Resource Mental Health

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TeeJay Blue

Premiership Player
Feb 11, 2015
4,836
7,737
AFL Club
Carlton
The issue of mental health can be quite a sensitive topic, especially for those of us who suffer the greatest from it. Much so that it is often very easy for people to lash out at one another for any view regarding it that is even seen to be the slightest bit controversial.

Having suffered from several forms of anxiety and depression, there is no doubt that I have a relatively better understanding of the topic than previously (as will many others who have experienced similar or worse). Of course, that doesn't make me an expert or anything, as I fundamentally believe there is no such thing as experts on mental health. Things like Anxiety and Depression are merely a series of personal challenges. They take whatever form that affects us the most.

My struggles started where most others do during adolescence on the back of educational expectations and societal pressures. The lack of drive and absence of efficient time management skills when it came to school and homework, did see me wreck my health without much control. I wasn't eating as well as I used to and I was slowly becoming both unfit and sleep deprived. They said school was to prepare us for the pressure life throws at us, but I couldn't disagree any more in today's day and age. The education system during my school years was just all talk. The modern curriculum demonstrated a severe disregard for both individual interest as well as the pace of learning. It just kept throwing assignments and homework at us everyday. Despite high praises from my peers and teachers for my growing knowledge, my ATAR ended up at around 32 (which is unable to see me enroll in any university the following year.
I can assure you that there's likely nothing harder in life than school nowadays.

I as a result, decided to take a gap year and try to relieve myself from the damage school did to my health. Didn't bother with car license, employment, etc. because I felt life was going to fast for myself at the time. I'm slow at most things like thinking and motor skills. I require the time to plan what I have to say. At anytime I race against the clock, I get tense, my nerves shake and I end up saying or doing something I'm then made to regret.

All of this was just one form of anxiety I experienced.

Much of what I have suffered in the last three years however, was more intense.

I suffered a severe existential crisis. Not of the "Who am I?" sort, but rather the general "What am I?". Simply questioning life and death. Unsure of what came next. Whether existence was all just a simulation. My brother best described it as being trapped in one's own body. It doesn't sound bad when reading it, but the experience itself for me was without a doubt the lowest point of my life so far. I wasn't sleeping or eating at all. Fear nearly swallowed me whole, that I even for a minute or two questioned whether living meant anything at all and contemplated suicide.
I guess this all hit me really hard because I was still fairly young (22 at the time) and had so much of my life ahead of me.

I even came to believe that mental suffering was contagious after my brother having come home from work one day, experiencing for months this similar demon which I later caught. The only major difference being that he opened up about his struggles and took medication. I hid mine from everyone and refused drugs. It was an extremely risky move (a reckless one too in the eyes of most, and rightly so) but I managed to pull through. What actually cured me was simply facing the cold, hard truth of it all. Sometimes I believe it was a miracle, and other times just reality.
But I like to say now that I locked this demon in a box and threw away the key. I know very well it will never affect me in the same way again.

This is pretty relevant because it is kind of the reason why I am not around here on BigFooty as much as I used to be. Back in 2018, I was having a hard time posting previews, reviews, charts and so on. I couldn't put a lot of effort in then because my mind was all over the place. This whole nadir drained so much of my motivation and passion, that it is still taking quite sometime to regain it all back. I'm still not around here as much, but I am making progress.

Of course, I too have experienced depression, mental breakdowns and other hurdles from the impact of COVID and lockdowns, but those are nothing necessarily special. But incase you are somewhat interested in wanting to know more, you can click the link below and read my blog post about much of my struggles over the past few years (if and when you have time). It does explore my other interests outside of footy and Carlton as well:
Incomplete
NOTE: This was written and published for my Instagram audience mid last year whilst suffering depression. Right now, I am feeling alright if anybody is concerned. But it does share my recent journey with mental and psychological challenges.

All I can say is that having suffered has left me seeing it all in a different light. And I am so much more cautious when it comes to how other people share their stories. Without a doubt, I still believe that the issue of mental health is not being taken more seriously (especially in this past year). I still believe some people are treating using the topic of mental health as a joke and are using it to their advantage (E.g. seeking sympathy for intentional wrongdoings). This is something that I wish could fight against in an effective manner.
 
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myblueroan

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 26, 2011
5,178
13,490
Melbourne
AFL Club
Carlton
The issue of mental health can be quite a sensitive topic, especially for those of us who suffer the greatest from it. Much so that it is often very easy for people to lash out at one another for any view regarding it that is even seen to be the slightest bit controversial.

