9 votes

Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (July 2022)

This is a monthly thread for those who need it. Vent, share your experiences, ask for advice, talk about how you are doing. Let's make this a compassionate space for all who may need one.

14 comments

  1. papasquat
    Link
    I'm getting tired all around. I've been doing well the past year from an outside standpoint; I've been on point with workouts, my diet, skincare routine. I look better than I have for years. I'm...

    I'm getting tired all around. I've been doing well the past year from an outside standpoint; I've been on point with workouts, my diet, skincare routine. I look better than I have for years. I'm taking care of my house, and my job.

    At some point recently I just started asking myself "for what"? It's so much work, and I don't know, it's a little juvenile but I think part of me expected some sort of reward for it. I guess the reward is not being out of shape, broke, and looking 10 years older than I am. I can't help the feeling that I'm just frantically bailing out a sinking ship.

    I also feel very lonely lately. I have a ton of friends who I see pretty regularly, but I still feel just... alone a lot of the time.
    I've been dating a woman for a month and a half, and I don't feel well connected to her at all. I don't understand her thought processes, what she thinks about me, where our future lies, or any of that, so while I generally enjoy spending time with her, I always feel like I'm navigating a tightrope. I've gotten advice from my family that I should just communicate. That also seems to be the go-to advice online too, but in my experience, when you're with someone it works with, it just works, and when you're with someone it's not working with, you can talk until you're blue in the face and it doesn't solve anything. These things usually are governed by emotions and instinct, not logic or rationality that can be talked though. Still, I've inquired directly about a lot of this stuff with her and have gotten nowhere. "Do you like spending time with me" is answered with "of course." "I'd like you to start opening up more to me" is met with "Sorry I'm just really bad at talking."

    I haven't truly felt in love with someone until I separated from my ex-wife a year and a half ago, and despite trying with so many people, it all just feels like work. It can't really be this hard to find someone who you're crazy about and who is crazy about you, right? How did our species ever survive if that's the case?

    Work has been another avenue that I'm struggling with. It seems impossible to actually bring my full attention to bear there. I start something and then feel physically incapable of continuing, so I distract myself with the internet. I watch a video while working on something and my work suffers because of it. A project has some requirement, so I do the absolute bear minimum, and put zero pride or sense of ownership into anything I do. It's a stress avoidance mechanism I've been battling my whole life, and I wish I knew how to stop.

    Overall, a few years ago I felt really good about myself. I felt like I was an adult who had his shit together, took care of business, and was extremely successful for my age. I was proud of what I had built, had a plan for a family, and just felt like I was content and in the right place. Now, everything just feels like chaos, like I'm desperately trying to cling onto a handful of sand slipping through my fingers. I try to cup it harder, use both hands, and that stems the tide a bit, but no matter what the sand keeps falling.

    Maybe this is just what aging feels like? I've never discussed it with someone who is older than me because I don't have that kind of relationship with any older people, but I can't help but feel that slow tick of the cosmic clock at almost all moments.

    I was playing a first-person shooter today, something I've done my whole life, and have always been extremely good at. I was a competitive Counter-Strike player back when that game was still in beta. I played a few rounds of Valorant today, and it was visceral, the feeling of sluggishness and slowness now that I'm in my mid 30s. It's silly, but it's just another reminder of most things in my life being in a slow decline.

    I know I have it better than a lot of people. In fact, with the state the US is in, I have it better than most people. I'm straight, white, healthy, male, I make well above the average salary, my job isn't too stressful, I have a house that I own, friends, I'm at least attractive enough for women that I find attractive to be interested in me sometimes, my parents are alive, and I have a great relationship with my sister. All of that makes me feel even guiltier for not being able to just be happy and content. Maybe everyone feels this way? I don't know. It's not like I'm severely depressed or anything. I can get out of bed, do my job (kinda), I have friends and hobbies, I even have fun sometimes. It's just that those things have become less and less common as time goes on, and bouts of me feeling melancholy, or even just absolutely miserable that I have long crying fits have become more and more frequent. I know that my divorce was probably the impetus for a lot of this, but who's to say I wouldn't start feeling this way eventually anyway.

    I don't know. I just want to be happy overall, and I don't see a viable path there for myself.
    This has been a very long stream of consciousness, so thanks for anyone reading.

    12 votes
  2. [3]
    Adys
    Link
    My life has stabilised. I have left behind someone who was just too toxic for me. I am in love with this incredible, perfect Russian woman. The other day she told me she loves me and is crazy...

    My life has stabilised.

    I have left behind someone who was just too toxic for me.
    I am in love with this incredible, perfect Russian woman. The other day she told me she loves me and is crazy about me. Things happened quite fast, we complete each other incredibly well. I don’t even understand how this happened.

    I no longer feel like a mess going from down to up to down constantly.

    I feel like I’m not drowning anymore, its really nice.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      papasquat
      Link Parent
      That's amazing. I'm happy for you. People say that you shouldn't make your happiness contingent on relationships, but there's really something about being in a relationship with someone you're...

