Donate Now
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Anxiety and Depression Peer Support (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Anxiety and Depression Peer Support
Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Karybu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is one of a few threads we've added to help those of you who are often dealing with similar issues -- or aren't, but are members of this one broad group and want to connect, even in places you're not the same -- but perhaps not seeing each other in one place on the boards to know you can connect and talk together. We keep seeing some users who it seems like would SO benefit from talking together, but due to the business of the boards, probably don't realize are here to talk to.

This one is for anyone who is or feels they are experiencing anxiety or depression.

IMPORTANT: What this thread is NOT for is anyone who does not have anxiety and/or depression, but who is curious about people who do and wants to interview them in any way to satisfy their curiosity. This is a peer support thread for people who do have anxiety or depressive conditions. Thanks!

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5758 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
violet21
Neophyte
Member # 70331

Icon 1 posted      Profile for violet21     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I definitely experience spells of depression and anxiety. I've had a tough childhood and it really affected me now. But I try to be a strong person and live my life. It doesn't do any good to cry or be pitiful, because how could I reach out to others that way and make a difference? It's those kinds of thoughts that keep me going.

Maybe others have had this, but a lot of my anxiety has come from school. I'm not openly anxious, like, I'm not the type of person who you can immediately tell is nervous. Just certain things make me anxious, like really loud noise, crowds and crowds of people, and being vulnerable to others. I think it's because for a long time, I was taunted and picked on for no reason. It really made me have bad self-esteem and a hard exterior. I can definitely stick up for myself now, but the difficult part is that despite being strong on the outside, on the inside I'm not always.

Plainly, it just sucks have anxiety and sad spells. This is a good thread. Thanks for making it. I'd love to reach out to others dealing with this also.

Posts: 6 | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
violet21: I really respect your strength and resolve. Sometimes, even though I logically realize that wallowing is a destructive tendency, I find it very difficult escape from the cyclical/ruminative kind of thinking I experience during episodes of depression.

I was diagnosed with bipolar ii disorder last year and things have been quite tumultuous, even post-diagnosis. I agree with you; school has pervasively been the most stressful variable of my life. It makes dealing with my unhealthy moods very challenging. I sometimes feel like I have to choose between giving myself the proper amount of care and giving my academic career a proper chance.

And I am totally there with you when it comes to the crowds thing. Before seeking help, I had spells when I just couldn't go outside (which hurt my academic life and in retrospect makes me feel very guilty). Sometimes I still feel this inclination, but have mostly resisted this urge.

I think it's also helpful to note that even though you feel anxious, you aren't weak. It is evident that you have a brilliant capacity to understand your situations and have a healthy attitude when it comes to dealing with them.

And yes! Thank you for making this thread.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill2000Plus
Activist
Member # 41657

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill2000Plus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I need to cry to cope with my depression, and that does not make me "pitiful", if anyone here thinks it does then this thread is not going to be all that supportive. I don't even want to post here if people are going to post nonsense like that.

--------------------
Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Karybu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jill, thanks for catching that (and so sorry I didn't).

Just a reminder to everyone that this thread is meant to be about support: we all have different ways of coping, including crying, and all of those ways are valid. So, please make sure that you're not criticizing others' coping strategies, even if they're not ones you'd choose yourself. Thanks!

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5758 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's true, crying is really helpful to me sometimes. I've also found, though, that I have trouble separating catharsis from unhealthy fixation, if that makes any sense? It's like, sometimes I can cry and it'll feel much better, like a release. Other times, I'll end up in the midst of a panic attack or sobbing to the point that it interferes with my daily life. Finding ways to cry without letting it become unhealthy is something I'm still working on.

I have found that just finding someone else to talk to, someone who can be outside of the emotional part of the situation enough, is very helpful. Sometimes my logic breaks down if I get too emotional, so that outside source can really put some good perspective on things.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Right now (the last few weeks) I'm really trying to give myself time to just feel. It's interesting how my "idea" of certain emotions is usually a lot more frightening than the lived reality of fear, sadness and anger. I'm a lot less likely to become distant and neglect myself when I'm "right there" with what's going on inside. It is still quiet hard though - I really do need a save environment, time and sometimes a trusted person to be able to open up to bits of primal fear or to grieve for the stuff the younger me had to deal with.

The whole feeling stuff is actually rather "new" to me. Sometimes I feel like I have to learn stuff others learned in their childhoods and that's at times annoying and frightening. Just a couple of years ago I was completely convinced, that I don't have any emotions to speak of and lack empathy. Now I know, that this is not true at all and that I probably shut down emotionally very early to protect myself from all the outside-demands, mainly to not be a burden and to be "responsible".

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've had chronic suicidal depression for years which, I think, was triggered by the abuse I suffered from my stepfather.

@ teller of tales:

I really identify with what you stated regarding being convinced that you don't have any emotions to speak of and lack empathy. I've felt the same way regarding myself. And I've come to realize, through therapy, what you realized; that I probably shut down emotionally in order to protect myself. I blame myself all the time because I percieve that I treat others horribly due to lack of empathy. But now I know it's not that I lack empathy; in many cases, I push others away in order to protect them from ME.

@ Jill2000Plus:

I think that crying is a perfectly valid way of coping with depression and hardships. In my case, I wish all the time that I can cry when I am upset or depressed because that's the way I want to express my grief. But I can't. I think that it's partly because I was raised by family who deem crying to be cowardly. I just want to tell them how utterly wrong and ignorant they are.

[ 03-27-2012, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: SansNom ]

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@SansNom

I understand perfectly. Especially this "I blame myself all the time because I perceive that I treat others horribly due to lack of empathy. But now I know it's not that I lack empathy; in many cases, I push others away in order to protect them from ME." is something I believed and acted on for a long time (and to some extent still do probably). In retrospect I think that it became a self-fulfilling something. I'm not sure how to explain it, because not only are emotions and brain issues hard to explain, English is also not my mother tongue which makes it even harder for me to express what I think.
Basically - yes, for the longest time I thought the underlying motivation for my behavior (pushing others away aot) was "I need to protect other people b/c I'm a mess and there's something monstrous inside of me". Now I'm at a point where I try to trust others to tell me if I hurt them or messed something up, because it would be ridiculous to expect me to read their minds. I really have this knack for picking up on unspoken tension and in the past I tried my best to somehow make it up without knowing the problem in the first place. And of course some people used this - they would claim the label of the well-adjusted one and I was the one constantly covering in shame because of all my perceived faults.
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, except for one thing - I'm pretty sure that you are not this horrible human being that constantly fucks things up and has to be restrained for the good of humanity. How I know this? Really horrible people, those who revel in hurting others don't have second thoughts. They have justifications for their fucked-up behavior and just keep on doing what they do.

