Getting help; an FT rambling.
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20-11-2015, 06:18 AM
Getting help; an FT rambling.
As a number on the forum know, I'm have my fair-share of problems, which (I assume to their annoyance), I have refused to get help with many times for various reasons, all irrational.
This thread is about that; primarily I just wanted to get all of the below out of my head and somewhere ‘real’, but I’m also looking for advice and perspective (as stated at the end). I also kinda felt I owed it to some members on the forum who have tirelessly put up with my occasional inane whining and tried to push me in the right direction (you know who you are).
... I've put marks to cut my rambling in half; first lot is just details I wanted to get out of my head, the rest is 'proper' stuff.
I hope any poor phrasing and my blabbering written manner can be excused, I'm still tired from yesterday.

Yesterday was, at first, a very hard day for me. I was traipsing around outside of my domain in ~36 degree (~96.8) sun because I had somewhere to be; I was to see a psychiatrist. (Before I get started, I guess I should say that this day has been a few weeks in the making, as I was forced into seeing a counsellor at uni for my academic problems, which expanded to seeing one of the in-house docs to get a referral.)
Unfortunately I was an hour early because I can't time for shit and had to spend that time outside because I'm a crazy person who couldn't push myself to entire the building before my time to. Also, I was busy trying to keep in control of the irrational discomfort that was slowly growing by the minute. By the time I go in, I've pretty much reverted to a mute, only able to manage short words when a clerk at the main reception desk noticed my looking around confused and beckoned me over; 'I.. have this..." I was able mutter, showing her the letter I had, she directed me to where I was supposed to be and I did the same with a lady at the mental health desk. I sat down as instructed and proceeded to wait for my doctor. For a while it was empty. Just me sitting out of sight of the receptionists, fidgeting and looking around, struggling to control myself; my mind was a tempest of irrational fear, disgust, anger, and impatience at the time. My frustration only grew as an old gentleman who seemingly had the mind of a child walked in, shouting happily in greeting to somebody passing by. It was an almost half an hour wait...
Eventually the psych came, introduced herself and showed me to her office, while I walked quietly behind, head down in my shoulders, glancing around nervously. When we got to her office, she told me to take a seat, closed the door, sat at her desk with a pad and pen and asked me why I was there. This was the hardest part of my day. For what felt like a few very long minutes, I sat there, looking around, wringing my hands, occasionally dumbly opening my mouth to speak and having no words. Eventually, she took the initiative, asking a different question 'Do you have trouble speaking?' I tried to respond but couldn't again. I gave a shallow nod instead. 'is this normal?' 'I managed to mumble a 'no', which she forced me to repeat louder because she didn't hear properly. Soon I was able to explain it's only when I'm in a situation like this; a new environment or with new people. She repeated her first question; why, did I think, my gp (a doc at the uni) had referred me to the mental health clinic. Eventually I was able to respond that the doc, at the behest of my counsellor, had a look at me and thought I might have depression, so they referred me. Though not in so many words.
As I was starting to calm down enough to speak, she started to go through the standard questions, starting with what I like to do; I like to read and play video games. "Are you any good at them?" (The answer is no) "What kinds of books do you like to read?", and so on. Eventually she moves to my home life, and I ended up discussing some of the problems I had with my family; I have very little in common with any of them, I try to stay away from them when possible because I want to try to keep out of their way and avoid bothering them, my older brother is autistic and it makes him hypersensitive to pretty much anything so talking to him about things is difficult without him getting upset (because I tend to be analytical and critical about things that don't make sense or I don’t like), my older sister being self-centred and easy to anger and our history of fighting, my mother's de-facto having 'some annoying tendencies' and so on.
We move to how I feel; I'm tired. 'often?' 'yes.' 'Do you sleep well?' 'no.' 'Is it trouble getting to sleep, you do you wake up a lot?' 'Getting to sleep... Sleep for me is usually I black out and suddenly I wake up to my cat banging on my door around 6. It's just trying to actually get to sleep; when I close my eyes, I 'see' things, like spiders, centipedes and things. I can fix it with the light of my monitor, but then the light becomes a problem.' 'Are you afraid of those things?' 'No, but spiders and insects to irrationally disgust me in some way... it's the segmented bodies...'
She asks how else I feel. I tell her my mood usually tends to be one of three things; a feeling of indifference and boredom that I can't shake, anger and frustration, and a depressed feeling where everything is an effort. Unless I'm in a situation like this, then it's terribly anxious with a host of fun physical reactions like my skin going cold, profuse sweating, becoming twitchy, heart racing, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, feeling sick in my stomach etc. Moments where I’m happy do happen, but they usually are few and far between.
We eventually get around to the problem that started all this; the problem that got me first seeing a counsellor, then a doctor and now her: my academic problems: no matter how hard I try, I often can't focus on my work and end up getting frustrated and doing other things, if not that, I just can't get the energy to even bother trying.
After fumbling to explain myself adequately, I started talking about my other problem with work, which has stuck around since the early years of high school; a feeling that my work isn't good enough to bother handing up, which I expound upon.
I tell her about the 'voice' in the back of my mind. (It has been hard to tell everybody I've spoken to about it; I'm afraid I may miscommunicate what it is and sound like a loon.) I know it is a part of me; I don't think it is external, but I can't describe it in any other way than as a 'voice' or feeling. Because it is always negative, it feels somehow distinct from my usual thoughts. It tells me that all the work I do is garbage, not worth submission. It also extends to me in general; everything I do is done wrong, it tells me I am worthless. (I didn't mention that over the years it's become more noticeable.)
She later asked if I ever had suicidal thoughts. The answer is yes; I tend to try to hold everything in and don't really release anything. Sometimes something will just throw me over the edge of control and cause me to lose it. When that happens, sometimes the 'voice' gets easier to 'hear' and sometimes it tells me that things would be better if I did end it. I've never done anything and don't plan to act on it anytime soon, but I can't help but feel weak and chide myself for even thinking such things.

