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Could we have a general mental illness support thread?

(121 Posts)
MeadowHay Tue 10-Jan-17 15:49:44

Years ago when I used to frequent The Student Room, they had a really long mental health support thread where people used to go to share their ups and downs and just chat/distract themselves or whatever else. I would have thought a site this big would have something like that but it doesn't. So I was wondering if anybody wanted to make one?? I'm not good at starting threads though, I don't tend to get many responses when I do...

I am having a relapse of my depression it seems and I have had some pretty bad days over the last week or so in particular but I am still here, plodding along, trying my best. It is lonely when DH is at work all day and I feel trapped in my flat, unable to go outside due to my anxiety but I am trying to focus on the positives and also be somewhat productive...I just feel sleepy allllll the time but I have to force myself to stay awake because DH has to go bed early for his job so he can get up early I already am sleeping about 12hrs at night and then staying in all day doing not much so if I sleep during the day as well there is no way I will be able to go to bed at the same time as him and I much prefer to go to bed with him so we can have a cuddle and so I don't feel so lonely.

How is everyone else?

LollipopViolet Tue 10-Jan-17 18:02:12

I'll join you - my MH issues have been called low mood and depressive illness in the past. Mainly centres around stress, particularly in work situations. I'm currently unemployed (again...) and it's the 3rd job where things didn't work out so I'm feeling a bit fragile and anxious about things. Also had major bullying in school that has had a permanent impact and I think triggered the periods of depression.

Might ask my (lovely, supportive) job centre lady if she can signpost to some support.

On a positive, I started work experience in the job centre yesterday, doing admin and reception after working in retail and custom service stuff on and off for 8 years. It was ok, I was anxious and didn't sleep well Sunday night, but it was ok, and I'm going back again tomorrow.

MeadowHay Tue 10-Jan-17 18:33:17

Hi Lollipop! I'm not surprised to see so few replies to my thread, I seem to be one of those people who always kills threads, I should join that thread of thread killers!

I know it can be hard to be unemployed, DH was unemployed for awhile recently and he was initially perfectly healthy but the unemployment was actually starting to affect his mental health, he's much happier now he is back in employment but obviously that's influenced by him enjoying his job and liking his colleagues and things.

Well done on your new work experience placement, that should help you find a new job as shows you are proactive and have certain skills etc. And I know how scary that can be taking a big step like that, you are doing great smile.

I am meant to do a presentation next week at uni but I'm terrified of the member of staff that I have to do it in front of blush, and I was actually meant to do it early December but my anxiety was so awful I couldn't, it was rearranged to mid-December and then again I was too anxious to leave my house and to work on it anyway. So my study advisor helped me apply for mitigating circumstances and so the tutor rearranged it for next week, but DH is at work then, so I won't be able to do it then either as I need to have him with me for me to be able to do it (otherwise I will be too anxious to go at all). But I'm too anxious to e-mail the tutor because I do feel bad that I left it this long but that was because I was anxious...and I'm scared she will get annoyed given this will be third time it has had to be rearranged. But it was already agreed that DH attend it with me and obviously if he's at work then he can't. Also the presentation is meant to be 10 minutes long and I only have about 5 minutes of content at the moment confused. As you can probably tell it is MAJORLY stressing me out, argh. I wish I could just not do it and just have the one presentation in June be all my marks for the presentation because it's getting ridiculous now but I don't think they would let me do that.

LollipopViolet Tue 10-Jan-17 21:43:29

Hopefully some more people come and join our nice, friendly thread smile

I'm currently browsing Netflix for something to watch, and charging my Fitbit smile Now the first day is over with I'm quite looking forward to tomorrow - am on reception again and apparently they'll give me other little jobs now I've settled in a bit (which is good because I was not busy at all yesterday and could've done with something to do!) smile

Testificateman Tue 10-Jan-17 23:14:29

Where do I start.
I'll do it in the style of the Royal navy ads.

Bullied all through school.
Threatened with being expelled at 11, for putting a 14yo bully in hospital.
Raped and sexually assaulted at work at 17.
Sectioned at 20.
Discovered I'm dyslexic at 20.
Alcoholic at 21.
Met my gorgeous wife at 23.
Started family at 25.
16 years in a big warehouse, where I was bullied.
Made redundant at 41.
Spent the last 5 years in a small warehouse where my manager is bullying me.
Do I have a f**king tattoo on my forehead saying, please bully me?

DeleteOrDecay Wed 11-Jan-17 01:03:59

Great idea for a threadsmile

I have been depressed and anxious for a long long time, I can't actually pinpoint a time where it all began but it's got progressively worse over the years and I think I've been in denial about the state of my mental health. Last week, with the support of my dp I finally plucked up the courage to see my GP who was understanding and I have been on 50mg sertraline for 5 days so far. For some reason I had this irrational fear that I would be brushed off or that I was just being dramatic so I kept putting off going to the doctors. Wish I'd gone sooner now.

