Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
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21-02-2011, 04:38 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I don't know if it counts as an "illness", but I've got both Asperger's syndrome and attention-deficit hyperactive disorder. Asperger's, if my research is correct, is basically high-functioning autism.

I haven't really suffered because of it or anything. It's very mild, as is the ADHD. But they're both noticeable. I'm extremely awkward in social situations and have extreme difficulties in reading body language and facial expression. As such, I miss a lot of cues. I also tend to focus on one or two topics to the exclusion of all others, and I can talk about them for hours without noticing that everyone else is desperately trying to change the subject. Even if I know that they're bored, I have extreme difficulty in stopping myself from babbling.

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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21-02-2011, 05:24 PM
 
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
@cfhmagnet: My doc tried a couple of anti-depressants on me, and non really did anything. The one MAOI (forget the name) might have had a mild effect but it was very small to tell. Paxil and it didn't really do anything, the same with zoloft- and one of them (I forget which one) made me feel full of rage and almost violent towards people. SSRIs are nasty stuff, I don't think they really work and quite often the side effects are worse then the numbing feeling they are designed to do. Depression is a terrible thing, in my experience it can make you feel like you are lazy, and then you feel guilty about it, which just makes you feel even worse. I can't believe the psychologist was trying to make you believe in god, what kind of shitty method were they trying to treat you??

@Stark Raving: Good for you for being a good husband and helping your wife. Depression and anxiety disorders can really take a toll on a relationship due to the isolated feeling. Working to feel comfortable with who you are is indeed the best step to dealing with the problem.

@Unbeliever: I don't know too much about autism (and related illnesses) and I'm not sure if I really know anyone personally that suffers from it. I have watched documentaries on Savant syndrome which I find fascinating. Do you have any signs of it?
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21-02-2011, 06:43 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(21-02-2011 05:24 PM)Free_Thinker Wrote:  @Unbeliever: I don't know too much about autism (and related illnesses) and I'm not sure if I really know anyone personally that suffers from it.

I don't know much about it either, to be honest. I only know what they've told me. I don't care enough to go looking it up myself.

Quote:I have watched documentaries on Savant syndrome which I find fascinating. Do you have any signs of it?

Don't think so.

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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21-02-2011, 09:54 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I've had anxiety issues since my early teens, mostly because I'm an over-achieving perfectionist who stresses about everything! I've had many panic attacks, but have learned over the years that they are just my body's reaction to too much stress, so I let them run their course, and then take the rest of the day off to relax. Sometimes though, if I'm in the middle of doing something, I'll just take a moment to meditate until I have my breathing under control again. And of course, the very best way to deal with my anxiety is to talk to my partner about my stress so that it has an outlet and doesn't build up to an attack. My partner is great for being patient and supportive ^.^

Stark: I'm sure your wife feels the same way I do about my partner. It's very reassuring to know you have somebody there to support you.

I've never been put on drugs, nor would I ever go on psychiatric drugs, partly due to my experience working at a pharmacy, and partly from what I've learned in my neuroscience/psych classes. Psychiatric drugs are really meant to be taken temporarily while the patient gets themselves back under control. We don't know enough about the brain to know what effects these drugs are having, but we do know they are highly addictive. I've seen patients steadily increase their dose over time, simply because they become habituated to it, and I never want to become reliant like that. Also, in one of my classes, we learned that therapy sessions work better than drugs in most cases of depression, though I'm not sure about other conditions.

Buddy Christ: Weed is a lot safer than psychiatric drugs, so good on you Tongue I really wish that the military didn't have such a harsh stance on weed (though it's decriminalised here, the military treats it like any other illegal drug: no tolerance whatsoever!). I'm sure that smoking weed would help a lot of guys like you who suffer from PTSD due to the war(s).

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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21-02-2011, 10:06 PM (This post was last modified: 23-02-2011 09:33 AM by ebilekittae.)
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I suffered from terrible depression in my middle school years and again just this past summer. I was also a fundamentalist for at least 3 years. Wink

I almost attempted suicide once, but aborted the operation when I heard my mom coming. I had also already planned how I would do it this past summer before coming here. Terrible for me because I understand how poor a decision suicide really is for someone in my position. I was... quite down to say the least. Tongue Aside from poor judgment and nightmares, though, it didn't change me too much.

As for the fundamentalism (which I insist was some sort of mental illness on my part at the very least), it was torture. Crying every day about how worthless I was on the inside, that I deserved to burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity, but was "mercifully" saved from all that by my very executioner, all for the low price of everything. I'm glad to be free of it finally, after a well-placed pill of reality.

I also remember telling my parents at age 5 that I was a girl, but they still imposed a male role upon me, my dad taking particular strains to get rid of the girly stuff I had asked for and replaced it with lots more "boyish" things. I adjusted to the role eventually, but always felt out of place, which is easy to see when I look back in journal entries I've written throughout my life. Finally at about age 15, I made my first efforts to reassert myself as the woman I know myself to be and only now, at age 20, am I making great strides in accomplishing it. I do really wish my parents would have listened to me when I was younger--taken me to a psychiatrist or something who could have put me on hormones from my youth and prevented the irreversible damage that male puberty has done--but it's the past and I'll work with what I've got.

