Another mental health thread

Discussion in 'The GatorTail Pub' started by StrangeGator, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    This is not meant to be one of those "Please help me" things, though many of us here have been in crisis before and have received incredible support and nurturance. Just today I experienced one of those moments where I felt this instantaneous switch between reasonably healthy, clear-headed and perhaps overly optimistic to feeling sad, hopeless and worthless. It started with something probably meaningless I read in an email and then there was this sudden chill in the air around me and a pain in the bottom of my gut.

    My point is not to ask someone to rescue me. I've managed to create some detachment, observing myself with some detachment, but with absolute fascination with the human brain and these sudden and profound changes in neuro-transmitter activity and how debilitating they can be. I do have a history of depression, mainly an acute episode 18 or 19 years ago and a botched suicide attempt. I didn't understand it then, but the clinical help and self-awareness I gained back then has enabled me to understand what happened and even gain this perverse curiosity with it. I know there can be a genetic component. My paternal grandfather committed suicide before I was born. My sister was also suicidal for a brief period.

    I don't mean to make light of it. I'm on the verge of being in real crisis and I know people on this board who live on the verge of crisis all the time. But isn't it a strange thing? I'm an extremely fit individual. I've trained in martial arts for eight years. I just bench pressed 305 pounds last week. Right now, I picture myself as a 120 pound weakling. What happened today? It's like I made some scientific discovery on my own, a curious, but not very exciting discovery.

    Any insight? Any similar experiences? Any professional perspectives? (I do have a significant layman understanding of neurosciences.)

    Please don't tell me it was the last two football games.
  2. Wuerffel5220
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    Wuerffel5220 GC Hall of Famer VIP Member

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    Amazing the power the brain has.

    Likely an imbalance in chemicals or a "short" in one of the neurotransmitters. I hope you get back to your typical functioning. Best recommendation I can make, outside of professional medication, would be to find some layman things that give you pleasure regularly
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  3. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    Good points. Things that give me pleasure are sex and the Gators winning football games. Neither are within my control at this time. (One is out of the question) Many of the other things I enjoy are beyond my financial means, but that just requires some creativity on my part.

    I think the biggest issue is isolation. I work from home, or from one of the local Starbucks. I think I need to get involved in more volunteer activities. The two I'm involved with now are not ideal. PADs requires a once a month commitment to making lunches for a homeless shelter from my own home. The other is Chevra Hadisha, which is marginally social, but not very up-lifting.

    I don't mean to bring this down to the carnal level, but I seriously need to get laid.
  4. ThePlayer
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    ThePlayer VIP Member

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    I know exactly where you're coming from, Strange..and your isolation may be at cause.
    The key to a long healthy life is the interconnectivity you have with other human beings.
    Engage with other people face-to-face as much as you can to gain a better sense of yourself.

    I also suggest trying yoga, massage and even acupuncture as a means to calm both your body and brain.
    Seek out well-meaning people...either family, friends or professionals...who have your best interests in mind.
    Best of wishes and stay strong.
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  5. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you are having a tough time strange. Haven't dealt with this personally but know many people that have. I agree that the isolation could be increasing the issue and for some people that becomes a wicked loop. You feel like crap because you aren't getting enough social interaction but you don't want to do anything because you feel like crap.

    If you by any chance can make a last minute trip to Vegas this weekend I'm sure you could get some of the things you need. There is a music festival downtown Saturday and Sunday and well there is everything else Vegas offers. I even have a pass and a hotel room I need to get rid of. They are yours if you can get here.
  6. Wuerffel5220
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    Agree the lack of interaction would affect the long term depression and lead to the point where there's an immediate drop in chemical balance. I had that at a point when I was younger and living in Boston and was alone for a stretch Stayed up all night and decided to take a 5 hr bus ride back home on a "whim". But it scared the crap out of me that I felt that overwhelming need to do that (and I wasn't a fan of going home).

    That's an incredible offer Leaf. If you can make it, brief change of scenery, the adrenaline boost of something new and unknown and any extracurricular activity would definitely have an effect on the chemical balance. If you don't take it, I will ;) haha
  7. GatorPrincess8
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    Strange, I know just how you feel. The balance between "good" and "bad" is with me all the time.I would suggest doing a group activity and seeing a therapist on a regular basis.
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  8. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    That's a profoundly generous offer Leaf. Glad to say that I'm much better today. Going to the dojo tonight and the gym tomorrow. Those things should help me keep things at bay.
  9. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    Tremendous insight on many levels. Part of my turnaround today was having a business meeting with my freelance partner and best friend. We don't see each other often, but he's the kind of guy that always makes you feel good about yourself. Best of all, we don't have one of these super macho relationships and share things with each other that a lot of guys don't. He was there with me 19 years ago when the floor fell out from under me.