Having suffered from several forms of anxiety and depression, there is no doubt that I have a relatively better understanding of the topic than previously (as will many others who have experienced similar or worse). Of course, that doesn't make me an expert or anything, as I fundamentally believe there is no such thing as experts on mental health. Things like Anxiety and Depression are merely a series of personal challenges. They take whatever form that affects us the most.

My struggles started where most others do during adolescence on the back of educational expectations and societal pressures. The lack of drive and absence of efficient time management skills when it came to school and homework, did see me wreck my health without much control. I wasn't eating as well as I used to and I was slowly becoming both unfit and sleep deprived. They said school was to prepare us for the pressure life throws at us, but I couldn't disagree any more in today's day and age. The education system during my school years was just all talk. The modern curriculum demonstrated a severe disregard for both individual interest as well as the pace of learning. It just kept throwing assignments and homework at us everyday. Despite high praises from my peers and teachers for my growing knowledge, my ATAR ended up at around 32 (which is unable to see me enroll in any university the following year.
I can assure you that there's likely nothing harder in life than school nowadays.

I as a result, decided to take a gap year and try to relieve myself from the damage school did to my health. Didn't bother with car license, employment, etc. because I felt life was going to fast for myself at the time. I'm slow at most things like thinking and motor skills. I require the time to plan what I have to say. At anytime I race against the clock, I get tense, my nerves shake and I end up saying or doing something I'm then made to regret.

All of this was just one form of anxiety I experienced.

Much of what I have suffered in the last three years however, was more intense.

I suffered a severe existential crisis. Not of the "Who am I?" sort, but rather the general "What am I?". Simply questioning life and death. Unsure of what came next. Whether existence was all just a simulation. My brother best described it as being trapped in one's own body. It doesn't sound bad when reading it, but the experience itself for me was without a doubt the lowest point of my life so far. I wasn't sleeping or eating at all. Fear nearly swallowed me whole, that I even for a minute or two questioned whether living meant anything at all and contemplated suicide.
I guess this all hit me really hard because I was still fairly young (22 at the time) and had so much of my life ahead of me.

I even came to believe that mental suffering was contagious after my brother having come home from work one day, experiencing for months this similar demon which I later caught. The only major difference being that he opened up about his struggles and took medication. I hid mine from everyone and refused drugs. It was an extremely risky move (a reckless one too in the eyes of most, and rightly so) but I managed to pull through. What actually cured me was simply facing the cold, hard truth of it all. Sometimes I believe it was a miracle, and other times just reality.
But I like to say now that I locked this demon in a box and threw away the key. I know very well it will never affect me in the same way again.

This is pretty relevant because it is kind of the reason why I am not around here on BigFooty as much as I used to be. Back in 2018, I was having a hard time posting previews, reviews, charts and so on. I couldn't put a lot of effort in then because my mind was all over the place. This whole nadir drained so much of my motivation and passion, that it is still taking quite sometime to regain it all back. I'm still not around here as much, but I am making progress.

Of course, I too have experienced depression, mental breakdowns and other hurdles from the impact of COVID and lockdowns, but those are nothing necessarily special. But incase you are somewhat interested in wanting to know more, you can click the link below and read my blog post about much of my struggles over the past few years (if and when you have time). It does explore my other interests outside of footy and Carlton as well:
Incomplete
NOTE: This was written and published for my Instagram audience mid last year whilst suffering depression. Right now, I am feeling alright if anybody is concerned. But it does share my recent journey with mental and psychological challenges.

All I can say is that having suffered has left me seeing it all in a different light. And I am so much more cautious when it comes to how other people share their stories. Without a doubt, I still believe that the issue of mental health is not being taken more seriously (especially in this past year). I still believe some people are treating using the topic of mental health as a joke and are using it to their advantage (E.g. seeking sympathy for intentional wrongdoings). This is something that I wish could fight against in an effective manner.
Great post and thanks for taking the time to share. Sometimes I think a mental breakdown can become a breakthrough. Growing pains if you will. Immensly painful, but as you said, sometimes the box we are in just gets way too tight and we endup shattering it. Such a unique process for every person and some go very 'far out' so the little 'I' can grow into a larger more tolerant and accepting one. Some call it a little death. Or a kind of death and rebirth of the ego. some get stuck in different parts of that journey, but get there eventually...others turn back. Some even die physically, so hard is it to change, which is not what we want to see.
I guess I'm rambling a bit but thinking of Joseph Campbell and his Heroes Journey. A really beneficial and non religious framework to have a look at if anyone is interested.
We don't do well with terminology or ritual for these mental and spiritual growth journeys. We just have to hope we find like minded souls or helpful counsellors /Dr's when we most need them.
I'm just writing my personal view here...and it is looking back and reflecting. In no way am I meaning to trivialise anyone's pain or experience which is unique to them.
💙
 

JW2468

Draftee
Dec 29, 2020
16
8
AFL Club
Carlton
The issue of mental health can be quite a sensitive topic, especially for those of us who suffer the greatest from it. Much so that it is often very easy for people to lash out at one another for any view regarding it that is even seen to be the slightest bit controversial.

