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Thread: The Mental Health thread - depression, bipolar, ADHD, you name it

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    The Mental Health thread - depression, bipolar, ADHD, you name it

    Thought I'd start this up for anyone here who's ever been diagnosed with any sort of condition that your insurance provider would put into the "mental health" category, or for anyone who hasn't been diagnosed but has questions.

    And on that note, allow me to be the first to ask: for anyone who has been diagnosed with anything ranging from mild depression to bipolar disorder, what was the tipping point for seeking a diagnosis? Did something happen that caused you to switch from "that's just who I am" to "maybe there's a chemical imbalance at play"? Was it your decision to investigate further, or did a friend, relative, or physician encourage you to get a medical opinion?

    I know that this is an extremely sensitive topic for some, but I hope that people will feel comfortable to speak openly here.

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    The Mental Health thread - depression, bipolar, ADHD, you name it

    Tipping point? Leaving my husband of many years. He actually suggested that I go talk to someone, so I thank him for that. Several years earlier, I asked him to go see a therapist for his anger issues which I personally think was a way for him to handle his depression.

    If someone close to you is suggesting therapy for you, you should take the suggestion seriously. There is no much harm in giving it a try, talking to someone who is suppose to be a trained objective professional can only do you good. I know I've been mildly depressed several times in my life that I just handled it, but that was only really kicking the can farther down the road. I've never taken meds, other then when I quit smoking, which I highly recommend by the way. My methods: Therapy, exercise, yoga, and a little mediation thrown in. Keeping the drinking to moderate helps too. Oh and music (appropriate to this forum), I know myself well enough now. I derive a lot of pure, organic (hate that word but its accurate here) pleasure from listening to music (especially live).

    The interesting thing you mention is insurance companies. While they cover a lot of mental health services, there is still this stigma. My own therapist told me if and when he goes to a therapist, he pays cash. I'm just thankful I bought my life insurance policy prior to going to a therapist. Got a great rate and don't want to lose it because some actuarial table put me in a risk category. Fuck big data! Sorry, I digress.

    And I'm pretty sure I'm ADD too, un diagnosed, but isn't everyone a little bit? All this continuous partial attention.

    Is that what you were looking for by way for experience, feedback, encouragement?

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    oh, i was just thinking of starting one of these the other day!

    i have Borderline Personality Disorder & depression, with some Narcissistic, mild schizophrenic & autistic traits, crazy wild rapid mood swings, i have splitting or black & white thinking, i have 2 distinct personalities good/bad or light/dark mood, the good, he is quite a narcissistic person to be around, so i'm told, but the darker, he is very selfish, manipulative, withdrawn, self-destructive, the one i'm more comfortable to be, the real me, i'm slowly finding my triggers, avoiding and using them to suit my needs,
    i could go on & on, theres plenty i could tell....

    i believe in the educating of others, on ALL grounds of mental health issues!

    i hit an all time low, quite a few years ago [even-though i've had this all my life] looking back i can see when it started grow, in my early teens, but i like having it, i love my bad/darker side, but he is very self-destructive. my g/f pushed me into getting help, as the self-destruction was getting too much for her. and since i live in the UK, we have the NHS, and the area where i live the community mental health team is very good, although, you get a better level of care if you have reached a very low kinda point. i've had some great help from them and still see the psychotherapist.
    i have been on lots of different meds, and have now been on my current ones for about a year, they are Mirtazapine 45mg, Lamotrigine 200mg and Lorazapam 1-3mg, with the exception of Olanzapine which i have been off of for about 6 months,
    i rely on the meds way too much though, still turn to the drink when times are bad or need comfort, though. I've had mindfulness courses, and kinda got on well with it, but started hating the teacher for questioning my medication and coping techniques [the fuckin bitch!!] i can hate someone for a very very long time, for the slightest thing, haha

    but i'm always happy to try and give advice, on the BPD thing

    i may add more later
    Last edited by InsecureSpike; 09-08-2013 at 02:43 PM.

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    As a kid, I saw a therapist because my parents knew I was depressed despite their best efforts. I took medication from about age 10 till about 21, but I always knew there was a bigger problem at hand. I started drinking excessively and doing some hard drugs because I was still very unhappy with my life. Three years ago, I had several episodes where I tried to commit suicide, yet somehow still survived.

    The breaking point was on the third attempt, in which I ingested about a month's worth of Trazadone, my dad discovered my body and rushed me to the hospital. after the last two attempts, I had talked my way out of the mental hospital for just short stays, on this attempt, I agreed to check myself in and stay for a week. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder, which makes sense in hindsight. It scared the shit out of me having no freedom and knowing that my parents were cared for my well being (something that contributed to me being unhappy), so I strove to better myself by limiting alcohol, seeing a therapist more than I was, taking my medications instead of forgoing them, and working out. It's been three years since that episode, and I've never felt better. Though I have times where I get sad, I realize I have a terrific support system and lots to look forward to. I've honestly never felt so confident in my entire life as I do right now.

