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Other Mental Health - how people handle it when they see it

Discussion in 'General' started by goldstar0011, 8 Jun 2021.

  1. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Multimodder

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    Howdy

    Mental health is so prominant and open these days it's amazing, for me I don't feel as alone with it, I'm nowhere near as affected by it as some people here but I have a fair share that has affected my life massively.

    What I'm wondering, how are people around you when you open up about it?
    Some close friends who know about it everything I've put myself and other people through and have been great but then there's other people who don't want to face it and just downplay it or make jokes to not have to see it.

    The past 18 months have demolished my being, I'm not over it but I'm living with it but people only seem to want to see the happy jokey me.

    Discuss :thumb:
     
  2. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Rotary Cat.

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    Largely as a consequence of my problems I have had few friends and, only one who was close, he dropped me a few years ago without saying anything.

    My wife, on the other hand, has been fantastic, she is such a lovely, understanding and supportive person.
     
  3. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Multimodder

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    Dunno, I didn't / don't open up about it.
    For all the progress made recently I still see it as a weakness / failure, so I ain't telling anybody anything
     
  4. ElThomsono

    ElThomsono Multimodder

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    "Good afternoon doctor, I'm being crushed by stress"

    "All I have to offer you is CBT"

    "Thanks anyway, bye!"
     
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  5. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Multimodder

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    I did CBT after drunkenly taking an overdose as I couldn't cope with a huge mistake, was either being kept in hosipital for observation or CBT, I think it helped me deal with the big problems but as ashole it's not the answer for me
     
  6. ElThomsono

    ElThomsono Multimodder

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    I felt the same; just so I could say I'd done all I could, I jumped through the hoops, but frankly it was useless. I'd have been better served using that time to just sit quietly and relax.
     
  7. enbydee

    enbydee Minimodder

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    CBT isn't a cure-all but helped me realise that mental health is a lot like physical health in that for some (me) it takes a lot of effort to adopt healthier practices and stick to them. It needs constant awareness to monitor and understand your own behaviours and the impact they're having on your wellbeing. Having a donut once a week might not hurt, but excess calories over the weeks and months will lead to weight gain. Similarly, deferring one task that makes you anxious might not have that much of an impact, but defer them all and suddenly you're knee deep in your own empty beer cans and emails asking where you are. Engaging in non-productive behaviours, procrastinating, distracting myself, are all fine in small doses, but when they became the dominant behaviour things got really bad.

    Most people I spoke to about it reacted better than I thought they would, but that's perhaps symptomatic of catastrophising and negative thought processes.

    I hate a lot of what corporations put out for mental health awareness as in its attempt to get people to open up about these issues it feels like it's normalising them. "It's ok to not be ok" was particularly patronising, like it does not feel ok, ok? I'm reminded of that meme (paraphrasing),

    Employer: "We're here to support your mental health"
    Employee: "Great! Can you employ more staff to share my workload?"
    Employer: "Not like that, have you tried yoga?"
     
  8. meandmymouth

    meandmymouth Modder

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    I opened up to HR at my last 2 jobs when I was having periods where I was struggling and got F-all help - merely suggestions that I may be taking things the wrong way (people being openly abusive at work) or questioned why previous rounds of CBT didn't work (how would I know, I'm not a Doctor). My experiences so far with mental health and work has been that employers want to look like they care and that's all.

    As with friends/family - unfortunately I've had too many incidents in the past where being open about my depression and anxiety has not gone well, so I'll never be that open again with it. People seem to understand the anxiety, but the mention of depression seems to be the trigger for people to step away or become pricks (in my experience).

    enbydee makes a really good point about awareness and understanding of your own behaviours. For example I know that when I'm tired I'm more likely to get anxious and start to spiral. So, if I've not slept well for a night or two then I do my best to ease back. Anything that can wait will have to wait. Similarly when I start to feel irritable, overwhelmed or just miserable I have strategies in place stop it getting worse, but the main this is that initial awareness. That's what keeps me steady, at least.
     
  9. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Couple of thoughts from me:
    I mean they should be normalised, it's 'normal' that people get ill with something like the flu, it's 'normal' that somebody might break a finger. These are reasons that an employee might have for not working, and any workplace that would make them feel bad for not being able to work as a result would be considered a poor workplace/a poor attitude.

    To me, saying it's ok to not be ok isn't saying it's you should feel fine about it, but that it's not something that should be punished. Saying it's ok to someone who is ill with something like the flu, or who's stuck in a cast, doesn't have anything to do with how they're feeling, but that it's not going to be held against them. It's something they haven't chosen, they same should apply here.

    With regards to myself, it's something I've struggled to process/respond to correctly with others in the past, knowing those who suffered with depression and sometimes finding it difficult to handle situations involving it, but it's something I try to work on. This year has been tough personally with life situation changes, but I'm lucky in that I have a supporting family who I can count on if needed, and so I haven't felt the need (just) to seek professional advice yet. The last time I did was a couple of years ago and whilst it seemed I was certainly heading down the path to depression, talking about things with someone in a position of 'knowledge' (in theory at least) helped me adjust a little to keep things from getting worse at the time.