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@ teller of tales

Thanks. It's good to know that someone feels that way about me. [Smile] And don't worry, your English is perfectly fine.

I also have a knack for picking up on unspoken tension. It gets to the point where I constantly tread on pins and needles. At the end of the day, I often sit alone in my room and reflect over and over on all the comments and actions I've made that could've offended or hurt others, and subsequently berate myself for hours on end because of it. The funny thing is, there doesn't even have to be tension in place for me to feel this way! I guess it's an automatic system designed to constantly self-evaluate. I'm trying to change this tendency for hypersensitivity, but it's difficult. Very much so. Especially when, deep down, I percieve myself as a twisted monster that the world can do better without.

Why do I think so? Because, yes, sometimes I have difficulty feeling not just empathy, but just about any other emotion. I dissociate. This state of being really scares me. I suppose I don't want others to come into contact with an aspect of me that I can't control. Does that make any sense? I'm not sure.

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Btw, teller of tales, I really like your username. [Smile] )

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@SansNom

Thanks for the compliment! Most of the time I'm completely fine with my grasp of the language but it frustrates me somewhat when I can't get my thoughts written down like I want them, especially when I write about something close to my heart.
But back to the rest of your answer: I do remember* the constant questioning and re-evaluation of every possible social interaction, no matter how small. It was something that could keep me busy for hours (or days for that matter), you likely know what I talk about. Since then* I've gone through some major and a lot of minor changes, but I still remember how it feels and the tendency is still there though now I put it to work for me in a more constructive way.
This sentence "I guess it's an automatic system designed to constantly self-evaluate." describes the whole thing perfectly imo. Problem with this system is that it gets you nowhere really fast and is basically the perfect tool your jerkbrain uses to bludgeon you with. Whenever something nice happens to you I bet you'll come up with something you did "wrong" in a matter of seconds.

You know, I don't really see a problem with hypersensitivity as such: it means you are predisposed to pick up on things that don't work or don't feel good for whatever reason quickly. It forces you to take care of yourself, be thoughtful with how you spent your time and so on. It takes time though to learn how to deal with the arising issues and I'm far from done with this process, so there is that. But in my opinion it's not something you need to get rid of completely.

To put my following answer to the "monster" in perspective, this is my story as far as I was able to piece it together: I was quite aware (probably just a bit above average) of the feelings and unspoken needs of people around me as a kid. Without thinking I tried my best to act accordingly, but since it happened so early and I had no frame of reference it messed up my sense of self. I probably tried my best to be the child the adults around me wanted me to be but it meant burying all the parts of me that didn't fit the image. That's not really healthy though and the emotional dissociation was the prize I paid (among other things).
What I can tell you is this: the monster I feared was inside of me? the "other one", how I call the sum of the unknown parts of me now? She is quite gentle, she holds all the scary big emotions and all the memories I can't look at right now, because they are still a bit too much for me and she will do so until I'm ready for them and she is many things, but not a monster. There are parts wild energy there, some burning ever so bright. Others have the deep dark glow of contentment and something I can only call love and I've been in touch with them for a couple of times now.
This is what I found when I went looking for the monster and I would like to share some of the certainty I hold now with you - you are a wonderful human being, faults and all and you deserve to be loved and have good things in your life.

Your last paragraph: I understand what you mean. The dissociation is scary, the one time I had a complete shut-down and only cold rational thought remained? I never want to got back there. As I wrote in my very first comment here, I still have problems relating to my emotions. They are hard to grasp, disperse as easily as mist, it's exhausting at times. But, as you can probably infer from the previous paragraph, I want to continue on this path.
And no matter where you will be in future, I wish you the best for your journey!

(And now you know why I chose that name - given the chance I'll write an entire novel^^. I'm glad you like it, it was nice to read that.)

[ 03-31-2012, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: teller of tales ]

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@ teller of tales

I think that your English is very expressive. A lot of your descriptions resonate so much with me to the point that I can't word it better myself. [Smile]

Yeah, you hit the nail on the head, so to speak. It's true that, whenever something good happens, I immediately manage to come up with something that I did wrong. This tendency always ruins the happiness of the moment.

I suppose that you're right: hypersensitivity is not harmful in itself. It can be put to either constructive or destructive use. I guess that I haven't fully learned how to deal with issues as they arise either, without falling back into the cycle of harsh self-criticism. Well, it'll take time for me to work on that. It unfortunately doesn't happen overnight. I wish it did.

"What I can tell you is this: the monster I feared was inside of me? the "other one", how I call the sum of the unknown parts of me now? She is quite gentle, she holds all the scary big emotions and all the memories I can't look at right now, because they are still a bit too much for me and she will do so until I'm ready for them and she is many things, but not a monster. There are parts wild energy there, some burning ever so bright. Others have the deep dark glow of contentment and something I can only call love and I've been in touch with them for a couple of times now."

Wow. What a description. Unfortunately I haven't met her yet. I guess that, all this time, I've thought of her as a massive ball radiating destructive energy, like a black hole. But maybe I haven't gotten to know her either. Maybe that's why I don't think I've enountered her. Thanks for believing in me though. I think I'll go down to the big scary dark attic and talk to the sleeping dragon one of these days. [Smile]

For me, as a child, I had to listen to my stepfather constantly threatening to kill or seriously injure someone if I didn't comply with his every whim. That's how I developed my hypersensitivity, along with my automatic security self-check system as a protective measure. It's not healthy either. I also had to pay the price of emotional dissociation later on.