The conversation goes on for a while, but those were the major points.


The psych went on to give me her diagnosis: I have depression. According to her, my moods, concentration problems, that unending critical 'voice'; all my 'problems' are consistent with it and by my description, I've had it for a long time, and it's only been made worse by the stress of university and the 'recent' (a few months back now) death of my dog.

She wants my GP to run a few tests to make sure there isn't a physiological reason behind it; some lurking illness I'm unaware of (I doubt that's the case, but it pays to be thorough), and depending on the results, she wants my doc to rig it so that I can start treatment with therapy and antidepressants as soon as possible, which she seems to think I'll be on for a while. She made sure to tell me that I need to be patient with the meds; 'sometimes it can take a few weeks for them to work', she also made sure to warn me to not just stop taking them when I do start to feel better, if I do it could just send me back down.
She did suggest some things I can do in the meantime and throughout that might help me; she said I should start talking walks to help clear my head (and for the exercise value). She also brought up the notion of getting myself a new pet to help me get over my old dog; I explained that I already have my two cats which have proven helpful. She said that later on, when I am better, that I should start considering finding a job related to my field of study to have something to do, and moving out of my family's house to avoid the stress they give me.

It feels weird to say, but I would be lying if I said that the diagnosis didn't leave me feeling a little better; knowing there is actually something wrong with me, and that there is actually a way out of the pseudo-hell I've been largely trapped in for so many years is a strangely good feeling.
However, this has raised its own small slew of concerns; I spoke to my father about it, believing he had a right to know. Suffice it to say, he is opposed to me taking medications. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if he thought all of this (my seeing the counsellor, doc and psych and this conclusion itself) was bullshit, since he has in the past seemed to have trouble letting go of the past and accepting that the happy-happy joy-joy six year old who always wanted to play and go fishing is dead and has been for a very long time.

On the other side of things, I told my mother and as a result couldn't avoid informing her de-facto. While my mother seems to understand for the most part, I doubt she quite ever will completely, I doubt anybody will (even myself), the de facto predictably decided he knows best and proceeded to lecture me that I need to go out and do things rather than be on my PC all day, my feelings, and the fact that the internet (this forum and Quora particularly) and my games are the only things which really work now to give me any distraction from the unrelenting boredom (among other feelings I try to escape daily) that is my life be damned. Of course, I haven’t told anybody else myself (aside from whomever might read this now that is), so I’ve not had to deal with anybody else yet, but secrets cannot hold forever. My mother already slipped up twice, first getting the de facto involved when I first told her about seeing the counsellor, and again when she let the counsellor slip in front of my sister (who seems none the wiser as to what is actually happening or is being smart enough to stay out of it), so I’m sure I’ve have to address it with others sooner or later.

