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The Mental Health thread

Mental Health  

303 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you suffer from a mental illness?

    • Yes
      97
    • No
      169
    • Maybe - yet to see a doctor about it
      39
  2. 2. Do you know someone who suffers a mental illness

    • Yes
      247
    • No
      31
    • Don't know but suspect they do
      27


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We who work in the mental health system do the best we can with the resources that we are given

 

And it is very hard to do much with the limited resources we have.

 

That's a really sad tale Reefman and something that highlights the poor system we have, but hoping that increased awareness will help change these things. One can only hope!

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Yes the system does need improving. It must be hard for people who work there.

 

 

I knew someone who had been admitted to a major hospital mental health unit. They were admitted on the Firday evening and had to wait till Monday to be examined. During the weekend alll the patients were locked up regardless of what they were suffereng. So you had people who had violent or psychotic reactions in with people who were there for depression. None of the patients were allowed to stay in their rooms, they had to all sit in the TV room where they could be under observation by the skeleton staff.

 

When this person was finally released the hospital doctor told them that as they lived in a slightly different area they came under the jurisdiction of a different hospital about 10k down the road. So they made an appointment. When my friend turned up for the appointment they were turned away because as they had already been seen by the hospital doctor, then it was 'his problem'.

 

Needless to say, when you're in distress, that's not the kind of thing you need to hear.

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Got a question about all this, particularly after reading RMB's post above.

 

I am dealing with a relative with depression. She is getting help, but over time her situation has spiralled down, to the point where I'm concerned she is not going to "sort things out".

 

I'm a bit alone in being able to maintain a reasonably healthy and constant relationship with her, because we tend to "get" each other (sense of humour, etc.). However I'm starting to feel a bit stretched by the repetitive conversations and messages. I also start feeling like this is putting a strain on my family life.

 

On one hand I feel like pulling away from the situation a bit, and sometimes wonder if this would be good - ie. discourage her from focusing constantly on being unwell. But on the other hand I am worried that if I don't stay supportive, and it ends badly, I will be worried I didn't do all that I could.

 

I'm kind of asking two things here: (1) what is my obligation, and (2) in practice, what can a person really do to help that is meaningful and not just band-aid?

 

Dunno if some of the people who've shared on here could comment, but I'd appreciate any thoughts.

Edited by Mank

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There's a group called ARAFMI who may be able to answer those questions.

 

ARAFMI - (Association of Relatives & Friends of the Mentally Ill phone: 1800 655 198

 

ARAFMI are a support network for the family and friends of someone with a depression based illness. They will also provide over the phone advice, as well as finding a local support in your area.

 

It might be worth giving them a call.

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HHMMM. I've been watching this thread with interest. Without going into too much detail I will say this much, I have just started keeping a mood journal, and this may be a good idea for your friend Mank. When I feel myself sliding or being irrational, I write about what is going on. I have also found that actually facing up to the fact that I am struggling has been like food for my soul. Telling Bretty Boy how I am feeling has also helped. Realising that I don't have to take his work stresses on as my own has also helped.

 

Mental health issues are tough and whilst I don't know if I have a menatal health problem I feel I am taking steps in trying to help myself get through this tough period.

 

Mank I hope you find something that you can use in the posts to come. Me I'll just keep reading and hopefully I can find other options I can apply to help myself.

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Mank - from your post, I gather your friend is on medication for her depression? Is she also engaged in therapy?

 

The best treatment for depression has been proven to be a form of talking therapy combined with an anti-depressant. It sounds like you've become the resource for the talking therapy part. I think you do need to protect yourself a bit in these situations. You need to keep your own sanity and wife happy before you can help someone else.

My suggestion - let her know you are still there for her, but you cannot cope with the late night phone calls and text message if this is what you think you need to do. Yes, you will feel guilty doing this, but when you think about it, you are not a professional in the mental health system and it sounds like she needs professional help. Plus you have yourself and your marriage to think about too!

You can get 6 sessions with a psychologist with a referral from a GP through Medicare (meaning it's free). See if she is open to this idea. And perhaps she needs to look at a change of anti-depressant? If she is not feeling they are working, there are plenty of other options out there she could try.

 

Depression treatments do require a level of motivation from the person receiving the treatment as well. I would agree, some people do like to play the "sick role" as this provides something in their life they believe they are lacking. However, that does not mean that they should be treated any different or supported any less, but it can become frustrating for those trying to help them.

