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HelenaExMachina

Mental Wellbeing Thread

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10 hours ago, Buckwheat said:

So I don't usually feel it is my place to post in this thread, as I am generally mentally an okayish-adjusted person and don't need specific help and stuff, but ... I am not feeling well these days at all. I am stuck in a city I don't want to be in because I associate it with bad things and feel like I am being rejected by the place. I don't know almost anybody here, and definitely nobody personally. I am only supposed to be here to study, so sit in the library and read and write a paper, and the loneliness is getting to me. I don't have anything to do apart from work, and that doesn't really require me to communicate with anybody, and I don't have anybody to communicate with. I am staying a little under three weeks in total, which is not enough to meet and make new friends, and I am feeling guilty if I take half a day off because I am not doing the best I can with the opportunity of being here ... but I am just sick of researching all the time, I mean, I like my topic and most of the stuff I read is interesting, but just all the time is exhausting. And the terrible loneliness, I literally have nobody here and that makes me feel terrible, every day more.

Nine nights remaining ... yes, I am totally counting down, basically from like the second day here. I cannot wait to leave here. I got scared of my own thoughts a few days ago. 

Hugs, lots. That sucks, and its also really familiar. I guess I can say I travel a fair amount for work/research at this point, usually for that kind of 3-6 week stretch, and even when I'm working on fairly intensive team projects, the amount of alone time always becomes overwhelming, fast, much less research, much less archive/library work, which I don't do. But have-their-shit-together friends of mine that do always seem to make a proper vacation of it, plan lots of evening activities, and often drag along a partner/kid/even parents. The loneliness of spending weeks in an archive is very, very real.

That bored, antsy doldrum feeling and lack of structure and finding yourself wandering around alone evening after evening and gradually forgetting what normal human interactions are actually like are the part really no one ever talks about when traveling. (I want to say it gets better, but I was counting down the days by my second week in on a project earlier this summer.) I'd say its also totally normal though, I think. And the sense that what you're doing is supposed to be exciting and interesting and an opportunity, and you're not taking full advantage of it, just makes things worse.

I know this is trite advice, but it is possible to kind of 'force' these things - its not perfect, but going to like a couchsurfing meeting or a meetup group or a write-in group (look those up, these may be your people and you'll still be working so no guilt) can help just to break up the stretch of alone time and help to turn the analytic thinking brain off a bit. Social interactions that are fleeting and diverse maybe aren't deep meaningful friendships, but they can be fun too and kind of part of the travel experience. I mean, it can backfire - I've been places where community life was so reticent and limited that trying to fit into it was so despiriting it made me feel worse about myself, but hopefully you're not in that kind of place, and anyway in retrospect I realize it was the place, not me and its just more fodder for 'well, I survived that too.' (And then the place earlier this summer I was down to tindering people on nearby closed military bases. And, well, I survived that too.)

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Thanks, Datepalm. I am glad I am not the only one who feels that way. Usually I feel way better in the morning, when I am still well-rested (although I don't sleep that well most nights), and then in the evening, the tiredness and the loneliness kick in together.

So today I feel better because:

- I sent what I deem is a finished paper to two professors (one of them emailed me back straightaway, which made me feel better as well)
- it looks like it is not going to rain anymore - the weather we had till now was terrible, way too cold for July, and I like summer
- it is Sunday and every day is a day closer I am going to leave this place and visit good friends in Vienna!

I tried to join a board game group here, but now it looks like they won't have any open events until after I leave (yay, that means I am leaving soon, yes?), and there doesn't seem to be a working couchsurfing meet-up group here ... hmmmm. Also, I am terrible at fleeting conversations and meetings, I just really miss time with people I feel close to and trust. But I talk to my family almost every day, so that helps.

And I think I am going to make a more touristy day out of Tuesday.

Aaaaaanyway, thanks for the detailed answer, and thanks, board, for providing me with a space where I can share all this ...

Edited by Buckwheat

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You might also look for people on this board who live close to where-ever you are right now. Sure, it's still getting to know new people, but there should be less time wasted looking for common interests.

