16 votes

Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (May 2021)

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.

30 comments

  1. SuperGracchiBros
    Link
    If I see a single more job posting that combines "Entry Level" and "2 (or 3 or 4) Years Experience" I am going to scream

    If I see a single more job posting that combines "Entry Level" and "2 (or 3 or 4) Years Experience" I am going to scream

    15 votes
  2. mrbig
    Link
    I'm okay. Not entirely stable (I never am), but okay. It's kinda amazing how (basically) living with my girlfriend "magically" improves mental health, to the point that I frequently forget that I...

    I'm okay. Not entirely stable (I never am), but okay. It's kinda amazing how (basically) living with my girlfriend "magically" improves mental health, to the point that I frequently forget that I have any disorder at all. She's like the most effective antidepressant or mood stabilizer in the world. This never happened before. Not like that.

    I guess the word for that is "happiness".

    13 votes
  3. [7]
    Ellimist
    Link
    I'm going to my first therapy session this next week. Not really sure what to expect and if I'm being totally honest, part of me is worried that the therapist will tell me things I've already...

    I'm going to my first therapy session this next week. Not really sure what to expect and if I'm being totally honest, part of me is worried that the therapist will tell me things I've already figured out.

    Like.....the sources of my stress are not secrets to me. Why they're stressing me is what I'm trying to figure out. How best to address them. Because if I wanted to go scorched Earth, breaking up with my girlfriend is probably solution number 1. But we've been together 12 years, at this point, and I don't want to toss that sort of relationship unless I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's the reason I feel like I do all the time.

    11 votes
    1. [5]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      That's some pretty heavy thoughts, do you want to share more about why that's #1 on your mind?

      Because if I wanted to go scorched Earth, breaking up with my girlfriend is probably solution number 1. But we've been together 12 years, at this point

      That's some pretty heavy thoughts, do you want to share more about why that's #1 on your mind?

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        Ellimist
        Link Parent
        Sure, for the purposes of this, I'll use her initial "K" Just to be clear, K is a wonderful person with many fine qualities. She cares about people, almost to a fault, and is willing to bend over...

        Sure, for the purposes of this, I'll use her initial "K"

        Just to be clear, K is a wonderful person with many fine qualities. She cares about people, almost to a fault, and is willing to bend over backwards for her family, my family, and friends.

        But K wears her emotions on her sleeves and has zero problem telling anyone and everyone exactly what she thinks whether or not anyone has even asked for her thoughts combined with a bit of a temper. This has lead to K getting into serious conflict with virtually every one of my immediate family members. On two separate occasions, I've had to literally pick her up and carry her out of a situation. One time she was trying to go after my stepfather, the other time it was my brother.

        I'm the complete opposite. I'm diplomatic to a fault. I abhor confrontation and go out of my to avoid it and try to keep the peace. My grandmother used to say I had the "patience of Job" because of how far I'd let my brother push me before retaliating. But, in the last couple years, I've begun to wonder if I've enabled her behavior and now any pushback from me only upsets her and makes things worse.

        Many of my friends no longer hang out with me or have ghosted me completely specifically because of K. They either had issues with her directly or didn't care that I respected her wishes on certain things like spending time together. I wouldn't go so far as to say that she's manipulating me in an effort to isolate me but she is very codependent. There are very few things I can do that she doesn't expect to be involved.

        Just recently, we got into a pretty big fight because K wasn't invited to a dinner I went to with my mother. She felt "excluded" because it was the second time I had gone to dinner with my mother where my girlfriend wasn't invited. The first time was intentional. It was intended to be a mother-son dinner. Something we'd rarely ever done before. The second time wasn't. My mother and I planned dinner earlier in the day and here's the kicker, my mother explicitly asked if we were bringing spouses and K was flying that day. I showed K the screenshot of my mother asking.

        K got upset over not being invited to a dinner she literally couldn't attend because she wasn't even in the same country. There was no intent to exclude K. It's just how things shaped up for that particular day. But no matter how I tried to explain it, she was convinced that it was intentional. Funnily enough, K isn't even that fond of my mother. They've had their issues over the years(what mother and daughter in law don't though?) but K largely only tolerates my mother. I honestly didn't think it would be that big of a deal for her not to be there.

        I've given up hobbies because it's just easier than having to deal with her. I used to LARP but practices were Sundays and K would get upset if the possibility existed that she might have to fly out when I wasn't home. She wanted me to stay at home with her until the very minute she left. Then my time was my own.