Thank you. I wish you the best too, in whatever you wish to undertake. That includes writing an entire novel. [Smile]

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey SansNom, I just wanted to let you know that I read what you wrote. I'll get back to it in more detail later, though for now let me thank you again for your very kind words - it's a pleasure to read you and I wish you the best for the issues you have to deal with. I just feel a bit out of it b/c right now many things are changing not only in my personal life, but friends are leaving (in every sense of the word) and even though most of it is positive (okay, that may sound a bit weird here) I just feel overwhelmed by it. I'm not really someone who deals well with change or put another way, it takes time for me to deal with new stuff and I don't like it when I don't get advance warning, so I try to stay close to the little fortress of "how to take care of me in difficult situations" I've built b/c I fear somewhat that my typical patterns may take root again (neglecting my physical and mental well-being). This is something I need to take care of right now, but I didn't want to let your entry stay without any reply whatsoever.
Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you so much for your kind reply, teller of tales. It's a pleasure to read your posts too. I wish you all the best in coping with these changes in your life. Please feel free to get back to me whenever you are feeling better or whenever it is convenient for you. I'll be right here. [Smile]

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Redskies     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
SansNom and teller of tales, thank you. Some of the things you write, I relate to so much, and I never knew anyone else express them before. I'd already figured out where some of my stuff was coming from, but it's so nice to hear people share similar things and realise I'm not half so alone and weird as I thought. If I may quote the both of you,

"Sometimes I feel like I have to learn stuff others learned in their childhoods and that's at times annoying and frightening" "I push others away in order to protect them from ME""I really have this knack for picking up on unspoken tension and in the past I tried my best to somehow make it up without knowing the problem in the first place.""It gets to the point where I constantly tread on pins and needles""I don't want others to come into contact with an aspect of me that I can't control""constant questioning and re-evaluation of every possible social interaction""it means you are predisposed to pick up on things that don't work or don't feel good for whatever reason quickly. It forces you to take care of yourself, be thoughtful with how you spent your time and so on. It takes time though to learn how to deal with the arising issues""I was quite aware ... of the feelings and unspoken needs of people around me as a kid. Without thinking I tried my best to act accordingly, ... I probably tried my best to be the child the adults around me wanted me to be ..."

- I hope that I haven't changed any of that in ways you didn't want or mean by taking it out of the context you wrote it in.

I grew up in quite a stressful, unhappy environment, and at times abusive, although heaven knows the people involved didn't mean it to be. I tried to be everything they wanted and to be perfect so that everything would be ok. I thought that there was something fundamentally wrong with me, that I was not an acceptable human being, so I tried my best to make up for that in any way I could. I learned to "read" people well, and I still do that today; often, it's useful, but it's also tiring and distressing too, because I pick up any stress or tension and become incredibly anxious about what might be causing that, and feel I have to make it better. I get very very confused and insecure from knowing that something is wrong, but not what it is. I worry that it's caused by me. Then I suppose my anxiety or insecurity is obvious, and people think I'm weird, and that makes it worse.

I finally figured out fairly recently that I have long-standing anxiety issues, as well as depression that I already knew about and have mostly cracked. I realised the anxiety and its effects have been causing relapses of the depression for years. The world just becomes wholly too much for me and I feel like I can't do anything right, nothing about me can possibly be right or even acceptable, I'm a problem to everyone, I can't understand how everyone else thinks and functions and how I'm supposed to think and function in this world.

Tension and unhappiness in other people that I don't know the cause of tends to set this off quite badly, as does serious negative stress in my own life. I become pretty dysfunctional and then get even more anxious about that dysfunction being a problem to other people. I've avoided a lot of contact with people in my life because I've been convinced that it will be very bad for their lives.

Sorry about the length of the post and the self-focus. Things have been tough recently and as a result things are getting wonky and dysfunctional. I find it hard to connect and talk with my therapist about this.

Thank you again. It was quite a revelation to read that I'm not the only person, after all, who's been left with certain feelings and reactions from certain circumstances.

I try my best to get past all of this, but sometimes it's so hard and I'm so tired and I just want to be "normal".

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1784 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey, Redskies. [Smile]

You definitely haven't changed any of the contexts of my quotations, or used them in ways I didn't mean, so don't worry. [Smile]

I just wanted to leave a message here to let you know that I've read your post, and that I will, for certain, come by tomorrow in order to reply in extensive detail, fully addressing what you have wrote above. I find myself relating immediately to so much of what you've stated, but, due to the fact that my brain is as good as fried at present, am unable to write anything even remotely resembling coherency. Hopefully some sleep will rectify that. [Smile]

A good night to you!

[ 04-05-2012, 09:29 PM: Message edited by: SansNom ]

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey, I just saw your post Redskies, and SansNom, things at least start to get a semblance of order again, so I wanted to reply to both of you.
I'll split my answer in two to make it a bit easier to read.

@SansNom

Right now I can only second what Redskies wrote - it is great to have this space and the conversation therein. I always get a bit jittery when I post here, because it feels so personal and me writing here usually brings me closer to my emotional center (concentrating on myself, my well-being and reminding myself that I do deserve to take care of myself) which is of course awesome but also emotionally exhausting.

"This tendency always ruins the happiness of the moment."
I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this and yeah, I get it. I get better at beating this stuff down, but it is a big load of "not fun", no matter how I might deal with it.
I think in some way (and at some point) it might have been a valuable coping strategy - now, I know only a bit about your story, but when people are abusing us or messing with us (whether intentionally or no doesn't matter here) we quickly learn that it is safer to not show certain things, emotions, reactions and so on. I don't know if someone ever addressed you with a "don't get too happy, or else..." (perhaps only as subtext), but I wouldn't be surprised if this has happened. Another function of this strategy is to prevent hurt. If something good happens to me, but I put it in context with "that stupid stuff I do", it means nobody else gets to beat me down or rob me of my happiness. That way, I can control it, as fucked up as the notion is, there is a reason and a history behind it. This is of course not a sound reason to keep doing it (to prevent anyone using my words for victim-blaming: whatever a person does or did in an abusive situation to survive is and was the right thing, nobody else gets to judge it) once you have the opportunity and/or environment to change that. If you want to talk about this, I'll gladly listen and (if so desired) offer what help or advice I can.

