Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
I can't anymore. *tw for SH*(26 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
Obviously NC, hence the name. I'm paranoid about people finding me on here.
Background: I'm agoraphobic, I don't go outside on my own ever. (I get ESA, and no children so there's nothing to worry about and clearly I shouldn't really even post here). I can't use a phone. I spend my days in an OCD haze of exercise, cleaning and trying to pass the time until I can go to bed.
I've self harmed since I was a teenager (now 31) and it's escalated massively throughout the years. It started off as scratches, now it's cuts that really require medical intervention and overdoses. Not in a suicidal way, just, overdoses to numb something. Anything, really.
I can't handle even the slightest thing that happens which is outwith my comfort zone. A letter landing on the mat that I didn't expect can disrail an entire week. An online shop substituting an item can disrupt so much because I have to re-work my calories for the whole week.
I lost CMHT involvement last year, and there's not the option to get it back. My GP is kind, but ultimately useless. I don't have friends or family. Realistically, this is the time at which I should opt out, isn't it? It's only hard because I can't seem to get it right.
My life is literally no highs. What am I supposed to do when I've tried everything and it doesn't help? I've done therapy, mindfulness, graded exposure for the agoraphobia. I have medication. It doesn't change anything.
I'm not sure why I'm posting, so I'm sorry in advance for anyone who should read this. This is pretty much the only forum I use and I don't speak to anyone IRL, so this is really just me whining about nothing.
Online therapy? (Via Skype?)
I know they psychotherapy has been the main thing that has made an incredible difference to me, so I would recommend you finding something like that that you can access as it can get better than this if you want it to.
Sorry, didn’t see you said you’d done therapy. I guess I also felt like that until I found the right therapist (number 6?) at a time when I knew I wanted and needed things to change.
Thank you so much for replying
Online therapy is deeply scary; a big chunk of my anxiety is ED-related (I've cycled between anorexia and bulimia since I was a teenager) and letting people see me is just, beyond. I tried talking therapy online (without Skype) at one point, and it ended up circular. I literally can't say out loud a lot of things that have happened. It takes ages just to type them.
I'm at the point where I'm pretty convinced that I'm just a lost cause. There are people like that, aren't there? Where it's better to just let everything go? I'm no good at therapy; they move on to other clients because I can't say what I'm supposed to. I'm no good at graded exposure, it makes me more anxious. I'm literally no good at anything; super self-pitying. I know that sounds super "woe is me" but really, there's not any other way I can express it.
I've wanted things to change for so long. I've seen no fewer than 5 therapists. It ends up the same every time; I can't talk to them. Literally; words don't come out. I panic and I just take everything back inside. I'm not even sure what I'm scared of at this point. It's instinctual.
So you have to be at a point where you want things to change. You have to really want to be able to go outside, or to be able to handle tiny things like online shops and substitutions, or unexpected letters.
These things will happen every day of your life and you must be Able to muster up enough resilience to deal with them. Or heaven help you when you have a real, actual problem to deal
A friend of mine - her cancer has spread into her brain this week. So she has to be able to deal with this reality, not with what might happen.
I’m six years into therapy because I didn’t want to see someone who could only see me for 10 weeks or whatever. It took over a year for me to be open and honest with her.
It’s been really really hard but I hated how things were and knew that they needed to change.
I believe that stuff improves if you want it to and you’re willing to try.
reach I'm sorry about your friend. That's unbelievably hard to live with.
This is my life though. Yes, I'm aware that it's not valid. It's not worth anything. Tiny things become insurmountable when they're compounded with anxiety/OCD/anorexia.
I know that isn't an excuse though. It's unbearable, so do what it takes to make it un-unbearable.
cauliflower I'm really glad you found someone who could help you, it must make such a difference. I hope things continue to improve for you.
You really sound like a lady I saw on Doctor in the House. She was too anxious to speak with a therapist and didn’t get anywhere with them. It turned out she had post traumatic stress disorder and started doing EMDR I believe. Perhaps this is something you could look into. I’ll see if the episode is available online still and if so I’ll post a link.