        I play DnD but the nature of my job means I have pretty limited availability. I have to check with K to make sure she'll be ok with me going if she's going to be home that day/night. I've outright cancelled going because she was unhappy with the day DnD was going to be played on.

        A couple weeks ago, I went over to my best friends house for a night of pizza rolls and gaming. Just two buddies living out high school for a night.

        They literally negotiated what time I could go over to his house. She was flying out the next day and didn't want me to leave too early. And when I did leave, she was noticeably upset.

        I used to have my Xbox/TV in a different room where I could game and not block the TV she usually watches. She wanted me to move the Xbox into our bedroom so we would "at least be in the same room together". But now I can't play Xbox when she's home because she's usually watching that TV. So I don't play a lot of online games that require chat because I don't want her in the background of my chat nor do I always feel comfortable chatting with her around.

        I know I've painted a fairly bleak picture here but, again, she really is a good person. She's just reached this sort of codependency on me and she does not like being separated from me. She didn't used to be like this and it's starting to wear me down feeling like I can't do anything without her approval or say so.

        There's more but I feel like I've rambled on enough at this point. These are the bigger, most recent issues that bother me.

        6 votes
        1. [3]
          Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          Wow, that's a lot. I appreciate you sharing all that. I think you're correct, K does appear to have codependency issues from what you've described. In the last few years I've had to wrestle with...

          Wow, that's a lot. I appreciate you sharing all that.

          I think you're correct, K does appear to have codependency issues from what you've described. In the last few years I've had to wrestle with my own codependency behaviors, though mine are expressed differently.

          What you're describing is an asymmetric relationship, where you've given up several things that are important to you, simply because they make her upset. And not upset because she objects to the actual activity, but to your absence.

          Have you tried talking to her about these things? Are you able to go to therapy, either by yourself or together?

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            Ellimist
            Link Parent
            I'm starting therapy on this Friday. I'll start going by myself to see how things progress and I'll reassess after some time. As far as talking to her about it, no. It's partially because of how...

            I'm starting therapy on this Friday. I'll start going by myself to see how things progress and I'll reassess after some time.

            As far as talking to her about it, no. It's partially because of how much I try to avoid confrontation because I doubt it would be well received by her. I think, in her mind, she's not doing anything wrong because she's only wanting to spend time with me. And there's nothing inherently wrong with spending time together but it's getting increasingly difficult for me to have time just to myself which is something I desperately need.

            5 votes
            1. Omnicrola
              Link Parent
              That's great! Seeing a therapist has helped me work through a lot of things with my wife, I hope it helps you as well.

              I'm starting therapy on this Friday.

              That's great! Seeing a therapist has helped me work through a lot of things with my wife, I hope it helps you as well.

              5 votes
    2. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      You should know that therapy is generally not about finding things that are surprising (although that certainly happens), it's more about coming up with practical solutions for the things that...

      You should know that therapy is generally not about finding things that are surprising (although that certainly happens), it's more about coming up with practical solutions for the things that bother us. The obvious must be stated nevertheless. And most people already know what's bothering them.

      3 votes
  4. [11]
    sky_Pharaoh
    Link
    I’m down bad :(

    I’m down bad :(

    9 votes
    1. [10]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      What's going on my friend?

      What's going on my friend?

      6 votes
      1. [9]
        sky_Pharaoh
        Link Parent
        Just feels like nothing in my life ever goes right, especially recently. My social life is non existent cause of quarantine and I feel like I’m going insane from the lack of social interaction. I...

        Just feels like nothing in my life ever goes right, especially recently. My social life is non existent cause of quarantine and I feel like I’m going insane from the lack of social interaction. I have no one to talk to about anything so I just have been bottling up everything and it sucks. Plus I’m about to graduate college and searching for jobs is really stressful. My mood swings are also really extreme and I feel like I’m out of control of myself. Just sad and angry all the time :(

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          PhantomBand
          Link Parent
          I have this too atm, kinda became a hermit.

          My social life is non existent cause of quarantine and I feel like I’m going insane from the lack of social interaction. I have no one to talk to about anything so I just have been bottling up everything and it sucks.

          I have this too atm, kinda became a hermit.

          4 votes
          1. sky_Pharaoh
            Link Parent
            Yeah it really sucks, just hoping after quarantine that life gets better from here.

