Mental Illness and support

26 Apr 2017 18:01 #282051 by Andillusion
Andillusion created the topic: Mental Illness and support
Hi all! I wanted to open up a discussion about mental illness. kind of a place to talk about it, look for support, or learn about many different types of mental illness. As a Jedi (and a member of NAMI) i think it's important to help our fellow man with these disorders a long with helping break the stigmas connected to mental health and illness.

To start off, I have depression. It isn't a death sentence, nor am i psychotic. But the thing i think people need help to realize is i can't just "cheer up". Depression isn't just sadness, sometimes when I'm depressed i'm not even sad. When i'm in a bad depression everything feels...off. No matter how sunny or beautiful the world is on that day, part of me hates it. Depression is like the "devil on your shoulder", except he isn't telling you to do things, but telling you that action is futile because you aren't worth it. I take medication and it helps, but my mood is very fragile. Even the smallest, most insignificant daily setback can ruin my day. For example: i could be having a fantastic day, and all of a sudden i realize i didn't put my name on a test in one of my classes. Not a big deal, the instructor is nice, and ill talk to them tomorrow. But it still ruins the rest of the day. The solution people always give me of just "cheering up" since i have "nothing to be sad about" isn't very helpful. Now, i don't hold malice towards those individuals, they don't entirely understand what I'm going through and are just trying to help. But that's what I want this thread to help do, educate those who don't understand. Help them know what we go through so that they can do their best to help with the knowledge of what life is like for those with mental illness. I also want this to be a place of support for those who have these issues and illnesses. This should be a safe thread where you can air your troubles to those who might understand or at the very least show a willingness to help.

Thanks! I'm excited to see where this leads.:)
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26 Apr 2017 18:38 #282056 by rrhodes67
rrhodes67 replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
I don't have mental illness, but my mom did. She dealt with it for years. While it was her issue, it deeply impacted me though. I was raised in foster care from the time I was 22 months old. Until I was around 13, I never thought of them as anything but my parents. Then when I turned 13, she began to develop drastic mood changes. One day she'd be normal, the next she'd be a raging bitch. I could always tell when she was not taking her medicine and going into her dark areas, because she'd stand at the kitchen sink singing church hymns.

This became such a dark scary time. I think my dad made it even scarier at times. He got rid of every gun he had in the house because as he'd often tell me "she's gonna snap and kill us all." He began to put pressure on her and social workers to find a new home for me. After that, things changed. I still loved them with all my heart, but it felt like it was no longer my home. There were times when my dad would get me off on his own and tell me how I was pushing her over the edge. I felt very responsible for what was going on with her. It put a divide between he and I that I wasn't about to bridge for another two decades.

Luckily for me though, I had a Principal and two custodians at my school who took interest in me and kind of took me under their wings During one of the darkest periods of my life, to have strangers so concerned about me, and doing everything they could to make sure I was doing okay, meant the world.

I think it was an important life lesson for me, and I find myself now with much more compassion for those with mental illness. However, it also left me with insecurity in relationships. If my parents could ditch me, then how could I expect anyone else to stick around. I then have a tendency to push people away. It's an area I'm working on in my life.
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26 Apr 2017 19:18 #282059 by Andillusion
Andillusion replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
A huge part of mental illness is it's affect on others. Most people know someone who has a mental illness or is affected by it. if you ever need someone to talk to i'm here :)
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26 Apr 2017 19:23 #282060 by rrhodes67
rrhodes67 replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
Thank you. Same here.

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26 Apr 2017 19:34 - 26 Apr 2017 20:02 #282063 by Arisaig
Arisaig replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
It is my hope this thread will lead to people being able to help and/or understand those around the Temple and beyond by being able to work together.

I post in hopes that those that also struggle will also post and seek the help they need. If anyone needs to chat, about anything, my inbox and my heart are always open.

For years I've been struggling with acute PTSD from my time in the military. It doesn’t' plague me like some, I don't wake up in cold sweats with vivid flashbacks, but sometimes a sound/smell/thought will pull me back for a bit. Most of my symptoms was a psychosomatic pain my right leg which made the leg near useless for years, alongside an inability to speak to authority without struggling to hold back my shaking and tears. It’s taken many years (and the help I’ve found in this Temple) to regain the mental strength to forgive myself and move on. I now can deal with authority (sometimes the shaking comes back, and I may get a bit blurry-vision, but I can at least talk to my boss without being unable to stand) and I can walk without a cane. Running, however, is still a challenge (but this may have been from self-pity eating rather than the pain I once felt).

