Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
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21-02-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Thought I would get a topic started since I requested the psychology section. Angel


Mental illness affects most people at some point in their lives, to one degree or another. Some may suffer depression from the death of a loved one, others may experience episodes of psychosis for no given reason just the fact that it is in their genes. While many get through it on their own, there are also many who need to seek help through counselling or medication.

When I was 16 I experienced a sudden bout of anxiety and panic attacks. Nothing specific caused it that I am aware of, just the stresses of normal life, but I was in pure hell of a day or so- unable to leave the house and confined to sleeping in my bed or on the couch. My mom took me to the doctor and I remember experiencing a panic attack in his office while he was talking to me. He asked me a question relating to me feeling suicidal, i felt so bad that I said "maybe", and he put me on an anti-depressant and Clonazepam (a sedative). I have been on clonazepam now for over 10 years, at a lower dose then initially.

Panic attacks and anxiety suck. Feeling disconnected from reality (like being in a fog, or feeling like you are watching your life through a movie) has been my memories over the last 12 years of my life, to a greater or lesser degree. I feel fine most of the time, maybe 95% better on good days, I sort of forget what it feels like to be 100% "normal". the panic attacks have almost stopped over the last 5 years or so, I have learned to control them. I might experience an episode or two during a year. I could go on and on about various medications I have tried (different antidepressants) as well as how being in a state of anxiety has shaped my life, and how I managed to somehow live normally and get married and now own a home- but this thread is long enough.

After my problems started I developed an interest in psychology. I read lots of books and articles on various illnesses from depression to schizophrenia; perhaps in an obsessive, "OCD" kind of way, trying to self diagnose myself. The mind is a fascinating thing, and ultimately it is what shapes our personal universe. Through trying to find answers for everything it has included my "spiritual" side, which has led me to becoming an atheist (after a long battle with agnosticism.)
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21-02-2011, 12:53 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I've been anxious, depressed and very paranoid for my entire life as far as I can remember. Not been diagnosed with anything though.

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Leonard Nimoy
1931-2015
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21-02-2011, 01:11 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I have social anxiety to the point where I'll cross the street if someone is walking at me on the same sidewalk. And I can't look people in the eyes without a conscious effort. And I rarely answer my phone, even if it's just my mom. If I'm supposed to call some number for school or a job, I'll try email or texting first.

Has anyone tried Xanax? Isn't it supposed to help social anxiety? I don't want to try anything-zepam, or any sedatives for that matter.

And then there are all the PTSD and post-war OCD ticks, but those are another topic.

And since you petitioned for this section, Free Thinker, I'm assuming you're the most messed up one of the forum? This is the tip of the iceberg isn't it?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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21-02-2011, 01:28 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
My wife suffers from mental illness. She has avoidant personality disorder. Really it's just a severe form of social anxiety, and contributes to severe depression. She battled with alcoholism as a result (sober for a year and a half now!) and also doesn't experience "joy". Although she does take medication, the main thing is accepting who she is, and being ok with it. We are always looking for ways to improve her life, but being comfortable with who she is has been the best therapy for her. Once she started accepting that she doesn't want to be around people, instead of forcing herself to be social and pretending to be someone she isn't, she felt a great relief, and has been slowly improving since.
Our relationship works because I am ok with who she is, and I don't mind having my social life separate from my relationship with her (for the most part). There are a couple people she likes to be with (I'm one of them thank goodness! lol) and that is enough for her. I'm not much of a social butterfly either, and prefer to be at home more than anywhere, so it works for us.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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21-02-2011, 01:31 PM
 
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam and it is a benzo, just like clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), among others that end in "pam" or "lam". All in the same class of highly addictive sedative drugs. They are best used short term, but for me a consistent low dose of clonazepam seems to do the trick.

Sorry to hear about your issues Buddy Christ, has it been a problem for most of your life or did it start later in life? I find it amazing that you have accomplished so much (thinking of your "toot your horn" thread). I have some social anxiety, not overly bad but I am not as social as I would like to be.

Yeah, I'm kind of messed up, but at least I don't think God is talking to me. Tongue
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21-02-2011, 01:41 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I heard a rumor that Xanax has an ingredient that was used in the British army in the 50s to make it impossible for the soldiers to masturbate during basic training. Something to do with suppressing all sensitivity?

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Leonard Nimoy
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21-02-2011, 01:48 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I heard that Xanax had the same ingredients as cocaine.... or was that Ritalin?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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21-02-2011, 02:00 PM
 
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I don't think they would give soldiers Xanax, you'd have a bunch of drowsy guys unable to do their tasks 100%. Some drugs have sexual side effects (I was on Paxil, and found it lowered my libido) but I don't think there are any that magically kill libido. Most likely a myth, just like the Men Who Stare at Goats.

Ritalin is a stimulant (like cocaine). They are similar, but I don't think the "same". From a google search check this out: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/a...talin.html
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21-02-2011, 02:51 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I'll probably just stick to weed. Though it does replace my anxiety with extreme paranoia.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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21-02-2011, 04:19 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Sorry to hear we all have so many difficulties, I sympathize with you all.
I don't normally let people in on my mind this much, but it's a forum online, what can telling my story hurt? I am leaving out a few more personal notes, but I will answer a pm or two if you're that curious.

My problems started when I was about 13, but they were just nagging thoughts on the edge. By the time I was 14 I was in a serious downward spiral. My mom was noticing my severe aversion to people and took me to see a psychiatrist, where I was misdiagnosed with social anxiety disorder and put on my first medication. I went to see a couselor once every few weeks, and resisted her every attempt to help me because most of them were veiled attempts to get me believing in a god I had decided I didn't like or believe in just a couple years before. As my depression got worse, events in school and at home pushed me to a breaking point, and through the aftermath of that I was rediagnosed with major depressive disorder. Several different antidepressants were tried on me, and none of them seemed to work.
My depression continued until the summer of my 16th year. I fought my mother long and hard to let me off my meds and finally won. My mood didn't get down to rock bottom anymore, but I hadn't beaten the depression, it just wasn't as all-prevailing as it had been for the previous 2 years of my life. I had another bad attack when I was 18, but it only lasted a few months. A couple new meds were tried, but as before, nothing helped. I have tried out 6 different medications in my time, one made it worse (Paxil) and the others didn't seem to do anything at all. Then depression hit again when I was 20, this time I turned to alcohol. I was going down to rock bottom again, like when I was 15. With the help of a new girlfriend, I beat the alcoholism and the depression about a month after my 21st birthday. In the last four years, I've had less than 10 depressive episodes, and none of them have lasted more than a month. My mood is fairly well under control. I sometimes wish I had a counselor or psychologist to talk to, like bi-monthly or something, but I don't have insurance and can't afford it out of pocket. Life really isn't bad for me these days. My last attack was last month, it lasted about a week. I think that my drive to succeed in school has helped, and my fiancee is amazingly patient and understanding. I also work my ass off, and that is either a good feeling, or at least a good distraction sometimes. Beyond that it's a lot of wrestling with my mind and self-esteem.

Wow, sorry that was so long.

Edit: @ Buddy Christ, weed definitely does help me when I smoke it, but I gave it up last month.

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