      That's amazing. I'm happy for you. People say that you shouldn't make your happiness contingent on relationships, but there's really something about being in a relationship with someone you're really compatible with that stabilizes your life. Having someone you can depend on, even if you don't necessarily need them can feel like finding a rock in the middle of the ocean where you can rest after fighting for your life treading water for a while.

      5 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        Couldn’t have put it better myself. In fact, that’s the exact analogy I’ve used when describing it before.

        Couldn’t have put it better myself. In fact, that’s the exact analogy I’ve used when describing it before.

        3 votes
  3. [3]
    river
    Link
    I did some reflection and basically all I think about is: loneliness, how much I want to not be overweight.

    I did some reflection and basically all I think about is: loneliness, how much I want to not be overweight.

    5 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I felt similar, so at the start of last year I finally mustered up the courage to buy myself an exercise bike to try to fix that. I've been pretty consistent in using it 3x/week ever since, and...

      how much I want to not be overweight.

      I felt similar, so at the start of last year I finally mustered up the courage to buy myself an exercise bike to try to fix that. I've been pretty consistent in using it 3x/week ever since, and even though I haven't lost much weight yet (mostly because I still eat way too much) I do actually feel a lot better about myself now, and my leg strength and cardio has improved dramatically. So if you have the option, and are feeling motivated, I would highly recommend getting yourself an exercise bike too (or whatever home workout thingamajig you find most appealing) and giving it a try.

      p.s. I have mine set up near my TV so I can just drag it over a few feet to watch something while I ride, which has made using it a lot more appealing and enjoyable. Also being able to bike indoors, at home, in private, has been great, since I sweat a lot and hate the feeling of being in sweaty clothes, so prefer to workout in just my underwear... and I would be wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too self-conscious to show that much skin in public or at a gym. :P

      5 votes
    2. papasquat
      Link Parent
      I've never been overweight so I don't know how much this advice can be helpful to you. I did get in very good shape over the past few years from being kind of just skinny and all around out of...

      I've never been overweight so I don't know how much this advice can be helpful to you. I did get in very good shape over the past few years from being kind of just skinny and all around out of shape though, so maybe you can take from this what you will.

      For me, the trick was getting involved in something physical that I enjoy, and there's a nice community around. It was crossfit in my case, but that's not for everyone. Team sports, a competitive weightlifting gym, yoga, martial arts and running clubs are all things that I've heard of that people like. Exercising alone doesn't work for most people unless their dedication and willpower is extremely good. There's no draw to do something you hate, even if you know its good for you long term. Doing crossfit for me is enjoyable. I like seeing how hard I can push myself, I like the people I work out with, and I like the people who coach me. I look forward to going in part because I get to see them.

      That being such a large part of my life; working out with these people multiple times a week just sort of naturally motivated me to do better and better. Most things fell into place stemming from that one decision to try a class five years ago. I built a gym in a spare bedroom that I use three times a week religiously. I hate cooking for just myself, so I signed up for a meal prep service where I pick up healthy meals each week, I track my calories, and I naturally started avoiding foods that I know will hamper my performance. Being healthy and looking good naked is a side effect though, my main motivator is doing better in my hobby. I think that's the only way people get into incredible shape. It can't be solely for vanity or health, those things aren't really measurable, and you can't see results day to day. When you see numbers go up, or you start winning competitions, or people start complimenting you on your performance, that becomes fuel to keep going.

      I'm not a psychologist or personal trainer or coach or anything, those are just my thoughts on what worked for me.

      2 votes
  4. hamstergeddon
    Link
    I'm exhausted. I took on a big project at home, turning a shed into a home office, and it's so tiring. The shed came like 80% of the way complete (it was the old office of the company I bought the...

    I'm exhausted. I took on a big project at home, turning a shed into a home office, and it's so tiring. The shed came like 80% of the way complete (it was the old office of the company I bought the shed from), but there's just so much work that needed to be done to get that last 20%. Running electric/internet from the house, replace the flooring, getting the damn thing level, painting, gutter work, replacing some exterior panels, etc. And the contractor I hired to help with some of that has been doing garbage work and is insanely inconsistent with communication and showing up. My dad and I have ended up redoing some of the work, which annoys me because we could've just done that from the get-go and i'd have saved a lot of money. I will say that at the very least the last few weeks have been very fulfilling because I have something productive to do after work that benefits us as a family.

    And then on top of that I'm juggling two projects at work and for some reason decided now was a good time to get a new job with better pay/benefits. So I've been doing interviews and all the prep work required there. I'm super stressed out about the thought of having to give a 2 weeks notice because of how involved I am in the two aforementioned work projects. I don't dislike my current job or the people I work with at all, so I can't even do a "take this job and shove it". It's just a better opportunity presented itself that would allow me to work with a couple of former co-workers I really like.

    And then my twins just turned 3 and I'm waiting for that to hit me. 3 years of parenthood...it's insane. Baby fever is hitting us because we're insane people who miss having a baby. And then our daughter had some really cute interactions with a baby at her birthday party the other day. She kept running over to check on the baby and make sure he was okay and just idk. Terrible reasons to have a third child, especially when we're just starting to get to a state of normal with having kids.