"It unfortunately doesn't happen overnight. I wish it did." I'm right there with you on that.
As mentioned in the above paragraph, it is also a learning experience for me and I get it wrong a lot of times, forget that I can do things differently now or otherwise fail to implement what I've learned. I try to view it as a daily commitment: no matter what happened yesterday, I'll try again to be as kind as possible to myself today and if I fail today, I'll fail and that's okay and I'll probably fail tomorrow and the day after that but I won't stop trying and over time maybe, slowly things will change.

"I guess that, all this time, I've thought of her as a massive ball radiating destructive energy, like a black hole." Funny you chose that description. At one point I tried to picture the flow and sources of energy in my body (I love to work with mental pictures) and the the image for my untapped power/energy/strength whathaveyou was that of a bubble of a black swirling mass. I've found this image to be very comforting b/c it showed me that the energy is indeed there (felt very powerless and exhausted then), I only didn't now how to access it.
"I think I'll go down to the big scary dark attic and talk to the sleeping dragon one of these days." Go whenever you feel ready for it. It was a profound experience for me though I only started to realize what happened after the fact b/c it was far "quieter" than expected.

"For me, as a child, I had to listen to my stepfather constantly threatening to kill or seriously injure someone if I didn't comply with his every whim. That's how I developed my hypersensitivity, along with my automatic security self-check system as a protective measure. It's not healthy either. I also had to pay the price of emotional dissociation later on."
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I physically jerk whenever I read something like this and I really want to go back there and help those children we once were. It is truly horrible. My father didn't go that far, but he also used whatever leverage he had (older, louder, parent, bread-winner, stronger...) to get his way. Nowadays I can see him for what he is: a scared old-grown child who has no idea how to deal with the things life throws at him in a productive or adult manner. I'm still angry for what he did to me when I was a kid (striking me when he was helpless, shouting at me, constantly expecting everyone to live by his rules and time-table - everyone was walking on egg-shells) and I'm really glad I left when I did. The hypersensitivity though I still have to deal with, especially as it relates to noise and angry people around me. My thoughts are with you and the young you who had to live with this.

So, once again, you are not alone! Take care and thanks for you words!

To your last note: I'm more the short-story type - I like to use my words to paint pictures, sooth and bring a bit of hope if possible and it is one of the things I can really pride myself on most of the time without the jerkbrain butting in.

[ 04-06-2012, 06:14 AM: Message edited by: teller of tales ]

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@Redskies

It's fine. As I've written above, I really like the way I can use words to help me and others to deal with things, to understand what happened to us and to shape our lives in a meaningful way. If my words help you to express yourself I'm more than happy for you to use them (I'd only object if someone used them to spread hate or use them against me or someone else going through similar stuff which you are clearly not doing).

So much "yes" to what you wrote. To being the wrong one, the odd one out, to the weirdness, the expectations, everything, yes.

"I finally figured out fairly recently that I have long-standing anxiety issues, as well as depression that I already knew about and have mostly cracked. I realised the anxiety and its effects have been causing relapses of the depression for years." This is a very interesting point. I haven't looked at this in depth yet and I find the connection between depression and anxiety you describe to be very fascinating. Would you mind to go into more detail here (only of course, if you are comfortable with it) how those two issues interrelate?

"The world just becomes wholly too much for me and I feel like I can't do anything right, nothing about me can possibly be right or even acceptable, I'm a problem to everyone, I can't understand how everyone else thinks and functions and how I'm supposed to think and function in this world." Yes, exactly. I just had a bout of this b/c of the above described changes in my third to last (?) post. I'm always overwhelmed when this happens. Of course I know that I can do stuff, but that doesn't stop me from loosing faith in myself and my abilities. Right now it manifests itself as the lovely "should have known better, started to plan earlier, what will the others think, you are a burden, you are wasting everyones time, you are annoying them with your questions and your insecurity" chain of thought. Ugh, hate that.

"Sorry about the length of the post and the self-focus. Things have been tough recently and as a result things are getting wonky and dysfunctional. I find it hard to connect and talk with my therapist about this." There is really no need to apologize. Please understand that I write the following also as an explanation to myself since my brain produced some surprisingly similar background noise. It is okay to talk about stuff and to want to be heard with our pain. It is human, completely natural and only b/c of our experiences that we didn't get to enjoy it as the ordinary and healthy part of human interaction it f****** should be (the swearing is for those who tried to convince us otherwise). And besides - those entirely "self-involved ramblings" of yours? They are good to read. They tell me that I can share my story with you and if that isn't wonderful I don't know what is.

Phew, thankfully writing all this has calmed me down for a bit. The last days threw me quite badly. If someone could tell me that it is okay to mess up and that I don't have to get everything right, that is in fact quite normal to make mistakes, I'd be glad.

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Redskies     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm finding this conversation quite challenging and hard going, but I also think it has so much good in it to find we are not alone and peculiar in our experiences. I think I don't find myself able to respond to half the things I'd like to respond to here, but I read all of what you both wrote.

SansNom, thank you for your supportive words, and I hope you got some rest.

teller of tales, I hope that you carry on managing the challenging situation you have at the moment. It sounds like you're doing pretty well at the self-care stuff, and that's one hell of an achievement.

I think you know this anyway, but yes, Of Course it is ok to mess up and make mistakes. We're human, and humans do this every so often. Sometimes it can be even harder to manage things in the way we're supposed to if we didn't get the same healthy grounding in it in childhood that most people do - we get to forgive ourselves for that! Most people warmly accept and embrace the people around them, and their mistakes as part of that; and we have a right to make mistakes safely and not castigate ourselves forever more or have the world fall apart around us. This is most people's healthy experience of mistakes, I think; and it's ok if we need to learn it a lot more slowly because we weren't given a safe and healthy framework for mistakes when we were kids.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1784 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JackT
Neophyte
Member # 72460

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JackT     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In many ways I feel similar... since I was 9 or 10 I've just felt depressed at times. But it comes in cycles... for awhile I'll feel great, and really motivated. I'll work hard, save money and just stay in a good mood, but then I'll just crash and feel sad for no reason. During those times I feel extremely tired and unable to cope with anything. Right now I feel that way, the worst part is that I find it difficult to cry... I've become so used to keeping my emotions inside. I guess many things have happened for me to feel this way, I witnessed a natural disaster which burnt down my town, and killed many people I know... my father left my mother and I two years after, and stole all our savings. I was raised in by poor parents, who were too preoccupied with smoking marijuana to actually hold down employment and support their son. All things considered I think I do well, I have a decent job, I have plenty of friends, but deep inside I feel empty. And at times I feel unworthy of love, and I find numerous ways of criticizing myself and downplaying any achievement I make. At the same time I don't hate the world, there are many things great about it, despite the fact people find so many ways to hurt each other. I guess I just wish I could figure out how to make this sadness go away, or at least some way to make it more bearable when the waves of grief occur.