            Yeah it really sucks, just hoping after quarantine that life gets better from here.

            3 votes
        2. [6]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          I see. Dealing with uncertainty is always hard. It's not really possible to escape a certain degree of anxiety. Maybe try reading on Zen? Allan Watt Way of the Zen is wonderful and helpful. Do you...

          I see. Dealing with uncertainty is always hard. It's not really possible to escape a certain degree of anxiety. Maybe try reading on Zen? Allan Watt Way of the Zen is wonderful and helpful.

          Do you have any mental disorder, or are you just talking about regular mood swings?

          3 votes
          1. [5]
            sky_Pharaoh
            Link Parent
            To be honest I think it might be a mental disorder, I haven’t gotten diagnosed with anything yet but I don’t think it’s normal to have mood swings this extreme. Thanks for the book suggestion,...

            To be honest I think it might be a mental disorder, I haven’t gotten diagnosed with anything yet but I don’t think it’s normal to have mood swings this extreme. Thanks for the book suggestion, I’ll give it a shot

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              mrbig
              Link Parent
              You may benefit from a visit to a mental health professional. Few people seek help when they start feeling ill and end up developing numerous symptoms that greatly complicate their treatment. I...

              You may benefit from a visit to a mental health professional. Few people seek help when they start feeling ill and end up developing numerous symptoms that greatly complicate their treatment. I advise you to seek treatment right away in order to prevent great suffering and easily avoidable complications.

              That may be the difference between a quick follow up and an expensive lifelong treatment.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                sky_Pharaoh
                Link Parent
                You’re right, I always considered it but I was too ashamed to go cause I didn’t want to look “weak” or weird. But I don’t want to suffer anymore. Thanks.

                You’re right, I always considered it but I was too ashamed to go cause I didn’t want to look “weak” or weird. But I don’t want to suffer anymore. Thanks.

                6 votes
                1. mrbig
                  Link Parent
                  I delayed going to the psychiatrist for years. A bit due to ignorance, but also for the same reasons as you. I thought daily about killing myself and somehow considered it normal. When I finally...

                  I delayed going to the psychiatrist for years. A bit due to ignorance, but also for the same reasons as you. I thought daily about killing myself and somehow considered it normal. When I finally went to the doctor I had to fix years of damage.

                  You are not weak, but your brain may need some adjustment. You wouldn't be ashamed to seek help for a broken leg, right? The brain is just a part of your body.

                  Seek help, my friend ;)

                  5 votes
              2. 3_3_2_LA
                Link Parent
                +1 on the suggestion to see a mental health professional. Also, steer clear of 'life coaches' as they are not licensed and at best can be no more than accountability buddies. PsychologyToday...

                +1 on the suggestion to see a mental health professional. Also, steer clear of 'life coaches' as they are not licensed and at best can be no more than accountability buddies. PsychologyToday allows you to filter based on your insurance and other parameters, and if money's tight, there's opencollective.
                For what it's worth, personally, I regret not seeing a professional earlier. There were lots of 'habits' in my blind spot that were super self-destructive and it is eye-opening, to say the least.
                HTH and take care!

                5 votes
  5. [7]
    3_3_2_LA
    Link
    Been feeling a bit suicidal on and off after having to deal with the passing away of one of my parents among other things. I'm currently seeing a counselor to help me through this process but it...

    Been feeling a bit suicidal on and off after having to deal with the passing away of one of my parents among other things. I'm currently seeing a counselor to help me through this process but it does suck a lot and I wish it weren't so hard. But c'est la vie I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    I wish I didn't elicit an inordinate reaction from my counselor every time I take about stuff like that because I really need to get shit off my chest and it doesn't help that they seem to misconstrue how suicidal I actually am. I understand that they're probably doing that to err on the side of caution, but gosh, can't I just have an honest conversation?

    PS: Not in crisis or anything

    6 votes
    1. [6]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It's probably worth keeping in mind that your counselor/therapist is likely feeling ethically obligated, and depending on where you live may even be legally obligated, to take any mention of...