Having suffered from several forms of anxiety and depression, there is no doubt that I have a relatively better understanding of the topic than previously (as will many others who have experienced similar or worse). Of course, that doesn't make me an expert or anything, as I fundamentally believe there is no such thing as experts on mental health. Things like Anxiety and Depression are merely a series of personal challenges. They take whatever form that affects us the most.

My struggles started where most others do during adolescence on the back of educational expectations and societal pressures. The lack of drive and absence of efficient time management skills when it came to school and homework, did see me wreck my health without much control. I wasn't eating as well as I used to and I was slowly becoming both unfit and sleep deprived. They said school was to prepare us for the pressure life throws at us, but I couldn't disagree any more in today's day and age. The education system during my school years was just all talk. The modern curriculum demonstrated a severe disregard for both individual interest as well as the pace of learning. It just kept throwing assignments and homework at us everyday. Despite high praises from my peers and teachers for my growing knowledge, my ATAR ended up at around 32 (which is unable to see me enroll in any university the following year.
I can assure you that there's likely nothing harder in life than school nowadays.

I as a result, decided to take a gap year and try to relieve myself from the damage school did to my health. Didn't bother with car license, employment, etc. because I felt life was going to fast for myself at the time. I'm slow at most things like thinking and motor skills. I require the time to plan what I have to say. At anytime I race against the clock, I get tense, my nerves shake and I end up saying or doing something I'm then made to regret.

All of this was just one form of anxiety I experienced.

Much of what I have suffered in the last three years however, was more intense.

I suffered a severe existential crisis. Not of the "Who am I?" sort, but rather the general "What am I?". Simply questioning life and death. Unsure of what came next. Whether existence was all just a simulation. My brother best described it as being trapped in one's own body. It doesn't sound bad when reading it, but the experience itself for me was without a doubt the lowest point of my life so far. I wasn't sleeping or eating at all. Fear nearly swallowed me whole, that I even for a minute or two questioned whether living meant anything at all and contemplated suicide.
I guess this all hit me really hard because I was still fairly young (22 at the time) and had so much of my life ahead of me.

I even came to believe that mental suffering was contagious after my brother having come home from work one day, experiencing for months this similar demon which I later caught. The only major difference being that he opened up about his struggles and took medication. I hid mine from everyone and refused drugs. It was an extremely risky move (a reckless one too in the eyes of most, and rightly so) but I managed to pull through. What actually cured me was simply facing the cold, hard truth of it all. Sometimes I believe it was a miracle, and other times just reality.
But I like to say now that I locked this demon in a box and threw away the key. I know very well it will never affect me in the same way again.

This is pretty relevant because it is kind of the reason why I am not around here on BigFooty as much as I used to be. Back in 2018, I was having a hard time posting previews, reviews, charts and so on. I couldn't put a lot of effort in then because my mind was all over the place. This whole nadir drained so much of my motivation and passion, that it is still taking quite sometime to regain it all back. I'm still not around here as much, but I am making progress.

Of course, I too have experienced depression, mental breakdowns and other hurdles from the impact of COVID and lockdowns, but those are nothing necessarily special. But incase you are somewhat interested in wanting to know more, you can click the link below and read my blog post about much of my struggles over the past few years (if and when you have time). It does explore my other interests outside of footy and Carlton as well:
Incomplete
NOTE: This was written and published for my Instagram audience mid last year whilst suffering depression. Right now, I am feeling alright if anybody is concerned. But it does share my recent journey with mental and psychological challenges.

All I can say is that having suffered has left me seeing it all in a different light. And I am so much more cautious when it comes to how other people share their stories. Without a doubt, I still believe that the issue of mental health is not being taken more seriously (especially in this past year). I still believe some people are treating using the topic of mental health as a joke and are using it to their advantage (E.g. seeking sympathy for intentional wrongdoings). This is something that I wish could fight against in an effective manner.
Wow, powerful post. Thanks for sharing.
 

Metalcrusher

Bush Chook
Jan 22, 2015
26,056
58,924
Kalgoorlie
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Blackburn United EPL ... sorta
The issue of mental health can be quite a sensitive topic, especially for those of us who suffer the greatest from it. Much so that it is often very easy for people to lash out at one another for any view regarding it that is even seen to be the slightest bit controversial.

