Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions

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smurphy
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by smurphy » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:58 pm

Karl wrote:I tend to have long stretches of time where I struggle to focus, and then bursts of motivation that see me doing weeks' worth of work over a few days. Can anyone else relate to this?


Who says it's weeks worth of work? And if it is, why doesn't the period leading up the burst of work count as work, too? The older I get the more I realise that anyone who does any kind of creative/thoughtful/passion-driven work for a living or serious hobby almost has to go through these cycles. There's this myth that people in these areas work continuously 9-5 as if it was a 'normal' job, and that in not doing so you're lazy or a failure. I'm sure some people manage that, but from what I can tell it's very, very rare.

I've been trying lately to just let myself play games for a while, or read, or do nothing and not feel bad about it. It's very difficult, but I'm trying hard. And it's good because I don't burn out, and when the motivation or inspiration returns I'm ready to go at it 100%, and truly enjoying blasting out a ton of work.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Green Gecko » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:28 am

Smurphy is basically correct. I often go through the same things, I literally "napped" my way through some joinery decision making earlier today, although possibly a form of meditation. Both Einstein and Da Vinci used to do a similar thing iirc, falling almost asleep to allow the brain to make obervations and devise unhindered by concious reasoning (worrying), often by allowing otherwise disparate thoughts and concepts to flow together. They would wait until they fell asleep long enough to hear a pencil fall out of the hand and tap on the ground, wake up and continue.

But I now genuinely explain to some customers that I have spent a week thinking about and envisioning this image, this design etc. And have just started drawing.

It helped that my mother has also been depressed in past and present an as a mental health worker and art therapist she strongly believes depressive periods of low mood are normal and even productive parts of the creative process without which the constructive and realisation parts of the cycle could not happen. The correlation between creative and some scientific disciplines is well documented because a degree of self criticism is absolutely essential to progress.

When I was micro managed and given arbitrary deadlines in my longest job I REALLY wanted to tell my bosses to strawberry float of sometimes, because whatever I did was generally excellent and of value and they knew that to the extent I constantly got away with apparent zero time management. And at university before that in order to not constantly be penalised and thrown out it was finally recognised after years I had serious issues structuring and observing time and so I had a learning agreement that literally allowed for infinite deadline extensions. I got 67.995% for my total BA despite every single unit being late at least once, I think my record was an entire year late for my first essay.

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Banjo
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Banjo » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:21 am

Last night, my ex made it publically known that she is seeing someone. Since she dumped me god knows if she has dated anyone else, but this is the first 'known' one, and it really, really stings. Perhaps more than I was even expecting, and I knew it was coming.

The thing I'm noticing more is how my depression manifests. In the last 6 months I've made a decent effort of keeping my body and mind occupied that I wasn't being as put down as I had, and last night I could almost very literally feel it starting to consume me again. My body started feeling very weak, all of a sudden my appetite vanished, sounds started to get distanced. It was weird, and a little scary. Perhaps a good sign that I am able to take a somewhat reflective stance, as last year I was lost in it for weeks at a time, and maybe this could be a way of showing progress.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by still » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:31 am

Banjo wrote:Last night, my ex made it publically known that she is seeing someone. Since she dumped me god knows if she has dated anyone else, but this is the first 'known' one, and it really, really stings. Perhaps more than I was even expecting, and I knew it was coming.

The thing I'm noticing more is how my depression manifests. In the last 6 months I've made a decent effort of keeping my body and mind occupied that I wasn't being as put down as I had, and last night I could almost very literally feel it starting to consume me again. My body started feeling very weak, all of a sudden my appetite vanished, sounds started to get distanced. It was weird, and a little scary. Perhaps a good sign that I am able to take a somewhat reflective stance, as last year I was lost in it for weeks at a time, and maybe this could be a way of showing progress.


Definitely a good sign as you can actually see it coming on as a result of your thought processes after 'bad' news. It took me years to realise that the way I was thinking was contributory to the way I was feeling. (Can't say I've got that much better! but the underlying knowledge definitely helps.) Good luck.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Green Gecko » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:25 am

Observing your condition is a powerful thing, although I'm sorry to hear that, I recall times when I was improving overall when I looked at how I felt objectively.

