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Old 10-02-2015, 07:11 PM   #1
krunic
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Mental Health Thread

It's not uncommon on 2+2 to see posts about some pretty severe mental health issues, especially depression. I'd like to get a discussion going about all the psychological issues we have, what we've done to help them, and what has worked and not worked.

This includes officially diagnosed conditions like autism, OCD, personality disorders, bipolar, etc. and undiagnosed things like addiction/compulsive behaviors, depression and anxiety.

My issues are depression, anxiety/panic attacks, some mild alcohol abuse, and autism spectrum disorder. For the last 18 months it's been the priority in my life to work on these issues and try to make my life suck a little less. I hope this thread can do something to make mine and someone else's life suck a little less.

I think what I'll do is talk about depression/anxiety/ASD in separate posts, even though they're all interrelated to a degree. I think that would make it easier for people to read about the issues relevant to their life.

I'll start with my depression (cliffs at bottom):

It's hard to pinpoint when I first started feeling depressed and hating myself and my life, but I know it got really bad around age 16. The next 4-5 years were filled with thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, and fantasies about raping and killing my mother. Yeah, this post is gonna get weird, buckle up.

From age 22-26 I lived alone, playing poker for a living. I thought all I had to do to be happy was move 1500 miles away from my parents and acquire currency. I found out soon enough that unfortunately, my mind will follow me wherever I go.

Lesson #1 I learned about mental health: You can't heal psychological wounds just by putting physical distance between you and the people who caused them. It couldn't hurt, and it might prevent further damage, but there's no easy way to fix your mind, it will take time and effort.

I was no longer actively thinking about suicide, but I felt dead and hopeless, like I'd never be able to improve my life. Around this time I discovered mindfulness meditation, which helped quite a lot and I continue doing it today at age 32.

When I was 26 I moved back in with my parents to go to a trade school and start a new career. I started feeling a little better about life. The only problem was I needed to drink myself to sleep almost every night to suppress my anxiety and not think about how empty I felt inside. Some days I'd get up in the morning feeling like **** and just crack open a bottle of wine for breakfast. What could go wrong?

I'll talk more about the alcohol with regard to anxiety later. As for depression, we can skip ahead to about 1 year ago when I discovered a podcast called the Mental Illness Happy Hour. I started going through the archives listening to all the past shows. Episode #59 hit me like a ****ing truck. The host and the guest were talking about how both their mothers had terrible boundaries and were really inapropriate and abusive with them, in a sexual way. I just sat there listening to it thinking back to all the weird memories I had of my mother saying weird things to me. I had always tried to think of these memories as a variety of isolated incidents which I tried to shrug off and forget about. Now I recognized them as a pattern of behavior which was intended to use me and sexualize me from a very young age:

1. When I was around age 5 I remember being in the bathroom just after my mom had gotten out of the shower. She asked me if I "knew the parts of the body." I don't remember saying anything, so she proceeded to show me her vagina, like really up close, spreading it with her fingers. I just sat there not really knowing what to do, like am I supposed to comment on it? I remember thinking it was rather ugly. My mom is a redheaded 60s era feminist, so you can be damn sure a razor had never been anywhere near that area. It was like a big Carrottop afro of gross pubes right in front of my face.

2. Around the same age, my mom one day explained to me her vaginal hygiene habits in detail. I guess she thought this was an important thing for a 5 year old boy to know.

3. Around age 11-12 I was in the car with my mom driving and my brother (2 years older) in the backseat. I don't know how the conversation was steered this way, but I recall my mom saying "sex feels nice, you should try it!" I squirmed in my seat and felt awful and uncomfortable. My brother then said "mom why are you telling him this? He's too young." My mom responded by saying "what? sex is a natural thing, it's what people do." What I remember most from this moment was feeling so relieved that my brother also thought she was being inapropriate which meant I wasn't overreacting or being immature.

4. Another time about the same age I recall my mom driving me home from school one day (without my bro in the car) and explaining to me what the term "jailbait" meant, completely out of the blue.

5. Age 12-13, my mom repeatedly asked me if I was getting hair on my crotch. This always made me super uncomfortable and I never answered. The 3rd or 4th time she asked, I really started wondering why she was the only person who ever asked me this, and why was she so interested in it?

6. I was always very aware of how I was dressed whenever I went out of my room. I just had the sense that my mom would be looking at my crotch or something if I walked around the house in my underwear or with my shirt off.