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4 minutes ago, The guy from the Vale said:

You might also look for people on this board who live close to where-ever you are right now. Sure, it's still getting to know new people, but there should be less time wasted looking for common interests.

Also an idea ... don't think I've ever spoken to somebody from near here on the board ... am in south-western Germany ...

Edited by Buckwheat

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In that case, I'd recommend cleaning up your messages folder and writing to me with a few more details like where exactly you are and how long you are going to be there, because most of SW Germany is easy for me to reach on the weekends at least ;)

Edited by The guy from the Vale

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57 minutes ago, The guy from the Vale said:

In that case, I'd recommend cleaning up your messages folder and writing to me with a few more details like where exactly you are and how long you are going to be there, because most of SW Germany is easy for me to reach on the weekends at least ;)

Done. Turns out I still had a bunch of messages from the last pictionary clogging up my inbox.

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So, I wish to ask the Westeros brain trust something.

A friend of mine just found out his girlfriend is pregnant and he's gonna have his second kid. Normally id be 100% happy for him.

The problem is that he has heavy mental health issues that he is only just now getting into the process of resolving. Among others he is bipolar, has ADHD, slight autism and to go back to the bipolar bit he has had more than a few bouts of long-lasting depression. Now he has a 3-year old daughter to take care of and another kid coming on top of that.

Should I be happy for him or should I be really worried for his (and his family's) future?

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3 hours ago, Red Tiger said:

So, I wish to ask the Westeros brain trust something.

A friend of mine just found out his girlfriend is pregnant and he's gonna have his second kid. Normally id be 100% happy for him.

The problem is that he has heavy mental health issues that he is only just now getting into the process of resolving. Among others he is bipolar, has ADHD, slight autism and to go back to the bipolar bit he has had more than a few bouts of long-lasting depression. Now he has a 3-year old daughter to take care of and another kid coming on top of that.

Should I be happy for him or should I be really worried for his (and his family's) future?

If this is something he wanted, you should be happy for him. Unless you know the specific details, and you might well do i dont know, you should assume theyve thought this through. There is nothing inherently wrong with someone with MH issues having children. If he and his girlfriend feel they are well placed to handle a new child then great for them.

 

and i say this as someone who personally never wants kids because i dont want to pass on my awful genetic predispositions

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23 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

If this is something he wanted, you should be happy for him. Unless you know the specific details, and you might well do i dont know, you should assume theyve thought this through. There is nothing inherently wrong with someone with MH issues having children. If he and his girlfriend feel they are well placed to handle a new child then great for them.

and i say this as someone who personally never wants kids because i dont want to pass on my awful genetic predispositions

There was something I failed to mention. He has a tendency to vastly overestimate himself, bite off more than he can chew and cause problems for himself in the long run.

Eh, i'll simply hope for the best. Thank you.

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A close family friend recently passed away and the funeral was yesterday. She was one my aunt's oldest friends, and it was so painful watching this group of women bawl over their loss, especially given that the woman in question was pretty young (early sixties). For me it was strangely cathartic. It really drove home the point that life is short, you could lose someone at anytime, that the same could happen to your friends if you passed unexpectedly and to remember that no day should be lost. We only live one life. Make sure not to waste it.

(fyi not looking for a wave of sympathy posts. I'm doing okay)

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On 7/15/2019 at 5:31 PM, Tywin et al. said:

A close family friend recently passed away and the funeral was yesterday. She was one my aunt's oldest friends, and it was so painful watching this group of women bawl over their loss, especially given that the woman in question was pretty young (early sixties). For me it was strangely cathartic. It really drove home the point that life is short, you could lose someone at anytime, that the same could happen to your friends if you passed unexpectedly and to remember that no day should be lost. We only live one life. Make sure not to waste it.

(fyi not looking for a wave of sympathy posts. I'm doing okay)

Still sorry to hear about that and hope you keep doing okay.

It's really funny (funny-odd, not funny-haha) how going to a funeral like that for someone relatively young brings your own mortality into perspective. Both my parents and my uncle died before they turned 60 (58, 59 and 59, respectively), but I had grown so used to my most-closely related relatives (grandparents, great-grandparents and great- aunts and uncles) living into their 80s or 90s even. 