Having suffered from several forms of anxiety and depression, there is no doubt that I have a relatively better understanding of the topic than previously (as will many others who have experienced similar or worse). Of course, that doesn't make me an expert or anything, as I fundamentally believe there is no such thing as experts on mental health. Things like Anxiety and Depression are merely a series of personal challenges. They take whatever form that affects us the most.

My struggles started where most others do during adolescence on the back of educational expectations and societal pressures. The lack of drive and absence of efficient time management skills when it came to school and homework, did see me wreck my health without much control. I wasn't eating as well as I used to and I was slowly becoming both unfit and sleep deprived. They said school was to prepare us for the pressure life throws at us, but I couldn't disagree any more in today's day and age. The education system during my school years was just all talk. The modern curriculum demonstrated a severe disregard for both individual interest as well as the pace of learning. It just kept throwing assignments and homework at us everyday. Despite high praises from my peers and teachers for my growing knowledge, my ATAR ended up at around 32 (which is unable to see me enroll in any university the following year.
I can assure you that there's likely nothing harder in life than school nowadays.

I as a result, decided to take a gap year and try to relieve myself from the damage school did to my health. Didn't bother with car license, employment, etc. because I felt life was going to fast for myself at the time. I'm slow at most things like thinking and motor skills. I require the time to plan what I have to say. At anytime I race against the clock, I get tense, my nerves shake and I end up saying or doing something I'm then made to regret.

All of this was just one form of anxiety I experienced.

Much of what I have suffered in the last three years however, was more intense.

I suffered a severe existential crisis. Not of the "Who am I?" sort, but rather the general "What am I?". Simply questioning life and death. Unsure of what came next. Whether existence was all just a simulation. My brother best described it as being trapped in one's own body. It doesn't sound bad when reading it, but the experience itself for me was without a doubt the lowest point of my life so far. I wasn't sleeping or eating at all. Fear nearly swallowed me whole, that I even for a minute or two questioned whether living meant anything at all and contemplated suicide.
I guess this all hit me really hard because I was still fairly young (22 at the time) and had so much of my life ahead of me.

I even came to believe that mental suffering was contagious after my brother having come home from work one day, experiencing for months this similar demon which I later caught. The only major difference being that he opened up about his struggles and took medication. I hid mine from everyone and refused drugs. It was an extremely risky move (a reckless one too in the eyes of most, and rightly so) but I managed to pull through. What actually cured me was simply facing the cold, hard truth of it all. Sometimes I believe it was a miracle, and other times just reality.
But I like to say now that I locked this demon in a box and threw away the key. I know very well it will never affect me in the same way again.

This is pretty relevant because it is kind of the reason why I am not around here on BigFooty as much as I used to be. Back in 2018, I was having a hard time posting previews, reviews, charts and so on. I couldn't put a lot of effort in then because my mind was all over the place. This whole nadir drained so much of my motivation and passion, that it is still taking quite sometime to regain it all back. I'm still not around here as much, but I am making progress.

Of course, I too have experienced depression, mental breakdowns and other hurdles from the impact of COVID and lockdowns, but those are nothing necessarily special. But incase you are somewhat interested in wanting to know more, you can click the link below and read my blog post about much of my struggles over the past few years (if and when you have time). It does explore my other interests outside of footy and Carlton as well:
Incomplete
NOTE: This was written and published for my Instagram audience mid last year whilst suffering depression. Right now, I am feeling alright if anybody is concerned. But it does share my recent journey with mental and psychological challenges.

All I can say is that having suffered has left me seeing it all in a different light. And I am so much more cautious when it comes to how other people share their stories. Without a doubt, I still believe that the issue of mental health is not being taken more seriously (especially in this past year). I still believe some people are treating using the topic of mental health as a joke and are using it to their advantage (E.g. seeking sympathy for intentional wrongdoings). This is something that I wish could fight against in an effective manner.
Good on you mate. PM is always open for a chat. That was a heart felt story.