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Mank - from your post, I gather your friend is on medication for her depression? Is she also engaged in therapy?

 

Yes on both counts - Meds plus a Cognitive Psych.

 

She says the medication hasn't helped, but that the Dr is saying she should only expect it to work to "damp down" the pendulum in terms of her swinging from one pole to another.

 

Which started me thinking that, even if the drugs do the right job (I think she is in the process of getting a stronger script), all it's going to achieve is to remove any chemical/hormonal/non-controllable source of problems, but leave her facing the bleak reality that life is only what you make of it anyway. I think there's a massive range of "depressed" people out there - from people who fit a nice clinical case example of a labelled condition (eg. schizophrenic, bipolar etc.) through to people who are just plain past their tolerance point for what life metes out.

 

Yurtie - thanks for the info, I think I may well try that.

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I think there's a massive range of "depressed" people out there - from people who fit a nice clinical case example of a labelled condition (eg. schizophrenic, bipolar etc.) through to people who are just plain past their tolerance point for what life metes out.

 

I think that's spot on Mank

 

I'm also forming the opinion that many GPs are sick of dealing with people who present with 'depression' and really struggle to find a solution in many cases - maybe in many cases there is no solution? The ones at the extreme end of the scale may actually be easier for them to deal with that the 'past their tolerance point' types.

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Sorry Jaybarts I wasn't having a go at the people who work in the mental illness field, just that it's so underresourced that it's totally ineffective for some (many?) people.

 

Mank thanks for the post, wow wehave/had a lot in common. But I just don't know what to say to you. Chin up - keep at it - don't give up on your sis - etc. Yes all that. But yeah after years and years of the same thing wearing you down you can get to places where you're thinking 'unproductive' thoughts. Thoughts that can bite if you get that police call.

 

Actually there were times with Wayne when he was deep off the rails that I would have been happy for him to be, um, gone. Times like when he'd ring up my work and spew out a massive tirade of swearing at anyone who picked up my phone accidently instead of me. Times when I slept with a weapon next to my bed in case he tried to make good on a death threat. Times when I'd rush home from work with a horrible visualisation that my wife and kids would be murdered with him standing over their bodies waiting to greet me with a smile and a "Now you have what I have".

 

That all sounds very scary and that he was a monster. He wasn't, and those times were a tiny minority overall. Much more often than that he'd greet me with a huge grin and a massive hug that was just so full of sincere brotherly love. God I miss that.

 

In the end I'm glad of one thing. When he did commit suicide he did so completely 'honourably'. By that I mean peacefully and without harming anyone else in the process. Because believe me it if the trigger had gone while he was in one of the violent places it could have easily been a completely different story. If his plan was right he'd be a little kid of six years old in prep right now. I don't believe it but I hope he was right.

 

But as for advice for your situation - I just don't know. I'm no wiser now than before. Sorry. But don't feel guilty whatever happens - you can't be expected to follow her around 24/7 year after year, and by the sound of things you're still supporting her more than anyone else anyway.

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But as for advice for your situation - I just don't know. I'm no wiser now than before. Sorry. But don't feel guilty whatever happens - you can't be expected to follow her around 24/7 year after year, and by the sound of things you're still supporting her more than anyone else anyway.

 

No need to apologise dude, I'm getting plenty out of just having a read of your thoughts, and others. I don't really expect any magic solutions. It sounds like your brother was far more difficult to handle than what I'm dealing with - sounds like a really tough ride - but I think I do understand what you mean.

Edited by Mank

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Oh Mank - I hear ya all too well. I am wearing a Black Dog Institute tshirt today and about to put on a morning tea this morning for my floor (over 100 people) to launch my fundraising drive in honour of my friend who took her life recently. Then later today I have a meeting with our Senior Vice President to try and garner support (boy am I nervous). I have realised that the least I can do is help raise awareness of mental health and hopefully raise some money. It's hard to know, as a friend or family member, what to do. And yep, often it ends up impacting your health so you pull away. Apparently, I have since found out, that is very common. I took heart from I think it was Swish's comment earlier. We aren't all experts and we're not all equipped proficiently to deal with situations where someone is suffering so we can't take on guilt if we can't help. We can only do our best and perhaps be understanding and point them in the direction of professional care. I agree that there must be a huge spectrum of mental health that people lie on. No wonder it is so difficult to diagnose and medicate. For my friend, she actually wasn't able to stick to any medication. Not through lack of committment (hey, she was a doctor) but because after a few months it'd wear off. So then she'd be taken off drugs, forced to hit a low and then they'd give her a double whammy of a dose. How horific is that? (by the way, I only just found this out from her mum the other day). So sad.

