Resource Depression/Anxiety the silent killers - everyday is RUOK day. #SpeakUpStayChatTy

DarkPhoenix

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Thread starter #1
Thought I'd share this here due to the huge number of people on BF I had noticed suffering with mental health issues recently (me included).

Mods feel free to delete if not okay.

Depression/Anxiety

Long post ahead.

I've seen a lot of posts around lately regarding mental illness, so thought I'd chip in and share my experience.

A lot of you would not realise but recently I have been battling significant issues with Adjustment/Social Anxiety. I had experienced the symptoms for years and never been "diagnosed" as such, so it was good to be able to pinpoint and give a name to something that had troubled me for years- why I hated eating around people, why I often didn't respond to people saying things for fear of saying the wrong thing, the hours spent thinking over what people thought about me and my inate desire for everyone to like me and anxious feeling when I found out someone disliked me.

Prior to this point I had had... a few... issues with my workplace. Unrealistic expectations, ever increasing workloads, a confrontational role which basically consisted of being yelled at for 9 hours a day with little to no downtime were among some of the easiest to explain issues, there were so many more I have not named.
Combine this with the workplace itself refusing to address the issues that were repeatedly brought forward by their work force and choosing to turn a blind eye to practices which were completely destroying the morale and health of their workers (went from 150 to 75 staff and had multiple people off on stress leave in under a year and this apparently was normal)and it was a horrible time for me.

I had no energy, I put on a LOT of weight (which I had just recently got to a good place), I constantly got sick, I didn't want to do anything when I finished work except for sleep or watch TV, my friendships suffered and overall I just felt useless and miserable.

It got to the point where I could barely function and it finally hit a point where I got to work and literally could not comprehend sentences I was reading although they were simple things I dealt with every day in my work life and started getting a scary tunnel vision effect where I couldn't see things in my peripheral.
Thankfully the shift leader told me to log out and go see a doctor who immediately booked me in with a colleague for a mental health assessment. They then advised me that I had social/adjustment anxiety and told me to take some time off work.

I offered my work to use my own built up leave to do this, but they refused and asked me to do it as workers comp, they booked me in for an independent medical who corroborated the psychologist and GPs assessment, but the workplace then turned around and disputed the compensation claim and made me jump through hoops while I felt horrible already to show that I deserved the pay they had given me while off due to their own instruction to do it as workers compensation.

The claim was ruled in my favour when the workplace refused to offer any evidence to the tribunal for their counterclaim and I immediately decided to end my tenure with them.

I thought that would be the end but it wasn't, I soon found out that people I had trusted at the company were spreading rumours around that I had sued the company to get money out of them and had essentially been a liar and putting it on even though at the end of the day they were the ones who told me to go down the path I did, I had offered to use my own leave and was declined.

I lost a lot of people I thought were close friends due to no fault of my own and it destroyed what was left of my self confidence and further aggravated the issue for which I had taken time off originally.

I spiralled downward and got worse even though I had freed myself from the place.

I then lost a relationship which at the time was the only bright light in my life and the Psych/GP had told me to use as an anchor point for happiness, whats worse is I didn't really receive any reason as to why.
I stayed in bed for 10 days straight, I didn't eat, I lost 10 kgs, after this I made excuses not to see friends because I couldn't bring myself to leave the house. The simplest things became harder, even going to the shops to get food to sustain myself was an insurmountable task, I couldn't bring myself to go out and be around people because in my mind I constantly questioned what they were thinking about me and worried they would hate me. I couldn't even do things that I enjoyed any more, going to the football with friends, training in jiu jitsu, going out for dinner and drinks with friends.

I pretty much broke down in my doctors office, and having known him for years he could see how much it was affecting me and gave me great advice and a lot of help.

Things are getting better now. They'll never be as perfect as some peoples lives but I'm getting to a point where I can be happy again. Something as simple as going to the football on Saturday with my best friend Adam is a huge step, and getting out there and doing things I wouldn't normally like going to board game days and planning to go to PAX Aus in November.

Depression and Anxiety are silent killers, and most people that have them (anxiety in particular) do not know what they entail or that it's even possible for them to have them so they don't seek help and if they do know they're afraid to ask for help in case they look weak. Factor into this that anxiety and depression make you less self inclined to ask for help and speak to people and it's a snowballing effect that can lead to people taking their lives as they see it as the only way out from the continuous cycle.

You may have seen the quote "Having anxiety is when you care too much about everything. Depression is when you feel you don't care about anything. Having both is hell", I never truly understood just how true this quote was and I have so much respect for those worse off than myself.

