HelenaExMachina

Mental Wellbeing Thread

113 posts in this topic

On 7/12/2017 at 11:44 PM, KingintheNorth4 said:

I posted a comment similar to this in a previous Mental Illness thread, but I can't find it, so I'll type another one.

My mother suffers from Persecutory Delusional Disorder. It's a mental disorder where a person believes that he or she is being harrassed, spied on, poisoned or drugged, being followed, etc. I began to notice signs around summer of 2007, when we lived in Connecticut. My father had noticed it years earlier (they separated in June 2009). When a car drives by our house, she thinks the driver is watching her. When she's driving, if a car is too close to her bumper, she'll think she's being stalked. She used to pull over and give the passing drivers the finger. She has more bizzare delusions. She thinks that someone is coming into our house either moving items around or taking them (items she thinks get are usually just misplaced by her).  She also believes that she is being constantly "gassed" with an unknown chemical everywhere she goes, and has even believed that some of our family members are in on this. I was hoping she would get better once we moved back home to Illinois in 2012, but nothing has changed.

It's impossible trying to reason with her, since it only leads to us arguing, so when she tells me what she thinks is happening to her, I simply  stay silent. Sadly, she's not the only person in my family that suffers from this illness. I have an Aunt and two Uncles (her siblings) that have showed similar signs of having bizzare delusions.

I feel powerless about the whole situation. I really want her to seek help, but I know that she won't since she thinks her delusions are real. My absolute worst fear is her confronting someone and getting violent with them because she thinks they're harrassing her, and end up either getting injured or killed.

It's difficult for me to reply because I relate so much. I don't feel like digging into my own story at the moment, so, for now I will just say that I am so sorry that you are struggling with this. No matter how old we get, we never stop wanting our parents to be our parents- and when we have to take care of them (especially when it is much sooner than we ever imagined ) it feels so isolating. Like all your energy has to go towards worrying about and protecting this person (often from themselves). I'm glad you can come here and talk about this. Hugs. 

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I guess my situation has significantly improved. There isn't really anything that has changed, the weather still sucks, my body is still not in the best shape and my master thesis hasn't moved an inch over the last month and I am getting slightly nervous about the deadline in late october that I expected to not even come close to needing. The main problems were exams and homeworks though, as well as courses that kept me away from the library and bursts of headaches that kept me from staying long in the library when I finally managed to free an afternoon. This is now over, at least, the semester ended with this week and now I have only one small paper and my Master thesis left to do.

Just because I have a better mood my relationship with my mother has improved as well. She has a lot of trouble at work currently with nonsensical intrigues from her collegues that make her think about getting a different job (again, and again because of bullying) and I try to support her. She still lashes out at me at every opportunity due to her own frustration, but for some reason I'm not taking it as personally as I did one or two months ago. It doesn't bother me much anymore and I don't give her any opportunity to turn reproaches into outright arguments.

Well, anyway, the real reason I have come back to this thread is that I was once again confronted with my godawful social anxieties. Thing is, a fellow student with whom I have worked together in an oral exam group just invited this group (apparently including me) to her relatively private farewell party that her parents throw before she goes abroad. And the first thing going through my head is that she cannot possibly have meant to include me, because I'm no 'real' part of any group whatsoever and that it should be best to not presume any belonging to anything and that I should just act as if I haven't been directly addressed. It also reminded me of a scene nearly a year ago when I tagged along with three French studies students with two of whom I am acquintanted with. I felt really, really uncomfortable when in the end the third one went on a long-winded speech about how awesome it was spending the time talking about teaching with 'us' because I was pretty damn certain that she could only mean her two friends and that I could have only improved her feeling by getting rid of myself.

Now it's the same feeling. Despite the fact that she knows the other group members just as little as she does me, which makes it less likely that she did indeed meant to address only her friends like in the other case. And now I am in an odd position. I liked the group. It was the first time that I have thought about keeping in touch with people, even going as far as exchanging numbers as they kept pestering me that I was initially the only one who didn't and now they are talking about meetings during teacher training where we can exchange our ideas. It would be cool to further hang out with them, but the thought that I have simply no right to join them is just too overwhelming. The thought that I'm being presumptuous when behaving as if I were invited...