Been having quite a few side effects from the meds such as dry mouth, unsettled sleep, tiredness, loss of appetite, feeling restless/fidgety, feeling 'strange' and more panicky. The GP did say this could happen for the first few weeks but despite the above side effects I do feel like the meds have been helping. I definitely feel less depressed, I haven't had as many negative thoughts, I've felt more motivated about doing stuff around the house and I mostly feel I've been less snappy with dp and the kids although I still have my moments. I know it can take time for them to kick in fully.

Fingers crossed once the side effects wear off I continue to make improvements. I feel like I'm actually starting to feel normal now and life seems to be more bearable, which is weird as I had forgotten what normal feels like.

Purplecarpet Wed 11-Jan-17 07:45:32

I'll join in as well if I may. I suffer from anxiety and have done for many years off and on. I'm not on medication, although I have been in the past for short periods. I think I should be able to sort myself out on my own due to a mixture of being embarrassed and ashamed about it, as I don't have any real problems to worry about. I invent problems I suppose.
I think I have a low level of anxiety bubbling below the surface at all times, which rears its ugly head and causes problems occasionally, in fact a lot just lately.
I've had a stressful couple of months, worrying unnecessarily over something. This turned out well in the end but now I find myself fishing around for other things to worry about. Normal everyday things. I mentioned before in another post that I seem to have a need to attach my anxiety to things/events to justify the uneasiness.
I'm fed up with myself and wish I could just enjoy my life. What a waste.
It will be nice to have somewhere to get some support and understanding so this thread is a great idea.

LollipopViolet Wed 11-Jan-17 18:14:56

Testificateman I think I have one of those tattoos too - very irritating.

How's everyone today? Placement was good, now home and contemplating tea and what to watch tonight.

Testificateman Wed 11-Jan-17 19:58:49

Hi Lollipop. Work has been quite stressful but, managed to cope, some how.
I've not been too bad for a few weeks now.
Was bad in the run up to Christmas, very suicidal thoughts. Thinking of the best way to do it and make it look like an accident.
Nearly 30 years now since my first attempt. Fucking long time.

MeadowHay Wed 11-Jan-17 22:58:29

Welcome everyone smile.

Delete Well done on going to see your GP, that is a big step and means you are on your way to recovery. Good luck with the sertraline, it can take 4-5 weeks for antidepressants to really start working so stick with it and side-effects mostly wear off after the first couple of weeks too for most people. When I first started citalopram a few years ago I was dreadfully ill for the first week with a vast array of side effects, they gradually lessened in the second week and then most of them went away bar a few trivial things and then the medicine really helped me for a few years.

Lollipop Glad your placement is still going well. I went to see my dad this evening and had a nice meal out with him which was nice. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my study advisor at uni which DH is going to take me to to make sure I actually go and help me talk to her in case I can't talk due to anxiety. It will be about my presentation and to see if there is anything she can do to help me with it confused.

Testi Christmas is often a particularly tough time for people. I too felt particularly suicidal in the run up to it and made my first plans in awhile. Which I have now abandoned thankfully.

MeadowHay Wed 11-Jan-17 22:59:32

Oh also Purple are you getting any treatment for your depression & anxiety? It sounds like you could do with some support. brew

Rueben Wed 11-Jan-17 23:11:51

Hello all! Great thread idea. I can relate to a lot of what has been said. I have depression and anxiety, and I'm a first year uni student. Finding it hard to cope with uni - I have an incredibly short concentration span and haven't socialised or made any friends (I live at home)
I'm embarrassed to admit I can't always find the motivation to get dressed everyday. I haven't left my house at all except to see a CBT practitioner (every Friday). I've only had 2 sessions so I can't say whether it's effective yet. Overall, I feel very lost and hopeless. I don't really know what to do anymore
I have a uni exam tomorrow but my mind is completely blank and detached, instead worrying about other things

DeleteOrDecay Thu 12-Jan-17 00:26:02

Thank you Meadow, going to the GP was a huge step for me. I had been putting it off for a long time. I'm really optimistic about the medication and will definitely stick with it. The GP prescribed me 28 days worth, I have to go back next Friday to see how I'm getting on with them and presumably I'll get prescribed more at the next appointment or I'll have to go back in another couple of weeks time? Do they prescribe a few months at a time? Having never taken any sort of medication bar antibiotics, I have no idea how it works.

Unfortunately this evening I feel like I've taken a step back. It's a total first world problem but anyway... My DM booked a holiday for us all during October half term later this year, it turns out dp can't get the time off work so not only will he not be able to come, but he will also miss dd1's birthday which falls during the holiday. I was so excited, but now can't stop crying and I just don't want to go. It won't feel like a holiday for me with 2 young dc to supervise whilst dp will get to come home from work every day to an empty house where he can have peace and quiet and do what he pleases. My mum will help but an extra pair of hands is always handy..