:heart: :heart:
 

TeeJay Blue

Premiership Player
Feb 11, 2015
4,836
7,737
AFL Club
Carlton
Great post and thanks for taking the time to share. Sometimes I think a mental breakdown can become a breakthrough. Growing pains if you will. Immensely painful, but as you said, sometimes the box we are in just gets way too tight and we end up shattering it. Such a unique process for every person and some go very 'far out' so the little 'I' can grow into a larger more tolerant and accepting one. Some call it a little death. Or a kind of death and rebirth of the ego. some get stuck in different parts of that journey, but get there eventually...others turn back. Some even die physically, so hard is it to change, which is not what we want to see.
I guess I'm rambling a bit but thinking of Joseph Campbell and his Heroes Journey. A really beneficial and non religious framework to have a look at if anyone is interested.
We don't do well with terminology or ritual for these mental and spiritual growth journeys. We just have to hope we find like minded souls or helpful counsellors /Dr's when we most need them.
I'm just writing my personal view here...and it is looking back and reflecting. In no way am I meaning to trivialise anyone's pain or experience which is unique to them.
💙
All is worth sharing for the benefit of others.

I like to think that anybody can help somebody suffering. Not just family or friends. Not just doctors or psychologists either. All one needs is somebody willing to take their time to listen should they open themselves up. Those who deal with similar obstacles are too a means of support.

And TRUST is a vital tool. Ideally we shouldn't immediately trust anybody. I don't think I'm to immediately be trusted with what I share either. That of course isn't saying everybody including myself is a liar. But the importance of reading into one's efforts and attention to detail is being ignored. The greatest assurance comes from how much we invest our time into sharing our lives and experiences with others.

I mean should we sit here and "take somebody's word for it", when all they say is 'I've suffered anxiety and depression. It is tough. I hope everyone understands.'?

Wow, powerful post. Thanks for sharing.
Glad you see it that way. Thank you.

Good on you mate. PM is always open for a chat. That was a heart felt story.

:heart: :heart:
I appreciate that. Thank you.

I am doing just fine at this time. Just saw this thread and thought of taking the opportunity to share a small part of my journey to further validate my sincerity.
 

myblueroan

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 26, 2011
5,178
13,490
Melbourne
AFL Club
Carlton
All is worth sharing for the benefit of others.

I like to think that anybody can help somebody suffering. Not just family or friends. Not just doctors or psychologists either. All one needs is somebody willing to take their time to listen should they open themselves up. Those who deal with similar obstacles are too a means of support.

And TRUST is a vital tool. Ideally we shouldn't immediately trust anybody. I don't think I'm to immediately be trusted with what I share either. That of course isn't saying everybody including myself is a liar. But the importance of reading into one's efforts and attention to detail is being ignored. The greatest assurance comes from how much we invest our time into sharing our lives and experiences with others.

I mean should we sit here and "take somebody's word for it", when all they say is 'I've suffered anxiety and depression. It is tough. I hope everyone understands.'?



Glad you see it that way. Thank you.



I appreciate that. Thank you.

I am doing just fine at this time. Just saw this thread and thought of taking the opportunity to share a small part of my journey to further validate my sincerity.
Thanks Tee-Jay. I think a non-judgemental and open attitude to all is paramount.
It isn't for us to decide about sincerity or impose our personal 'way out' on anyone who suffers and whom we want to help. We won't often see if we helped or not either. Unconditional openess to the pain of others and being present for them. That is a great gift for anyone to experience. All humans are worthy of that. Let's be honest...Sometimes dogs do it a whole lot better. They listen, and occassionaly offer a friendly paw.
But really wanting to help and share...having suffered ourselves, we have empathy. The reason someone needs to be heard should never have conditions put on it. (Imho)
 

TeeJay Blue

Premiership Player
Feb 11, 2015
4,836
7,737
AFL Club
Carlton
Thanks Tee-Jay. I think a non-judgemental and open attitude to all is paramount.
It isn't for us to decide about sincerity or impose our personal 'way out' on anyone who suffers and whom we want to help. We won't often see if we helped or not either. Unconditional openess to the pain of others and being present for them. That is a great gift for anyone to experience. All humans are worthy of that. Let's be honest...Sometimes dogs do it a whole lot better. They listen, and occassionaly offer a friendly paw.
But really wanting to help and share...having suffered ourselves, we have empathy. The reason someone needs to be heard should never have conditions put on it. (Imho)
Oh I think you might have misinterpreted me a little.

I'm not at all suggesting that there is any certain way for people who are suffering to share their pain. Heck, they are even entitled to not share it at all (even if it is deemed to be an unhealthy approach by many). It's only that if they want help, they can't be expected to receive it if they don't open up about their troubles to anybody. But regardless of what state of mind we are in, the choice is forever in our hands

I for one, hid my pain from family and friends because I know them all too well. They can be quite inconsiderate and get easily frustrated with such stuff. My parents will usually jump straight to the conclusion of taking meds without first hearing me out.
So instead, I shared my pain with people online in the hopes of finding he right support. Getting to know their experiences and taking their advice was a significant boost for me. Knowing that there were people who genuinely cared for others was something so incredibly inspiring and powerful in much of my recovery. I even reminded people occasionally that trusting me and offering pity was up to them and them alone.