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My mother. A cliche, I'm afraid, but, still. My mother.

This feels juvenile and trivial, and I probably don't really have a right to complain about it, given that my parents are a lot more attached to the notion of me still living with them than I am at this point, but it's all about context, you know?

So, some college friends of my mom recently moved to Israel from Ukraine, and stayed with my parents for about 1-2 months until they kinda sorta figured life out here. This was all fine, except the bit where my mom threw out half my books. It wasn't even about the books, per se - I came by one day just before they arrived to find the entire apartment rearranged, new lights, new ceiling (yes, fine, the old one had a giant hole in it, but we had herbs hanging usefully from that. It was a sort of constructivist look. I was fond of it. Also didn't care.) Among other things, our book collection - gathered fairly randomly over the years by all my family - had a couple of bookshelves in the kitchen-hall space. She simply tossed most of this out, without consulting anyone, telling anyone, checking in whether any of these books mattered to anyone, etc. I tried to kind of take a deep breath and let it go at the time, because I wasn't living there and anyway I hadn't picked those up in years and all my stuff is on the kindle now, etc, etc.

Now I realized a book I did care about (second hand gorgeous copy of Gormenghast I picked up in like highschool that I actually inteded to finish reading at some point and had some strong memories and personal sentiment attached, as well as being functionally irreplaceable) got tossed. It's not a huge deal, objectively speaking, but its now reminding me of the, you know, ten thousand times my mother has done this, where nothing matters more than what some semi-strangers are going to think of her house and we all cease to have ever existed. We've just had countless episodes where it me and my dad and my sister in various combinations of supressed anger or tears or just bafflement helpessly standing next to some latest scheme or episode of my mom's and just begging to know why she couldn't have just given a head's up, for fucks sake, or just left us out of it. I have no idea how often I came home from school to find my mom half-drunk with some weird russian dudes I've never met before, doing things like making fun of my sister's little kid art to her face (the sister who went on to art school, works in animation - kind of always been a big thing in her life, art) to give them a nice laugh or telling me my work is trivial or calling me fat or whatever its been, nevermind the endlessly under-construction apartment, or the fueds with some neighbour or another (some of them are funny, sure some of them are just a pain to have to live with.) Or the things that randomly get thrown away.

Ugh, I don't know why this is upsetting me at the moment, of all things. Probably becuase I'm living here again for a few weeks. I just kind of know to keep things I care about away from my mother. If she asks me what I'm up to, if its something of value to me and my sense of self in the slightest of ways - it could be a new dress I like or a job interview I'm excited about or a friend who matters to me. Anything - she should not have access to them. She will tell me I'm too fat for the dress (just about in those words), too stupid for the job (very close), and that I should remember my friend doesn't really like me (literally in those words.) I mean, I can see where this is coming from and that she's competitve with me and my sister, and not to take these things to heart, but its still upsetting for all that its predictable. I just...I'm too old to be sneaking out of the house at six in the morning because my skirt is above the knee and I don't feel like feeling too fat and ugly to dare to wear that all day, and she'll make a point of putting that in there if she spots me. But I do.

Sigh. It's a lot to extrapolate from a binned copy of Gormenghast I have opened in three years, but it's there. And probably this could have stayed happily suppressed for a few more years if I was here less. Or forever if I manage to find an ocean to put between us. But that's for later and that's this evening.

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Posted (edited)

Let's pull off the band-aid quickly. I have schizoaffective disorder. People with this disorder suffer from symptoms of schizophrenia  - hearing voices, delusions, paranoia, social seclusion, impaired cognitive functioning, etc.- and a mood disorder. In my case, it is bipolar disorder. I got diagnosed in May of 2014.

I lost all of my then-living grandparents and a cousin - who committed suicide and had bipolar disorder -  in a one year period and I just lost my shit. I went to the emergency room because I started saying to my sister that I was in the Truman Show (like the movie). I got told that smoking pot - as little pot as I had smoked - and cigarettes led to this disorder. Since then I have been in in-patient for a week twice (once just to add an anti-anxiety medication). I have found that I lost my sense of humor and artistic abilities - this hurts me because I used to sell my art.

