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HelenaExMachina

Mental Wellbeing Thread

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My mother's mental state continues to deteriorate. I'd call it full on dementia now. She still remembers everyone who has been in her life for a while. New people she remembers she met someone but if they don't come over frequently she has no idea who they are.

She is just constantly worried about everything. All her life she's been someone who had to know everything that was going on and would not stop asking questions until she got everything straight. She's still like that only now we get everything straight, only a few hours later she forgets. I'll take 2 hours answering her questions...who is her physical therapist...what does she do...who is her occupational therapist...what does she do...why is she coming again didn't she already come by this week? (Both the occupational and physical therapists come twice a week, this has been going on for 3 weeks now.)

She needs to know when the nurses and mental health counselors are coming. She needs to know what all appointments are coming up, when they are and who with. I'll spend over 2 hours going over things with her, I'll write it all down, I'll make calendars.

I'll finally get her settled with what's going on and a few hours later it's all gone.

Every time the mail comes it's an ordeal. She forgets all the bills we get and freaks out each time. She remembers we are paying down some pretty big bills but forgets the financial planning I'm doing to make sure things get paid off on schedule and in the end have to pay as little interest as possible. So she freaks out and is in constant fear not knowing what we are going to do.

Every day I'll spend hours talking to her calming her down and her health care people come over some days and do the same. But then I go away for a while for some badly needed alone time, when I find her again it's back to freaking out and being terrified and in tears.

She wants to know what we do if this happens...I'll have an answer for her. Then it's either what do if that doesn't work? Or flat out "that won't work". There are A LOT of issues going on here, repairs to the house that must be made, paper work that must be done, organizing and getting so much stuff in order...slowly I'm getting it all taken care of...I'm going at the speed I need to go without burning out...I think I'm still burning out though...

I'll give her contingency plans or ideas for other avenues to pursue when she is afraid and wonders what will happen if plan X doesn't pan out, I'll say I'm then plan Y which is a little bit more vague but right now we first needs to see how plan X works out. But then she asks for plan Z and I got to tell her to just stop. She stops....for a while....but then later it's back to not remembering anything I told her about plan X or Y and in a cold sweat worrying that there are no solutions to the issues we are having.

I don't mind taking the time to go over everything with her slowly and carefully, making sure all her questions are answered. But then when a couple hours she's asking the same exact questions, like the conversation we just had never even happened...especially if I'm on to doing something else and concentrating on that...I'll get short tempered and start snapping at her and then come the tears and me feeling like a complete ass.

As you can see, we are getting people in to help us, which has been wonderful, all of them are wonderful ad I owe them so much gratitude...and yes, some of the mental health people are for me too...but still it's getting to me bad and I just need to vent. I don't even mind if this is all tl:dr for everyone, it is just helping my mental well being being able to write this all out.

2 years ago my father passed away. Before that my mom and I shared the responsibilities of caring for him. At least with my dad, he was never a worrier. All his life for him it was "I want this." And his parents, his siblings, then my mom, then me would take care of it. I mean when he was younger he absolutely did his share and more of the heavy lifting, he worked very hard, but it was always on his own agendas and he always needed someone to tell him or give him an idea of what to do. On the occasions when I or my mom just couldn't do what he wanted...he'd sulk, maybe be mean and nasty to us for a while, but he never had this deep seated fear to his code like my mom does.

Back when Frank Sinatra was alive but really getting up there in years and his health was declining, Don Rickles would be one of his friends he'd still see often. People would ask Don how Frank was doing and his stock answer was, "Oh, you know, he has Sicilian Alzheimer's...he only remembers grudges."

That was SO my dad!

Anyway , as my dad's health declined, so did my mom's. It got to the point where I had to take over almost 100% of the care taking, mom just couldn't do it. However, she could still do the dishes, once in a while the laundry, and she could take care of fixing food for herself, getting her own drinks, going through the mail, knowing how to operate the TV.