    All while dealing with the usual mood swings and anxiety that comes with my ADHD and depression. I'm not in a particularly bad mental state or anything, but sometimes I just realize how big the hole I've dug for myself is and I'm just waiting for the water to start pouring in, ya know?

    4 votes
  5. [5]
    Basil
    Link
    I saw a psychologist today. It's something I thought might help me for years, but never actually forced myself to go to one before. A few days ago, I was once again venting to my friend about my...

    I saw a psychologist today. It's something I thought might help me for years, but never actually forced myself to go to one before. A few days ago, I was once again venting to my friend about my problems and later that day while browsing the internet I checked my universities page, and saw that there's a open spot for a psychological consultation in a time slot in just a few days, so I decided to try it finally as there was basically no barrier to do it.

    I am happy that I tried it, but I think it didn't really help me at all. I told them basically my whole life story. I talked about all the things that make me anxious. I also wanted to talk a lot about wanting to change my name, and I did, but they didn't really help me decide at all if I want to do it (I understand that's probably what they are supposed to do). It all felt a bit pointless. They listened and they felt like a good person but it also felt a bit useless. Like I talked about this stuff a lot with my friends already and while it's nice it doesn't really resolve anything.

    I am still happy that I at least tried it, I wanted to do it for years, so I am happy that I finally pushed myself to do it. For some dumb reason I thought that it will change my life, but that is of course very irrational.

    Other than that, it's summer and even though I finished one set of deadlines, there's another set of things I really need to start working on over the summer. Life is just a machine for deadlines.

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The first few sessions with any competent psychologist is typically just the client intake and assessment period. No actual therapy should be taking place in those sessions because the...

      The first few sessions with any competent psychologist is typically just the client intake and assessment period. No actual therapy should be taking place in those sessions because the psychologist doesn't know you, your history, or what your issues are yet. And it's only after being properly assessed that they can work out a therapy plan tailored to you and your particular needs. So you only going to see them once for what was likely just an assessment session, not an actual therapy session, and then concluding that therapy didn't help you and is "pointless/useless", is really premature, IMO.

      Did the psychologist not explain any of that to you, or setup a follow-up appointment with you afterwards?

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        Basil
        Link Parent
        Well, through the university we can have 5 sessions maximum, they know that and also reminded me of that, so they aren't really probably trying to set up for too much of a long term plan. They...

        Well, through the university we can have 5 sessions maximum, they know that and also reminded me of that, so they aren't really probably trying to set up for too much of a long term plan.

        They asked me if I want to schedule a follow up, possibly in two weeks, as they thought I could go more in depth on a few of the topics. I said that I'll think it through and decide later, they did offer some interesting thoughts but I am not sure if I want to go to another session with them, I haven't decided yet. They didn't tell me that they want to organize the sessions in any other way in the future, so I assume the next session would be similar too.

        I am not saying therapy is pointless, just that I didn't really see any real use in this consultation, I don't know what "actual" therapy is like.

        2 votes
        1. Rez
          Link Parent
          If you only have a limited number of sessions available, it would be practical to try to focus on one particular issue you want to "solve", like processing the passing of someone, a traumatic car...

          If you only have a limited number of sessions available, it would be practical to try to focus on one particular issue you want to "solve", like processing the passing of someone, a traumatic car crash, that name change consideration you mentioned, maybe even a specific phobia, rather than doing general venting. If you want therapy as a sort of general "vent and rewire my brain to assuage my depression/anxiety/childhood trauma/etc." type of deal, you'll want to try to find a therapist you can potentially work with for the long-term.

          3 votes
        2. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Ah, I see. That's unfortunate, and now I understand why the psychologist behaved as they did, and why you didn't get much use out of it. IMO with so few sessions available to you, the best you can...

          Ah, I see. That's unfortunate, and now I understand why the psychologist behaved as they did, and why you didn't get much use out of it. IMO with so few sessions available to you, the best you can probably hope for is getting some general mental health advice, advice about one or two very specific issues, or using the time to inquire about other mental health resources/services you could seek out afterwords. That can still potentially be useful, but just needs to be a lot more limited in scope.

          1 vote
  6. lou
    (edited )
    Link
    Well, the autism assessment was a waste of time. They basically told me "maybe you're autistic". I already knew that! Granted, it was free, but being assessed is a very uncomfortable thing. This...

    Well, the autism assessment was a waste of time. They basically told me "maybe you're autistic". I already knew that!

    Granted, it was free, but being assessed is a very uncomfortable thing. This was not psychotherapy, not in the slightest, I was basically a lab rat and there was no empathy or concern for my well being. I was anxious and insecure the whole time, it was emotionally and cognitively draining.

    I expected at least something a bit more concrete, a "yes or no" would be the dream. In the end I was so tired and frustrated I got depressed right afterwards.

    I talked about this process with my regular doctor (psychiatrist) and also about the feeling that something is missing in my current diagnosis[1] and he told me to lookup on schizoid personality disorder, which I did. And there really is a lot there that makes sense. We'll talk about it in the next appointment.

    [1] Things that became abundantly clear with the end of COVID restrictions, and how sad, stressed, and reluctant I was/am to resume social interaction. In many ways, the pandemic was a period of profound relief for me.

    4 votes