Sorry for this long winded post... I guess it's nice to mention this all. I can't really go on about it to my friends. They're really supportive, but when ever I've tried to express the way I truly feel, they can't handle it. So I just don't bother.

Also, Redskies, the part in your post about trying to 'read' people's expectations resonated with me. All my life I've tried to please everyone at once, which has only left me feeling disappointed, because it never works. I know that it can never work, but I hate to let people down. I am learning now to make decisions for myself though... and do what I want.

I used to subconsciously fill the void I felt with alcohol and marijuana. And caffeine binges when I needed to do a lot of work. So I'm trying to now replace that with excercise, and creative endeavors such as drawing and playing guitar to try and find ways of moving through sadness by doing more positive things. Instead of abusing myself. I need to remember that I deserve to be good to myself.

It's been nice to read this thread to understand that I'm not alone, and reading this has also helped me get more motivation to look after myself.

So thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences.

[ 04-07-2012, 01:36 AM: Message edited by: JackT ]

Posts: 27 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Redskies, for your words. I've read them yesterday and a couple of times today.
And yes, I do know that, but sometimes it just seems to slip away and it's good to be reminded that this, especially the following "... and not castigate ourselves forever more or have the world fall apart around us." holds true for me as well.
I'm a bit listless at the moment, which probably is a good time for me to make some room for whatever emotions may come up (I do hope they come up). I just don't like where I am at the moment - between two places, two occupations, about to leave friends behind, friends leaving me behind. This uncertainty is really bothering me.

@JackT
I really like the plans you have for being good to yourself and dealing with the sadness in a positive way. I hope you find activities that manage to carry you through the bad stuff (and celebrate the good stuff).
And I must say it really moves me to see the hope and quiet joy that shine through your writing despite the painful subject.

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Redskies     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
JackT, I'm glad that reading this thread helped you to know you're not alone. I'm glad, too, that you're trying to be good to yourself, and what you're doing with your life sounds pretty awe-inspiring to me.

teller of tales, big life changes can be so, so hard to negotiate when we're dealing with anxiety too. I think it's not surprising you're finding it tough, and big, big respect for the level of self-awareness and self-care it sounds like you're doing.

I'm feeling a bit better today. This thread turned up some things I probably needed to address, and I have the very great privilege and fortune to have a person in my personal life who I can talk to about these things and receive real understanding and support.

I've been turning what others have said about being somehow distant from emotions around in my head, knowing that in some way I recognise this well, but not quite in the same way, and I think I've figured it out. For me, my anxiety was always very, very hidden; I felt the pressure to be "normal" so strongly that I made sure that my anxiety never showed, at least in any form that Looks like anxiety. I appear calm, to others and to myself - but in this state, I am definitely very, very removed from the "real" person I am. I don't have access to the same highs and lows, the feeling of actually being a person and being alive. It's like I feel like I'm in a glass box - I'm right there, I'm right by everyone else, except I'm totally separate from them, I can't get to them or they to me, no matter how much I wanted.

But there are some major things that are definitely very not right. And I had the immense fortune to find a person in my personal life who had some psych training, who I learned to trust, and who, after quite a long time, said to me, look, what you're describing sounds like phobia. Like anxiety. This is a real thing. And with feeling safe with that person, I actually started pulling away the layers of what was going on - and I found that yes, I was actually terrified out of my mind about lots of things, and I started having panic attacks. I know that a lot of people find panic attacks horrible and debilitating, and I do want to be sensitive to that experience - but for me, it was a relief. It was such an improvement on what I'd been experiencing before. It was such a relief to be able to express what I was really feeling, to be free to respond honestly in the way I was really feeling. I find panic attacks to be part of a constructive process of acknowledging and dealing with my anxiety, rather than having it all so deeply knotted inside me, desperately trying to hide the anxiety from myself and everyone else. I feel much better while having a panic attack than I ever did before when I looked "normal" and not even I knew that anything was wrong.

Even as a kid, I just knew that I felt gut-wrenchingly miserable and dreadful. I never knew that it was anxiety - probably partly because I didn't know what it felt like to be without it.

One major way my anxiety acts is, I can't make myself go to bed, or to sleep, or to get up. I've gone through all my life thinking that it sounds stupid, that it Is stupid, and I've never heard of anyone else describing anything like it. I'm very familiar with people being too depressed to get up - but not what I was experiencing. I could go and do all kinds of things, but I couldn't do it when I was supposed to. I would want to do things that actually didn't worry me in themselves, things that I really wanted to do that brought me a lot of joy - but I just couldn't make myself wake up or get up. It takes me at least 3 hours before I can make myself get out of bed.

I missed so many things. Good things, social things, my-life-will-fall-apart-if-I-don't-do-this things. And my life kept falling apart. Every day was just the most difficult struggle, just to have a day at all. I hated myself so, so much, every day. With everything, I just wanted to disappear through the floor because I'd messed it up, again. I thought, who does this? I thought that only the most useless, broken, despicable, un-helpable person would be like that. No-one had ever been able to help me, and I hardly dared to tell anyone. I tried my best to keep everyone away from the reality of my life, because I knew that no-one's life was supposed to be like that, I thought it was terrible and unforgiveable and no-one else should be affected by it, and they would be if they had anything at all to do with me. I didn't ask for any help because I thought it was a terrible personal flaw, rather than something that made sense, if unusual, that was wrong with me. I lied all the time to try to cover up what was going on, and I hated myself for that, because generally I'm one of the most directly honest people you could meet. I couldn't engage with anyone because I knew I was lying to them.