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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21-02-2011, 10:42 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
My situation is a little different, but I will post it anyway. I went through a period of severe anxiety and some panic attacks secondary to chronic pain. My shitty relationship probably didn't help either but really, it was the pain that contributed the most.

I have a chronic back injury that really plagued me for several years. No medications could make me comfortable enough to sleep or rest or relax. It was constant. It was rarely so severe that I was non-functional, and I was fortunately still able to work, but it really had a profound effect on my life. If you've never experienced constant pain it would be hard to explain the things it does to you. It really messes with you in more ways than you'd think. I must have gone to 10 doctors or so before I found someone who actually could HELP me.

My first panic attack happened in the middle of the night and scared the crap out of me. I haven't had one in a few years now. My pain is much better controlled now because of some good treatments that I got, but I still have to take narcotics to help relieve it at times. At least they actually CAN help now. I still have constant pain but it is now much more bearable.

I am still very fearful of things getting that bad again. Whenever my pain gets bad now I can't help but feel a little panicky. Fortunately the bad stuff doesn't usually last more than a few days anymore. Knock on wood. Wink

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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21-02-2011, 10:43 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I've been suffering from clinical depression since 2004 when my sister was diagnosed with SLE and when we knew that my old man have 2 lovers and 2 kids with those women. There was a time when I was thinking about killing myself, but my sister and even my pets gave me a reason to live, I'm still very depressed but not as I was back then.

"The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.”
-Georgia Harkness.

"La fe es patrimonio de los pendejos. (Faith is patrimony of the dumbfucks)."
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21-02-2011, 11:07 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(21-02-2011 05:24 PM)Free_Thinker Wrote:  @cfhmagnet: My doc tried a couple of anti-depressants on me, and non really did anything. The one MAOI (forget the name) might have had a mild effect but it was very small to tell. Paxil and it didn't really do anything, the same with zoloft- and one of them (I forget which one) made me feel full of rage and almost violent towards people. SSRIs are nasty stuff, I don't think they really work and quite often the side effects are worse then the numbing feeling they are designed to do. Depression is a terrible thing, in my experience it can make you feel like you are lazy, and then you feel guilty about it, which just makes you feel even worse. I can't believe the psychologist was trying to make you believe in god, what kind of shitty method were they trying to treat you??
I don't honestly know. I think her tactic was "you should want to live/be happy because Jesus wants these things for you." It honestly just depressed me more and made me more rebellious because it furthered the ideas I already had that nobody understood me or cared what I thought and felt.

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22-02-2011, 02:00 AM
 
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I have suffered from major depression. You name a depression medication and I've probably been on it at one point or another. It changed my life in certain small ways, but I'd be lying if I said it radically altered my point of view.

It taught me that you have to get out of bed every morning, that you have to keep yourself going, and that you need to do what makes you happy no matter what anyone else tells you.
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22-02-2011, 06:50 AM (This post was last modified: 22-02-2011 03:17 PM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Talk about my life? I talk about it as often as people let me, because that's the best medicine. First off I am poor so I haven't really been diagnosed with much of anything, which means any names I use are more personal diagnoses than clinical ones. WARNING THIS IS LONG

So, what unseen issues have I had in my life? Since I came into consciousness, (age 3 or so) I was both aware of being different than others, and aware that I was a girl which was not other people's opinion. Obviously stress insues. My surgically viable penis has a few issues so it added a lot of embarassment to childhood, while I dealt with trying to act male and having faulty equipment during all those changing room and bathroom scenes. Not that bathrooms were the only issue, but they definitely helped cement the idea in all the classes I attended that I'm not really a boy.

Ok psychological traumas
-Abducted and molested at 5
-After discussing the molestation with cops having my family villify me, as I would most likely sexualize their children
-Being forced to live as a boy
-At age 4 or so going to get blood drawn and having an adult needle pierced through my arm with blood squirting everywhere
-Parents too busy to help me (had to feed myself starting at 6)
-Older, half siblings, who often had me do many things I shouldn't have been exposed to. Example: at 8 years old my brother had me bench press following the no pain no gain philosophy because he thought it would toughen me up. I managed to lift quite a lot of weight though of course my muscles weren't developed for it.
-Stress induced ailments which were further stressful by constant disbelief of the ailments
-Moved about every 6 months after the abduction and molestation. (I did return to my biological family)
-Being institutionalized
-Not being told about my body's uniqueness as opposed to boys, and finding no one to help me (Transgender chat rooms are generally not helpful when minors join, and neither was any of the support groups I tried. Along with the fact I didn't even realize why they were different than me, I am physically neither male or female and had surgery as a baby)
-Hormonal depression along with physical hormonal issues

Ok that list sounds long enough, I better stop listing things =p
So, I was born with a defect now labeled as intersex in the umbrella terms. My particular case was presented visually with a near fully formed penis which needed an outpatient surgery to allow use of the urethra.

It's often debated whether gender dysphoria should be classified as a disease or not, but often it is.