I don't really know what level of pleasure my mom got out of doing this, but that stuff, in addition to her constant negative reinforcement, ****ed me up pretty good. She'll still occasionally look at my crotch in a weird way to this day. This **** combined with the autism is probably why I've always been freaked out at the idea of any kind of intimate relationship. Just typing the word intimate makes me cringe a little. intimate intimate intimate iiickkkkk

I haven't ever confronted my mom about it. I've been going to a psychologist for about a year now and I've talked a little about this with her.

I've observed over the years that my depression goes in cycles of 1-2 weeks. I'll feel fine for a week or two, then gradually over a couple days start feeling sad and hopeless and have no energy for the next week or two. I've been on Lexapro for 2 months now (prescribed by a psychiatrist) and it seems to have stabilized things a bit.

Before I got on Lexapro, I had several of what my therapist refers to as "ice cream episodes" in which I'd eat a pint or more of ice cream when I was in a low mood. She said this was probably similar to how I used alcohol and the ice cream became a replacement. I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate, but it can't be healthy obv.

At the moment I'm 32 years old, unemployed, living with my parents. I have 3 friends that I text once in a while. Yet somehow, my depression is being managed reasonably well. Depression is an illness of one's perspective, not of one's surroundings.

Cliffs

Things that helped my depression:
- Lexapro
- The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast
- meditation
- exercise
- going to a therapist (psychologist) once a week
- trying not to be a douche to people, even on the internet (yes, this actually works!)
- calling/texting someone who cares about me if I feel like doing something that would make them sad

Things I thought would help my depression that didn't:
- alcohol
- moving to a different city
- money
- St. John's Wort
- Zoloft
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:10 AM   #2
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Anxiety/panic attacks (cliffs at bottom):

From age 26-30 I was drinking about a half bottle of wine a night to make my brain shut up so I could sleep. Around christmas of 2013 the wine not only stopped working, but it made me short of breath. I couldn't even have one glass of wine without feeling like I was going to stop breathing altogether.

Soon after that I started having panic attacks randomly, although I had no idea what was gong on at the time. I would feel a rush of adrenaline, then my heart would start racing and I couldn't breathe. Usually my left leg would get numb as well. I thought I was having heart attacks and I was gonna die.

After going to the hospital 3 times and seeing 5 or 6 different doctors who were all completely unhelpful, I realized these symptoms were happening whenever I felt more anxious. I told one of the docs this and he prescribed me Buspar. He said people generally either respond really well or really poorly to Buspar. Unfortunately I responded poorly. Then I tried Zoloft, but that didn't help either. Then I tried Xanax and holy **** my life was saved! Xanax is wonderful stuff. I saw a documentary recently called Oxyana and there was a dude crushing up xanax and snorting it like cocaine. I don't really understand that because xanax only takes about 15 minutes to start working, but I guess some people are impatient.

The next step was to start seeing a therapist to work on my anxiety. The first thing she recommended was a book called The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. This helped tremendously, it explained just about everything I was going through and what to do about it. There's a few different breathing exercises that helped. These were easy for me to do because I had a lot of practice with controlled breathing from doing mindfulness meditation. The type of breathing you need to do to stop a panic attack has to be practiced regularly when you're not having a panic attack. If you try to start breathing slowly and deeply for the first time in the middle of an epic freakout panic attack, it's unlikely to work very well.

I soon found another book called My Age Of Anxiety. The author is the editor of The Atlantic magazine, and the book is all about his horrible anxiety that he's had throughout his life. The book is interspersed with historical anecdotes of famous people who had documented their anxiety. I liked this book because it made me feel like people can still function and live productive lives even with severe anxiety.

One of the first things I noticed about my panic attacks was that caffeine and sugar would make them worse, so I cut out all caffeine, even chocolate, and cut way down on sugar. This was a significant improvement and I no longer consume any alcohol or caffeine, and as little refined sugars as possible.

The nice thing about anxiety is there's a ton of different things you can do to help it. I read several books about natural remedies for anxiety and depression and tried all sorts of different herbal and amino acid supplements. The ones that work for me are valerian root and l-glutamine. The l-glutamine has a slight calming effect and it also helps stop sugar cravings. Valerian root is similar to xanax, but less potent.