And I too am saying that 'MY way out' isn't 'THE way out'. As I said, anxiety and depression take the shape and form that does the most damage to us. Sometimes the damage won't be so bad because people can handle it better. Others are probably not as effected because they don't quite understand it completely. There can be quite a lot of grey area when it comes to mental challenges.
But because they reflect on our own life experiences, they can affect us differently. And because they can affect us differently, the means of overcoming these hurdles may be different between each and every individual.

All I can say though, is while I did make it through my toughest moments, I did so in a reckless manner. One which I certainly would not encourage to anybody, considering there can be plenty of others out there that are doing it harder and/or experiencing greater pain and angst compared to what I endured in my darkest hours.

What I am saying it that both blind faith and blind trust is dangerous territory. Not only can these make us look like fools, but it can give power to the wrong people. These wrong people I'm referring to are those that use mental health as a means to escape rightful criticism. To validate immoral behaviour. To use it as an excuse and hide behind it whenever they do something bad which they cannot take back. Allowing this could make way for the topic mental health and those who are genuinely suffering from it to be somewhat trivialised and tainted. This is the sort of stuff we as a society need to fight off.

Of course this isn't an easy thing to do, due to all the grey area in mental health. Many of us won't ever truly know what one person goes through unless we were actually in their shoes. So we make it easier for ourselves to take anybody's word when they come around and claim to be a victim.

The question though is "How easy are we to make it for ourselves to hear others out?" Where do we draw the line?

One thing is for certain is that Anxiety and depression can be very tough to manage. But if we choose to fight our demons, we have to give our best effort in doing so. If one chooses to share their pain, then they have to share it to the best of their ability. It's all in the effort and detail. That is what I strongly believe to be the most effective way known in validating our trust and support of people. It's a challenge for sufferers, don't get me wrong. They at many times could be unable to think straight (like I did). But big problems require big solutions and big strategies to reach those big solutions.

So while the dog analogy is valid to some degree, it's lending of a paw is at most times built on a foundation of trust between them and their owner. The dog is both guided into virtue with both love and operant conditioning methods.
 

sherb

Hall of Famer
Sep 28, 2003
31,175
31,453
Western Sydney
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Swans
Thank you for this mate.

Mental health issues have dogged me all my life and I'm amazed I am still here.

The old man's suicide in 86 ****ed me over completely. After my mum's death in 72 from cancer.

I am fighting as hard as I can and I have animals - they are all that keep me going.

Despite that, I'd be more than happy to go to sleep and not wake up.

But I have to get my will sorted - I'm not going to die without knowing my animals are provided for.

It's a pity that we have *******s who think mental health is a joke. I can assure you, it's far from that.
 

Blue Dimension

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 18, 2007
7,137
1,461
Melbourne
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
N Mystics & GC Lightning
Hey ODN, this is really great.

Maybe pure coincidence that i stumbled on this, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Am probably going through one of the more difficult times right now and am a little lost to be honest. If there’s still room i’d love to be part of it.
 

Wickzki

Premium Platinum
Oct 1, 2010
17,563
27,353
Goodbye
AFL Club
Carlton
Hey ODN, this is really great.

Maybe pure coincidence that i stumbled on this, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Am probably going through one of the more difficult times right now and am a little lost to be honest. If there’s still room i’d love to be part of it.
There should always be room. If not, I'll step out and you can have a space.

Feel free to drop a PM if you ever want an ear.
 

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Kruzering

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 7, 2008
8,048
11,774
Blackburn
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
LA Lakers
Thoughts on increased coffee consumption of the population leading to an increase in mental health issues like anxiety

(Mild cases, not clinical depression stuff)
 

katmanblue

Premium Platinum
Nov 27, 2016
10,826
18,129
AFL Club
Carlton
Hey ODN, this is really great.

Maybe pure coincidence that i stumbled on this, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Am probably going through one of the more difficult times right now and am a little lost to be honest. If there’s still room i’d love to be part of it.
Don't know what's going on, but am willing to listen.

Keep your head up.
 

Dramoth

Premium Platinum
Jul 19, 2005
27,630
17,614
Bunbury, WA
AFL Club
Carlton
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Back in early 2011, I actually managed to break my brain. I was placed under so much stress from doing 3 peoples work in a standard 40 hour week that I suffered a severe stress related burnout. At times, without realising it... my anxiety was at a point where I was paranoid. Instead of seeking help, things built up to a point where one of my colleagues who’d dumped a significant share of his workload on me, tried to abuse me for work he should have done about 6 months earlier. I pulled him into one of the spare offices and gave him a serve. The MD of the company came in and said he wanted to see us both in the morning.

