, like fruit, vegetables and nuts.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-05-08/neuroscience-of-isolation-coronavirus-pandemic/12200144

      6 votes
    6. I'm meta-anxious about coronavirus and the panic it's inducing

      I'm usually the least anxious person among all the people I know, even when shit is hitting the fan. I practically revel in hardships for the problem solving. But, what is freaking me out right...

      I'm usually the least anxious person among all the people I know, even when shit is hitting the fan. I practically revel in hardships for the problem solving.

      But, what is freaking me out right now is this mass panic. It started off as a joke but now it's real, people are literally selling toilet paper on craigslist of whatever. Maybe it's still a joke, I don't know. But mass hoarding of important goods seems to be causing disruptions already, from a lack of toilet paper to a shortage of surgical masks for medical professionals.

      I would like to ask the community here what they think about this and how they expect things to go on. Are we going to have a second-order crisis in supply shortages? Are shipping route delays going to hit us on top of the local supply shortages? Because right now it's feeling apocalyptic, and I'm struggling between not acting like a selfish hoarder but also making sure I can get through this.

      EDIT: Toilet paper is just a prominent example, not my primary concern (we have plenty still). I'm more concerned about e.g. pharmacy goods and produce, since where I live literally 95% of our produce is imported.

      EDIT 2: This article articulates what is on my mind much better: An Infectious Diseases Specialist Reflects on COVID-19

      26 votes