I also make sure to eat at least 20g of protein 3x a day. Lately when I've felt the anxiety coming on, I make a quick protein shake with 20g of whey protein concentrate, and this has a noticeable calming effect. Some of the amino acids, like tryptophan, are what your body uses to make seratonin. Dairy protein has a lot of tryptophan. For some reason though, l-tryptophan and 5HTP in isolated supplement form don't have any effect on me.

Walking is another thing that helps. I try to walk outside for a minimum of 20 minutes 3x a week, although every day would be ideal.

Sleeping well is another significant factor. One of the things that helped me sleep better is taking B vitamins. B6 in particular is great for sleep and helped me have more vivid dreams. The inability to remember dreams is a sign of B6 deficiency. Try it.

I'm taking Lexapro now and it's working well. I've been able to cut down on xanax and I might stop xanax completely soon.

Cliffs

Things that helped me for anxiety/panic attacks:
- xanax
- The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
- My Age Of Anxiety
- deep, slow controlled breathing
- eliminating alcohol, caffeine, and minimizing sugar
- walking
- protein
- valerian root
- l-glutamine
- making sure I sleep well
- lexapro

Things I tried that didn't help:
- alcohol
- buspar
- zoloft
- l-tryptophan
- 5-HTP
- passionflower
- lemon balm
- hops
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:14 PM   #3
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Autism Spectrum Disorder

This was diagnosed about 4 months ago. They said it would've been called Asperger's if I'd gotten the diagnosis 2+ years ago, but they don't use that term anymore.

I can't really offer anyone any good advice because I still don't know what to do about it.

Looking back on my life, it makes sense because I always had a ton of social anxiety and never really understood social interactions.

My therapist suggested I go to a social anxiety support group. So I called up the administrator and found out they require noobs to do an interview via phone or in person to see if they would be right for the group. Interviews give me so much anxiety that I just couldn't do it, so I've never been to the group. I can't even get into a social anxiety support group because I have too much social anxiety lol.

I think my posting history on 2+2 made a little more sense to me after getting this diagnosis. Over the last 10 or so years I'd posted a lot in OOT. I always felt like I was just seeing how people would react to different provocations. Most of my posts were ridiculous or exaggerated versions of things that popped into my head and I wanted to observe the responses to learn about how people think, at least on the internet. I guess I was considered a troll, but most of what I posted was intended to get a reaction out of people so I could learn about them, it wasn't intended in a malicious way. Also I was drunk a lot of the time which didn't help lol. I can't say I would recommend this as a way to deal with ASD, although I did learn some things.

Life really sucks sometimes when you don't know how to connect with people.

What do people with ASD do to develop social skills and relationships? I'm srsly asking.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:36 PM   #4
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Re: Mental Health Thread

I wish you the best of luck in the future. I warmly recommend hypnotherapy. I am too tired to read ur entire post or too elaborate on why but you should check it out, it can be immensely helpful and u don't seem to mind trying out new approaches.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:58 AM   #5
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Re: Mental Health Thread

So I'm in a horrible poker downswing, and I was reading about signs of depression, which many of I can relate to. Over the last couple months of poker runbad I have stopped going to the gym, packed on a few pounds, constantly think about how pathetic I am for not being able to beat the games I'm playing in, have no desire to see/talk to friends other than to get drunk with them on a weekend night, sometimes I sleep most of the day away, other times I waste hours on end reading imgur or taking sporcle quizzes, I get drunk by myself after basically every losing session, I beat off way too much, I have no real desire to go on dates, I basically have no hobbies anymore, and I feel like I'm living an entirely meaningless existence.

Even if I wanted a lifestyle change I basically have hardly any options because I don't even possess any useful real world skills. This outlook might be negatively biased because I'm at the peak of my downswing, but what do you think? Am I just in a funk because of running bad at poker or am I legit clinically depressed?? Where do you draw the line? I usually have a pretty positive life outlook when I'm winning, but it's been so long that I'm forgetting what that feels like. I normally justify my dislike of the poker lifestyle because I can travel for 4-6 months out the year backpacking in pretty awesome places, but this year it doesn't look like thats going to possible, and without that escape I feel hopeless.

Last edited by cardsharkk04; 10-10-2015 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:28 PM   #6
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Re: Mental Health Thread

I'm sure 5-HTP conflicts with SSRI medication so avoid at all costs.