After my dad passed I was terribly sad, but I did feel like the load on my shoulders had lightened. But it was within a year that my mom went downhill so fast. Losing feeling in her legs so she could barely walk and often fell down, not wanting or afraid to do anything for herself...if I'm off on my own she just won't fix anything to eat, not even the simplest of things or even get up to grab a bottle of water (I usually make sure she has a couple bottles of water and a couple bottles of Carnation Breakfast Essentials...which is like Ensure...in easy reach before I settle down or just needing to have some solitude for a while). And her dementia...it just came on so fast...She never had the best memory,  but it's just gotten so bad now and so fast. It was like in no time I was back where I was taking care of my father but even more so!

And watching TV...first of all she can't get into any drama shows anymore, no movies at all, any of the new sitcoms...I think she's so used to shows having laugh tracks, watching a show and not hearing any laughs is automatically boring, no matter what is going on. So it's old game shows, but mostly just Match Game, and particular sitcoms, Taxi, Wings, Cheers, Mom, Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, Its a Living, Becker, Dear John, The Big Bang Theory...but on just the amount of times I've sat in the living room and seen the same episodes of Two and a Half Men...well that alone can drive a man to eat (cause I don't drink), Oreo...why the fuck did you have to make those new Peanut Butter Choco!are Pie cookies?!! Why?!! Was regular Oreo cookies and Double Stuff being the number 1 cookies in the world just not doing for you?!! Don't even get me started on Pepperidge Farm's thin and crispy cookies!

Of course she always offers me the remote and tells me I can put anything on TV I want...sometimes I do...but I've gotten spoiled, I like watching TV on lap top or tablet where I can peruse Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, You Tube, etc. alone giving whatever I'm watching my full attention.

And my mom is always saying how horrible T V is and there's nothing on...and I'm like, "Mom EVERYTHING is on TV now if you know how to find it. I've got so many shows lined up I want to watch...I don't think I'm going to get to all of them in my lifetime!!!"

And she keeps accusing me of ordering sports packages on TV at extra.cost. I hardly ever watch sports! It's just bundled in with the most practical cable package for her. If it was just me I'd cut the cord completely and just watch streaming content, but mom would be completely lost with that!

We have voice assistance remote, it is the most amazing user friendly thing I've vs ever seen! She can use it mostly with the most bare basic functions, I've written down the channels there's usually something she likes or can at least tolerate. I've written down the show she likes available for streaming that she only needs ask for, about 25% of the time she accomplishes it and I can't believe how proud I am of her.

But I've tried to explain to her what I still think is basic stuff, but she just can't get it. Browsing through Netflix, Hulu, or whatever, how to skip to next episodes, get back to previous screens, stuff that seems so intuitive...but have to talk her through the same steps every single time and tell her what the same buttons do every time, or tell her the same voice commands every single time...and once I leave, she remembers none of it...and then I'm in another room and hear: "Men, men, men, men, manly men men men..."

This so PERFECTLY describes how explaining the TV to her is like. I mean on the nose perfct!

Daniel Stern = My mom

Billy Crystal = Me in the beginning

Bruno Kirby = Me later

 

 

I'm sorry for writing this long maniacal rambling rant in this thread...but it sure feels good to get this all out!

 

tl:dr:   Me = :bang:

Edited by drawkcabi
Typos...spell check loves to make me seem even weirder than I already am...

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Okay I’m done. I googled therapist and seeing prices and decided that I’ll try to give myself one last chance to pull myself together on my own. You know, what would be the first things any consultant would suggest I do? 