      It's probably worth keeping in mind that your counselor/therapist is likely feeling ethically obligated, and depending on where you live may even be legally obligated, to take any mention of suicidal ideation by a client incredibly seriously. And in the event a client does commit suicide while under their care, they may even be held liable if it is determined that they didn't take appropriate preventative measures in response to such an admission. So I wouldn't hold it against them too much for taking it so seriously, and if you need to continue talking to them about the issue it's probably worth trying to make it as clear as possible to them that you're not actually feeling in crisis.

      p.s. I'm really sorry to hear about your loss, and genuinely hope that you manage to get the help you need to work through your grief. ❤️

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        3_3_2_LA
        Link Parent
        That makes a lot of sense; I've often wished that there were a waiver I could sign that could release them from such an obligation but I'm sure there are some ramifications that elude me :) Thanks...

        That makes a lot of sense; I've often wished that there were a waiver I could sign that could release them from such an obligation but I'm sure there are some ramifications that elude me :)
        Thanks for the tip on being unambiguous about my state of mind!

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          I don't know if this is your situation, but a distinction that I found very helpful in talking about my suicidal ideation with my counselor was the difference between passive and active suicidal...

          I don't know if this is your situation, but a distinction that I found very helpful in talking about my suicidal ideation with my counselor was the difference between passive and active suicidal ideation. If it was the passive form where I wanted to die or be dead, but didn't include a plan for how to get there, they could be chill. If there was a hint of active planning, that got taken very seriously.

          3 votes
          1. 3_3_2_LA
            Link Parent
            Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I'm still very new to all this mental health jargon so I'll keep this in mind should I wish to talk about it in the future!

            Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I'm still very new to all this mental health jargon so I'll keep this in mind should I wish to talk about it in the future!

            3 votes
        2. [2]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          There sort of is; It's called a "no-harm/no-suicide/stay-alive/safety contract", and depending on where you live they may still be commonly in use. However, AFAIK, at least here in North America...

          There sort of is; It's called a "no-harm/no-suicide/stay-alive/safety contract", and depending on where you live they may still be commonly in use. However, AFAIK, at least here in North America they have started falling out of favor in recent years (other than in psychiatric discharges) due to lack of evidence that they're actually effective at preventing patient harm, and several complicated legal cases centered around their use having somewhat undermined their perceived effectiveness as a liability shield.

          Regardless, you could still try asking your counselor/therapist about signing one though. Even if it doesn't really provide them with much liability protection, it might at least provide them some peace of mind, and make them feel more comfortable talking to you about your suicidal thoughts.

          2 votes
          1. 3_3_2_LA
            Link Parent
            Oh, that explains the verbal contract they ask me at the end of every session where the S-word comes up! TIL it has a name -- thanks :)

            Oh, that explains the verbal contract they ask me at the end of every session where the S-word comes up! TIL it has a name -- thanks :)

            1 vote
  6. moocow1452
    Link
    Still without job, feeling better on the illness front. Bit of an overactive bladder today in particular, but no pain or other symptoms, and I am getting an ultrasound on Tuesday. Toe also hurts,...

    Still without job, feeling better on the illness front. Bit of an overactive bladder today in particular, but no pain or other symptoms, and I am getting an ultrasound on Tuesday. Toe also hurts, thought it was because I dropped a rolling pin on it six months ago, and it's only hurting now because karma, but after looking at it, I think the toenail was just ingrown.

    Barring anything that shows up on Tuesday, I'm guessing it's primarily an anxiety deal, and maybe I need to put effort into tending to that as well. It's the least I can do considering that I'm between jobs at the moment and have nothing better to do.

    5 votes
  7. Basil
    Link
    I am mostly doing fine. My sleep schedule is still a mess - I go to bed way too late, and quite often wake up way too early considering how late I go to bed. But other than that I am doing quite...

    I am mostly doing fine. My sleep schedule is still a mess - I go to bed way too late, and quite often wake up way too early considering how late I go to bed. But other than that I am doing quite fine. Still anxious about a ton of stuff, but at least not socially anxious, because the world still hasn't restarted.

    I am just getting very tired of how busy I am. I wish I could spend a week not doing anything guilt free. But that's at least two months away. Time seems to really be going by fast, I can't believe we are third of the way through the year. That's kind of good because I will be done with everything sooner, but it's also scary because all of the scary deadlines that are getting pretty close. God I wish I could skip forward a few months.

    4 votes
  8. NoApollonia
    Link
    I'm alright I guess. Most days feel like a struggle, but it's been like that most of my life.

    I'm alright I guess. Most days feel like a struggle, but it's been like that most of my life.

    3 votes