I turned 41 earlier this month and the realization keeps growing that, hey, there's no guarantee that I'm only at the halfway point of my life; I could very well have less than 17 years left, and that's if I'm lucky. I'm really trying to use that as an impetus to quit taking so much for granted and to start doing the things I've been putting off for so long...which I'll talk about in my next post so I don't hijack yours more than I already have.

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So, since I don't post in this thread much, a little background:

I was diagnosed in my early 20s with ADHD, after spending years during my middle-school, high school and college-before-I-dropped-out time dealing with extreme anxiety and depression, including self-harm and spending more than one 72 hour stint under psychiatric observation. The diagnosis really changed my life, and I went on to finish college, started working and all that. 

I've still dealt with anxiety and depression since then, but never as intense as what I'd dealt with earlier in my life. - that is, until I had a moderately bad relapse into self-harm about 3 weeks ago. I say moderate as compared to the things I've done before; most people who haven't experienced that would probably see it as severe.

I knew the warning signs were coming on, and I'd requested my psychiatrist recommend some therapists for me to talk to, but as usual, either no one is taking new patients, or the new patient waitlist is months long. I did make an appointment, but this happened in the interim.

And I realized it's just all the stress I'm dealing with right now. Work has become a nightmare and there's every sign that this is the new normal. My brother and I have been dealing with my mother's estate for two years, but because she put her estate in a trust and named my aunt as the trustee, and my aunt has basically not really done anything with getting everything distributed since our mother died, it's really weighing heavy on both of us, because we've been needing to sell her house, but we haven't even been told how much cash the estate has to make needed renovations, when those renovations will be scheduled, when we expect a realtor to be contacted, nothing. Then we found out that last year's property taxes haven't been paid, so who knows about the insurance or any number of things. We contacted a lawyer independently, but our only real choice is to sue, which could end up wrecking our relationship with the family we have left.

And work has been horrible. The new policies, pay and bonus scales, vacation changes, and productivity and quality standards (by productivity and quality standards, I mean that productivity standards have increased, while quality standards have tanked - any crap analysis an analyst produces gets signed off on, which is more than a little problematic when your company's sole product is due diligence analysis for CMBSs) have driven off probably about 25% of our experienced management and analysts, morale sucks, the new hire training standards are a joke, and they're using temps as fill-ins as a course of practice to replace those people who are leaving. Favoritism runs rampant, and HR is a joke. 

So all this converged one day where I snapped and reverted back to my old ways. I feel a bit better now, but everything in my life feels like I have no agency and everything feels so absurd, like I'm stuck in a Kafkaesque nightmare. Still going to see a shrink eventually, but also down on myself for such a major regression after doing better for so long.

Anyway, just wanted to get some stuff off my chest. Thanks for letting me vent some.

Edited by The Great Unwashed

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On 7/17/2019 at 4:04 PM, The Great Unwashed said:

So, since I don't post in this thread much, a little background:

I was diagnosed in my early 20s with ADHD, after spending years during my middle-school, high school and college-before-I-dropped-out time dealing with extreme anxiety and depression, including self-harm and spending more than one 72 hour stint under psychiatric observation. The diagnosis really changed my life, and I went on to finish college, started working and all that. 

I've still dealt with anxiety and depression since then, but never as intense as what I'd dealt with earlier in my life. - that is, until I had a moderately bad relapse into self-harm about 3 weeks ago. I say moderate as compared to the things I've done before; most people who haven't experienced that would probably see it as severe.

I knew the warning signs were coming on, and I'd requested my psychiatrist recommend some therapists for me to talk to, but as usual, either no one is taking new patients, or the new patient waitlist is months long. I did make an appointment, but this happened in the interim.