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    I'm on the waiting list to get an appointment with a psychiatrist right now. I want to get an "official" diagnosis about my OCD and about my social anxiety disorder.

    As for why I finally decided to go see a psychiatrist: because of our Canadian Communist health care system ™, an "official" diagnosis will put me in the "system" to get free mental care help for my disorders.

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    I had another panic attack last night after a couple of days being totally depression-free. It was not fun.

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    I've got Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I was pretty shy as a teen and had a lot of trouble feeling comfortable in social situations, so I initially thought I had social anxiety. I was diagnosed with GAD, which make a hell of a lot of sense in retrospect considering that I was a massive hypochondriac and had major separation anxiety when I was a younger child. Nowadays my anxiety is generally centered around finances (which is pretty normal I guess!)

    My main problem is my overactive imagination and immediately leaping to the worst-case scenario. When I was a kid and a parent or guardian wasn't in sight I thought I was lost/abandoned and was going to die. A little later it was I have a minor pain in my chest region -> "oh shit I'm going to have a heart attack oh fuck I don't want to die" (the resultant anxiety often made me short of breath which exacerbated things even further).

    I don't cope too well with pressure. I feel like I'm permanently "skating on thin ice" at work (despite getting tons of positive reinforcement and even a recent promotion). I sometimes feel like if I fuck something up I'm going to get fired and then lose my house and my wife and kid will starve to death. I'm also very self-conscious and get very worried about how others perceive me. This often leads to a kind of "snowball" situation where I get wound up about some stressful shit then I get even more wound up about coming across too stressed and then even more wound up about about being wound up about being wound up... etc etc etc.

    Hope I don't sound too crazy!

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    I've been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Both sides of my family have a history of mental illness. My doctors have said I most likely was born with GAD and MDD, I unfortunately have some learned behaviors from my parents, and childhood trauma just added to it. I finally, thankfully, sought treatment after college after a breakdown. After several different times on meds I've been advised to stay on them permanently for life, even if only at a low dosage, in order to keep my depression at bay. I currently take Paxil. I've also taken Lexapro.

    Therapy was the best thing I've ever done for myself! I've had talk therapy, EMDR, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT really zeroed in on so many things I had no idea were unhealthy! I was able to deal with past trauma and move on in my life. I truly feel like I function in a much healthier way. Therapy was really hard but absolutely rewarding.

    Eating better, exercising and sleeping well all help keep my conditions in check. My meds keep me more stable so that when my anxiety and/or depression kick in I am able to use what I've learned in therapy to push through. I also have asked my closest friends and fiancÚ to keep on eye on me. They know what I'm dealing with and will let me know if I'm "off" because when depression hits hard it tends to distort reality that I don't even realize what's happening.

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    To be honest, I'm not sure of my diagnosis. The last time I was in the hospital, they said paranoid schizophrenia with depressed mood, whereas my regular psychiatrist (who has shown the inability to properly write a prescription for the right drug and the right dose for the right duration of time) insists I'm just bipolar 1. I know for a fact that there's depression and some form of psychosis (yeah, I see and hear things. but it's not l*that* bad by seeing/hearing things standards) going on somewhere in my messed-up mind and probably have some sort of anxiety thin g going on. I'm currently on celexa, trileptal, depakote, and rispedal and have been on haldol, zoloft, and ativan.

    EDIT: And I forgot to mention that I formerly was on cogentin because the haldol made my legs move without me actually trying to move them
    Last edited by binaryhermit; 09-10-2013 at 01:10 AM.

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    I've been mentally preparing myself for winter. Soon it will be dark when I get off from work at 8:30 am and then when I leave work again 6pm. I will have no time to bathe my face in sunlight. I do get depressed without light unfortunately and I'm living by myself so I'm expecting bouts of loneliness. I may have to do some saving up so I can drive often to visit my boyfriend who's a couple hours away.

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    Have you thought about getting one of those light things? I hear they work wonders.

    I thought I had SAD when I first moved up here, but it turns out (mercifully) that I don't. It was just my hormonal depression kicking in really hard.

    I have OCD. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse. I think I may be getting better with some stuff I've been having trouble with. Yay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by playwithfire View Post
    Have you thought about getting one of those light things? I hear they work wonders.
    I was part of a research study on SAD using one of those about a decade ago. Here's how it went:

    Beginning: Base interview. Not feeling all that great. Start using the light - which may be one of the lights you mentioned or it may just be a regular ol' light - for 15 minutes a day.
    Week One: Second interview. Mood improved.
    Week Two: Third interview. Mood improved.
    Week Three: Fourth interview. Mood improved.