 

But remember - you also have to look after yourself and your wife/family. It's tough. Hang in there.

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Bump for Turtle.

 

Hopefully a few people will read some of the posts in this thread and feel compassion enough to throw some money Turtle's and Black Dog's way.

 

Donate here. Every little bit helps. Just chuck $5 on your credit card, you won't even notice it.

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There's a group called ARAFMI who may be able to answer those questions.

 

ARAFMI - (Association of Relatives & Friends of the Mentally Ill phone: 1800 655 198

 

ARAFMI are a support network for the family and friends of someone with a depression based illness. They will also provide over the phone advice, as well as finding a local support in your area.

 

It might be worth giving them a call.

 

Just an update for those following this thread - I think the above number is only for rural NSW - I got "call not allowed" message. Had to go in via the Vic contact number, and they put it through to the helpline.

 

Funny experience... even as the one not suffering the problem, there's still an enormous mental leap in "seeking help".

Edited by Mank

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Hi everyone - remember me.

 

Thats right - it is Alan from Canberra.

 

I dropped of the triathlon radar for a quiet a few years and the reason was I had a big battle with depression. I made it through (just) and needless to say it is a long story. I am slowly getting my life togther and I am able to again exercise regulary which I am so happy about.

 

Alan

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How is everyone going?

 

While I don't suffer with depression, I'm feeling glum. Injured knee, getting fat, winter, school holidays etc.

 

Time to look for the positives and gear up for Trannies biggest loser.

 

:lol:

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I was in bad shape during my crash/fall healing time. I can honestly say I don't know what I did for three weeks of my life (out of ten totally inactive weeks).

 

I took the decision that I was in protection mode and it didn't matter, provided I crawled out of it in due course. And if I did not crawl on my own, that's what medical intervention was for.

 

I crawled solo, thank goodness. It's still tough to concentrate on what matters, but I put that down to fatigue rather than depression.

 

So all positive, bring on biggest loser becasue boy, do I have some baby fat to deal with!

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Uberbiker

 

You're doing a lot for yourself right now. Give yourself credit. You're acknowledging you need help, and you're getting it. You're setting some goals and I like how you associate Busso with happy memorries. That's fantastic. You're working on a career change. Also fantastic. I know it must seem that you have such a long way to go, but hang in there, Rome wasn't built in a day :lol:

 

Julia

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The 1 in 5 refers more to people who have had a problem in the past 12 months, its actually closer to 45% in a lifetime.

 

So 33% is better than average, if you want to talk pure numbers.

 

The state of Australians’ psychological health has become a lot clearer thanks to the second national survey of mental health and wellbeing. The Australian Bureau of Statistics doorknocked thousands of households across the land, asking residents questions about common mental health problems.

 

They found that almost one in two of us will have a significant problem with anxiety, depression, or drug and alcohol abuse in our lifetime. One on five of those surveyed had had a mental disorder in the previous 12 months; and one in four of them had more than one mental health problem at the same time – losing about nine days a month in normal functioning. Yet surprisingly, few people were receiving care. Largely because they didn’t believe they needed help, or that – wrongly – they didn’t think there were effective treatments available – even people who were suicidal. It was also common to find that people with physical illnesses were more likely to be depressed, anxious or abusing alcohol and other drugs.

 

The full report is here http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/su.../43260_2007.pdf

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Hi all. I'm new to the forums and wasn't expecting my first post to be about mental illness! I suffer from mild depression which is under control most of the time with family support, a challenging but satisfying job and regular exercise. Like some others here I don't cope well with winter. Not sure if it is the lack of sun or the weather making me not feel like exercising that is the problem. Either way if I stop exercising my depression comes back.

 

Something to note is that when I am depressed, I don't feel depressed. I just feel like doing less and am not my cheery self. It's not really until I get out of it and back to normal that I can really identify when I have been depressed. I can pinpoint a couple of weeks ago I definitely did not feel myself. I am back exercising again and feel like myself again.