What I want to do is speak up and encourage people to talk to each other, there is absolutely no shame in asking for someone to listen to you and it can really, REALLY help. I have been so lucky to have a number of close friends that have listened to me, not necessarily always offering advice but just listening, and sometimes thats all you need.
It warms my heart seeing so many people opening up and inviting people to speak to them about these issues, and charitys such as Speak UP stay ChatTy spreading fantastic messages of support for people that are struggling. The more we talk and the less we demonise mental illness the easier it will be to address these horrible illnesses and prevent uneccessary loss of life (both literally and figuratively).

If you need help, speak out, speak to me, speak to a friend, anyone, just speak to someone. Don't let yourself lose the best years of your life and possible opportunities to these horrible illnesses. There is always someone out there willing to LISTEN.
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Shermanator

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#4
Great thread and brave mate! Known you for years on here and it has always been great talking to you. Good luck with your recovery and management, I know it is hard but hopefully you have some great mates to lean on when things become dark.
Yep that's the key. Having people to lend an ear can get you through those dark times. Keep fighting mate and well done for sharing your experience, you're certainly not alone.
 

Le Grille

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Moderator #5
Yep, great to see things on an upward trend.

From experience, It is tough work going through it but it's worse when you don't do anything about it. Although I find working on it hard particularly as I go to some pretty real places throughout my Councillor sessions but usually the coping mechanisms I get out of it is so valuable.

Totally agree on your points about the many organisations people can go to. These are the guys you should be up for Australian of the year, not sportsmen or entertainers.
 

B Tron

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#7
Champion.

I have been surrounded by both for a very long time and it takes real guts to get it out in the open. But you are right, things are changing and quite a few of my friends are now comfortable talking about their own issues which is great because others can then use their experiences as sounding boards.

Good on you DP for opening up so candidly and best of luck to you in managing your mental health from here on out. You are clearly on the right track and quite the inspirational example.
 

Gasometer

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#11
Great to see you using footy as a release.

It is, its awesome.

We may not have had some Flag moments the past 3 years...but we have had our little wins here and there...those two Finals in 2014...last years Finals....Boomers Night this year...the streak....all stuff to bring a smile.

Its what shits me about the pessimism of this Board at the moment....



Believe, anything can happen.



Good on you DP.






(FWIW I cant figure out your pic...everything is in reverse...logos etc...cool effect though)
 

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Limerick

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#17
Best wishes DP. Great to hear that you are on the upwould curve. Happened to me some 25 years ago. Woke up one Sunday morning and didn't know who I or my family were. A week in hospital to rule out any thing physical then some therapy. Got back on top. You can do it.
 

DarkPhoenix

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Thread starter #19
Thanks everyone for the kind words, definitely not what I was wanting/expecting when I created the thread but very much appreciated.

Just want to get the word out there to those who may be suffering in silence that they can talk to someone if they need to and not feel like they're "giving in" or "being a burden".

Got a message from a friend on facebook, told me she was in tears reading my post because she finally realised she wasn't alone and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel for her.

Just that 1 person feeling better is what I want from this. No one should have to feel horrible every day, help is out there.
 

DarkPhoenix

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Thread starter #20
Proud of you DP. And don't forget the second half of your username mate. A Phoenix rises again and again.
Actually considering getting a tattoo of a phoenix for this very reason, I have no tattoos as I wanted anything i got to have significant meaning. For me the phoenix is similar to the ; tattoo a lot of people are getting, it stands for not giving up and whatever knocks you down making you come back stronger.
 

Orange Peanut

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#21
good work DP. All the best for your continued recovery mate.
Unfortunately and bewilderingly there is still too much ignorance out there, but trust me we have made enormous inroads the last 20 years.
Brave and selfless people like yourself are a huge part of that. Hats off.
 

shniko11

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#22
Thought I'd share this here due to the huge number of people on BF I had noticed suffering with mental health issues recently (me included).

Mods feel free to delete if not okay.

Depression/Anxiety

Long post ahead.

I've seen a lot of posts around lately regarding mental illness, so thought I'd chip in and share my experience.

A lot of you would not realise but recently I have been battling significant issues with Adjustment/Social Anxiety. I had experienced the symptoms for years and never been "diagnosed" as such, so it was good to be able to pinpoint and give a name to something that had troubled me for years- why I hated eating around people, why I often didn't respond to people saying things for fear of saying the wrong thing, the hours spent thinking over what people thought about me and my inate desire for everyone to like me and anxious feeling when I found out someone disliked me.

Prior to this point I had had... a few... issues with my workplace. Unrealistic expectations, ever increasing workloads, a confrontational role which basically consisted of being yelled at for 9 hours a day with little to no downtime were among some of the easiest to explain issues, there were so many more I have not named.
Combine this with the workplace itself refusing to address the issues that were repeatedly brought forward by their work force and choosing to turn a blind eye to practices which were completely destroying the morale and health of their workers (went from 150 to 75 staff and had multiple people off on stress leave in under a year and this apparently was normal)and it was a horrible time for me.