While I never had a clinical diagnosis, after starting school and running into the pure statement of you have to be a boy while everyone doesn't even think you are. I started developing a lot of stress which presented itself in many physical ways the first being headaches. Along with sinus headaches, I had stress headaches, and migraines. My stress headache though, quickly became a constant. As the years went by and I became worse and worse afflicted by stress my headaches worsened, I had a few cases of going temporarily blind. I also acquired excessive gastrointestinal issues. Except for one semster while I was 16 years old where I just said fuck it, and went to school as a girl. That semester my chronic headache was gone and all the different issues alleviated. It did not last and I eventually dropped out of school, after stumbling out of a nurses office half conscious having to burp to breath, and walking home because they had told me (a third time) to go back to class. Luckily I reached the house, but unfortunately I passed out in the entrance, after a trip to the hospital I quit school. Quiting public school put an end to most of my ailments caused by stress, and in college I always space my classes out to avoid a reccurence.

After my short term happy time of going to school as a girl my mother forced me to stop by fearing for my life. The next semester I presented as a boy, but my doctor allowed me to start Spironolactone (which is an Aldactone) a diuretic with the terrific side-effect of blocking androgens. After over a month on Spironolactone, my doctor was asked to take a test of my testosterone levels, the test came back saying they were within normal levels of boys (realize that I had an anti androgen blocking my testosterone). This drug is one of many perscribed in HRT, (hormone replacement therapy) and my doctor felt comfortable giving me an anti androgen to help with rage issues (which it did).

In a desire to continue moving forward with my "transition" I asked to see a psychiatrist. My mother's response was that our health insurance won't cover one so I would need to be commited to see one. The next term for her health insurance they had added drug therapy to their coverage so I visited my doctor to get a psychiatrist appointment. At this time my mother happened to mention that we had discussed how we would've needed to commit me to see one previously and all the sudden I was commited.

I was taken to a psych ward (St. Vincent's) of a hospital. Where they did an assesment, and due to the fact that I had had thoughts of self mutilation (removing the penis) I was placed on the bad side of the ward, and given the most stringent watch list of anyone there. Obviously being on the bad side most of the people in the ward were very incoherent. There were a few more intellectual minds among the group who I could discuss things with, but who also threw chairs and were prone to violent fits. When admitted I had both voiced a desire to be able to be female while institutionalized and to not have a male roommate, neither was accepted. At first I had a male roommate until the guy was transferred to a more strict institution at which point I did not recieve a new roommate. I met the psychiatrist who the doctor was sending me to anyway as the psychiatrist for me at the ward. He didn't want to hear anything about my being a girl, and took me off the anti androgens, and tried to force the basic psych ward cocktail on me. For a while I refused the medicine, and then one night I accidentally took it. Three days later I woke up realizing that I had been sleeping three days with the exception of being woken to eat and then returning to my room. I again refused the medication. Being 17 the doctors went to my parents asking them to agree to the medication being forced on me.

So, it's called St. Vincent's that means that it's a Christian institution and of course the path to recovery is found in "god". They were trying to force belief down my throat, medicines I wasn't going to take because I wanted a different psychiatrist (one who would work with me), I was taken off of my anti androgen which meant more androgens pumping through my system, and every act against the staff was viewed as the act of a crazy person. When I became mad enough with a nurse over the fact that they lock the bathrooms at night, and require you to ask for it to be unlocked (me having a horribly weak bladder), that I clenched my fists in anger, I saw that look in her face of this person is crazy. Luckily being 17 my parents were able to have me removed and taken into their custody, otherwise I don't know how long I would've been in there.

Mental Diseases
-Gender dysphoria (occasionally a mind trick occasionally a serious need)
-Hormonal depression (no one ever tried to look at my hormones and see if that was why I was depressed, had periods, had two seperate puberties, had my first puberty at 6, had back pains develop at 8, had an underdeveloped bone structure, etc)
-Situational depression (Obviously many events in my life lead to feelings of low self worth)
-Stress induced ailments (Issues I had which weren't believed to be real at all, even though I had them 0-0)
And most likely a few other mental issues which if I had been more in the system I would have names for.

St. Vincents scared the shit out of me, I am very picky about seeing a psychiatrist. After leaving St. Vincents it took me 3 years to go back to actively living as a girl I was so scared. So I'm a bit weary of the mental illness stuff, and I feel that if you are in need of a psychiatrist that you should definitely keep trying new ones until you meet one you can trust, and you should not jump the gun on drugs. Generally psychiatrists prescribe pills that might fit your symptoms, wait a while and the change the dose and sometimes pills, a lot of problems can be healed without the use of these addictive drugs. If something works for you stick to it, for me HRT covers my issues along with being proactive. And, while I get depressed from time to time I live a pretty acceptable life, despite my many encroaching issues.

This was a brief summary of my dealings with psychiatry and not the whole bad story, nor does it mention the fact I found a psychiatrist who I could agree with who was a lot of help in getting things started (She's now dead).

Sorry everyone has had issues with mental illness, but in truth almost everyone has an issue with a mental illness. There are so many contributing factors at least in the US.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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