My situation and condition is not as bad as most people with this diagnosis though. I have a job. I'm on medication. I'm living with my sister in a house that my parents own. And I have tons of support. I go to an organization where I can socialize with people who have mental disorders, and my parents are involved in NAMI.

I don't pity myself. I know that this is a lifelong diagnosis and am prepared for that. I just hope that people are prepared for me! :P

 

My sister on the other hand has just bipolar disorder (can you see that BP runs in the family). She was diagnosed about 10 months before me. She is a lot to handle. She does drugs, is suicidal, and has no job currently and is making no progress towards looking for one. She likes to play the devil's advocate around my dad who is really "set in his ways" and just does it to get under his skin. Sometimes it seems like she has no social graces at all. But when it comes around to her feeling depressed, I am always the one that she says these things like, "If I don't get $100, I am going to slit my wrists because I have nothing to live for" to.

Does anybody have any suggestions on how to handle that or avoid it all together?

I've given in so many times that it is pitiful and I know that she gets more money out of our parents.

 

Edited by ladderjhn
Forgot to add something

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On July 20, 2017 at 3:39 PM, Lady Char said:

It's difficult for me to reply because I relate so much. I don't feel like digging into my own story at the moment, so, for now I will just say that I am so sorry that you are struggling with this. No matter how old we get, we never stop wanting our parents to be our parents- and when we have to take care of them (especially when it is much sooner than we ever imagined ) it feels so isolating. Like all your energy has to go towards worrying about and protecting this person (often from themselves). I'm glad you can come here and talk about this. Hugs. 

Thank you, Char. I'm grateful that this thread exists. I've been wanting to get this off my chest for a long time.

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Posted (edited)

Goddamnit! It's like I am not even allowed to express the tiniest amount of happiness before getting overwhelmed by my anxieties once again, ruining a perfectly fine weekend. Yesterday I just exclaimed that I am glad how much progress I've made with my master thesis, which is now 95% finished and today I just wanted to make a few adjustments so that I can talk with the professor tutoring me about this progress.

Two things happened: First abovementioned farewell barbecue my oral examination group got invited to. That one is tomorrow. Though beforehand the host wanted a confirmation whether we are all coming and suddenly half the group replied that they can't and the other half remained silent, making me fear that I'd be the only one appearing. The idea that I alone as the least social person of our group would go to a party of a college acquaintance so personal her parents are throwing it and in which mostly only close friends and family of hers are invited to, caused me days in which I was worrying whether this would be an acceptable thing to do.

So for once I went against my policy of never ever confronting an outsider with my anxieties and just wrote to her how conflicted I feel and asked her outright whether she wants me there or not, which might be just a craven way of shoving the decision to her, but still better than just keeping her in the dark while I felt myself incapable to make a clear reply. She then immediately agreed with my worries and wished me farewell... which, I think, should be relieving to me. If not for the fact that immediately afterwards the rest of our group replied that they wouldn't come either, making her entire group invitation for naught and making me feel sorry for her getting turned down by even the people I assumed the invitation was actually aimed at and also somewhat guilty since I was the only one without an excuse except my crippling doubts.

In any case. I tried to ignore that and thought to myself that even if I just abandoned one of the very few and very last opportunities of my college life to actually work on building some kind of flimsy interhuman relationships in favor of staying at home as usual, I wanted to make the best of it at least by being productive... and this failed utterly. I wanted to wrap up my master thesis, but instead my mother was lazing the whole day in my room, wanting to go someplace she had to go to since wednesday but instead she is just surfing in the internet, forcing me to work with my laptop in my bed but never actually accomplishing anything worthwhile but to reformat some quotations. I've spent the last 10 hours doing that. Without pause, without any workout, because of my constant anxiety of getting mocked for it. Now I have horrible tensions in neck and shoulder, a massive headache and am just super pissed about my incomprensible lethargy whenever my mother is watching what I'm doing. Damn it. I just really hope that at least it gets better monday when I stop getting constantly reminded of the regrets of a craven.