Exercise - at least semi-regularly. 
Get better sleep - I have a ton of herbal stuff for that so I just need to drink/take them. 
Get a project/task/goal anything that gives me joy - I can attempt to get back into writing or I can finish/restart my side-table  Spray painting project or I can return to scrapbooking or just make artworks from rubbish I’ve been collecting over the quarantine (mostly takeout packaging) - this might help with perfectionism too as the output is elementary school level at best but the process of crafting had always had a positive effect on me. 
Get out - I will have a job interview in an hour and a half, but I’ll go for a walk after that and I’ll continue to go for a walk every day even if it’s a small one, and I will try to stay conscious of not connecting these walks to any errands I have, I just want to walk for the sake of walking. 
Socialize - this is the trickiest because of Covid (and my having pushed away a lot of people with my Covid anxiety and general bad mood lately) but I might try to reinstate the quarantine Skype calls we had with friends 
Eat better - I can certainly reduce my sugar intake (although it comes with a tremendous amount of guilt as my dad dropped a 40 pieces pack of macaroons on us the other day and I don’t want to hurt his feelings and waste the money by not eating it but I suppose this kinda of attitude is part of my issues so I’ll just not eat the macaroons because I consider that to be better for my selfish self), and increase my fiber intake and try to get myself back to 108 pounds first and then 110 and try to keep that. 
Get off news apps - this is admittedly the worst for me, potentially worse than all the other things combined. So no news. I don’t care about how and at what speed the world is heading toward apocalypse.

And if I do these I should be intact enough to handle the virus, cohabiting with my sister and horrible public moral in the world. And if I’m not, I can still pay for professional consulting. But first I should do all the things I can, shouldn’t I? Because that’s personal responsibility and shit. 

Exhale. Okay okay it’s alllllllll going to be okay. 
 

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I'm actually enjoying life so much more now that I see the light of day. It is just a matter of, "What do others expect me to think, say, do?" I'm a people-pleaser. To love the days of old too....that is what I want now because I just think it all messed me up. That was because of the way I live now. What happens during the day is just some sort of hazardous mess. This cannot be the way I live my life from now on. Nothing sent me into a spiral but intense loneliness. "My name...yes...that is my name." And the need for intimacy. 

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Time flies. Reading three month old posts feels like three years ago. 

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On 9/17/2020 at 5:42 AM, Tywin et al. said:

Time flies. Reading three month old posts feels like three years ago. 

Doing OK? 
 

 

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My mental health is here and there up and down but I’ve done a ridiculous amount of stuff this year that if I actually accomplish them all alongside this bizarre brain of mine I’ll feel like a god damn super woman. 
 

I am convinced that I have ADHD tbh 

Edited by Theda Baratheon

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On 9/20/2020 at 2:58 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

My mental health is here and there up and down but I’ve done a ridiculous amount of stuff this year that if I actually accomplish them all alongside this bizarre brain of mine I’ll feel like a god damn super woman. 
 

I am convinced that I have ADHD tbh 

Mine is all here and there and up and down also. The moments that are actually good seem like needles in a haystack. Somehow I manage. But there are good things like this forum. I see the humor in some things actually, and it seems like I can actually find something that seems like a gold mine when I can. The days just ceased giving me any kind of good moments there for a while. Can't seem to catch a break. I'm just dulling everything and exacerbating the problems with smoking, but that is the only thing that I focus on. It's all dreadful like 100% of the time. And I don't want to let anyone down, but I can somehow manage with the things at my disposal. 

I have a very perturbant and severe mental disorder, that somehow never goes away. It is just always there. It's like it is God's punishment for living with two sins. And I really ceased to believe in religion. But that is just me. I'm so bad. And my two sins were what? Flirting and lying. And feeling so guilty that no one ever noticed me, ever in life. Seriously, "Who are ya?" 

But it is the way it is, so hush. 

Seriously, my parents don't even know why I live here basically. They kept up with the news....?....I think they think I am not who I say I am. 

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Fresh out of a two-hour fight with sister. 

We both lost self control 5 minutes in. I’m dead on the floor, harakiri’d and strangled by my entrails, basically. Most of the fight happened in messages, so at least we didn’t bother the neighbors too much. Except for my crying fits and the rearranging of the shoe cabinet (don’t even ask, at this point shit was just pouring out of me). 

/snip details

 I actually have never ever witnessed anybody bully another human being like that in real life. Maybe in a film. Well she has been masterful at this for years and years. 

Not sure how we’ll bounce back from this. I suppose we have had worse or similarly terrible fights and came back from it so there’s probably hope.