To answer the question about the interplay between anxiety and depression: I began the first obvious, diagnosed bout of depression when I was 16 (diagnosed mild, but I know it was severe. I didn't answer the diagnostic questions properly, because I knew I Shouldn't feel the extreme answers, and then, to me, that meant that I Didn't feel them. But honestly, I did.) That was obviously depression. Since then, I've had recurring bouts, never as severe. I think I'm very self-aware and good at self-care, and I would notice it coming and make sure I never ended up back at the dark pit I was in before. But I always felt like there was something wrong in the usual perception of what was happening to me - in the conventional way, depression would make my life come apart. But when I looked at what really happened, it was clear that my life had come apart each time Before I was depressed. But I didn't know how to express that.

Finally, it clicked. With the anxiety, what I talked about above was happening, and That was the way my life was falling apart. With that happening, and the way I was feeling, no Wonder I was then developing depression. I believe that depression can be a response to a situation that a human being just cannot deal with, does not have the tools or skills to deal with, and cannot escape.

With a person who knows the truth and does not hate me, despair of me or think that I am unhelpable and unfixable, I've been learning how not to hate myself. I've been learning how to work around the problem and know that even with this problem, I can still be a worthwhile human being with value and who can help others and be a meaningful part of something. I've been trying to muster the courage and ability to actually tackle the problem itself. Until right now, the only person who has known the details I wrote above has been my trusted person. Part of my problem is that "nobody must know". Well, there's a whole internet who knows now. Take that, "nobody must know". I really hope that this internet won't think that these things are too weird and unworthy of support and make me a despicable person.

I hope, too, that maybe other people reading who feel like their specific problems make them unworthy of help or understanding or a decent life can feel that they are not alone, and that there really is this boundless scope of human behaviour and responses, and that we all do make sense on a basic level, and we all deserve support and the life and self we want.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1784 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Redskies, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. It is truly inspiring and moving to read this and I'm glad you shared it with us and I'm happy you felt ready to do so. Thank you! And a big *yay* to you for your courage, grace and humility.

I'll write more in depth tomorrow (I just was about to go to bed [Smile] ), but I couldn't leave your post without reply.

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cian
Activist
Member # 44405

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Today I got a tentative diagnosis of mild Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Tentative in the sense that while my counselor thinks I am definitely affected, she does not like giving definite diagnosis so not to fixate the person (or herself) to one single aspect. We all are, of course, the sum of all our aspects.

I had always written my self esteem and appearance dissatisfaction (which does reach unhealthy elements like social exclusion and not going to school/shopping/what have you) as being a byproduct of social anxiety. In my little head I know I am not dissatisfied of my appearance because I have social anxiety, but I have social anxiety because I am so severely dissatisfied with my appearance.

I only have one session left and my counselor didn't seem very keen to focus on this aspect or to give me any coping advice. I have crawled through my darkest times by myself and it has always been a massive uphill struggle. I don't know what to do. In many ways I just want to go back to going round in circles believing myself genuinely ugly and just depressed and anxiety ridden rather than admit that I have flawed perception I need help fixing.

Posts: 239 | From: Europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, having read you talk about these feelings for a couple years now, I agree that it's long sounded like there is something bigger going on. And I think what you express feeling in your last sentence of this post pretty much verifies that strongly, you know?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68164 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JackT
Neophyte
Member # 72460

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JackT     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow I just stopped myself from succumbing to an anxiety attack... I felt like my mind was racing. Normally when that happens I just turn to some blind form of distraction, and just get into a bad mood, when I get like that nothing seems to cheer me up.
But this time I just lay down on my bed, and let the thoughts go through my mind until I could piece it all together... within 5 minutes I felt normal again. Hopefully this is a sign that the strategies I'm using to overcome my emotional issues are working. =)
There's a lot of work I've let pile up recently, which I'm going through. Normally those manic moods just send me into a frenzy, where I want to do everything at once and can't stay focused. But getting through that mood has helped me stay on top of my work. It's certainly better then smoking weed or drinking copious amounts of alcohol. Which I used to use to excess in those states.

My moods seem to swing rapidly... but I'm getting better at working out how to manage that. I hope things are going well for everyone else.

Thanks again to those who posted in this thread, reading it really made me think about taking a different approach to my issues.

[ 04-24-2012, 09:50 AM: Message edited by: JackT ]

Posts: 27 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First of, I'm sorry Redskies that I didn't get back to you as promised. Everything happened so quickly (moving house, start of new term among other things) that I completely lost track of all but the most necessary things (like eating and sleeping).
What you wrote about - to have a person to confide in is probably something I should look for right now (they offer some kind of counseling at my campus, hopefully it's possible to arrange something at short notice - going to check that out tomorrow) since everything is changing rapidly. All these little groups seem to have already have formed here, since most of the students started in fall and I find it really tough without anyone I can talk to about my troubles face to face. I'm starting to look around for ways to meet new people - sport, knitting... but of course that'll take some time.
On top of that my housing situation is still unclear. At first I thought I'd stay here only until the begin of May but the room offered at the dormitory was absolutely not an option. Today I talked to my landlady and found out (I told her there is a possibility I'd get a room) that she now planned for someone else to move in next week (I don't blame her). Though originally she offered a contract with short-term termination as an option, she made quite clear today that the only other option would be for me to stay the entire term and... this is all a mess and I'm really anxious at the moment, can't think clear, so your comment, JackT, seemed very timely. Hopefully I can use some of that later today to get to a calmer place.

"I appear calm, to others and to myself - but in this state, I am definitely very, very removed from the "real" person I am. I don't have access to the same highs and lows, the feeling of actually being a person and being alive. It's like I feel like I'm in a glass box - I'm right there, I'm right by everyone else, except I'm totally separate from them, I can't get to them or they to me, no matter how much I wanted. (Redskies)"
Yes, I so understand this. I could pick every other sentence and it would describe my situation just as fine. I'm glad you wrote in depth about this, it is immensely helpful and yes, self-love, finding forgiveness (so hard sometimes, today f.e. see above), these are the things I don't want to forget I deserve - that we all deserve.
I really hate it to feel helpless, to depend on others b/c to often I was let to believe that I won't get any support and of course, this still might happen now (from specific people) and I know to put it in context now, but at the moment I fear some of the old patterns try to/have taken over and that I somehow will either fall through the cracks or end up in a horrible situation just b/c I think I can't change it.

