Resource Mental Health

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mikeythemoocow

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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.
I fought my shrink for years before I said I would try antidepressants. We are working through my issues as I want to get off them, but they give me some clear space to work through them, rather that every day being hard
 
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myblueroan

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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.
Agree Dramoth
But it can work in buying time so you can think more clearly and formulate a healing plan going forward.
And also sometimes we can just run out of happy hormones that keep us balanced. We may just need chemical help like how a thyroid tablet works, except for our brains :D 💙
 
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Dramoth

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I fought my shrink for years before I said I would try antidepressants. We are working through my issues as I want to get off them, but they give me some clear space to work through them, rather that every day being hard
I was pretty much the same. Then a friend of my mum needed to get out of Perth in a hurry because of some family issues, so we invited her down here. She'd been down here for a couple of week... and then f’ed up completely. She went through all my sh*t in the bathroom... and as someone who has anxiety and depression, you would know how badly we react to sudden change. Or at least that was me. Later on that day, I called down to the doctors and made an appointment to see him about getting anti-anxiety pills, which are also anti-depressents.

But yeah... massive anxiety attack and I've been on these pills for like 3 or 4 years now. Not really happy about it, but there are days when they work.
 

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katmanblue

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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.
Man, that sounds rough.

How are you doing now?
 

katmanblue

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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.
There's no shame in taking them.
 

Dramoth

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Man, that sounds rough.

How are you doing now?
As I said, my brain is broke. I still have the same level of intelligence, but the slightest thing can distract me and send my thoughts off on a tangent. Which is particularly bad when you require those thoughts to do your job. I'm trying to retrain myself to do other types of programming, but as I said, I get distracted to easily and could end up going weeks or months without doing anything remotely to do with programming... or 3D graphics design.

Hopefully the next step I am going to try (losing weight) will help get the hormone balance in my body right and my brain will snap back to being a semblence of normal... for all factors of normal :D
 

mikeythemoocow

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If it was your child Mikey what would you say? ( if you don't have one imagine...) then say the same thing to yourself. Start small and build up practicing self kindness. 💙
Honestly if it was one of my kids I would be so saddened and want to help them in anyway to make their life happier. If that meant antidepressants I would help in anyway.
But would also hate myself for not being a better parent and equipping them with the skills they needed for life.

I treat myself very badly and have no care for myself. I’m trying but I really don’t know how to fix it.
 

Dramoth

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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.
I have a thing called delayed sleep phase syndrome... at least that's what all the symptom suggest. I can be dead tired crawling into the fart sack... head hits the pillow and brain goes "Nah... fu** this... we're awake!". And 2-3 hours later... I finally fall asleep. I take stilnox to try and get to sleep. Sometimes they really work well... other times my brain does the "Nah, fu** this" routine.

Turns out that my grandmother had a very similar sleeping issue as she got older.
 

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Dramoth

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I've been having sleeping issues lately I'm struggling to find a solution
Don't do what I do... and stay away from sleeping pills unless you've got a non-addictive personality. If you are online late, set you monitor(s), tablet(s), or phone to darken slightly after about 7:30p. Go to bed around 9-9:30p Have something that relaxes you... hot chocolate or something like that. Cut down on your caffeine intake.
 

sosos

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I've been having sleeping issues lately I'm struggling to find a solution
Another thing is to not to label yourself as an insomniac. That can add to the self pressure.

And consider seeing a sleep psychologist. There's a lot of research underway, and some real breakthroughs are happening.

The technique they tested on me achieved around 75% success rate which is phenomenal.
 

Metalcrusher

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Routine for you mate ... routine, routine, routine. Same thing every time you get home. Two things you should try NOT to do, alcohol and eating before bed. If you do feel hungry have a really light snack, salads, fruit, yoghurts. Don't carb or protein load.

Dark, block out curtains, aircon set at 21-22 degrees. Close off all noise, if that is not possible, make "white noise" to block out other noises. Bring a fan into your room, for me (when I did it) I left the Am radio on ABC for talk back chatter down low ...

Don't get angry, sometimes the bio rhythm just doesn't work. Get up, have a shower and try again.

Try and exercise before bed, nothing too strenuous, just a walk will do to unwind from your shift.
 

Dramoth

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Routine for you mate ... routine, routine, routine. Same thing every time you get home. Two things you should try NOT to do, alcohol and eating before bed. If you do feel hungry have a really light snack, salads, fruit, yoghurts. Don't carb or protein load.

Dark, block out curtains, aircon set at 21-22 degrees. Close off all noise, if that is not possible, make "white noise" to block out other noises. Bring a fan into your room, for me (when I did it) I left the Am radio on ABC for talk back chatter down low ...

Don't get angry, sometimes the bio rhythm just doesn't work. Get up, have a shower and try again.

Try and exercise before bed, nothing too strenuous, just a walk will do to unwind from your shift.
Had a mate who worked nights for Steggles over here in WA. First thing he would do when he got home would be to drink a bottle of wine. He had a drinking problem after a while!
 

CaptainCripps13

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Routine for you mate ... routine, routine, routine. Same thing every time you get home. Two things you should try NOT to do, alcohol and eating before bed. If you do feel hungry have a really light snack, salads, fruit, yoghurts. Don't carb or protein load.

Dark, block out curtains, aircon set at 21-22 degrees. Close off all noise, if that is not possible, make "white noise" to block out other noises. Bring a fan into your room, for me (when I did it) I left the Am radio on ABC for talk back chatter down low ...

Don't get angry, sometimes the bio rhythm just doesn't work. Get up, have a shower and try again.

Try and exercise before bed, nothing too strenuous, just a walk will do to unwind from your shift.
This is excellent advice. Particularly the air con and the exercise.

Can I add, if something is keeping you anxious keep a notebook with a pen beside your bed. Some people struggle to sleep because they feel like they are forgetting to do things - if that is you and you think of something write it down. Having the notebook beside you means you don't worry about thinking about X and then forgetting.

If you can, start thinking about meditation. I do it three times per day and it really helps centre your energy and your thinking. And I am not a vegan/hippie at all - the opposite. But if you learn to do it well you get an inner calmness that helps in all parts of your life.

For those needing medication, there is no shame in it. Just make sure your GP monitors your dosage regularly and checks your blood pressure and does a full blood test every 6 months.
 

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