Cardshark, start going to the gym and stop drinking.

Good luck.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:24 PM   #7
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Re: Mental Health Thread

smuttt,

I've never heard of hypnotherapy. When you feel like typing up a longer post, could you tell us what issues it helped you with, and how it works?

cardshark,

I can relate to your situation. I played poker for a living for a little over 4 yeas, and the last year of it was basically me hating life, running bad, and trying to resist my gut feeling that I hated poker. I didn't want to believe I hated poker because I had no other job skills and felt like it was my only option. This was around the time when I learned I could use alcohol to feel better, or at least not feel as bad in the moment.

I don't think the clinical definition of depression matters. Who cares if a doctor would officially diagnose you with depression or not? It's not like cancer or something where the diagnosis is based on tangible evidence. I've thought about killing myself roughly 10,000 times in my life and I still wasn't diagnosed with depression, only autism. The criteria for depression in the DSM is very arbitrary.

It sounds like you know your perspective on life is very negative and its affecting your relationships and your whole lifestyle. I would suggest going to a therapist. If you don't have insurance or money is an issue, you can try googling for "low fee therapy ______" with the blank being the name of your city.

It sounds you're not happy playing poker anymore. Have you considered going to school or learning some other skill?

Over the short term, I would strongly suggest you stop drinking, or at least drinking when you feel ****ty as a way to feel less ****ty. I know it seems like it works and makes everything bearable, but trust me it won't work long term, it will make it worse.

Also, try to simplify your goals each day. When you're depressed and make some grandiose list of a hundred things you think you should accomplish, you'll inevitably not accomlish them all which leads to the negative thought spiral of feeling pathetic and hopeless.

If the reality is that you're spending all day on the couch or in bed or getting drunk, try to at least do a little better the next day. So maybe your goals for tomorrow would be like:

1. get up at noon
2. take a shower
3. go outside for at least 30 minutes, walk around or do something
4. play poker for however long you normally play
5. eat healthy food
6. don't get drunk

human halo,

I should note that I took 5HTP before I was on SSRIs. But yeah, 5HTP and tryptophan will interact with SSRIs because tryptophan is used to make serotonin. St. John's Wort also interacts with SSRIs.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:56 PM   #8
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Re: Mental Health Thread

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLV3ILA__i4
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:51 PM   #9
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Very broadly, hypnotherapy is very helpful in reprogramming your response/behavior/reaction to a certain situation or stimuli. For example; if you are nervous speaking in front of others, crowded areas, petting dogs or just about whatever, that kind of treatment is ideal since it is straightforward changing of your thoughts about these situations , that are now hardwired in your brain.

I dont want to go on about this cause english is not my primary language and tbh i dont know the exact way it works, but thats the idea. Good information is easy to find though, please do check it out. Its basically a really great way to let your mind take a wider view on things and escape ur tiresome old anxious thoughts. Actually that just might sum it up.

Im doing quite well mentally so ive mostly used it to "boost" myself. Ive gotten help spending my time more wisely and being more comfortable in social settings, for example. BUT it did help a lot when i was dealing with OCD-like thoughts that were quite disturbing.

Good luck
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:15 PM   #10
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Well if it helps with social anxiety I might want to check it out. Yesterday I nearly had a panic attack when the cashier at Whole Foods asked me how I'm going to cook the ham shanks I was buying.
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Old 10-16-2015, 08:27 AM   #11
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Re: Mental Health Thread

A cheap and convienient substitute for "real" 1-on-1 sessions with a licensed therapist would be to check out hypnosisdownloads.com, right now if u have the time.

They have many sessions on social anxiety, its $12 a download or something. They are not as effective as they are not customised to you spefically but they deal with the "general" symptoms that might or might not apply to you, but should be fairly accurate.



Good luck.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:48 PM   #12
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Re: Mental Health Thread

My therapist said she would try to refer me to a someone who specializes in social anxiety. I think I'll try that and if it doesn't work I'll look into hypnothereapy.

I just finished reading the book The Truth by Neil Strauss (same guy who wrote The Game). It was a good read, I definitely recommend it especially for anyone who's had lots of ****ed up relationships.

With the holiday season here, I'd like to get some ideas for how people who hate their families deal with holidays. Last year at thanksgiving I sat in my uncle's living room as he literally screamed for hours about every idiotic conspiracy theory he'd ever read on the internet. It was ****ing brutal and I wanted to chop him up into little pieces with a machete and burn his house down.