I also suppose this was a very accurate human and modern day version of a fight our dogs had a few weeks ago. One grabbed the other (who was on the terrace) by the left side of his face and ear and dragged him off the terrace through two wooden rail boards spilling blood everywhere. The terrace dog crawled into the garage and up into the house and lay in front of the bathroom door in shock, bleeding onto a cushion, shaking in his own dried blood, face swollen for two hours before we got him to the vet. That’s how I feel right now. (The vet fixed him, he’s fine now)

Well, three hours ago I started a film but I don’t really feel like I could switch back into it. I also don’t think I’ll sleep tonight soooooooo.... I’ll continue to trash this forum with my nonsense because that’s what the internet is for anyway, isn’t it? 

Thank you for reading the first installment. 

 

Edited by RhaenysBee

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1 hour ago, RhaenysBee said:

Fresh out of a two-hour fight with sister. 

We both lost self control 5 minutes in. I’m dead on the floor, harakiri’d and strangled by my entrails, basically. Most of the fight happened in messages, so at least we didn’t bother the neighbors too much. Except for my crying fits and the rearranging of the shoe cabinet (don’t even ask, at this point shit was just pouring out of me). 

Don’t remember the last time I was called a worthless, good-for-nothing, disgusting, pathetic, psychotic piece of shit so much. (No I’m not exaggerating this are the exact words - though translated) But now my 20-year-old sister who can’t do laundry for herself did me the favor to open my eyes onto how pathetic my life is at almost 28 because someone had to and established that she is in every way superior to me and would be ashamed if she were where I am in life at my age. Because I am nothing and even what little I am is entirely worthless especially in comparison to her, but everybody else too. And I kid myself if I think that “running errands” and “being organized” is anything of value (I would like to note here that her entire boujee flat renovation is run by me, the entire housekeeping of the flat she currently lives in is also run and paid for by me and her pets’ care and training is also run and paid for by me). 

 I actually have never ever witnessed anybody purposely humiliate, bully and mock another human being like that in real life. Maybe in a film. Well she has been masterful at this for years and years. So after delivering thirty blows for every blow I landed, I’m down with complete total knock out. Or whatever they say in wrestling. 

Not sure how we’ll bounce back from this. I suppose we have had worse or similarly terrible fights and came back from it so there’s probably hope. As long as I continue to have zero self-respect, anyway. No sane person would tolerate anybody to speak to them in this manner. So I suppose the psychotic part was true at least.

I also suppose this was a very accurate human and modern day version of a fight our dogs had a few weeks ago. One grabbed the other (who was on the terrace) by the left side of his face and ear and dragged him off the terrace through two wooden rail boards spilling blood everywhere. The terrace dog crawled into the garage and up into the house and lay in front of the bathroom door in shock, bleeding onto a cushion, shaking in his own dried blood, face swollen for two hours before we got him to the vet. That’s how I feel on the inside right now. Like that dog in front of the bathroom, shivering in his own blood, numb with shock. (The vet fixed him, he’s fine now)

Well, three hours ago I started a film but I don’t really feel like I could switch back into it. I also don’t think I’ll sleep tonight soooooooo.... I’ll continue to trash this forum with my nonsense because that’s what the internet is for anyway, isn’t it? 

Thank you for reading the first installment. 

 

Why are you paying bills for someone who treats you like crap? I  would cut the ties until behaviour improves.

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13 minutes ago, maarsen said:

Why are you paying bills for someone who treats you like crap? I  would cut the ties until behaviour improves.

They are technically my bills she lives here temporarily. As for cutting ties, I have wanted to do that too many times to count. the longest we lasted not talking was 5 days when we didn’t live in the same place and 1.5 days now we live in the same place. I’m just waiting for her to grow out of it. Or rather, into handling problems with a minimal level of self-constraint and assertiveness. 
We made things up now...

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Sorry you had someone dumping on you. She was full of crap, you know that right? Charge her a lot of rent money...But seriously the best thing to do in the moment is catch youself, do some active listening, then tell them your feelings, and that it’s not okay to talk to you like that and leave. If I could follow my own advice I would be saintly.