 

The other thing about seeking help is that you might need to shop around. A good mate from high school developed a very serious depression and sought professional help. The person treating him basically told him to "get over it". Didn't help and not too long after that he ended up taking his life. Unfortunately, his family was unable to get him competent professional help before things went too far. If you feel the help you are getting is not working for you, please (if possible) seek assistance elsewhere.

 

I am very fortunate that in my case exercise keeps me happy. I would recommend it as a preferred treatment for people suffering mild depression. After all, if it doesn't work then further treatment options can be explored.

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Hi all. I'm new to the forums and wasn't expecting my first post to be about mental illness!

 

Welcome CT. That was the intention of this thread, to make people feel comfortable about talking about it. For many years I was naive about all forms of mental health and with that naivety came ignorance. I hope people like myself read threads like this and broaden their views.

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Welcome CT. That was the intention of this thread, to make people feel comfortable about talking about it. For many years I was naive about all forms of mental health and with that naivety came ignorance. I hope people like myself read threads like this and broaden their views.

Welcome CT and nice first post. You'll find many opportunities for cheering yourself up on here, both intended and unintended humour amongst the good and bad advice.

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Hi Casual Tri, Welcome and have to agree with your first post. Stevefitz is doing great stuff with organising Black Dog Racing which you might be interested in.

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So glad winter is over!

Ironically worst winter for me in a long time is the one I've spent the least time in the cold. :lol: Lack of sunlight hours is also a major factor obviously (for me).

 

After a pretty stressful year, a couple of very stressful weeks with poor eating choices, lack of sleep, social isolation due to work, lack of exercise due to injury, I entered a big fast downward spiral.

 

A few events later and thankfully got the wakeup call I needed to go see the Dr and get some meds and assistance (first time in many years I've needed them which in some ways made me feel worse).

Hopefully will be feeling a lot better inside of a few weeks.

 

 

Hope all others are doing ok

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Hang in there Moozie. Summer is just around the corner.

 

It amazing what some time in the sun can do for your health and wellbeing.

 

Glad you were sensible enough to get yourself sorted.

 

When all else fails just remember you are living a life most of us dream of.

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Black dog is a constant companion at the moment - but I just give him a gob full of peanut butter and it shuts him up for a few hours.

 

Hope everyone else is doing ok!

 

Thanks for asking Roxii :lol:

Edited by Hyphen

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Thanks Roxi.

 

Sunday is also Mental Health Day. Ironically I'm heading to Sydney to do training to be a volunteer Perth speaker for the Black Dog Institute. Looking forward to learning more about mental health and hopefully hear how reasearch is going in taming the naughty black dog.

 

Happy Mental Health everyone.

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I'd have to say that the last couple of months have been fairly bad, although just recently had a breakthrough after meeting http://www.johnclarkson.com.au/ who is doing some fantatstic work through http://www.globalmindscreen.com.au/ which is a fantastic diagnostic tool to get to the root of a persons mental problems quicker and avoid a wrong diagnosis.

 

I'd say to treat any mental health problems like any other, get the right help or keep looking for it, rest, and take of it.

 

I hope everyone is OK.

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All is good down here, I am hoping my depression is a thing of the past. I am really starting to ride well and I hope swimming comes along soon.

 

Alan

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Feeling 1000% better since going on medication. Slowly getting things back on track.

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I'm feeling like shit :lol:

 

Feel trapped at work & not sure what to do.

 

I love the guys I work with & the friendships I have made. Money is good & close to home. Only problem is management are treating me like shit!

 

Decided to sell both our cars (reduce the loan commitments) & create some freedom

 

Pulled out of Busso. Just trying to reduce the stress I'm under

 

Thinking I will pull the pin shortly & try something else. Just not sure if the problem is really management or if it's me.

 

Might be time for a holiday

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Good Luck everyone. Keep on moving forward when you are able. I'm not sure as i have never been diagnosed, but I am feeling a lot better mentally in the last months than I have for some time.

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Just a bump for the "festive" season, which as we know can be a hard time for some.

 

Hope all the Trannys wrestling with the Black Dog are looking after themselves and enjoy/tolerate/get through Christmas and the New Year as best you can.

 

There are plenty of friends here willing to listen if needed, or use this thread to vent away.