I have my own concerns about it. Assuming I will end up on them, I find myself, probably irrationally, worrying about whether the antidepressants might cause me to become different in some way. I mean, in a way I don’t want to risk losing what I am now, probably because it’s all I’ve known for a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, I honestly wouldn’t curse my greatest enemy to experience my daily mind, I want to be free from all this bullshit, but I can’t help wondering what will I even be when I’m on the exiting side of all this? Will I even recognise who I am? Or am I just being stupid and worrying over nonsense with no evidence supporting the concern?

I can’t suppress that critic in the back of my skull; saying I’m just wasting the time of others, I’m not worth it, I’m just weak enough for it to be a problem, turns out I am nuts, a doc said so, I should be able to deal with my own problems.
Also, I can’t help but feel vulnerable. I’m not used to letting people know what’s going on in my head outside of superficial stuff.

I have two options now; I can turn back, betray the efforts of those I’ve seen so far and begin walking down the familiar path I’ve trod for so long, or I can go along with the forces pushing me forward and march down the road I’ve been forced onto in recent weeks. And if it means salvation from myself, I’m not going to allow myself to turn back.

I know it will be my own path to tread, but if anybody has experience or perspective to offer, it would be appreciated.

TLDR LINE________________________________________________________________________________​________________________________________________________________________________​___________________________________

Yesterday I saw a psych and was diagnosed with depression, now you people (you know who you are) can now stop bugging me about getting help for my problems any time I try to vent.

(Note; I'm not even sure if here is the appropriate area, given the health and psychology section...)

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20-11-2015, 06:29 AM
RE: Getting help; an FT rambling.
Good for you for talking to a doctor.

Depression sucks and can really screw with your mind and your life. Antidepressants can help. They may not find the right one for you the first try but that's not unusual. Many of us that take antidepressants are not on the first one we were given.

Remember that antidepressants aren't a magic pill that fix everything with one dose. You generally have to take them for a while to build up to the right level in your system.

Don't worry about taking them long term. Maybe you will have to - maybe you won't. The thing for now is to get yourself feeling better.

You are a great guy - though way, way too hard on yourself. You are a joy to talk with and your posts are always worth a read.

Follow through - don't go back now that you are moving forward. You can break through this and be a happier, more content and secure may just be that you need a little chemical adjustment to get there...and there's nothing wrong with that.

Keep us here when you can't talk out loud.

Hugs and much love Free ThoughtThumbsup

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. -JF
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20-11-2015, 06:49 AM
RE: Getting help; an FT rambling.
Oh fuck! I'm about to try to sleep and then read this!

Mate, all I can say is this. I listened to your interview and you sounded fine. And I have known crazy. Hell my own mum tried to strangle me!

My impression of you is now, was when I heard you, and has always been that you are a very intelligent young man. I have enormous trust in you, that you will work out your path. It's hard at your age. I've been there. I recall standing on a bridge about to jump off when I decided no. Then went on to meet so many wonderful people and have great experiences....

This will also happen with you.

I found that the real idea is to get out there amongst people. Join a martial arts class, a dance class (Meet loads of women at dance classes!) Something other than just being at home with a pc.

I am here because of people like you who inspire me. And because my life has changed completely. I am stuck here. You are not.

One thing I learned about life is this: everything is practice. Practice communicating. Practice meeting women. Practice drums. It's all practice. Social practice needs to be done among others though.

Doing something like a martial art, or a sport or dancing or anything will give you confidence you cannot get alone. I know because I spent so much of my life alone working as a child for people who did not care. I once walked nearly 100 kms after two men tried to rape me as a kid of about 13.

I was a mess. Living in bins and on the street. Sometimes living with a violent parent for a short period...

Friends turned to drugs. Some died... What to do? I took off. Just me and my drums and hit the road.

Maybe you should travel or hit the road. I don't know. I do know I care a great deal about you and I am worried. I also think it is a part of aging, from the boy to the man, so to speak.

You can obviously do it. I know this because I have spent a great deal of time with talented and brilliant people!

Trust yourself. Get out there.

I am usually around and will always do my best to help. PM me if ever you want to Skype.

Life is tough. But it is also great! But one must make it so. That my friend is on you. Make your life great.

Join an acting class! I can hook you up with producers. The thing is about connecting with people.

I have no idea how much longer I will be around. But will do my best for you anytime while I am alive.

You have connections already.

Let's say you wanted to act. My brother is currently putting on shows in LA and my nephew is a film maker. You wanna be a muso or engineer? I know people.

And this is just me. Imagine what so many could do to help. And they will. Because the ones that will help you are those smart enough to recognise your potential.

Trust yourself.