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Just had a bout of sleep paralysis and even though it has a scientific rational explanation I can never really sleep or settle afterwards so I put the light on as soon as I felt comfortable enough and able to move and now I’m just lying awake in bed knowing I won’t sleep till it’s light outside. Getting really disrupted sleep lately. Think I need to go on a major phone detox or something. Pissed off because I only have a few more days to do my dissertation. 

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On 9/21/2020 at 2:42 PM, Xray the Enforcer said:

whooo just scheduled my first appointment with a new therapist. I've never done art therapy before, so this should be something new.

My sister is doing an MA is drama therapy, it sounds really interesting. 

Surely the point of therapy is that the more types there are, the more likely you are to find one that will work for you? 

I'm currently managing a member of staff that has had more tragedy in her life than anyone I've ever known, I'm finding it so difficult, I'm basically devoid of empathy. I know she needs help but have no idea how.  I can follow the tick boxes I have to follow but she needs a dedicated caseworker who understands her situation. The OH part of our organisation is massively failing her (outsourced and impersonal), the NHS are no better. 

 

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4 hours ago, Theda Baratheon said:

Just had a bout of sleep paralysis and even though it has a scientific rational explanation I can never really sleep or settle afterwards so I put the light on as soon as I felt comfortable enough and able to move and now I’m just lying awake in bed knowing I won’t sleep till it’s light outside. Getting really disrupted sleep lately. Think I need to go on a major phone detox or something. Pissed off because I only have a few more days to do my dissertation. 

Ugh. 

Sleep paralysis is terrible!

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5 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

I'm currently managing a member of staff that has had more tragedy in her life than anyone I've ever known, I'm finding it so difficult, I'm basically devoid of empathy. I know she needs help but have no idea how.  I can follow the tick boxes I have to follow but she needs a dedicated caseworker who understands her situation. The OH part of our organisation is massively failing her (outsourced and impersonal), the NHS are no better. 

 

Drama therapy sounds fascinating! I'm not sure it'd be for me, but I can imagine a number of my friends who might benefit from it. 

Re: your colleague. That's a really rough situation, and honestly there's only so much you can do as her manager. But it still really sucks when you have a colleague who needs help and it's beyond your ability to provide it (speaking from experience, here). 

It sounds like she might be better served by finding a therapist in a private practice outside of NHS -- in the US (at least in the larger metro areas) there are healthcare collectives who offer therapy to those who need it, usually at reduced cost or free for those who cannot otherwise afford private medical care. Not sure if that's an option for her. 

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Have until Wednesday to do my dissertation, at present I have 12k words of WORD VOMIT I haven’t been able to work the last week severe sunburn headaches tired low energy I’m not sleeping I’ve ruined my scalp from all the stress scratching I can’t ever concentrate I haven’t slept properly in ages I keep getting sleep paralysis I am TIRED I have NO ENERGY I’m FREAKING OUT

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34 minutes ago, Theda Baratheon said:

Have until Wednesday to do my dissertation, at present I have 12k words of WORD VOMIT I haven’t been able to work the last week severe sunburn headaches tired low energy I’m not sleeping I’ve ruined my scalp from all the stress scratching I can’t ever concentrate I haven’t slept properly in ages I keep getting sleep paralysis I am TIRED I have NO ENERGY I’m FREAKING OUT

Have you explained this to your supervisor or chatted to your personal tutor/academic advisor?  I got major stress with physical symptoms a week before my masters dissertation deadline, talked to my personal tutor who discussed with me the options for applying for extensions etc. which I didn't take in the end because I didn't want to prolong the anxiety, but just knowing there were options just in case did help to reduce the pressure.

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8 minutes ago, Theda Baratheon said:

Have until Wednesday to do my dissertation, at present I have 12k words of WORD VOMIT I haven’t been able to work the last week severe sunburn headaches tired low energy I’m not sleeping I’ve ruined my scalp from all the stress scratching I can’t ever concentrate I haven’t slept properly in ages I keep getting sleep paralysis I am TIRED I have NO ENERGY I’m FREAKING OUT

:grouphug:

Try to take a deep breath with the knowledge that you have a lot of people rooting for you!

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