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CV shows that a lot of people really don’t understand mental illness

(116 Posts)
FuckOffCorona Mon 23-Mar-20 23:05:34

I have seen so many sneering, condescending and ignorant posts from people who don’t believe or accept the reality of living with mental illness, and who are oblivious to the very serious dangers self isolation and / or lockdown can pose to those who suffer from mental ill health.

At least two threads have popped up in the last hour about exercising outdoors, with multiple posters expressing disingenuous shock at the idea that someone would need to exercise outside. But I am not exaggerating when I say that running has saved my life, because before I started using running as a form of meditation and physical therapy, I tried to kill myself twice.

The government recognised the importance of exercise. They have specifically allowed it to take place. So why do posters on here feel like they have the right to be so supercilious about those who will be exercising outside?

I have seen similar cruelty directed towards posters concerned about the effect isolation will have on their depression or anxiety. Those people don’t have the luxury of seeing friends, but any attempt to express this concern is met by a deluge of posters calling them selfish for feeling worried, even when they have no intention of breaking the rules.

This pandemic has brought out the very worst of mumsnet, and I have been so disappointed in the tenor of this site. But even so, is it too much to ask that people at least attempt to understand that for some people, mental illness is as much of a threat to life as the virus itself, and a little compassion would go a long way?

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Lycidas Mon 23-Mar-20 23:10:13

hugs OP.

You're absolutely right, and my sympathies. The need to 'flatten the curve' at whatever cost must be balanced against other considerations - if we see suicides happening, or domestic abuse, or vulnerable children who are even more exposed now that they're 'locked up' in precarious households. This is quite simply an unnatural state of existence, for the vast majority of people - but for those who are teetering on the brink, it could be catastrophic.

So the least people could do is stop being so fucking shouty and sanctimonious.

batvixen123 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:17:33

I do not know if I will survive this. Six years ago I tried to commit suicide multiple times. My MH was in the toilet. I spent a lot of time in mixed manic episodes, the rest of the time in a depressive state. I've spent years building up a bunch of coping mechanisms and good habits that, along with medication and support, let me keep things under control.

It's all gone. I'm expecting most MH services other than the barest minimum to be shut down. The routine and strategies I use are gone. My meds aren't enough alone. They never have been. I think this might be the end for me.

Hereforthenamethreads Mon 23-Mar-20 23:21:31

I agree. I have noticed people dismissing the need for mental health as frivolous in this climate when actually many people's lives depend on maintaining their mental health.

LittleRootie Mon 23-Mar-20 23:23:31

batvixen123 flowers

Totally agree OP, I posted the other day about the dangers of lockdown in terms of DV and mental health issues and it was just brushed aside.

user1353245678533567 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:29:49

I agree with you. If anything this seems to be reducing compassion, and spreading the misconception some have that mental wellbeing and mental illness are one and the same.

Mental health support is evaporating because of this, and we are invisible at the best of times. If I survive this I'm going to be even more broken, and there's not going to be anybody or anything to help me rebuild.

Mentally I think people cope with suicides by writing it off as a "choice" even tho research shows most suicidal people don't actually want to die. But it means people can reconcile themselves to leaving us to die - "oh well, it was their choice", "they gave up, nothing I could have done", "tragic but they wouldn't engage/were troubled"...

I was already struggling to keep myself alive. I know I'm not the only one.

12345kbm Mon 23-Mar-20 23:33:13

Exercise is really important for good mental health. It's been shown in some studies to be as effective as anti depressants in some cases.

A lot of mental health helplines have been inundated with calls from people whose anxiety has been through the roof. Isolation is also really detrimental as well.

user1353245678533567 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:33:16

@batvixen123 sad flowers I wish I had something helpful I could say. I could have written some of the same things as you.

FuckOffCorona Mon 23-Mar-20 23:34:28

I’m so sorry to best of the struggles of others flowers there is so little support available at the moment, and while I understand why that is it doesn’t make it any easier to live with. There will be mental health casualties as a result of this pandemic and it’s not right for that to be just brushed aside.

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FuckOffCorona Mon 23-Mar-20 23:34:49

Sorry, that should be hear of not best of

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user1353245678533567 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:38:06

I keep thinking that if I end my life then at least the limited mental health services that are left will have a tiny bit more capacity to help someone else who's suffering and who stands a chance of a better life.

loobyloo1234 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:38:24

I am so sorry for all of us in this boat. I thought I was doing better with my MH. The not seeing my family or DP for 3 weeks will hit me hard. Keep saying it’s for the great of good but not sure my brain will process it in that way

Hugs to all who have worked so hard to get better. It’s going to be a rough ride for some of us flowers

FuckOffCorona Mon 23-Mar-20 23:39:11

@user1353245678533567 your life is just as valuable as anyone’s flowers

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ChefMummy Mon 23-Mar-20 23:43:37

Don't despair.
It's difficult to grasp the concept of months and months and the overwhelm can be more destructive than the actuality of the situation.

I've been in recovery for alcoholism for just over 2 years now, I had some CAT therapy and have been attending AA meetings 3-6times a week for that time. When I had my son I wasn't drinking and then post natal depression smacked me round the face and I hit the bottle. By the time he was even 4 months old I went to rehab for 1 month. I've been sober since.