    After the trial, they told me it was a real light, gave me some results, and said it sounds like it was extremely beneficial. Ooooooooone big problem though:
    Beginning: haven't seen any of my friends since Christmas break, several months ago. Lonely, and haven't accomplished much lately.
    Week One: Photograph the President of the United States the newspaper here.
    Week Two: Attend (and photograph) my first NIN show.
    Week Three: Friends are home on a break from school.

    So....how much of that mood enhancement came from a light bulb, versus...well...THAT? I don't mean to suggest that the lights don't work, but I really wish that the test I'd taken had been done so during a much more neutral time frame.

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    I have thought about that light but since I also have crazy hormonal mood swings that have been under control with my depo shot I'm going to see how this winter goes without a light thingy. I've started doing yoga and meditating again on a somewhat regular (not every day) schedule and I need to not let my motivation wane as the light does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halloween View Post
    I've started doing yoga and meditating again
    Did you have to do anything to get your mind in the right place for that? For me, it was an easy choice to go to yoga classes once I saw that my gym offered a free one after work once a week. But I stopped going pretty quickly because I couldn't get my brain to shut the hell up. I wasn't focusing on my breathing or the instructor's directions the entire time (I was paying attention, but in and out). I stopped going after just a few visits because I'd only leave feeling even more frustrated than when I started - because of my failure to be able to get to the right mental place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by binaryhermit View Post
    I'm currently on celexa, trileptal, depakote, and rispedal.
    I'm very surprised your doctors have put you on both trileptal and depakote. They both essentially do the same thing. And if your doctor is insisting you have bi-polar disorder rather than schizophrenia, why is s/he prescribing risperdal? Have you considered seeing a different psychiatrist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theimage13 View Post
    Did you have to do anything to get your mind in the right place for that? For me, it was an easy choice to go to yoga classes once I saw that my gym offered a free one after work once a week. But I stopped going pretty quickly because I couldn't get my brain to shut the hell up. I wasn't focusing on my breathing or the instructor's directions the entire time (I was paying attention, but in and out). I stopped going after just a few visits because I'd only leave feeling even more frustrated than when I started - because of my failure to be able to get to the right mental place.
    Don't give up! It's all about practice- you can't expect to be able to shut your mind up right away. We spend all our lives letting our mind run wild, we can't expect to know how to reverse that right away. I just kept going to yoga until it clicked. If there's any frame of mind you have to be in for yoga, is one of motivation and forgiveness. You can't be hard on yourself for not being able to do something that you've never done before. Like asking yourself to...I don't know, start pole vaulting successfully after never even going for a jog! Going "in and out" is a great start, eventually I found myself being more "in" than out because it's all about training. With all things, I also noticed in myself that if I neglect it, it becomes harder for me to stay focused. Another meditating technique I try is to simply bring my awareness to my breathing during any point of the day with the goal of becoming aware and more deliberate of every thought and action. Granted, I remember to do this maybe twice a day for only a few seconds but it's better than nothing!
    Anyways, I've noticed it does wonders for managing any needless anxiety that crops up now and then.

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    The Mental Health thread - depression, bipolar, ADHD, you name it

    ^^^^true true true. Especially the use of the word forgiveness.

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    One of my doctors put me on SSRIs to lose weight. That was fun!

    I'm autistic, if that falls under this bracket (technically neurological; I'm retarded, not crazy). A hell of a lot more made sense (or at least I could see why nothing had ever made sense) once that came through. I probably experience 80% of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Baphomette View Post
    I'm very surprised your doctors have put you on both trileptal and depakote. They both essentially do the same thing. And if your doctor is insisting you have bi-polar disorder rather than schizophrenia, why is s/he prescribing risperdal? Have you considered seeing a different psychiatrist?
    I don't really have a choice in the matter, having to go through the shitty-ass local sliding scale clinic sucks. And as I understand it, risperdal also has a mood-stabilizing effect along with its anti-psychotic effect.

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    My social anxiety is so fantastic that I went to my psych appointment one day early. Yup, it was booked for tomorrow and I went there at 8AM this morning. Luckily there was only a cleaner and another psych with a patient there at the time, so the panic was at a dull roar. The positive would be that the whole episode made me go through the anxiety/panic motions of having to function, the negative would be the same. I really hate my brain.

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    I wish I could just snap out of my loneliness. It's one of the weirdest forms of depression I've ever experienced. I also didn't realize that loneliness is actually fodder for mockery to some people too. (As if I needed more things to make me feel like an outsider.)