Do you just not go to family gatherings? Unfortunately for me, I don't drink anymore so I can't just get ****faced and cruise through it.
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:23 AM   #13
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by krunic View Post
With the holiday season here, I'd like to get some ideas for how people who hate their families deal with holidays. Last year at thanksgiving I sat in my uncle's living room as he literally screamed for hours about every idiotic conspiracy theory he'd ever read on the internet. It was ****ing brutal and I wanted to chop him up into little pieces with a machete and burn his house down.

Do you just not go to family gatherings? Unfortunately for me, I don't drink anymore so I can't just get ****faced and cruise through it.
that's what i do, drinking a lot.

i also try to make my stays as short as possible.
Do you have to travel and stay overnight?

did you talk with your therapist about it?
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Old 11-28-2015, 12:39 AM   #14
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Re: Mental Health Thread

I was able to weasel my way out it this year. Spent thanksgiving alone watching documentaries and eating bacon and ice cream. It was great.

Now I can begin the anxiety build-up for christmas, weeee!

Overall I'm feeling good though. I'm on 20mg Lexapro and it's helping. One thing I've noticed is that I don't need to fap nearly as often. I'm fapping like 2-3x a week as opposed to about once a day before.

My whole life I've observed an inverse correlation of fapping and depression. I think my body wants to fap more when I'm depressed as a way to regulate my mood, but it always ends up making it worse.

I think maybe part of why Lexapro makes me feel better is simply that it causes me to fap less, and thus I have more energy. Anyone have similar experiences with SSRIs?
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:09 PM   #15
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Re: Mental Health Thread

SSRi kill your libido and your interest in sex usually.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:59 AM   #16
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by krunic View Post

My issues are depression, anxiety/panic attacks, some mild alcohol abuse, and autism spectrum disorder. For the last 18 months it's been the priority in my life to work on these issues and try to make my life suck a little less. I hope this thread can do something to make mine and someone else's life suck a little less.

.....

I've observed over the years that my depression goes in cycles of 1-2 weeks. I'll feel fine for a week or two, then gradually over a couple days start feeling sad and hopeless and have no energy for the next week or two.

Definitely see a psychiatrist.

You sound like you know what you're doing as far as seeing a therapist, exercising, and especially practicing mindfulness. These things are all awesome and maybe can provide an acceptable long term fix for some people. They're been crucial for me. I'd like to point out though that in your list of issues, you didn't mention the mood swings you later describe.

I've suffered from anxiety and varying levels of depression, as well as issues requiring long-term therapy, such as PTSD. I've tried the SSRI's and anxiety medicines over the years, as well as fighting my problems alone. The only medicine or treatment of any kind that's made the difference has been Lamotrigine. Not exercise, not moving states, not making life changing money or getting laid- just Lamotrigine. I'd strongly recommend seeing a psychiatric professional and exploring options. Anxiety is a crippling disorder, as is depression, and mood swings can be very dangerous. You don't need to suffer 10+ more years.

Last edited by ActionJeff; 07-24-2016 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:05 PM   #17
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Re: Mental Health Thread

+ 1 to above, see a psychiatrist. Find one who specializes in affective disorders if you can. If you are really having suicidal thoughts as frequently as you wrote, and with your fluctuating on/off depression, it's not impossible that a psychiatrist could diagnose you with a different disorder (e.g. bipolar II disorder) in which case other medications might be more helpful than the SSRIs.

I have anxiety myself, and it sucks. I would literally give a couple of fingers or an inch of my peen to get rid of it. I'll definitely check out some of your recommendations. I can't imagine how challenging it must be to have severe depression, family troubles and autism in addition to that.
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Old 08-05-2016, 11:14 AM   #18
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Re: Mental Health Thread

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Originally Posted by krunic View Post
Sleeping well is another significant factor. One of the things that helped me sleep better is taking B vitamins. B6 in particular is great for sleep and helped me have more vivid dreams. The inability to remember dreams is a sign of B6 deficiency. Try it.
Interesting - I've never really remembered dreams clearly, but have been sleeping better and remembering them more in the last 2 weeks since going on a diet.
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:43 PM   #19
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Add some Magnesium and Zinc with your B6 and you'll trip to the moon in your dreams. I was literally time traveling and riding tidal waves. Quit it because the B6/intense dreams would wake me up in the middle of the night
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:10 PM   #20
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Re: Mental Health Thread

tl;dr
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:28 PM   #21
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Re: Mental Health Thread