My family has been plagued with mental health problems. My grandmother fell into insanity, refusing to eat the foods that would literally save her life as she physically fell to pieces due to one of the most advanced cases of psoriasis ever seen. Her husband, my grandfather, is losing memories and making up new ones to take their place. He also gets angry if you point out you’ve had the same conversation many times in the same sitting. My aunt, their child, was born with part of her brain straight dead, unable to be used. As a result she became a hoarder, a compulsive liar, a child trapped in a woman’s body, and a hypochondriac.

Point being, I’m well acquainted with mental illness, and am willing to talk to those that need help. Of course, seek professional help. They have the schooling to be of real help. But if all you need is someone to listen, I’m all ears and open arms.

May the Force be with you all.
Last Edit: 26 Apr 2017 20:02 by Arisaig.
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26 Apr 2017 19:44 #282064 by Andillusion
Andillusion replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
On another note. My family has also been plagued with mental illness. My mother has bi-polar disorder, as does my fiancee. my sisters both have depression and my grandparents probably have something going on that they won't admit to. Living with these things is a constant uphill battle for everyone involved. When my Fiancee goes into a manic episode there is no stopping her. She feels invincible, like she can save the world on her own. She cleans the entire apartment in an hour and writes an 11 page paper in 30 minutes, and while some people can see this as better than a depressive episode it really isn't. She gets little to no sleep, and your immune system is at risk during a manic episode. Sure, you won't feel useless and risk of suicidal ideations might be much smaller but the physiological implications can be just as destructive.

from the worst cases of PTSD and Schizophrenia to the mildest cases of depression and anxiety, we know our conditions effect those we care about as well as ourselves. Unfortunately in some instances it can only make us feel worse.
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26 Apr 2017 23:21 #282101 by Rosalyn J
Rosalyn J replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
I'm happy to see this thread. I'll have to write my own history down when I don't have to type with my thumbs. But I did want to add, my inbox is open
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27 Apr 2017 01:15 #282114 by Sven One
Sven One replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
Ah I think this is wonderful that we're sharing these kind of "sensitive" subjects with each other. I personally, don't have any that I can prove through my doctors but, my mother has been diagnosed being bipolar. Growing up, you say anything negative toward her no matter if she was in a good mood it was like a "kill switch" and she would explode with anger toward me or anybody...my family always called her "crazy" and such. My brother I believe suffers from it and depression...he was prescribed pills at an early age but, to this day refuses to take any of it and a lot of times treats his unbalances with marijuana. Which, brings to me now. When my mom was tested and positive for Bipolar (even though she claims she doesn't have it...) My initial belief was to go and have myself tested as well. I have a test done ever other year to see if I have it and since 2007 till now I have been tested negative oh, also for depression. I will though say for a lot of years I did deal with anger management problems. Nothing violent but, just had a short fuse. I spent about six or more years with a Pastor taking classes and he prescribed me working out, yoga and writing my feelings out on paper. I don't write things out so much anymore but, I do go work out often and yoga every day. Great breathing exercises relax me.

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27 Apr 2017 01:38 #282116 by Andillusion
Andillusion replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
The thing with these disorders is that they aren't able to be identified in basic testing. It's all mostly based on the experiences of the individual. Especially bipolar disorder.

Most psychiatrists won't diagnose bipolar disorder until the patient is at least 18 years of age, due to it being easily confused with ADD, ADHD, and good ol' depression. Which makes it hard on children and teens dealing with the disorder due to the fact that riddilin and adderall can both make manic episodes worse.

I'm not trying to discount your experiences, just giving some explanation to how these things kind of work. Personally when I and family members have been diagnosed with these disorders it was because of our experiences when it comes to our moods. My fiancée for example was diagnosed with bipolar because of her rapid cycles between manic episodes (up all night, irritable, a sense of invincibility) and depressive episodes.
Again I'm not doubting that your family has experience with these disorders, many do, just trying to help clarify some of the processes :)

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27 Apr 2017 01:46 #282118 by Sven One
Sven One replied the topic: Mental Illness and support
No, that's fine I understand. I honestly, will be the first to tell you I don't know a lot about any of this except what I have experienced. So not at all. :)

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