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  • Showing only topics with the tag "mental health". Back to normal view
    1. 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
    2. 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
    3. 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
    4. 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
    5. 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
    6. 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
    7. 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