And I realized it's just all the stress I'm dealing with right now. Work has become a nightmare and there's every sign that this is the new normal. My brother and I have been dealing with my mother's estate for two years, but because she put her estate in a trust and named my aunt as the trustee, and my aunt has basically not really done anything with getting everything distributed since our mother died, it's really weighing heavy on both of us, because we've been needing to sell her house, but we haven't even been told how much cash the estate has to make needed renovations, when those renovations will be scheduled, when we expect a realtor to be contacted, nothing. Then we found out that last year's property taxes haven't been paid, so who knows about the insurance or any number of things. We contacted a lawyer independently, but our only real choice is to sue, which could end up wrecking our relationship with the family we have left.

And work has been horrible. The new policies, pay and bonus scales, vacation changes, and productivity and quality standards (by productivity and quality standards, I mean that productivity standards have increased, while quality standards have tanked - any crap analysis an analyst produces gets signed off on, which is more than a little problematic when your company's sole product is due diligence analysis for CMBSs) have driven off probably about 25% of our experienced management and analysts, morale sucks, the new hire training standards are a joke, and they're using temps as fill-ins as a course of practice to replace those people who are leaving. Favoritism runs rampant, and HR is a joke. 

So all this converged one day where I snapped and reverted back to my old ways. I feel a bit better now, but everything in my life feels like I have no agency and everything feels so absurd, like I'm stuck in a Kafkaesque nightmare. Still going to see a shrink eventually, but also down on myself for such a major regression after doing better for so long.

Anyway, just wanted to get some stuff off my chest. Thanks for letting me vent some.

Hey, I’m sorry things are going shit for you lately but I think it’s good you are incredibly self aware of yourself, what’s causing your stress and the tell tale signs of your self harm. Have no advice but just wanted to let you know sending you strength and good thoughts 

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On 7/19/2019 at 2:00 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

Hey, I’m sorry things are going shit for you lately but I think it’s good you are incredibly self aware of yourself, what’s causing your stress and the tell tale signs of your self harm. Have no advice but just wanted to let you know sending you strength and good thoughts 

Thanks Theda, even just that lifted my day a little.

I'm debating on whether to wait for my therapist appointment to come through (almost four more weeks I think), or whether to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist. I could get in to see him sooner, but he wont really be able to do much to help me (he's retiring in a year or so, which is another point of stress...it's difficult in this area - moderately sized city in the U.S. Southwest -  to find a good psychiatrist). I know he can recommend some people for me which will get me in the door more quickly, but if I don't click with those doctors, then it's the long call- and wait- and hope-they're-covered-under-my-insurance slog. Plus, headshrinkers don't do therapy, so that's someone else I have to find and click with. 

Not to mention the shit I'll catch at work for asking off for doctor's appointments on a weekly basis. Last year, over a period of a few months, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, two torn rotator cuffs (one in each shoulder), and a degenerative disc in my neck between c6-c7. 

I requested FMLA since I was going to doctor's appointments and physical therapy several times a week, but I was still working, and then at the beginning of this year requested it again to have surgery on my right shoulder, but ended up only taking a week of sick leave before I was back at the office. A few months later I was in the president of my company's office to push back against some (what I felt were) unfair characterizations made by the VPs directly over my about my productivity and responsiveness at the office. 

Now keep in mind, I'd had surgery two months before, came right back to work and was keeping up with my work even though I was having to leave for physical therapy twice a week. I pointed this out, pointed out my numbers hadn't dropped more than one would expect from someone going on vacation, etc., and that I was originally written out for six weeks until I talked my doctor into changing it to one week. The president of my company referred to my health struggles over the past year as "absenteeism". Even though my numbers were higher last year than the year before and will be higher by about a quarter this year than last year if things keep up this way. 

Now, I'm regularly regarded as one of the best analysts by the higher ups. I train new analysts, implemented a cross-job training program so each sector understands why what each sector needs from the other is important, and catch nearly all of the most important portfolios that we know will be getting a lot of scrutiny from the lenders, borrowers, sellers, and all their legal teams. 

And that's how my very well documented illnesses were viewed. I think that's where the depression at work hit me hard. I'd had some before, but none where I just felt like I was just viewed as replaceable.

But anyway, like I said, thank you, and I am paying attention to my triggers, and I'm just counting down until I can start therapy. The cutting did buy my some time with my mental health - I know it's weird, but it helps for a while.