That night I went home and I was talking to my father and I said something to him that struck a chord in my broken brain. I didn’t care whether I kept my job, got the sack or quit. The next morning, as soon as the MD arrived in the office, I went and had a chat with him before the other guy showed up and I told him of my epiphany of the night before. He realised instantly what had happened, suggested I use my work health care benefits to see a pshrink, and offered me a one month sabbatical.

Unfortunately, over the years, my burnout/breakdown... whatever you want to call it, has exacerbated my issues. I find it difficult to concentrate on work. I’m trying to retrain into games development instead of being a web application developer. I’ve also started trying to learn how to do 3D graphics to create game assets. But, the simplest things distract me and I go off on a tangent.

My social anxiety has gotten worse to the point of, never leaving the house unless I absolutely need to. I can’t handle being around more than 3-4 people at a time without having an anxiety attack. I’m ok talking to people online, but put them in a room with me and I start to freak out a little. I have issues getting to sleep. Wickzki can testify to that... the number of times I’ve started talking to him at 2am is uncountable. My doctors are concerned about me becoming addicted to the stilnox tablets I take to get to sleep... but how can you get addicted to something that occasionally, you either forget to take the pills or you forget to go to the chemist to get your script filled. Or you forget to go to the doctors to get the script renewed.

The stress and anxiety I’d been suffering from from 2011 until about 2018 when I got diagnosed with a benign tumour on my pituitary gland. Apparently stress cause men to secrete a hormone called prolactin. If your body secretes too much of the hormone, you will start developing a tumour... and moobs, because prolactin is the hormone that pregnant women secrete to start producing milk for babies. The other funny thing about prolactin is that it’s a testosterone blocker. I suffer from a lot of migraines these days when I never did when I was younger.

So, if you are under stress at work or even at home. Look for ways to relieve the stress and anxiety because dropping dead from a massive heart attack or stroke isn’t the only medical issues that you could suffer. As for the mental health issues... they really suck arse. Stress, anxiety, depression can wreck a persons life... if you let a burnout get to the point where I did, it will wreck your life... and even worse, it could wreck the lives of the people you love.
 

myblueroan

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Sep 26, 2011
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That is quite the journey you are on mate. I feel for you big time. Can't help wondering if the tumour itself played havoc on the pituitary gland causing it to go haywire. Chicken or egg I guess. I salute your courage in dealing with this. 💙
 

Dramoth

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That is quite the journey you are on mate. I feel for you big time. Can't help wondering if the tumour itself played havoc on the pituitary gland causing it to go haywire. Chicken or egg I guess. I salute your courage in dealing with this. 💙
Unfortunately, it seems that the tumour is a result of the long term stress and anxiety (depression) I suffered from 2011 to 2018. The tumour itself was 7mm in size when it was discovered after I went in and wanted a heap of blood tests done and got referred to a urologist, who did a heap more blood tests and found the results pointed to my pituitary gland and had a MRI done (those things are tight when you have 2 foot wide shoulders) which discovered the tumour. I'm now under the care of an endocrinologist.

In the meanwhile, I went onto anti-depressents which don't seem to have done anything to help me... which now knowing what I know, could explain a lot.
 

mikeythemoocow

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Mar 17, 2005
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I went onto anti-depressents which don't seem to have done anything to help me... which now knowing what I know, could explain a lot.
There are heaps of different anti-depressants.

My first one I tried made me sick, zone out and a danger to myself while I was at work. I had a massive accident and was extremely luck to have not died. It also make my guy bits not work. So I changed till I found one that works for me.

I don’t like being on them and I feel a fair bit of shame about taking them. Like I’m such a broken person I can’t function without them. I went off them without telling anyone, and my behaviour became pretty erratic, my major depression was quickly returning. My partner got very scared, in a short period of time, about my safety and self harm issues (never about me hurting others).

So I went back on. She asked me to and I know no matter what she has my best interests at heart, and I trust her completely. At my worst I was quite paranoid and didn’t trust even my family, who I now know only wanted me to be healthy.

Once I started on my meds again, I was pretty quickly back to a normal life.

Only last week, I accidentally stopped taking them (partner was away, so I started skipping breakfast and forgetting to take them). I started drinking heaps, generally not looking after myself. I don’t really notice a change but my partner knew as soon as she came back. I was anxious, becoming erratic and withdrawn from any interaction with other people. She helped me to get back to taking them and I’m getting back on the level.