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Karl
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Karl » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:37 am

Banjo: knowing yourself well enough to say "this is what I feel like, and this is why I'm feeling it" is very important when managing depression in my experience. I'd echo Still and Gecko in saying that it's definitely progress to be recognising the symptoms & processes this early on. I'm sorry to hear you're having a tough time of it at the moment with your ex though.



smurphy wrote:
Karl wrote:I tend to have long stretches of time where I struggle to focus, and then bursts of motivation that see me doing weeks' worth of work over a few days. Can anyone else relate to this?


Who says it's weeks worth of work? And if it is, why doesn't the period leading up the burst of work count as work, too? The older I get the more I realise that anyone who does any kind of creative/thoughtful/passion-driven work for a living or serious hobby almost has to go through these cycles...


Green Gecko wrote:...But I now genuinely explain to some customers that I have spent a week thinking about and envisioning this image, this design etc. And have just started drawing...


This made me feel a little better, thanks both. It's good to hear that other people in creative/knowledge industries have similar experiences and cycles.

It can be tough to talk to colleagues and other people in the same industry about this kind of thing, because you're scared you'll come off as lazy or a chancer. One of my fears is that people will suddenly realise I'm not good at my job (though I know on a conscious, objective level that I am at least quite good at it).

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Banjo
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Banjo » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:18 pm

I suppose the real pain is knowing just how far I am from being 'okay'. At the risk of pulling a Clarkman, I have led a fairly exciting year and have managed to do, see and achieve a good deal, yet a big part of my mind is still firmly locked in that past state. No matter how much I told myself that this day would come sooner or later, it still completely put me on my arse. I have got some stuff going on in my life to keep me pro-active; activities, social promises and some skills I want to pursue, but it does still feel like I'm using them to mask from what I really want, which is sadly not an option anymore.

It's that sucky, feeling, knowing that it never really goes away, just trying to prep more for when it will give you a knock, and hope it doesn't completely tip over your life. I mean, strawberry float, last year was that for me, so much time spent in a hole being both unable and unwilling to climb out.

On the plus side though, I have way better hair than the new dude and far greater fashion sense.

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Hime
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Hime » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:18 pm

Do any of you find your creative sparks come with periods of addiction to whatever it is your working on, studying, etc? I go through these highly focuses periods and feel like I've beaten the anxiety/depression (I feel embarrassed just writting that) and it out of nowhere it hits me like a train.

I still refuse to believe I can't beat this stuff bit it's hard when your tortured by your own thoughts and try to keep this stuff from people around you. I know it's not a good thing to do but I will never share everything with friends and family.

Banjo, a breakup is something that has been one of the main catalysts for my issues and something that always plagues me. I hate failure and constantly think about things from the past, what I did wrong, and who could have been hurt. The relationship stuff affects me the most as rejection is to me the worst feeling, especially if it's in situations that you try to have control of your emotions. My only advice would be to do things that make you feel better about yourself, exercise, dress well, get a nice hair cut, eat better, see your friends, go for a walk, organise a holiday, etc.

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Banjo
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Banjo » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:25 pm

Hime wrote:Banjo, a breakup is something that has been one of the main catalysts for my issues and something that always plagues me. I hate failure and constantly think about things from the past, what I did wrong, and who could have been hurt. The relationship stuff affects me the most as rejection is to me the worst feeling, especially if it's in situations that you try to have control of your emotions. My only advice would be to do things that make you feel better about yourself, exercise, dress well, get a nice hair cut, eat better, see your friends, go for a walk, organise a holiday, etc.


Similar to what yourself and others are saying with regards to creativity, I was talking to a friend last night and she was really pushing me to do more writing. I do so on occasion and have had a fair few people comment on it, how they really like my style and what I have to say (naturally these are instances of me trying to convey my emotional state in print) and my response has been that I'm pretty insecure about pursuing. But this time not for fear of rejection, but because my strongest writing has come out when I've been particularly emotionally overwhelmed. It's a difficult position, as I would like to channel more of my focus and energy into creative projects (dance as well) but the majority of my form of expression comes from rooting in negative, traumatic experiences. I'm not sure if I want to spend more time in that hole to get at the juicy material, feels risky. I am going to try (and have been) but I approach it with trepidation.