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Miserable actually - make leaps and bounds in some areas of my poor mental health like my body image, keeping busy so I don’t feel bored and useless. In fact all my internal stuff I’ve been working through and that’s okay...after years of self loathing I’m beginning to just...not hate myself which is great. So all that’s healthy and good 

but I’m also working 6 day weeks, long fucking days with a horrible commute and my car has aquaplaned twice this months d then crashed this morning and is a write off. I’m so fucking tired and just don’t have any fucking money 

its like the universe won’t stop fucking with me and I can’t catch a break 

 

I become more mentally and emotionally  healthy than I’ve ever been, genuinely start to feel like an adult and view myself as a young woman with some value to offer the world and then suddenly all these disasters and money sinks keep slamming right into me!!! Maybe I’m not meant to be happy!!! Damn. I’m CURSED.  My measure my moments of happiness and joy - I don’t shy away from feeling good and excited and and enthusiastic about small things and it’s like the universe tallies up all these little moments of joy and then every now and again when I’ve reached the limit it just sends twice as much shit my way okay I’m aware I sound very paranoid and ridiculous but I’m so fucking tired working a 10 day on the trot work period and have to figure out whether or not to QUIT my job that I actually like which is giving me money to pay off uni because I uhhh...can’t afford to buy a new car and pay off the money I owe university to finish my masters degree which has taken ten thousand years. Can life GIVE me a fucking BREAK and also send me someone to just...fucking...I don’t know...give me a HUG!!!!! I need it so bad!!!!! 

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17 minutes ago, Theda Baratheon said:

Miserable actually - make leaps and bounds in some areas of my poor mental health like my body image, keeping busy so I don’t feel bored and useless. In fact all my internal stuff I’ve been working through and that’s okay...after years of self loathing I’m beginning to just...not hate myself which is great. So all that’s healthy and good 

but I’m also working 6 day weeks, long fucking days with a horrible commute and my car has aquaplaned twice this months d then crashed this morning and is a write off. I’m so fucking tired and just don’t have any fucking money 

its like the universe won’t stop fucking with me and I can’t catch a break 

 

I become more mentally and emotionally  healthy than I’ve ever been, genuinely start to feel like an adult and view myself as a young woman with some value to offer the world and then suddenly all these disasters and money sinks keep slamming right into me!!! Maybe I’m not meant to be happy!!! Damn. I’m CURSED.  My measure my moments of happiness and joy - I don’t shy away from feeling good and excited and and enthusiastic about small things and it’s like the universe tallies up all these little moments of joy and then every now and again when I’ve reached the limit it just sends twice as much shit my way okay I’m aware I sound very paranoid and ridiculous but I’m so fucking tired working a 10 day on the trot work period and have to figure out whether or not to QUIT my job that I actually like which is giving me money to pay off uni because I uhhh...can’t afford to buy a new car and pay off the money I owe university to finish my masters degree which has taken ten thousand years. Can life GIVE me a fucking BREAK and also send me someone to just...fucking...I don’t know...give me a HUG!!!!! I need it so bad!!!!! 

:grouphug:

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So everyone handles stress differently, and I've come to realize in the last year or so that my reaction to extreme stress and depression is to go to sleep. Whenever I'm overwhelmed my response is just to turn off the lights and sleep. Maybe it's because I'm hoping that the situation will feel differently the next day or maybe it's just a way to avoid thinking about things for a little while. Either way I'm apparently neither a Fight or Flight person, but a fall asleep person.

Anyone else experience this?