    Things have got better in general regarding people's attitudes, but there's still a long way to go.
     
  10. Spraduke

    Spraduke Lurker

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    I think the challenge is its very hard for people who don't suffer to relate.

    I'm fortunate that I've never suffered any serious mental health challenges (though I do suspect I was depressed after Uni without realising, power of hindsight and all that) but this makes it difficult for me to relate to someone say who is feeling suicidal or suffers from severe panic attacks. I can try to empathise but ultimately I can't understand why people would ever "let themselves feel that way" even though I rationally know its not a 'choice'. I think people are more understanding where its mental health problems associated with a relatable event (loss of loved one, job problems, abuse etc.) but otherwise its hard to help/process if you've never suffered yourself.

    Whilst we (as a society) should attempt to normalise talking about our mental health I suspect it will always be seen as some sort weakness on the behalf of the sufferer. Any kind of societal change can take decades, take attitudes to homosexuality as an example where things are improving but is far from a utopia out there.
     
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  11. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Let it fester until I forget what it was in the first place.

    Unhealthy, unwise, and unlikely to change.
     
  12. creative

    creative 500rwhp

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    I used to be one of these people...Until It happened to me.

    To answer the Op, I had friends block me, walk away and have nothing to do with me now.

    I ended up on meds to help me cope and saw a psychiatrist for about 12 months. Its been a long 2 years and am I fixed... No. Do I feel better, absolutely.

    My biggest change for me was the day I walked out of work at lunchtime because I couldnt function and went straight to the Doctors and asked for help. Fortunately my Doc was amazing but I had to admit to myself I couldnt do this alone and I was hurting the people I cared about.

    When I eventually told my bosses what was happening, I apparently hid it very well as they had no idea. Again I was fortunate that they supported me, especially when I was trying different medications ( Had to laugh now looking back with my first set of meds and I came out with " I will be honest, I'm tripping my TI*&s off right now... come back in an hour" ) :D
     
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  13. Midlight

    Midlight Minimodder

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    I would like to think I've always been sympathetic to others who have had difficulties with mental health. When the wife and I first got together she went through some pretty bad stuff. She has always said I was really good with her at that time and during any recurrence.
    Then about 6-7 years ago I had to, very reluctantly, go see the doctors about my own issues. I am one of those people who's arm could be hanging off and if anyone asked if I was OK I'd say 'Yeah, I'm fine'. Doc gave me some happy pills, didn't think CBT or any of the talking therapies would help (I'm very quiet and don't like to talk to anyone) so didn't recommend that.
    First set of pills they gave me didn't work for me (unexpected side effects, but sorted what it was supposed to) so, I was given some others. When I was changing between the two I got some pretty odd mood swings. Ended up having a full screaming argument with my supervisor in the middle of the office (in my defence, they were incompetent) and got pulled in to a meeting with the next level manager.
    Soon as I mentioned I was on pills the whole tone of the meeting changed from 'WTF was that about/ potential formal warning' to 'anything we can do to support/ why have you not said/ hid it well etc'. That manager was also an incompetent prick, but in that situation actually acted like a decent human. Company policies on mental health were the usual corporate wishy-washy tick box nonsense but, that one manager dealt with it well.
    Supervisor went maybe a month or two later, the replacement was better, and I changed teams about 18 months after. That helped my mental state no end and I've been good since then.
     
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  14. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Multimodder

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    Thats great to hear
     
  15. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Multimodder

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    This is good to hear too that they understood a situation had other influences
     
  16. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    I went through a bad couple of years about 4 years ago. Did CBT, not sure if it helped or not really (especially when they try to apply a 'points' system to assess your wellbeing :rollingeyes:). In the end, having a really good mate to chat to about things, as well as some financial help from the parental units, is probably what got me through. Ultimately, I think time is the great healer. So glad I didn't have to resort to medication - I've seen it turn people into zombies.

    Now I've been through it, I'm actually thankful in a weird way. I'm able to push myself harder and rather than being defeatist when something difficult comes along, I think 'Good. Another challenge to beat'. Ultimately, I think I've learnt what it is to be a man - and this isn't 'toxic masculinity' before the more sensitive sorts get all uppity, it's about facing the world with your game face on.

    Work plays such an important role in life - I think it's said in 'The Office' that you spend more time with your co-workers than you do your own family. I always adopt the stance 'don't take work home with you', but in reality, that's almost impossible to do. I think the biggest shock I had when entering the work world for the first time is learning that rather than most people being normal to deal with, the opposite is true. And when it's you manager being odd, it's especially annoying - indeed, this was the main factor in me leaving my job before last.

    EDIT:

    There's a quote I like - don't know who originally said it:

    'Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.'