I had no energy, I put on a LOT of weight (which I had just recently got to a good place), I constantly got sick, I didn't want to do anything when I finished work except for sleep or watch TV, my friendships suffered and overall I just felt useless and miserable.

It got to the point where I could barely function and it finally hit a point where I got to work and literally could not comprehend sentences I was reading although they were simple things I dealt with every day in my work life and started getting a scary tunnel vision effect where I couldn't see things in my peripheral.
Thankfully the shift leader told me to log out and go see a doctor who immediately booked me in with a colleague for a mental health assessment. They then advised me that I had social/adjustment anxiety and told me to take some time off work.

I offered my work to use my own built up leave to do this, but they refused and asked me to do it as workers comp, they booked me in for an independent medical who corroborated the psychologist and GPs assessment, but the workplace then turned around and disputed the compensation claim and made me jump through hoops while I felt horrible already to show that I deserved the pay they had given me while off due to their own instruction to do it as workers compensation.

The claim was ruled in my favour when the workplace refused to offer any evidence to the tribunal for their counterclaim and I immediately decided to end my tenure with them.

I thought that would be the end but it wasn't, I soon found out that people I had trusted at the company were spreading rumours around that I had sued the company to get money out of them and had essentially been a liar and putting it on even though at the end of the day they were the ones who told me to go down the path I did, I had offered to use my own leave and was declined.

I lost a lot of people I thought were close friends due to no fault of my own and it destroyed what was left of my self confidence and further aggravated the issue for which I had taken time off originally.

I spiralled downward and got worse even though I had freed myself from the place.

I then lost a relationship which at the time was the only bright light in my life and the Psych/GP had told me to use as an anchor point for happiness, whats worse is I didn't really receive any reason as to why.
I stayed in bed for 10 days straight, I didn't eat, I lost 10 kgs, after this I made excuses not to see friends because I couldn't bring myself to leave the house. The simplest things became harder, even going to the shops to get food to sustain myself was an insurmountable task, I couldn't bring myself to go out and be around people because in my mind I constantly questioned what they were thinking about me and worried they would hate me. I couldn't even do things that I enjoyed any more, going to the football with friends, training in jiu jitsu, going out for dinner and drinks with friends.

I pretty much broke down in my doctors office, and having known him for years he could see how much it was affecting me and gave me great advice and a lot of help.

Things are getting better now. They'll never be as perfect as some peoples lives but I'm getting to a point where I can be happy again. Something as simple as going to the football on Saturday with my best friend Adam is a huge step, and getting out there and doing things I wouldn't normally like going to board game days and planning to go to PAX Aus in November.

Depression and Anxiety are silent killers, and most people that have them (anxiety in particular) do not know what they entail or that it's even possible for them to have them so they don't seek help and if they do know they're afraid to ask for help in case they look weak. Factor into this that anxiety and depression make you less self inclined to ask for help and speak to people and it's a snowballing effect that can lead to people taking their lives as they see it as the only way out from the continuous cycle.

You may have seen the quote "Having anxiety is when you care too much about everything. Depression is when you feel you don't care about anything. Having both is hell", I never truly understood just how true this quote was and I have so much respect for those worse off than myself.

What I want to do is speak up and encourage people to talk to each other, there is absolutely no shame in asking for someone to listen to you and it can really, REALLY help. I have been so lucky to have a number of close friends that have listened to me, not necessarily always offering advice but just listening, and sometimes thats all you need.
It warms my heart seeing so many people opening up and inviting people to speak to them about these issues, and charitys such as Speak UP stay ChatTy spreading fantastic messages of support for people that are struggling. The more we talk and the less we demonise mental illness the easier it will be to address these horrible illnesses and prevent uneccessary loss of life (both literally and figuratively).

If you need help, speak out, speak to me, speak to a friend, anyone, just speak to someone. Don't let yourself lose the best years of your life and possible opportunities to these horrible illnesses. There is always someone out there willing to LISTEN. View attachment 279974
Massive step going to the football keep punching D.P and takes balls to talk about it here were as u can see alot of posters here have ur back.

Hope every day gets abit better and i know it will as u are on the right track from reading ur post.
Been there done that mate and going to the footy still helps me to this day and is why i started going to more games again.Wish u had the opportunity to see North live more.
 

GoNorth

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#23
Thanks for sharing your experience, DP. That can't have been easy to write and hopefully it helps others who are going through similar tough times. Good luck for your continued recovery.
 

Phillyroo

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#24
Great OP DP!!! I don't suffer from any of these afflictions but know what it's like to feel really down and out.... So I can't imagine how hard it would be to have to feel like that all the time. The bravery you have shown by putting yourself out there, is just so damn admirable! I'd love to have a beer with you in Saturday night if you are going??
 

hotham

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#25
I have had some battles with mental health issues. With the right support there is a way through. I was lucky to find a psychologist who was very down to earth with life experience.
 
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