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SSRi kill your libido and your interest in sex usually.
Yep. Wellbutrin is a better solution for that, ask your doctor, etc.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:54 PM   #22
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Re: Mental Health Thread

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Originally Posted by krunic View Post
It's not uncommon on 2+2 to see posts about some pretty severe mental health issues, especially depression. I'd like to get a discussion going about all the psychological issues we have, what we've done to help them, and what has worked and not worked.

This includes officially diagnosed conditions like autism, OCD, personality disorders, bipolar, etc. and undiagnosed things like addiction/compulsive behaviors, depression and anxiety.

My issues are depression, anxiety/panic attacks, some mild alcohol abuse, and autism spectrum disorder. For the last 18 months it's been the priority in my life to work on these issues and try to make my life suck a little less. I hope this thread can do something to make mine and someone else's life suck a little less.

I think what I'll do is talk about depression/anxiety/ASD in separate posts, even though they're all interrelated to a degree. I think that would make it easier for people to read about the issues relevant to their life.

I'll start with my depression (cliffs at bottom):

It's hard to pinpoint when I first started feeling depressed and hating myself and my life, but I know it got really bad around age 16. The next 4-5 years were filled with thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, and fantasies about raping and killing my mother. Yeah, this post is gonna get weird, buckle up.

From age 22-26 I lived alone, playing poker for a living. I thought all I had to do to be happy was move 1500 miles away from my parents and acquire currency. I found out soon enough that unfortunately, my mind will follow me wherever I go.

Lesson #1 I learned about mental health: You can't heal psychological wounds just by putting physical distance between you and the people who caused them. It couldn't hurt, and it might prevent further damage, but there's no easy way to fix your mind, it will take time and effort.

I was no longer actively thinking about suicide, but I felt dead and hopeless, like I'd never be able to improve my life. Around this time I discovered mindfulness meditation, which helped quite a lot and I continue doing it today at age 32.

When I was 26 I moved back in with my parents to go to a trade school and start a new career. I started feeling a little better about life. The only problem was I needed to drink myself to sleep almost every night to suppress my anxiety and not think about how empty I felt inside. Some days I'd get up in the morning feeling like **** and just crack open a bottle of wine for breakfast. What could go wrong?

I'll talk more about the alcohol with regard to anxiety later. As for depression, we can skip ahead to about 1 year ago when I discovered a podcast called the Mental Illness Happy Hour. I started going through the archives listening to all the past shows. Episode #59 hit me like a ****ing truck. The host and the guest were talking about how both their mothers had terrible boundaries and were really inapropriate and abusive with them, in a sexual way. I just sat there listening to it thinking back to all the weird memories I had of my mother saying weird things to me. I had always tried to think of these memories as a variety of isolated incidents which I tried to shrug off and forget about. Now I recognized them as a pattern of behavior which was intended to use me and sexualize me from a very young age:

1. When I was around age 5 I remember being in the bathroom just after my mom had gotten out of the shower. She asked me if I "knew the parts of the body." I don't remember saying anything, so she proceeded to show me her vagina, like really up close, spreading it with her fingers. I just sat there not really knowing what to do, like am I supposed to comment on it? I remember thinking it was rather ugly. My mom is a redheaded 60s era feminist, so you can be damn sure a razor had never been anywhere near that area. It was like a big Carrottop afro of gross pubes right in front of my face.

2. Around the same age, my mom one day explained to me her vaginal hygiene habits in detail. I guess she thought this was an important thing for a 5 year old boy to know.

3. Around age 11-12 I was in the car with my mom driving and my brother (2 years older) in the backseat. I don't know how the conversation was steered this way, but I recall my mom saying "sex feels nice, you should try it!" I squirmed in my seat and felt awful and uncomfortable. My brother then said "mom why are you telling him this? He's too young." My mom responded by saying "what? sex is a natural thing, it's what people do." What I remember most from this moment was feeling so relieved that my brother also thought she was being inapropriate which meant I wasn't overreacting or being immature.

4. Another time about the same age I recall my mom driving me home from school one day (without my bro in the car) and explaining to me what the term "jailbait" meant, completely out of the blue.