Edited by Toth

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Lots of love and hugs to all of you.  <3

Datepalm, your post resonated with me.  This sounds exactly like what my mother has done and does.  I love her dearly, but I'm still slightly pissed about the Nancy Drew books she tossed without even asking me if I wanted them.  I mean, all of them.  My daughter has a bunch that she didn't want, so I have those, but it's not the same.  And I feel like a whiner even mentioning this, but I immediately thought of it when I read your post.  The woman is awesome in so many ways, so I just let this one go.

I'm in a very good place these days.  But what's odd and strange to me is how a song, a smell, or a situation can take me back to a few years ago when I was in a terrible place.  I had a situation come up recently where a person reminded me of some really bad times I went through during my divorce and all of the fear, anxiety, depression jumped right back on me.  It took a few weeks for me to shake it off.  I am avoiding that person actively now.

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think i'm genuinely addicted to the internet and social media and it gives me a lot of anxiety and worry 

had  huge melt down on an internet community i was part of recently and it was messy and embarrassing and honestly the whole thing has been a huge wake up call to me 

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I kind of feel like a mess right now. I feel very aimless and my self-worth is taking a huge dive. I'm applying for graduate positions and seem to be getting nothing but rejections, which is emotionally draining for me, and that in turn isn't great for my physical well being...I'm quite often just laying in bed all day, making only brief efforts to get up now and then if my parents specifically come and pester me to do so. I've lost interest in many things, including those I started up again when I moved home to try and keep my spirits up (exercise classes/routines, walking the dogs, tending the garden, baking etc.) I'm being stupid, I know. I only graduated less than a month ago, I'm only 21, it's not realistic to expect my life to fall neatly into place. I know that, if I try and be rational for a moment. But it doesn't stop me feeling like a failure and hating myself for it. I know Toth had a thread on this kind of thing before and I think I commented there too that I feared this feeling. Well, surprise, here it is!

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Sending everyone a ton of love. It's normal to feel frustrated -- anything involving graduate school is a portal to the Void Crab Timeline -- and it's normal to lose one's shit on an internet community every now and again. 

ES -- I love you. I know what it feels like to be dragged back to a bad place that you thought you had left. :grouphug: 

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On Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 5:49 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

think i'm genuinely addicted to the internet and social media and it gives me a lot of anxiety and worry 

had  huge melt down on an internet community i was part of recently and it was messy and embarrassing and honestly the whole thing has been a huge wake up call to me 

:grouphug:   

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On 8/23/2017 at 7:36 PM, Xray the Enforcer said:

ES -- I love you. I know what it feels like to be dragged back to a bad place that you thought you had left. :grouphug: 

Thank you so much, XRay.  I'll be honest; and this is the only place and you are the only people I've said this to - I'm struggling.

I'm happy, love my life, love my relationship, but I'm having problems shaking the ghost of my ex-husband.  Some of you know - I divorced him after 20+ years of marriage.  He was mentally ill, unstable, abusive.  I have some guilt.  Still.  It's actually a good bit of guilt.  Because I'm happy, have moved on, and he's still struggling.  I think he's better - on medication, and taking better care of himself now.  Even our daughter says I had no choice and did what I had to do.  I have never asked her; she volunteered this.  I don't understand why I feel this way.  I didn't do anything wrong but try to survive.    I dream about him, and in my dreams I'm afraid of him, I feel sorry for him, and ultimately am so glad I'm out of it.  I guess it's because I'm coming up on two years since he moved out.  I don't ever ask about him or hear much about him...but I still think about him, and pray for him.

I may go back to Al-Anon.  That really helped me see how egotistical it is to think I can control or cure someone...I dunno.  It's just annoying as hell.

 

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On 2/6/2017 at 8:06 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

A place to discuss your MH struggles with others, offer advice or just unload your problems if need be. Please be respectful, and remember that just because something helps you doesn't mean it's going to help others too.

Awesome idea to have this thread. Just wanted to say that. Personally, I'm much more likely to share my thoughts and feelings, struggles and victories, in a setting like this than actually discussing them out loud. So this is cool to see :) 

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On 8/30/2017 at 4:27 PM, Elder Sister said:

Thank you so much, XRay.  I'll be honest; and this is the only place and you are the only people I've said this to - I'm struggling.