Don’t give up. 💐
I don't know the answer to your question, but I am sorry you've found yourself in this way of things. It sounds so mentally and physically draining this cycle you're caught in. I don't have the words, but only wanted to say that I hope you find a workable solution to it all.
Thank you both
Minimum I've heard of EMDR, but never used it. I've tried straight up counselling, CBT and psychoanalysis (though that was pure wtf the whole time, neither of us knew what was meant to be happening!)
Tribble Thank you. It is draining. Every day is just, 'let's get to tomorrow' and it's a never-ending cycle of wanting everything to end and just having it not happen. Exhausting.
I appreciate people replying to me so much, I don't really talk to anyone IRL so the fact that you've taken the time to type a reply is amazing. Thank you so much. I know I don't deserve it.
Can I ask how you tried mindfulness? Did you do an 8 week course? How long did you try it for? Did you practice everyday for a period? Mindfulness takes weeks and weeks to have an effect and often it is really difficult. The meditations aren’t supposed to be relaxing. It is a way if training your brain to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. To be present and in your body. If you do it regularly it changes the neural pathways in your brain which then reduces anxiety. My anxiety was never as bad as yours and I think it took about 12 weeks before I started to see an improvement. Oddly my depression went a lot more quickly. Anxiety is a insidious bugger though.
Having said all if that if you gave suffered trauma I would guess (I don’t know) that you would probably need to deal with that first before attempting mindfulness.
Definitely look into the EMDR. Perhaps a therapist can come to your house? I think it is a way if dealing with the issues without facing them directly, which you gave to do in CBT for example and that’s just too much for some people. You have to be sneaky with anxiety and go in round the side when it’s nit looking!!!
For me that was mindfulness. But everyone will be different. Maybe EMDR might be the key for you?
Sadly the programme I was thinking if is no longer available. It was episode 2 of series 2 if you have any fancy way of getting hold of these things!
I did the full course of mindfulness. It made me increasingly anxious throughout. I did literally everything I was told to do; trying the meditation exercises every day. It was too empty for me, there was too much time for my mind to run rampant regardless of what I was trying to let it do. Maybe I didn't do it properly? I saw a practitioner every week and asked her if I was doing it properly, but it's entirely possible that I just screwed it up and did it wrong.
I have to be active constantly to keep thoughts at bay. It's like, every day is just a battle. I either win and get to progress on to the next day positively, or I lose and have to start from scratch. I don't know what else I'm supposed to do at this point.
Minimum I'll have a look online for the episode. I'm sure it'll have been uploaded somewhere.
EMDR is definitely interesting. Maybe I'm at the point where I can function as a case study. That'd be useful, at least. Thank you for the suggestion [flowers/]
Just so you know I really get how you are feeling. When you are anxious and/or depressed all the time and there is no joy, or even contentment, life loses all meaning, and you just feel like “what is the point of all this, it’s just too bloody hard for no reward”. I even got to the point where I would look around to everyone else seemingly enjoying their lives and think “why is everyone bothering, I just don’t understand it”. Why doesn’t everyone go this is all a bit crap and hard and pointless, I’m just going to check out.
Then I found mindfulness and came to realise that my anxiety and my “monkey mind” was stopping me from properly engaging in anything. I was constantly thinking about the past (that random event that pops onto your head for no reason( or the future (that to do list!), or witting about things that haven’t happened, or catastrophising, or beating myself up about something (like why I was so crap at life, or why I was so useless because I always felt anxious or depressed). No wonder I was anxious and depressed. And no wonder I couldn’t enjoy anything if I wasn’t actually being present or engaging in anything I was doing! It was a revelation. And I have gone from being v unwell and suicidal to now I don’t have constant low level anxiety, and despite some very challenging physical health problems that I’ve had in the last year, I haven’t been depressed. And I enjoy stuff more, I get the point now!
I am saying all this to say when I was at my worse point, I thought there was no hope and no way out. I couldn’t see any light at the end of a long, long dark tunnel. And things changed for me. They got better. I recovered.
I am not saying mindfulness is the key for you, it may be something else but I had mental health issues since I was a teenager so about 25 years of seeing therapists of all different types, trying 3 types of medication, trying numerous diets and exercise, homeopathy, acupuncture and god knows what else. Your key is out there too. You just need to find it.