    Once you can wrap your head around that, you're golden.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2021
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  17. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    This is what I work with day to day. CBT is not for everyone and many are cynical about it, but the way I try to get people to look at it is as a mental health personal trainer. Analogies with physical health often help, and the biopsychosocial model still tends to favour the bio side of things, particularly in the minds of the general public as that is what we have historically been conditioned towards. If you go to see a dietician once a month, they will tell you what to do etc. but it is the work in between sessions where change happens, and it often isn't easy. Same with CBT. It is also really important that the person leading it is competent and can make it understandable and relatable. We all know what eating well is, we all know we should do it, but how many actually do? Why not? Is what we know actually right or how we understand it correct? Why does having a personal trainer each week improve exercise and diet regimes? It is usually the same with mental health.

    enbydee put it really well and it is surprising how things can add up. Those little changes in behaviours and thoughts, how we react to physical sensations and feelings etc. also add up and help. That said, for some, meds are really useful as well.

    I agree with mrlongbeard too, this is still a common view and despite my job, one I tend to hold also.
     
  18. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    I've seen most reactions at this point. Generally people, even if they don't understand it, will know they should be sympathetic and will do their brand of that. I talked about it to a friend, at first. And at first that helped. Airing ya feelings, right? Not saying I dug out the root causes, but it was nice to say how I felt and have someone listen. My doctor was a ****in legend too (before he retired). Well my family doctor was. The one I saw initially that diagnosed me made me feel uncomfortable.

    Those that have not had it and have not had a loved one that had/has it will have no clue. Some will try to understand, and then you get the ones that just tell you to suck it up. I'd suggest if you suffer to go to your local Mind charity. I used to work for Bromley Mind. And they really do want to help. You can self-refer these days too if you wanna bypass a doctor.

    EDIT: Yea CBT is one of the major ways of dealing with it. Counseling is another. Yet another is a shrink..similar but they are more qualified and can prescribe you ****.

    For me CBT was a bust as was councilling. The latter offered me nothing that talking to friend of family member hadn't already offered me. But sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger so don't write that off out of hand. I never saw a shrink. Maybe I need to. But **** man. I been depressed so long it just feels like part of me now. Been on those pills too long.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2021
  19. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    This is representative of a majority of all men, in my experience, including myself. Women are more encouraged to understand and express their feelings and seek support and human resources in others, while men are constantly exposed to the idea that there is an obligation on them to be strong and independent, and that emotional openness and emotional upset are both forms of weakness. This is part of the package of expectations and stereotypes commonly called 'toxic masculinity', a term often misunderstood by its proponents and its detractors as implying that all masculine traits, or the condition of maleness itself, is toxic, which is not what it means at all. Ironically, one of the whoopsie side-effects of feminism in some instances I've seen has been to impress this same idea of emotion-as-weakness, and the requirement of strength and independence, onto young women, encouraging them to become an emotionless island as a path to strength, because it works for men, right? (It doesn't work for men.) This is fascinating and sad to see because it's the ideas feminism should be fighting against, getting accidentally recycled and fed to women by some well-meaning but dangerously off-target feminists. Anti-feminist men, meanwhile, are reacting to the 'toxic masculinity' misunderstanding by doubling down on the modern, twisted understanding of masculinity and espousing emotion-as-weakness and independence as a path to strength harder than ever. All this just at a time in history when the structure of society and economies is isolating us more than ever, a time when we desperately need to learn to reach out and build support networks with others and communicate effectively about our inner lives.

    More on topic: I've found a middle ground approach is best. Communicate about your mental health and challenges, but only to people you've litmus tested as being capable of navigating those conversations in a mature way and not rolling out clichés or saying really patronising/insensitive things. You gotta talk to the right people, not just anyone or everyone.

    It's like asking yourself: my car is making a funny noise. Should I ignore it, or should I talk to someone about it? Well, there are about 200 people in your life it definitely won't help to talk to about it, because they know jack about cars. But there will probably be 1 or 2 people it's well worth talking to about it, because they'll have valuable insight. Continuing the analogy, talking to a professional mechanic might be helpful, but it might not, because some are good at their jobs and some are shite.

    And having one bad experience with one bad mechanic is not, as so many men I know seem to assume (speaking analogously), a reason to just never bother asking anyone for car advice ever again. You found a bad mechanic. Sucks. Now go find a better one. Because your car is still making a funny noise.

    Ignoring the funny noise is not an adult response to the situation, and only the terrible void of healthy conversations about this topic has allowed so many men to convince themselves otherwise.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2021
  20. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Multimodder

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    Poor choice of analogy for me :winking:, if my car's making a funny noise I'll fix it myself, which to be fair identifies a larger trend, if anything is broken I'll fix it myself, always have, always will.

    I was screwed over / basically ignored when I asked for help though my work, that they forced me (my opinion) to go through my GP really really really boiled my urine, as for 101 reasons I wanted it kept off my medical record.
    Hopefully it won't have a negative impact later down the line and impinge or preclude me from my hobbies.

    That they now have a 'wonderful' mental health offering now P's me off no end, it's all platitudes and box ticking, that it is offered through an insurance company makes me even more likely to shun them, for flips sake I don't need an insurance co. having access to that kind of information
     
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