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Had a bad couple of days but as of today I've got two probatory sessions with two different therapists in the next two weeks. And the one I talked to today already sounded very good (kind and safe) over the phone. I'm just really glad (and really nervous).
And big thanks again to you, Redskies! Your descriptions of anxiety and how you found it relates to depression for you really helped me delve into my own feeling of panic/fear/anxiety and now I'll be able to bring them up with the therapists right away which I feel will help a lot with the healing process.

And to everyone who has written here so far - I hope you are doing okay and have someone safe to talk to!

[ 07-18-2012, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: teller of tales ]

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Redskies     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
teller of tales, I'm so very glad that things I wrote were helpful to you. It means a lot that me spilling parts of my life can have a broader purpose than just my own self-analysis and attempts at recovery.

I'm very happy to hear that you're investigating therapists, and I hope that you find some therapy that's helpful to you, your recovery and development. Good for you!

In some ways I'm doing a lot better. My thinking around this has changed dramatically, and it's very much framed in my head now as being "I have mental health issues, for very understandable reasons" rather than "I am a hopeless, useless, worthless, dysfunctional half-person". Sometimes, or even often, I still Feel hopeless and worthless, because the practicalities haven't changed yet. I don't know yet how to make them change. That's frustrating, distressing and depressing, and really not helpful to the things I'm trying to do with my life. Still, the changes in thinking are huge, huge changes, and I guess they had to happen first, and I suppose it's all a process. It's a veeeery slowwwwww process, but I remember that 3 years ago, I didn't dare to engage with anyone even anonymously over the net, let alone in real life (properly personally engaging, I mean). And look at me here now: at least some of the time, I am actively disproving the previous belief that I could be no good to anyone and would just be bad for them.

Even some of the not-so-good things that have been happening in my personal life that have been triggering my anxiety and hurting me have some purpose, because with my new thought-framing, I can see clearly how some external things and people created some of the old beliefs in the first place. I hear a mirror image of what I used to believe about myself in what my father says to me and has always said, and it becomes easier to know that those beliefs are wrong the more I hear that they're coming from somewhere specific and external.

I finally identified what, exactly, it is that I'm afraid of, in one context. For over ten years, people have been trying to tell me that I'm a perfectionist and can't cope with not being perfect - and I've Always known they're wrong and told them so, but they wouldn't listen. Relatives, friends, therapists, counsellors... I just happen to be able to do very well, sometimes literally perfectly, at some of the things that were a part of my life. What I am afraid of is Not lack of perfection and Not inadequacy. What I am afraid of is doing perfectly at everything I possibly can, everything I do, and life around me Still being terrible. And that was very rational, because that was my literal experience. By 13, 14, I was pretty much knocking the ball out of the park on school assignments - working hard, sure, but not busting a gut. I started getting assignments back with annotations of "this couldn't be improved in any way". That should make most people happy, but it just made me desperate, because it meant there was literally nothing I could do to be better. I could be as good as a person could possibly be and life was still terrible. I was miserable, lonely, traumatised and suicidal, and there was nothing more I could do; home life felt so bad that I accepted I was a deficient human being and just tried to make up for it elsewhere in any way I could. Somehow it was worse getting excellent or perfect scores, worse being good at things, and have life still feel so bad. I felt literally physically sick when I got papers back with good or perfect scores, or just when I knew I'd done anything well or been good at something, even completely in private. If something wasn't so good, obviously there wasn't the "ooh I've done well" feeling, but nor was there that intense sick feeling; instead, it felt like things made more sense and fitted together better - I could accept things. My ability to do assignments, and work for assignments, went downhill, ultimately severely, from when I was 15. And I finally have the words and a precise explanation for why.

It's interesting to me that ultimately, what I'm talking about above is about powerlessness and the difficulty in coming to terms with that - just what some others of you here have written about in the roots of your own anxiety. I guess humans really, really struggle to deal with accepting that we can't change certain traumatic situations we're in, and construct ways around that - which, of course, don't ultimately work. And when they don't work, we become even more desperate and traumatised, as we come up against the hard and impossible "there is really nothing I can/could do".

Now "all" I have to do is come to learn that life now is not life then, and that life now will shortly be good, and I have nothing to fear. And, of course, figure out the other peculiarities.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1784 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Redskies, thanks for your reply! I've always found it immensely helpful to hear stories from other people who deal or have dealt with problems similar to mine. The "official" (medical) descriptions of the stuff we are dealing with are nice and everything, but since each and everyone of us has their own unique mix of past experience/personal quirks/weird brain stuff these description can only paint with a very broad stuff. I don't know if this makes sense, I'm a bit tired at the moment.
Anyway, yes, it has been helpful. Before I read what you wrote I unthinkingly put anxiety and depression in two completely different boxes and never thought that the first one might apply to me as well. Now I start to see it's something that was with me for so long I stopped feeling/recognizing it entirely and instead I often found myself irritable/confused/shaky and hundred other things but never anxious.

I'm at an interesting place as well, since I'm trying to figure out how to let others see what is going on with me. I've told for instance all my roommates some days ago that I might suddenly burst into tears in the kitchen or have a freak-out, since lots of old stuff is coming up now (our flat isn't exactly sound-proof and I don't want to have to try to be completely silent in case of a meltdown when I'm busy feeling stuff and crying f.e.). I was really nervous about this beforehand, but they took it fairly well and now I feel a bit more comfortable to ask for some help in other ways when I'm having trouble. Baby steps. Only during the last couple of months I've actively started to disclose this stuff to my friends. Again huge step for me, since it takes a long time for me to really trust people and on top of that I've had always trouble with social situations (mostly understanding them), which complicates this further.