5. Age 12-13, my mom repeatedly asked me if I was getting hair on my crotch. This always made me super uncomfortable and I never answered. The 3rd or 4th time she asked, I really started wondering why she was the only person who ever asked me this, and why was she so interested in it?

6. I was always very aware of how I was dressed whenever I went out of my room. I just had the sense that my mom would be looking at my crotch or something if I walked around the house in my underwear or with my shirt off.

I don't really know what level of pleasure my mom got out of doing this, but that stuff, in addition to her constant negative reinforcement, ****ed me up pretty good. She'll still occasionally look at my crotch in a weird way to this day. This **** combined with the autism is probably why I've always been freaked out at the idea of any kind of intimate relationship. Just typing the word intimate makes me cringe a little. intimate intimate intimate iiickkkkk

I haven't ever confronted my mom about it. I've been going to a psychologist for about a year now and I've talked a little about this with her.

I've observed over the years that my depression goes in cycles of 1-2 weeks. I'll feel fine for a week or two, then gradually over a couple days start feeling sad and hopeless and have no energy for the next week or two. I've been on Lexapro for 2 months now (prescribed by a psychiatrist) and it seems to have stabilized things a bit.

Before I got on Lexapro, I had several of what my therapist refers to as "ice cream episodes" in which I'd eat a pint or more of ice cream when I was in a low mood. She said this was probably similar to how I used alcohol and the ice cream became a replacement. I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate, but it can't be healthy obv.

At the moment I'm 32 years old, unemployed, living with my parents. I have 3 friends that I text once in a while. Yet somehow, my depression is being managed reasonably well. Depression is an illness of one's perspective, not of one's surroundings.

Cliffs

Things that helped my depression:
- Lexapro
- The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast
- meditation
- exercise
- going to a therapist (psychologist) once a week
- trying not to be a douche to people, even on the internet (yes, this actually works!)
- calling/texting someone who cares about me if I feel like doing something that would make them sad

Things I thought would help my depression that didn't:
- alcohol
- moving to a different city
- money
- St. John's Wort
- Zoloft

Solid thread here. Was quitting caffeine big? I believe I have mental health issues somewhat along the lines of social anxiety, possibly aspergers, etc. I feel caffeine has hurt me immensely and have considered quitting it but have found it hard with a normal job I start at 7 am. I don't sleep a lot so caffeine keeps me ticking normally.

Also I think ssris are big for depression. I went on an ssri for about a year and found getting upset hard. I got off cold turkey but felt they helped me stay positive in situations I feel a normal person wouldnt feel good about or atleast a depressed person.

I feel mental health is really misunderstood by a lot of the world. People that aren't affected by it don't understand what people go through on a daily basis and seem to not be emphatic toward people negatively effected by mental health issues . I'm extremely introverted/ have social anxiety and feel I am looked down on at work bc I don't want to make small talk or appear nervous/scared in social situations.

I have thought about seeing a therapist regarding cognitive behavioral therapy. Any one have positive results with cbt? I believe as a young child, I was made fun of for a speech impediment which really impaired my growth on a social level. I feel that could be a cause of my current condition (introversion) also. I think cant prolly could help me but wonder if it's effective

Last edited by Jkpoker10; 09-18-2016 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Add
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:14 AM   #23
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Re: Mental Health Thread

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Originally Posted by Jkpoker10 View Post
Solid thread here. Was quitting caffeine big? I believe I have mental health issues somewhat along the lines of social anxiety, possibly aspergers, etc. I feel caffeine has hurt me immensely and have considered quitting it but have found it hard with a normal job I start at 7 am. I don't sleep a lot so caffeine keeps me ticking normally.
It seems like your lack of sleep would be more of an issue here than your caffeine intake. Unless you drink lots of caffeine at night and it's keeping you up.

Getting good sleep is probably one of the best things you can do for your mental health IMO.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:54 PM   #24
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Re: Mental Health Thread

Download the headspace app for your smart phone
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:34 AM   #25
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Re: Mental Health Thread

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Originally Posted by FeralCreature View Post
It seems like your lack of sleep would be more of an issue here than your caffeine intake. Unless you drink lots of caffeine at night and it's keeping you up.

Getting good sleep is probably one of the best things you can do for your mental health IMO.
+1

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