    My wife was a massage therapist and used to do work on people with depression and other mental health issues. She did an internship at a battered women's shelter. Few people realize the power and importance of human touch. We do quite a bit of yoga in our aikido warmups. Just wish I could go more often. Maybe I should consider doing yoga classes in addition to what we do at the dojo. Movement is just as beneficial as touch.

    I have just recently read about acupuncture treatment for depression and anxiety. I might look into that. A sensei I occasionally train with has an acupuncture practice.

    Mental health is just like physical health. You can wait until things get bad before you intervene, or you can practice preventive medicine, do the things that keep the darkness away before you even sense that it's creeping up on you.
  10. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    It's been a while since I've been in therapy, but I've considered going back. Only problem is that our health insurance is crap and the co-pays are really hefty. My wife has more acute needs on that front, so I've tried to do all the other things I can, take my meds, exercise, etc. The group thing is a good idea. Working from home is taking a toll.

    I think that doing for others is important. It was helpful for me to be there for you when you were in crisis some time back. When we look outside of ourselves to help others, our own pain goes into the background.
  11. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Glad you seem to be doing better today. Exercise seems to be a huge help for many.
  12. GatorPrincess8
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    just remember I am here for you when you need me.
  13. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    Wrong thread, but this song, poignant as it is, really helped me today. A sad but sweet, song. Nobody pays attention to anybody else's songs in the "Music You Are Listening to Now" thread.

    The Sad Sound of the Wind by Jules Shear

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJgigIldGVs
  14. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    I know. You will be the first I reach out to if things get really bad. You will also be one of the first I reach out to when things get really good.
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  15. anstro76
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    anstro76 Well-Known Member

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    i do. i'm usually on my phone so it won't quote a video link. so no one would know what music i was talking about. i know someone posted grimes well before she got any underground rep so they made me look cool for getting into her early:joecool:
  16. anstro76
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    anstro76 Well-Known Member

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    i used to suffer from major mood swings. all intensified by a major drinking problem. after my 2nd close call with death due to toxic levels being off the charts got clean(9 months!) got into a 12 step which deals with way more than just putting down the drink. meditation and prayer at least twice a day. now with that i can feel the down slope coming and i can deal with it in a much healthier way. working with the homeless and other addicts really center me also. and as a man i've learned it's ok to ask for help and talk about how i'm feeling. so yeah feel free to pm me anytime. we're here for ya!
  17. alphaomegator
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    Strange, I admire your courage to share your pain and to reach out in a public forum. I dont know if I could share my personal feelings and to expound on my issues in here as you have done. I certainly know you will get the support of good people in the Pub. There are many folks who have gone through similar life experiences and one never knows from whom you may receive something uplifting:. encouragement, kind advice and words or simply a good chat about a mutual subject, that will clear the way to keep on going ..

    I can only encourage you to keep something in your life to look forward to each day. A "carrot" if you will, that will motivate you to get out of bed and start circulating around your day. Personally, I have been down and out and filled with despair and hopelessness before in my life. I know that sinking feeling when you know you're going back down in that"black Hole" of depression...I know that feeling can come on in an instance,,,,it cant be avoided...but you can stay the course and you will get through it some how, some way. Usually it can be done through proper medication, counseling and just plain everyday support from others people, day by day.

    I believe depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, certainly exacerbated by our reactions to stressful situations. Identifying the stressors in our lives and examining our reactions is important. Our reactions to stresses is what we can try and control and modify for the good.. Personally, I have had anger issues which translated have caused me to overreact in instances where I needed to remain calm. I am realizing that only my reactions during stressful situations is what I can change. Take it one day at a time.Be kind to your self..and never, ever give up. The "bad stuff" too shall pass! I wish you the best...stay strong..
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  18. gtr2x
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    gtr2x Well-Known Member

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    This may seem stupid or off the wall, tho it's not meant to be, but how about a pet (dog) if your situation allows it. I have a couple of friends that swear by them. Obviously, they can be quite comforting and on occasion an exercise partner.
  19. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    My little weiner dog rarely strays from my side. I'm sure there's some comfort there. She can be a pain though.
  20. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    A huge help. When I walk in the dojo, I leave everything behind. The gym is helpful too. Unfortunately, I sprained two fingers on the mat last night and won't be able to lift for a while. I'll have to stick to cardio, leg and ab work. Having a hell of a time typing today.

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