I still hate taking them, but know I need to as there is a big dark hole waiting to swallow me up if I stop right now.
 
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Dramoth

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There are heaps of different anti-depressants.

My first one I tried made me sick, zone out and a danger to myself while I was at work. I had a massive accident and was extremely luck to have not died. It also make my guy bits not work. So I changed till I found one that works for me.

I don’t like being on them and I feel a fair bit of shame about taking them. Like I’m such a broken person I can’t function without them. I went off them without telling anyone, and my behaviour became pretty erratic, my major depression was quickly returning. My partner got very scared, in a short period of time, about my safety and self harm issues (never about me hurting others).

So I went back on. She asked me to and I know no matter what she has my best interests at heart, and I trust her completely. At my worst I was quite paranoid and didn’t trust even my family, who I now know only wanted me to be healthy.

Once I started on my meds again, I was pretty quickly back to a normal life.

Only last week, I accidentally stopped taking them (partner was away, so I started skipping breakfast and forgetting to take them). I started drinking heaps, generally not looking after myself. I don’t really notice a change but my partner knew as soon as she came back. I was anxious, becoming erratic and withdrawn from any interaction with other people. She helped me to get back to taking them and I’m getting back on the level.

I still hate taking them, but know I need to as there is a big dark hole waiting to swallow me up if I stop right now.
I find that a lot of pshrinks are only too happy to put people onto anti-depressents rather than trying to look through symptoms and address the causes.
 

sosos

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Any insomniacs in the house want to talk to someone, I'm happy to have a chat. At stages I thought I had a mental health issue, and maybe I still do - but that's another story.

Apologies for the long post:

It's tempting to say my nightmare journey started with work stress, and that was certainly a contributing factor, but not the cause as it turned out.

I was at the end of my tether, when I finally spoke to my GP who, way too quickly in my opinion placed me on medication. It certainly helped to stabilise my situation, but I knew it could not continue forever. Most types are highly addictive, and having given up smoking after a million attempts, I wasn't going to let myself get addicted again. Apart from that, the one that worked for me I could only take 3 a week max. So I would plan out my week to have 3 good days, and make the bad ones fall on the weekend. Great!

Years before, my wife had told me I would sometime stop breathing during the night, but foolishly I hadn't taken it seriously, until my sister harassed me into getting checked for sleep apnoea after she herself had been diagnosed. Yep, it's genetic.

So I was referred into the public health system, and ended up with a CPAP machine. Annoying thing, but I noticed I felt much better. immediately
But I was still an insomniac. My pattern was having an insanely difficult time getting to sleep, so on the worst days, it might be 4am or even later when I might finally nod off with another work day ominously looming.

One day, on the road home from work, exhausted as usual, I heard an ad on the radio for volunteers to participate in a clinical trial testing some non-drug methods. I got in touch as quickly as I could. The hook? Seven free consultations with a sleep psychologist. I was lucky to be accepted, and even luckier to not be in the "placebo" group.

And it was there I learned that I could not have joined without having first had my sleep apnoea diagnosed and treated as it is a known risk factor for insomnia.

So please, anyone suffering sleep issues, get tested for sleep apnoea as soon as possible. It was a factor, but not the main cause for me, but it could just be the magic bullet for you.

My issues were eventually addressed via the clinical study. I am not a psychologist, and anything I say should be confirmed by a professional in the field, but I am happy to share what I learned. There are seven major areas to focus on, with the first two being the most important:

1. Increase your sleep debt by limiting your sleep window. Translation? Don't nap. Don't try to catch up on sleep. Don't get into bed, not even to read (sex the exception ;) until your allotted time, but make sure you get out of bed as soon as the sleep window ends. After filling out a sleep diary for two weeks, my sleep window allocated to me was 5 and 3/4 hours a night. This was incredibly tough at the start. but each week, it got better, with the carrot that I could increase the window by 15 minutes if my "score" was good enough.

2. If you get into bed, and you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed, and go and do something boring until you feel tired again. Then get back into bed, try again, and same deal, get out if you don't drop off. Again, this is really hard to do in winter, when it's cold, but what this one is doing is retraining you to not associate bed with the stress of not being able to fall asleep.

The other 5 areas were mainly sleep hygiene - mindfulness, don't exercise close to bed time, don't eat close to bed time etc. They are all factors but the psych told me the first two were what really mattered.

Just a word on the sleep psychologist. and clinical staff who assisted me - utter legends. I am forever in their debt. I'm not going to say I am completely cured, can still have bad nights. But I if I follow the basic steps, I actually sleep alright these days.

Drug free.
 

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