From your explanation you may not have been “doing it right” but if that’s the case it won’t be your fault it will be the way it was explained to you.
You don’t need to empty your mind. The only purpose is to try to get your mind to focus on one thing. That could be your breath, or parts of your body. You need to try to think about that thing with curiosity and interest. I am using the word “try” but it isn’t a forced thing, it’s quite gentle.
Your mind will go off and start racing about thinking, worrying (am I doing this right!?!) and all you do each time it does that is notice that it’s gone off and gently bring it back. Like you would if it was a small, playful, naughty puppy! You wouldn’t shout or get angry, you’d just say gently, “no, over here, back to the breath”
You may also notice feelings. Probably anxiety for you. Anxiety gets stronger the more you try to fight it. One if the most powerful things for me with mindfulness was learning to just let it (anxiety, negative emotions of any kind) sit there. Just notice it and observe it. Don’t fight it or judge it. Just focus on your breathing. I find if I can do this it starts to go in waves and then eventually starts to dissipate. Not always at first, but now I can use it anytime anxiety starts to rear it’s head and it goes away.
The other thing I learnt which has been really helpful is not to put in the second arrow. Life is hard. You are going through a lot at the moment. You don’t need to be beating yourself up on top of that. For example, I got stuck in a traffic jam this morning and was late for a doctors appt. I could have started an inner monologue of “I’m such an idiot, I should have left earlier” “so stupid, I’m always doing things like this” and so on getting angry with myself, the cars around me and so on. But instead I didn’t allow my head to go there and just focussed on my breathing when I started feeling stressed. I was late, I was of course very apologetic, but I wasn’t stressed. A few years ago that would have ruined my whole day.
None of this may be any use to you (or maybe it will but in the future). If you do want to try again I’ll link to a fab book which comes with a cd that you can do from home.
Really think though you should definitely look into trauma first.
Hope some of that was helpful. Really sorry you are having such an awful time. 💐 Off to bed now but will check thread in morning. Take care.
Minimum I'm really glad it worked so well for you. Finding something that just fits so perfectly sounds amazing, I really hope you continue to go from strength to strength.
I don't know that I can do anything else with mindfulness at this point. I did what I was supposed to do with it, I literally followed the program to the letter.
I think that there are people who come to end of everything. Realistically, there is only so much that the NHS can offer. I take and take and take, and it doesn't matter how much I try to give because it doesn't match up to the taking. That inequality is something in and of itself, really. It's like trying to make a whole person out of a half and a quarter. You can mesh it together in a thousand different ways, and it won't work.
The point at which you feel like you just can't go on, is often the time when, little by little, your life will start to change. You are worthwhile! You are worthy of love. You are worthy of respect. Anxiety and depression is just our mind stuck on the same old pattern. Doesnt mean it is the right pattern, just cos it has been repeated in your head ... Over and over and over the same faulty thinking.
You are equally deserving of respect, and deserve an equal chance at happiness. The OCD and anxiety and depression is not the sum of you. You have a diagnosis of a mental health issue, and the treatment is currently failing. Such a hard place, and lonely place to be for you. Do reach out and seek the treatment you need to get help from these unrelenting symptoms. 🌸
I wish I knew how to dm as I could havre written your first post x
Hey Are you still there? How are you doing today? 🌻
OP with issues like you have it's not an easy route to get better, and there are no easy solutions. You will get to a place at some point where you get the motivation to change elements of your behaviour, a little bit at a time. All the therapy etc that you've had you might find comes in useful at some point in the future.
With the mindfulness thing have you read "the miracle of mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh? I found that book much more helpful than the course I went on, as it was just much more applicable to life. It's really short and easy to read.
I don't think reach's comment is very helpful. The coping strategies that you have are no doubt a way of dealing with a very real problem that has already happened to you.
Hi OP, we’re so sorry to hear that you’re feeling like this,
We wanted to share Mind's information with you – it has practical tips on what you can do when you feel like this and where to get urgent help. Maybe take a look and see if there’s anything which might be helpful right now.
Join the discussion
Please login first.