I also completely agree with it coming in waves/patches. I don't know how some people can be 'switched on' all the time, seems inhuman.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by False » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:46 pm

Banjo wrote:It's that sucky, feeling, knowing that it never really goes away, just trying to prep more for when it will give you a knock, and hope it doesn't completely tip over your life. I mean, strawberry float, last year was that for me, so much time spent in a hole being both unable and unwilling to climb out.


I treat depression recovery the same sort of way I treat addiction recovery. Always feels like Im on the verge of a 'relapse' into sadboy, especially as Im not medicated. Just try and be mindful of your situation and being proactive about driving yourself out of it. I dont want everybody to jump down my neck here, but its 'easy' to be sad when you have a depressive mind. It takes literally zero effort to think, 'you know what strawberry float this Im going to sit here in my own stink for a week and shut out the world'. At the end of that week you have achieved nothing but you have allowed yourself to be sad. Its hard to think, I feel like I want to be stinky-sad-bed-man but Im going to be fresh-happy-work-man, but you have to do it.

Being majorly depressed was honestly the worst time of my life but almost every day I want to go back to it, I want to take time off work, strawberry float off my friends and family, and let myself sink into the warm loving embrace of that cold black pit.

That is 'recovery' from depression. I totally dont expect anymore that Ill wake up and my mind will be wired for happiness. Its wired for sadness as its default, and my recovery is that I know that and Im (almost) ready to live the rest of my life managing the condition.

Banjo wrote:On the plus side though, I have way better hair than the new dude and far greater fashion sense.


Dont believe it.

* Translators note: Sad is a catchall term for all symptoms of depression, dont hate.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Banjo » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:56 pm

Ha. Knew I can count on you to knock down my pipe dreams.

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Karl
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Karl » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:58 pm

Gently-Parted Ringpiece wrote:Being majorly depressed was honestly the worst time of my life but almost every day I want to go back to it, I want to take time off work, strawberry float off my friends and family, and let myself sink into the warm loving embrace of that cold black pit.

That is 'recovery' from depression. I totally dont expect anymore that Ill wake up and my mind will be wired for happiness. Its wired for sadness as its default, and my recovery is that I know that and Im (almost) ready to live the rest of my life managing the condition.


This is definitely true. Being 'recovered' is much better than the alternative, but you're still constantly walking up a down escalator. If you stop putting the effort in it'll take you all the way back down to the bottom before you know it.

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Hime
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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Hime » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:59 pm

Gently-Parted Ringpiece wrote:
Banjo wrote:It's that sucky, feeling, knowing that it never really goes away, just trying to prep more for when it will give you a knock, and hope it doesn't completely tip over your life. I mean, strawberry float, last year was that for me, so much time spent in a hole being both unable and unwilling to climb out.


I treat depression recovery the same sort of way I treat addiction recovery. Always feels like Im on the verge of a 'relapse' into sadboy, especially as Im not medicated. Just try and be mindful of your situation and being proactive about driving yourself out of it. I dont want everybody to jump down my neck here, but its 'easy' to be sad when you have a depressive mind. It takes literally zero effort to think, 'you know what strawberry float this Im going to sit here in my own stink for a week and shut out the world'. At the end of that week you have achieved nothing but you have allowed yourself to be sad. Its hard to think, I feel like I want to be stinky-sad-bed-man but Im going to be fresh-happy-work-man, but you have to do it.

Being majorly depressed was honestly the worst time of my life but almost every day I want to go back to it, I want to take time off work, strawberry float off my friends and family, and let myself sink into the warm loving embrace of that cold black pit.

That is 'recovery' from depression. I totally dont expect anymore that Ill wake up and my mind will be wired for happiness. Its wired for sadness as its default, and my recovery is that I know that and Im (almost) ready to live the rest of my life managing the condition.