I'm a tiny bit jealous of him to be honestblush I would bite somebody's hand off for the chance to have a dc free week, it would probably do wonders for my mental health (although I would miss them loads) But mostly I just wanted him there with us and I can't stop crying over itsad I should be grateful that I even get to go on holiday in the first place.

Sunnysidegold Thu 12-Jan-17 11:11:16

Hi! Off work with anxiety and starting to see the difference in how I was a few months ago (much better now) but I have had a shocking couple of weeks. I felt out of control for the first time in a while and have been so frustrated at getting a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and then hitting a massive slump afterwards.ive been very teary and tired and have no motivation to do anything,I can't concentrate at all and keep losing track of what I'm talking about mid sentence hence not being able to work. My husband is away with work and I fully appreciate the jealousy of a child free week.i would live to stay in a nice hotel for a week, be wined and dined) have evenings free to sightsee or shop...wouldn't even mind having to work the 9-5 as well! I think you should tell your partner how you feel about the holiday.could anyone else go with you? Mum or sister or friend?

MeadowHay Thu 12-Jan-17 15:04:36

Welcome new people!

Delete It depends on your GP surgery as they all have their own rules about prescribing ADs, I've been with two surgeries so far, both have a rule that ADs will not get put on repeat, the first surgery would only prescribe ADs monthly, the surgery I'm at now would only prescribe ADs monthly for a good year or so of being on them then when they saw I was stable for a long period they changed it to 2 months worth at a time but they won't extend that further. It is a bit of a pain especially now that there is typically a 3-week wait to speak to my GP so it can be hard to manage/remember to make the appointments on time so as not to run out, I nearly ran out for the first time two months ago and had to call for an emergency telephone appointment, well DH called as I can't ring people due to my anxiety disorder, and the receptionist was extremely snotty to him about me and was like "why didn't she order them earlier etc" and I felt so awful! It was the first time that had ever happened and I've been on medication for going on 5 years now, and surely anyone can forget something once in a while? She was so horrible and rude to him and rude about me. Sorry went off topic a bit confused.

Rueben Congrats on starting uni! I am a final year student. I moved to a different city for uni so I don't know what it's like to be studying and still living at home but that's what my brother and sister both do. Save a lot of money that way! Sorry to hear you've been feeling lonely, are there any student groups or anything you feel like you could join to meet like-minded people? Your anxiety/depression seems super bad if you're not leaving the house very much, I used to be like that as well, when it was that bad I had a support worker through social services who met me once a week to help take me out to places and improve my confidence/help lessen my anxiety, it was super useful, maybe you could get something like that?

InsideMyThoughts Fri 13-Jan-17 00:47:34

Rooms for another? I have a thread in the main forum, but let's just say life is very hard for me right now, but reading all your posts makes me not feel so lonely.

DeleteOrDecay Fri 13-Jan-17 01:05:11

Thanks Meadow that does sound like a pain! I will find out what my surgeries policy is next week I guess. Repeat prescription would be so convenient but I guess they need to monitor us in case the meds stop working or want to suggest weaning off them (something I'm already worrying about as I would hate to end up back where I started if I come off them..).

Sorry your receptionist was snotty, you're right we all forget things sometimes and the fact that you've only forgotten once in 5 years is amazing! I am very forgetful and disorganised at times so having to remember to book doctors appointments for more meds before running out is something that worries me.

Welcome to the thread inside, I hope you find it helpful. I will go and have a look at your other thread.

MeadowHay Fri 13-Jan-17 12:04:35

Inside Hello, everyone is welcome! Sorry to hear things are so tough for you at the moment. brew Feel free to talk about anything you want so we can all support each other.

Delete Seriously do not worry about coming off them. Right now you need to focus on your health now and not worry about the future. I am currently talking venlafaxine modified release tablets, venlafaxine has one of the shortest half-lives of any antidepressant which makes it notoriously unpleasant to come off them. But if you wean down gently over time it's fine. I halved my dose over the summer because I've been doing so well, it took me about 6 weeks I think as I did it so slowly but that meant I hardly had any withdrawal effects at all, so it was fine.

Had my first counselling session today at uni. My counsellor seems nice. She talked to me about transactional analysis I think she said it was called which is her main theoretical approach to counselling, it sounded interesting. It was more of a general assessment/getting-to-know-each-other session but was positive. We have agreed to try and focus on more practical stuff especially as the maximum number of sessions is 6. I am meeting with her again next Thursday. I am proud that I managed to go all on my own too as DH is at work so couldn't take me and I was worried I would get too anxious and be unable to go but I did it!