I love you. Guilt is an insidious thing -- and so very illogical. You feel guilt because you think you could have done more -- but with mental illness like what he has, there simply isn't "more" that can help. You think about him because he was a huge part of your life--for a major portion of your adult life--and that's NORMAL AND OK. I think maybe you think you should be "over" this phase, but it's totally OK if you're not. I recommend you hug the dog. He'll be totally butthurt, but it'll be worth it.

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20 hours ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

I love you. Guilt is an insidious thing -- and so very illogical. You feel guilt because you think you could have done more -- but with mental illness like what he has, there simply isn't "more" that can help. You think about him because he was a huge part of your life--for a major portion of your adult life--and that's NORMAL AND OK. I think maybe you think you should be "over" this phase, but it's totally OK if you're not. I recommend you hug the dog. He'll be totally butthurt, but it'll be worth it.

Thank you, my friend.  I have been talking to my AA sponsor and am having to do some serious work on it, which is a good thing.  I've been putting it off, but it's time.

But I am totally going to hug the dog.  He hates it when I do that, but he will get over it. :D

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I've decided that I need to work with a therapist for awhile. This summer has been an unrelenting shitrain of horrors, and I'm to the point where I simply cannot deal effectively with each new stressor. I'm lucky that I have a good support network around me, not just to help me deal with everyday life, but also people who can help me find a compatible therapist (I need someone who is LGBTQ+-affirmative in addition to being, you know, a competent therapist who specializes in grief/bereavement). Who knows if this will even work, but I figure at this point I have nothing to lose.

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2 hours ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

I've decided that I need to work with a therapist for awhile. This summer has been an unrelenting shitrain of horrors, and I'm to the point where I simply cannot deal effectively with each new stressor. I'm lucky that I have a good support network around me, not just to help me deal with everyday life, but also people who can help me find a compatible therapist (I need someone who is LGBTQ+-affirmative in addition to being, you know, a competent therapist who specializes in grief/bereavement). Who knows if this will even work, but I figure at this point I have nothing to lose.

:grouphug: 

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7 hours ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

I've decided that I need to work with a therapist for awhile. This summer has been an unrelenting shitrain of horrors, and I'm to the point where I simply cannot deal effectively with each new stressor. I'm lucky that I have a good support network around me, not just to help me deal with everyday life, but also people who can help me find a compatible therapist (I need someone who is LGBTQ+-affirmative in addition to being, you know, a competent therapist who specializes in grief/bereavement). Who knows if this will even work, but I figure at this point I have nothing to lose.

Do whatever you have to, to seek the help you need.

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9 hours ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

I've decided that I need to work with a therapist for awhile. This summer has been an unrelenting shitrain of horrors, and I'm to the point where I simply cannot deal effectively with each new stressor. I'm lucky that I have a good support network around me, not just to help me deal with everyday life, but also people who can help me find a compatible therapist (I need someone who is LGBTQ+-affirmative in addition to being, you know, a competent therapist who specializes in grief/bereavement). Who knows if this will even work, but I figure at this point I have nothing to lose.

:grouphug: I wish you luck finding a compatible therapist. That is one of the most important parts of therapy for me (I say his having worked with a therapist I did not get along with for six pointless months of my life a few years ago) and I know it can be difficult. But best of luck, I hope it works out for you

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My anxiety has been absolutely crippling lately.

I have a new job starting in October. Notably, I was asked to apply for that job by my prospective boss, so it's pretty clear they want me in that position.

Application papers had to be handed in by last weekend. I managed to get that done. But re-writing my CV, copying my qualifications and filling in the official application forms just brought my impression of myself as a total failure to the fore - while applying to a job I was personally asked to do by my prospective boss, that would stabilize my financial situation and that I've been angling for for almost a year. 

The two days of preparing all that paperwork were a nightmare of nervous breakdowns and massive self-doubt. They sure wouldn't want me for that job anymore after seeing my underwhelming CV I thought, even though I know the prospective boss knows what I'm capable of and wouldn't have asked if he thought I wasn't up to it.

Oh man, I hate my psyche.

 

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