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On 8/17/2019 at 5:42 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

Miserable actually - make leaps and bounds in some areas of my poor mental health like my body image, keeping busy so I don’t feel bored and useless. In fact all my internal stuff I’ve been working through and that’s okay...after years of self loathing I’m beginning to just...not hate myself which is great. So all that’s healthy and good 

but I’m also working 6 day weeks, long fucking days with a horrible commute and my car has aquaplaned twice this months d then crashed this morning and is a write off. I’m so fucking tired and just don’t have any fucking money 

its like the universe won’t stop fucking with me and I can’t catch a break 

 

I become more mentally and emotionally  healthy than I’ve ever been, genuinely start to feel like an adult and view myself as a young woman with some value to offer the world and then suddenly all these disasters and money sinks keep slamming right into me!!! Maybe I’m not meant to be happy!!! Damn. I’m CURSED.  My measure my moments of happiness and joy - I don’t shy away from feeling good and excited and and enthusiastic about small things and it’s like the universe tallies up all these little moments of joy and then every now and again when I’ve reached the limit it just sends twice as much shit my way okay I’m aware I sound very paranoid and ridiculous but I’m so fucking tired working a 10 day on the trot work period and have to figure out whether or not to QUIT my job that I actually like which is giving me money to pay off uni because I uhhh...can’t afford to buy a new car and pay off the money I owe university to finish my masters degree which has taken ten thousand years. Can life GIVE me a fucking BREAK and also send me someone to just...fucking...I don’t know...give me a HUG!!!!! I need it so bad!!!!! 

I can relate to the keeping busy so I don't feel bored and useless part. I'm a homebody, so trying to keep busy beyond doing house and yard work is a challenge that I'm tackling.

In the past month and a half, I've taken up weightlifting (just dumb bells) and walking on the treadmill again. It gives me a nice mental boost, and I've slowly started to lose the weight I've gained from my medication.

I have a busy and emotional week ahead of me. Tomorrow, I see my Psychologist and Psychiatrist on back to back appointments (if I can find a ride). Wednesday, I begin fall semester with Intro to Art (part time student here, because fuck being burdened with student loan debt), Thursday, I see my autism specialist where we begin to roleplay different social situations so I know how to react and respond, and this weekend attend my cousin's funeral (she was one of the matriarchs in our family).

I'm glad I'm taking things day by day, otherwise I'd be overwhelmed.

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I'm making notes on what I would like to change partly. I have a bit of an anger management deal, so that has got to change. Actually what inspired me to change was a little book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I couldn't do it, nothing much do I do in the first place. (Not typically busy). Could this change that? I'm pretty sure it would. Thinking it was a great book, I actually made plans to do one once. Never fell through though.

A happiness boost would do me good. I've been taking being without a job too rough. Sometimes I would bide the time with smoking. I quit though completely sometime recently. It was my third time trying to quit smoking cigarettes. I feel so much better. My parents are amazing with me sometimes. (Most of the time actually -- it's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with me still a bit, a no-good punk). I use nicotine patches. They are working more than cold turkey. 

I actually have no clue what to do with the rest of my life, and for that, my world just revolves around writing things in notebooks, or collecting books to read later. Sometimes I wish to be a writer. I'm creative enough and have a few ideas for topics. I would like to lose some weight before I start something new. I have gained much weight over the years and I feel like I love to feel my heart pumping when I exercise. It feels great. I would just start with walking and home exercises unless I saved enough money to afford a gym membership. 

But not working makes me upset because I'm with my parents. They know that I'm not currently working obviously. It irritates and pains them to see me not really doing much of anything but reading. I'm also loud sometimes without meaning to be. I think they want me out of their house. 

I'm writing down things in a notebook about stories that I would love to write. I'm not sure if I ever could really write, but it's worth a chance. 'Just make the judgement'. 

I actually want to do away with all caffeine and sugar. Feeling addicted to those too, I would be in a blunder without a jolt of coffee in the morning. But I've got to think about my health. I've low sodium currently -- just went to the doctor -- and I've been trying to cut down on the water, only trying to drink some milk or tea. I get into the old habit though. That is why notes were written. But honestly, I was told to only drink half of what water I was drinking before; I'm still drinking that much on some days like today as I stay up. 

Anyway, "I'm just a messed up girl, looking for her own peace of mind." 

Edited by bad robot productions
put in a wrong word

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I can't speak to your dietary concerns, but have you considered volunteering at a charity shop, or looking for a creative writing group in your area? It might help smooth over your feelings regarding staying with your parents, and provide an outlet for your creativity. I've done both, and I feel that they've helped me counteract my history of depression and low self-esteem.

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