I already have some experience with therapy and hopefully I'll be able to use what I learned in the meantime to make the most of therapy.
I find your description of the role perfection played for you fascinating - it's been something that has been difficult for me as well , though for different reasons. I use perfection as an excuse not to try at all. The believe that I have to achieve something far beyond my abilities (that's how I experience perfection most of the time) has its roots in the impossible goals that were set for me as a child (mainly deal with things like a responsible adult, which messed me up a lot). Nowadays were I do in fact have the means and the know-how to do things a bit out of my comfort zone (that's not to say that the stuff I tried to deal with as a child was merely a bit out of my comfort zone) I excuse my not-trying with the knowledge of "it won't work anyway", since I had such an all-or-nothing experience of challenges as a kid. To try a do something at a level of "good" or "good enough" just doesn't figure in there and very often I produce something that lets me pass reasonably well that I know for a fact could be really good with a bit more effort. And I just can't do that.
Welp, I gotta be going (early start tomorrow) - I wish you a pleasent week-end (same to those who read here, enjoy it!). I'll be back reading Sunday evening.

[ 07-20-2012, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: teller of tales ]

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey, Redskies! I just wanted to comment on some of the stuff you have been talking about.

I'm so proud of you! I know how excruciatingly difficult it is to change our mindsets regarding the nature of mental health issues. I was diagnosed with Psychotic Depression, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder a year ago. It is only now that I can say, "I have mental health issues. I can't change that fact, but that's okay. I am willing to learn how to cope and live with these issues. If I'm struggling, it doesn't mean I'm bad, lazy, or stupid. If I can't get out of bed in the morning or can't sleep at night, it doesn't mean that I'm worthless. If I'm incapacitated for hours on end due to a particularly terrifying flashback, it doesn't mean that I'm a coward or powerless. It just means that I've gone through tough things that have affected me. I have strategies to cope with this and I am getting more proficient with them every day." This mindset was achieved after experiencing so much self-berating, cutting, and self-hatred.

It's been such a rough year. Most of the time, for the past months, I felt like someone's regurgitated dinner, as numb as death, or completely dysfunctional. The only thing I can do is eventually go to sleep and hope that tomorrow is better. I used to hate being this way, as I need to feel that I can control every aspect of myself, including my emotions, but now I am resigned. Self-hatred accomplishes nothing for me. Rather, it can cause my mood to spiral so low that I resort to cutting to try to break out of it. These days, I try to employ the use of my coping strategies to manage the extremely low moods. I'm far from being able to completely manage myself, though. But I'm getting better at it. And that's what matters.

I, for one, really, really struggle with accepting the fact that I couldn't change any of the past traumatic situations that I've been in. The self-blame I experienced a few months ago kind of morphed into a huge desire to completely destroy myself for being powerless and, consequently, landed me in hospital. Even though now I'm out, I still struggle with it. I can see this in my overwhelming need to have control. It's not pretty. Control has truly been one of my main issues since emerging from abuse. I hate it that people were being hurt right from my eyes and I was too afraid, frozen, and powerless to help them. Even though my therapist has tried to help me think through these issues, and have suggested ways for me to feel in control without resorting to self-harm, I am still struggling with this. I suppose that this is a huge piece for me and my psychiatrist to work through.

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
teller of tales, it's awesome that you've opened yourself up and reached for support to your roommates. I'm glad that they took it well and that you felt encouraged to seek help similarly in the future. That IS a big step and requires a lot of courage to carry out. I, for one, wouldn't have been able to reach out to roommates and asked them for support when I have a difficult time! But that is something I need to work on. Having others support you can really help you in terms of accepting and refrain from judging yourself.

You know, I can totally relate to being in an interesting place. Before my hospitalization, my mother knew nothing of the depth of the issues that I've been struggling with, including self-harm, suicidal ideations/plans, and the desire for self-mutilation. I told her nothing of my emotional distress. But, since I've been admitted, my mother has learned so much through the professionals and she really wanted to be of help and support. So I started talking to her. It's been 3 weeks since I was discharged, and I am still talking to her whenever I am experiencing the beginnings of a meltdown/panic/extreme sadness. It's so new for me. I've had nobody whom I could talk to on a regular basis about all of these critical issues before hospitalization, and now I have a whole support system.

Hoping to talk to you soon! [Smile]

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
Peer Ambassador
Member # 91788

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sans     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(On Sunday evening, the time you said you'd come back, that is) [Smile]

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
teller of tales
Neophyte
Member # 53252

Icon 1 posted      Profile for teller of tales     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Awww, thank you very much for your nice words, Sans!
Yes, I think it is a huge step to involve the people in our life in our struggles. It helps to, I don't know - make it more real, when others know about it and of course (in case they react in a positive manner) it is always good to know someone will have your back. And even if somebody doesn't, you've still got an important message, about how you probably can't depend on a certain person in a bad situation.

I'm sorry it went so bad that you had to go to the hospital, but I'm glad to hear that you've got such good communication now with your Mom!
If you don't mind writing about it - what do you find helps you especially during a meltdown next to having somebody around to listen?

For the next months I guess I'll be trying to find a balance in how much I involve others, since some stuff is better talked about with an actual trained therapist (I know lots of people have trouble finding one for lots of reasons, so no shame if someone can't do that). It's still new to share that painful stuff in an honest (and healthy) manner. When I was younger I often went about getting someone to listen to me in very convoluted (and unhelpful) ways because often I wasn't even aware what was going on, I had no idea how to ask for the things I needed (not even "I'm not doing good right now, could you listen to me?") and when things turned out bad I blamed myself for everything and hid even more. So, actually dragging this out in the open and being honest with the people around me is very frightening to me. Partly that's understandable, I think, what with all these stereotypes about mental illnesses, partly it's these very poisonous ideas about how I don't deserve this/am attention-seeking/weak/other bullshit that's not true that kept me from speaking about this so far.

I find your realization about self-hatred interesting, since something similar was part of my turning-point earlier this year: I can only grow and get better with a strong commitment to my emotional, physical and mental well-being and I really need to learn to love myself and to make sure, that I have my own back as well. All of that is of course a long-term or one might even say life-long project, but a worthy one, I think.

I hope you'll have a nice week!

Posts: 30 | From: Europe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3