I am on medication and I am expecting twins now. I'm being induced next Monday. I had set up so many extra safety nets, I have a perinatal mental health team, AA fellows, mums nearby, even my blind old mum could hold a baby and she's moved nearby, my son has been at nursery 3 days a week and loves it (he's 2.5yo), and I've been practising asking for help which I still find difficult! ALL these nets have been incinerated in their original format. Nursery is closed, mums elderly so can't go to her, my meetings are cancelled and any visitors to the house are increasingly less likely. I'm worried for the birth as hospitals are obviously crazy and the people who I'd have looking after my son while my partner and I are at the hospital have respiratory problems so I'm not sure what will happen there atm.

BUT!!!! What I can say is that there is STILL a lot we can do to help ourselves during this time. In my recovery it is VITAL that I do not look at the weeks and months but in the next 24hrs. One Day At A Time. I've been using this for the last few weeks as this twin pregnancy is brutal!

Take the walks, particularly if the sun is out, open the windows, make the phones calls, find the online Zoom/Skype mental health groups or make your own support network with a WhatsApp group. Do not isolate while isolating! The worst place to be is in your own head. When you feel the head tipping, call a friend you don't speak to enough.
Cook a meal you've never tried before using things that don't usually match because that's all you've got and just break each day down. You've got this! ❤️❤️🙏

LittleRootie Mon 23-Mar-20 23:44:19

There definitely seems to be a return - on MN threads at least - of the attitude that mental illness is somehow a choice people are making or something they should control by getting a 'grip' on themselves.

All the work that's been done in recent years to highlight the crisis in mental health in the UK and try to change attitudes seems to be being undone here

zsazsajuju Mon 23-Mar-20 23:48:23

A lot of posters seem to delight in the current situation and ramming it down people’s throats. Some people just like being sanctimonious. flowers op

Roostersmum2 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:48:26

OP and others flowers

I hear you and agree completely

I have PTSD, was further diagnosed with PND in February and I've suffered with anxiety for the best part of ten years. I'm taking Propanolol like Smarties just to get myself through the day. I've been having suicidal idealisation which my therapist has been helping me with and I'm thankful that she's going to be calling me on a weekly basis now that I can't get to see her in person.

Getting outside in the fresh air is fundamental for my mental health. A brisk walk in the fresh air helps tremendously when I'm having a particularly low day.

I can't do that at the moment as I'm quarantined in a small flat with no garden in the epicentre of this shitty virus, with symptoms that indicate I could have the virus envy <- not envy

Once I'm safely able to get outdoors I bloody well will be exercising outdoors as we have been permitted to and bollocks to anybody who thinks it's not a necessity.

FuckOffCorona Mon 23-Mar-20 23:52:46

This thread is like a little haven of decent people, but I’m so sorry for those who are struggling. I understand just how frightening it really is.

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StuckBetweenDarknessAndLight Mon 23-Mar-20 23:54:06

I've been agoraphobic for 20+ years and have made brilliant steps in the last couple of years in getting out and about. I'm self-isolating now anyway, before today's announcement, and I can feel the pull of old habits already.

bibbidybobbidyboo Mon 23-Mar-20 23:57:11


Please, please don't think that. Your life is worth having. Xxx

Roostersmum2 Mon 23-Mar-20 23:59:15

@user1353245678533567 Your life absolutely does matter, please don't think otherwise x

Lynda07 Tue 24-Mar-20 00:02:58

flowers for you, Corona. It is very hard, I know. You do matter though and will come through this.

StuckBetweenDarknessAndLight Tue 24-Mar-20 00:03:14

User, please hang in there. You can rebuild, we all can.

ThisIsReallyShit Tue 24-Mar-20 00:03:57

I completely agree. I don’t have many friends or much of a social life, but I do have a coffee in the garden (hers) with a friend every morning after school drop off. It’s saved my sanity. My mental health is going to be in pieces in isolation with my kids, (who hate each other and spend any moment they possibly can fighting) in my tiny tiny house, with nowhere to go for some sanity.

The mental health system is going to be SO overloaded after this.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Tue 24-Mar-20 00:08:02

Absolutely. Fair enough, people are frightened but a bit more understanding wouldn't go amiss. Instead it's read a book or the basic stuff on mental wellbeing that the NHS tries long before they pay for actual therapy. I mean if that could fix me, why on earth did the NHS fork out for 6 months of cbt and 18 months of psychotherapy.

For me, being trapped indoors is one of my worst nightmares (I have pstd). All my old symptoms are coming back, broke 2 plates today when ds "sneaked up" on me. When I'm overwhelmed, I run and run and run until it feels like my chest is going to explode. I love running at night when it's quiet. The thought of having that taken away is terrifying.

It's also the added pressure of everyone being in the house at once. I don't think I'd realised how much I relied on being able to send ds to preschool and put dd down for a nap to carve out some time for myself but with ds in the house, dd won't nap in case she's missing out which means it's just constant from the minute one of them wakes up til they finally fall asleep.

I'm not worried about myself but I am afraid I'm going damage my kids. My default when I'm really struggling is a mix of rage, self loathing and withdrawal from human contact to the point where I just can't bear being touched by another person. My youngest is 21 months and wants to held/cuddled most of the time. In some ways, killing myself now seems more humane.

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