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    warning: this is a little long-winded to start

    When my mother adopted my sister from china (around 2003, i was 12, my sis was 3), we took her (my sister) to a therapist to try and understand radical detachment disorder better, and possibly nip it in the bud (which we later found out was pretty much impossible). I really liked the therapist, and continued to see her of my own accord. She diagnosed me with clinical depression at the age of 16, and didn't believe in medicating me (as do many medical professionals) until i was older. High school happened, and my depression pretty much turned into heavy (and i do mean HEAVY) drug use. i was depressed, so i would use, then i was depressed because i used. My therapist constantly insisted on rehab, and it reached a boiling point where i attempted suicide. Eight hours after the attempt, i decided to quit the drugs (caffeine, alcohol and nicotine excluded) cold turkey, and have stayed true for 1671 days.

    i am in a love-hate relationship with my depression. i keep it in check very well without medication. i learned a valuable lesson though, and it actually manifested itself in a Nice Hooves song, "warpaint is not a mask." A lot of depressed people i know do whats called "game-face" which is faking being happy to get through the day. i refuse to do this anymore. "warpaint is not a mask, my friend. its a sign of reaching your end." If you are sad, let it out. you shouldn't have to hide your emotions just to appease people. we have different emotions for a reason. let those feelings out.

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    Checking in with cyclothymia ("mild" bi-polar disorder), C-PTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder, meaning it's PTSD with dissociation, which is A: hard as hell to describe/explain, and B: causes me all kinds of issues, because I don't have control of myself when I dissociate, it's like being outside of my own body with no control over my actions), eating disorder, and addiction issues. I have not been officially diagnosed with OCD, but when I'm in a cyclothymia episode or an ED relapse, I sure as hell have all the symptoms.

    I'm on two anti depressants (to be fair, one is for migraine and insomnia control) (elavil and zoloft) and xanax for the C-PTSD. Not medicated for the cyclothymia, because episodes are few and far between (I have, like, two a year). Currently in an ED relapse, which is no fun at all.

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    I just got my appointment with a psychiatrist; it's next week. I feel both relieved, happy, terrified and nervous enough to make me puke.

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    I only just discovered that the whole ACA (aka Obamacare) thing is going to be a blessing and a curse.

    Curse: my rates are INCREASING by almost 50%, despite the fact that I'll probably be an unemployed (or part timer) full-time student next year. Thanks!
    Blessing: mental health coverage is mandated under all plans offered via the ACA. I don't have that now.

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    I've heard the term emotional eater before, and I'm sure I have to be one. I'm amazed how it's something I never ever seem to think of whenever I'm getting that high from food. I really need to come to terms with that though. No wonder why loneliness, shame, and self-loathing makes it very hard, or even flat-out impossible to lose weight when you're prone to make an attempt to eat your emotional problems away. I'm just amazed, considering that's the power of escapism for you. It really does block out the reality of it all. I'm also posting this as an open mental note to myself about this matter too.
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 09-13-2013 at 02:02 PM.

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    This past Tuesday my visit with my therapist was all "joy, joy, joy...all is good doc!" Next Tuesday will be seeing if she can help drag me out the pit I've fallen into.

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    Looking back at it now, I'm even amazed that I'm sharing some of my emotions here, but I suppose this was the right thread to do it. You could perhaps say that's part of my social anxiety disorder, as I sometimes feel like certain emotions could make me look evil, stupid, irrational, immature, weak, and even insane. For instance, like with anger, I never really found a way to properly and safely deal with it. I usually just try my best to avoid becoming angry, or dodge getting into situations that might set me off. I also try my best to keep it inside, and only let it go when I'm completely alone. Even the mere thought of it fills me with disgust and dread, considering how my anger is also guaranteed to have feelings of animosity in it as well.
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 09-13-2013 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marodi View Post
    I just got my appointment with a psychiatrist; it's next week. I feel both relieved, happy, terrified and nervous enough to make me puke.
    It was yesterday.

    The verdict: severe generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and OCD. My reward: Rivotril twice a day and an increase of my Effexor dosage. And a place for psychotherapy which was given to me without me having to ask (beg, grovel) for it. Because my case is severe.

    I lost my shit during the interview when they (they were 3, 2 psychiatrists and one trainee) told me the diagnosis and when one of them told me: "we could see how much suffering it's causing you". It was the first time in my life that someone was acknowledging the misery I've been in my whole life. It felt liberating in a way.

    So, this is my new theme song:



    although I've never had to deal with the baggage retrieval system at Heathrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icklekitty View Post

    I'm autistic, if that falls under this bracket (technically neurological; I'm retarded, not crazy). A hell of a lot more made sense (or at least I could see why nothing had ever made sense) once that came through. I probably experience 80% of this.
    I'm not a person that opens up easily about issues in this thread - denial has worked, and I think distraction helps me (school, and my work as an exercise instructor - I teach 10-12 classes a week and I think it helps as a mood stabilizer. I notice a difference if I miss even a couple days) but that link explains a LOT. It was like a light bulb going on over my head - at least 80% describes me as well.

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