LollipopViolet Fri 13-Jan-17 22:17:45

Welcome Inside and anyone else who's joined, pull up a comfy seat and have a brew smile

The last two days, I've felt like spontaneously crying, for no reason, very weird! Then I woke up to snow and really didn't want to go out, but had to sign on and it was a placement day.

As it turns out the snow was manageable and placement was good.

Signed on after with a lovely chap - he was so nice! Said it's a bit rubbish I've been sanctioned for basically protecting my MH, but understands why I felt I couldn't appeal the decision (they already had all the info about why I left my job, and my anxiety was already up from waiting for the first decision) and said it's awful when you don't feel wanted and valued at work. All the advisors I've seen have been fab this time - asking what I'd find too much pressure at work and not making me apply for high pressure sales jobs or call centre stuff.

It's weird, but since I read the report about my MH, I've found the low data easier to deal with, because I know it's not just me, iyswim? There's an actual "thing" at work in my brain.

Does anyone find vitamin D helps them? I've heard it can be good for MH.

DeleteOrDecay Fri 13-Jan-17 22:58:20

Yes you're right Meadow, I've only been on them a week so why I'm worrying about coming off them already I don't know. I do tend to worry about things that don't don't matter.

Glad your advisor was nice Lollipop, I bet that made all the difference. I definitely couldn't cope in a sales or call centre role so I understand where you're coming from with that. Work can be a massive factor when it comes to MH.

Today was okay up until this evening where I felt what I can only describe as a black could descend upon me. It begun when we went out for a meal, the food was disappointing, dp is giving up smoking and didn't put a nicotine patch on so has been quite unpleasant this afternoon which in turn made me act unpleasant back (I didn't know he hadn't put a patch on) as I couldn't understand what his problem was and his mood was making me anxious.

Haven't had that feeling since starting the meds, not sure if it's due to the meds or if it was just coincidental as I do go through phases of feeling 'okay'. Not brilliant by any means, but sort of 'stable'. Does anyone else? I mean more often than not I definitely feel I am depressed but have occasions where I'm not so bad.

Had a little cry tonight as I felt dp was being unsupportive, but that's a whole other thread. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

UnbornMortificado Sat 14-Jan-17 02:28:20

Meadow I think a support thread is a fab idea. I've noticed more MH topics as of late, it's good to have a thread to refer people to.

MeadowHay Sat 14-Jan-17 11:31:56

Lollipop I think vitamin D would only help if you actually had a deficiency, but then I've read that most people in Britain actually are deficient during the winter months. But the doses you can get OTC are so low that I doubt it would make a difference. A few years ago I actually got tested and had a vit D deficiency and had to take supplements for 8 weeks which were far stronger than the ones OTC. But unfortunately it didn't have any noticeable effect on my mental health but doesn't mean it wouldn't for others that are deficient. Also I know what you mean about the snow, I hate it and it really makes me anxious. Due to having Asperger's I have coordination difficulties so it's really hard for me to walk on snow etc and I get so anxious I often can't leave the house as I'm terrified I will fall etc so yeah I get that, I hate it!

Delete To be honest your meds are unlikely to be really affecting your mood for a good few weeks so doubt it is related to meds at this point. It is normal to have ups and downs even if you have depression. It is a myth as you know that people with depression are never happy or never ok. My depression is only mild at the moment though really apart from this small relapse. My main MH trouble is my severe anxiety disorder sad. But as I'm on the autistic spectrum realistically some of that will probably never improve as a lot of my anxiety triggers are related to being AS.

Unborn Glad you think it's a good idea!

Today DH and I are going out for dinner with a couple that we are very close friends with but haven't actually seen for a couple of months now so I am really looking forward to that!

ExcuseMeButtingIn Sat 14-Jan-17 11:47:37

Hi everyone - is it ok for me to join? I've typed this message out about 50 million times already and then deleted it (due to being scared to join in and a habit of exaggerating ha - it was about 5 really).

It's nice to know I'm not alone. I'm having a particularly spectacular bad day today but I think I'm coping.

LollipopViolet Sat 14-Jan-17 12:55:09

Welcome ExcuseMe smile Sorry you're having a bad day, anything in particular or just everything all at once?

Meadow I'm visually impaired with horrible coordination so icy pavements and not being able to judge kerbs are my downfall in the snow! However, today I can stay in the warm and this makes me very happy.

You're on to something with the VitD, I feel - the OTC one I've got appears to be doing nothing. Evening Primrose on the other hand, is wonderful at making me not be a hormonal mess around my time of the month, so that I will keep up.

stumblymonkey Sat 14-Jan-17 13:13:45

Hello...just checking in for now as I'll need to go back and read the full thread but this looks like a good place for me.

<Settles self down on a cushion>

I have bipolar disorder. And four cats. I prefer the cats.

Back later once I've RTFT.

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