Doctors offices can be intimidating. Trust me I know. You would NOT believe the meeting I went through yesterday. Your reaction was normal. You are normal. Extraordinary in fact.

Trust yourself. Practice. It'll come.

Yours. Dale.

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20-11-2015, 07:00 AM
RE: Getting help; an FT rambling.
I think the doctor you saw gave you excellent advice. I hope you continue to work with her.

Parents often feel responsible at a deep level for their child's happiness or sadness (even though these can be just as much genetic as situational) and it's common for them to deny the existence of a problem that they can't solve, or that has no easy solution. That is, your parents also have critical voices in their heads saying they aren't good enough/have failed you, and their reactions to you and your diagnosis are influenced by these. So: let them deal with their demons while you focus on dealing with yours, and if that means getting away from your parents for a while, you should do that.

Meds for depression sometimes do not work, but often they do help. I had situational depression for a while and tried depression meds and couldn't find one that fit. But antidepressants have very much helped my son--he went on them after being so unhappy he tried suicide. The only way he feels meds changed his personality was to make him feel better and less negative--and I would agree with that analysis.
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20-11-2015, 07:14 AM
Getting help; an FT rambling.
Wow, FT. I didn't know you knew so many words.

I've been on anti-depressants for almost 5 years. I'm actually in the process of weaning off the last two. Bad news first: it takes time getting antidepressants to work. Worse news: it takes a hellalong time to get off some of them.

The good news: with excellent communication with your doc, they can work for many people.

From my experience, they don't make you a different person. All they do is level out the chemicals swirling in your body so you won't hurt so intensely. They never made me "happy", to my great disappointment. That was something I had hoped would happen because I don't do happy well on my own. But they kept me from killing myself, and they kept me from the extreme feelings of negative emotions so that I could begin to process what was lying under all the intense emotional reactions.

I hope you look into lots of things you can do as others have mentioned. But it may very well be that you will do those things better when you have the help of medications and talk therapy.

Good luck, FT!

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20-11-2015, 07:18 AM
RE: Getting help; an FT rambling.
I am lucky enough to never have suffered from clinical depression, the closest I have come to it is grieving my husband. Some of the symptoms you talk about surfaced for me then, too.

I am so glad you made the first big steps towards treatment. It is unfortunate that it involves seeing several people to get resolution, since it requires you to make a new heroic step each time. So far, so good. Two down, one to go.

Listen to Angele, just stick with the program, my friends on anti depressants all say the same thing - it takes time to balance them.

So you are scared of losing yourself if they work? May I propose that you have lost yourself and you will find yourself if they work? I am pretty sure that's the way you will feel then....

It is a shame your parents are so unsupportive, but you don't really need them to support you much, your treatment will work whether they support it initially or not. Your dad won't get his happy 6 year old back, but he'll get a well balanced son and I am sure he will appreciate it then.

So I say: Good going, keep it up! Thumbsup

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20-11-2015, 08:29 AM
RE: Getting help; an FT rambling.
(20-11-2015 06:18 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  Yesterday I saw a psych and was diagnosed with depression, now you people (you know who you are) can now stop bugging me about getting help for my problems any time I try to vent.

(Note; I'm not even sure if here is the appropriate area, given the health and psychology section...)

People who have not experienced clinical depression rarely understand it.

Combine that with an attitude that not 'being in control' is weak or sinful, and you get your father's reaction.

Get medication. Now. Thumbsup

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20-11-2015, 08:51 AM
Getting help; an FT rambling.
Antidepressants will not usually change your personality. The right one will help you to get the negative aspects under control, which can help you think more clearly. Keep in mind that most take 2-5 weeks before the results are known for sure. Side effects may be felt immediately, but as long as they are not serious or life-threatening, you need to continue the medication for the proper length of time before you or your doctor assess if that one is beneficial.

The exception: if you actually have bipolar disorder and they give you antidepressants. That can spark a manic episode. It wouldn't seem you need to worry about that.
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20-11-2015, 11:02 AM
RE: Getting help; an FT rambling.
Ft, I'm sorry your parents weren't more supportive. Sometimes hearing their child has issues triggers their own irrational fears that they're to blame and become defensive.

Kudos to you for seeking help.

Depression is a horrible thing.

If you ever need to talk, you absolutely know how to find me.

But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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20-11-2015, 12:16 PM
RE: Getting help; an FT rambling.
I personally don't have experience with clinical depression, but your situation is quite similar to a few people I know. Please don't be afraid of taking your medication. They won't make you a different person, but they certainly can lead you to a better life.

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