Banjo wrote:On the plus side though, I have way better hair than the new dude and far greater fashion sense.


Dont believe it.

* Translators note: Sad is a catchall term for all symptoms of depression, dont hate.

I agree with this is 100%. You have to help yourself and can't rely on tablets to make everything better.

I think the reason I am so guarded about this stuff is that my sister has pretty severe mental illness but she uses it as a get of jail free card for anything bad that she does. She lies and steals from my parents, constantly asks for money despite spending all her money on drink and drugs. She's 27 now and has lived like this for over 10 years. She feels absolutely no remorse and none of this stuff is ever her fault, it's all because of her borderline personality disorder.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Fade » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:24 pm

Tablets are just a way to make your mind more open to change. They're never going to fix anything.

I always used to think I would be depressed my entire life but now I have a steady job I enjoy and a girlfriend who gets me I'm feeling a lot better. Ever time I get negative thoughts I just let them pass over me, and remind myself it's all in my head.

So now I'm not too sure.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Rocsteady » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:06 pm

I like the comparison to addiction. I always used to self-medicate with hard drugs and although it’s been a long time since I did any and haven’t been feeling too depressed of late, problems still manifest as a massive desire to strawberry float everything off and go on a never ending bender.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by False » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:47 pm

Part of being proactive for me involves not drinking because it makes me sad and not doing the drugs because they make me feel amazing and then extra sad. I love MDMA, but jesus does that gooseberry fool strawberry float me up. Still, every time I go out I have to have the discussion with myself about whether I want to do this or not. I havent had any for at least 6 months I reckon, and before that maybe 12 months. I went to the warehouse project a few weeks back with no drugs and just a couple of drinks, I was almost sober. It was a great time - if I did MDMA it may well have been the greatest night of my life... followed by some of the worst days.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by still » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:49 pm

Gently-Parted Ringpiece wrote:Part of being proactive for me involves not drinking because it makes me sad and not doing the drugs because they make me feel amazing and then extra sad. I love MDMA, but jesus does that gooseberry fool strawberry float me up. Still, every time I go out I have to have the discussion with myself about whether I want to do this or not. I havent had any for at least 6 months I reckon, and before that maybe 12 months. I went to the warehouse project a few weeks back with no drugs and just a couple of drinks, I was almost sober. It was a great time - if I did MDMA it may well have been the greatest night of my life... followed by some of the worst days.


That’s really impressive Falsey. Wish I could cut down on the alcohol because I know it has a down effect on my mood. Trouble is, it’s basically the only way I know to relax.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Bethlehemster » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:18 pm

I think it’s about being honest with yourself and finding what works for you and doesn’t. There never has been and never will be a one size fits all approach or treatment to depression or mental health in general.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by Bethlehemster » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:20 pm

I feel a little shitty for not posting in here often - given my profession. I think I use this place as a sanctuary from Work tbh. For those of you who ever felt the need for an ear or advice - my inbox is always open.

I’ve spent 90 percent of my time as a forensic nurse on busy acute wards but in the last 18 months or so I’ve been on rehab ones and so have become reacquainted with helping people with mood and anxiety issues.

So much of my job involves normalising the experiences for my patients (combatting the stigma of mental health and having a label) but also for myself. I’ve always been a bubbly chipper sort of guy but have had periods of reactive low mood in the last couple of years and felt truly dreadful. It’s helped immensely in my working life to have experienced that and come throug the other side. To live a life like that (where it’s more frequent and far more serious and debilitating) must be incredibly challenging.

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PostRe: Depression, Anxiety, or other Mental Health Conditions
by gamerforever » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:45 am

I’ve been off citalopram for a week now and my work focus is so much better, which is really important as i’m fully self employed now.

My appetite is still big, but i am less hungry than before. I just need to get down to the gym and enhance my seratonin naturally.

I feel some people are just meant to stay busy and do things and that makes you feel better. Citalopram had a habit of making me spaced out and wanting to stay in bed all the time.

Lets see how it goes as its early days without medication, but i must lose weight as it does impact on my mental health.


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