 

 

 

(I still think this thread is the greatest thing that has been on this forum, and a real eye opener for me)

Edited by roxii

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Howdy haven't been a member for long but thought I would post about my medical issues.

 

I have suffered from clinical depression for the past 7 years or so. Many a dark day including last year pretty much not working for about 8 months of the year. I was quite a useful allround sportsman playing touch for my state and playing in the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour for a couple of years as a highlight, but then just stopped all physical activity. I became sedentary and my only escape was playing World of Warcraft where I could be someone other than myself. I never went out, thankfully my best mates had moved away from Perth, one to Busso and the other to Sydney so I hadnt alienate them. I had no confidence at all in anything that I did so in the end I didn't bother.

 

My parents were at their wits end they tried to help in every way possible but it was only late last year, with the help of my sister (she had just returned from a 5.5 year stint in the UK) I started to help myself.

 

My sister who herself is a psychiatrist put me onto a new fantastic GP who in turn put me onto a new fantastic psychologist. Both have helped me turn the corner in my life.

 

I set some goals for myself at the start of the year -

 

1st was to get myself down to 70kg's, at the time I was 80.4kg's. I am now sitting between 66.5-67.5kg's, still a few kilos over what I was at 20 something, but very happy to be where I am.

 

2nd was to take up a sport again. I had always wanted to do triathlons since watching it on tv years ago. The long term goal is BussoIM 2011 with Busso half as a half way point. With the sprint series here in Perth thrown in.

 

3rd was to run a sub 1:40 in this years Perth City to Surf half marathon which I did in 1:35.

 

I started running in February, bought my 1st bike in April which I really enjoy and took up swimming in June. Looking back I probably should have started swimming alot earlier, thought it was like riding a bike you never forget, as I did a fair bit when I was younger. I was wrong.

 

Anyways competed in my 1st triathlon down in Rockingham on Sunday and had an absolute ball. Learnt so much about the sport including that 5min is way too long to spend in transition and I still have a lot of work to do on the swimming aspect with a 16min time for the 750m. Time for the sprint was 1:11, didnt set myself a time target but was very happy and again had an absolute ball.

 

Other changes that have occured this year was a change of job. I had been in the same job for near on 14 years and absolutely hated being there. People were great but just couldnt stand the work. A mate gave me a leg up into the job I have now in Feb. Great people and I am really enjoying the work.

 

I also went cold turkey on WoW stopped completely from playing the game at the start of the year.

 

I am off the meds now feeling good about myself and I can say that triathlon has been a major part in my path back to normality, even tho I have only just competed in my 1st event :lol:.

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Great story, thanks for sharing it and hopefully it helps others reading on here to make some positive changes.

 

Good luck with your future goals.

 

Spinster

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I'm feeling like shit :D

 

Feel trapped at work & not sure what to do.

 

I love the guys I work with & the friendships I have made. Money is good & close to home. Only problem is management are treating me like shit!

 

Decided to sell both our cars (reduce the loan commitments) & create some freedom

 

Pulled out of Busso. Just trying to reduce the stress I'm under

 

Thinking I will pull the pin shortly & try something else. Just not sure if the problem is really management or if it's me.

 

Might be time for a holiday

:lol::lol: screw management, take them for work place bullying, get a decent Solicitor and get some $$$$ out of them :D:D:(:(

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O/K many apologies for being flippant in this thread when it first appeared...

 

Time to share a little:

 

About 14 years ago our third child came to us just over 16 weeks early. When we presented at emergency the admitting (backpacker) Dr. told us (and I'm sure he was trying to do his best using the knowledge he had learned at medical school over the preceding 7 years or so out of books only 10 years old) "You should prepare yourselves as your baby will probably die or at best suffer severe disabilities." It is imposable to describe the lasting effects that being given that sort of news has on one.

 

She will be 14 years old in 3 weeks. Her report card last semester featured AAA for math & science and BBA for english, nothing less than a C anywhere.

 

My wedding band could be slid over her foot and up her leg. She was in the NICU for 15 weeks then nursery for another 2. She had an unresponsive PDA for nearly 2 weeks, narrowly avoiding keyhole heart surgery (at under 1kg). She came home the same day that we had expected her too nearly 9 months previously. Without any external oxygen. Then there were years of first 1/4erly return trips to Bris to see the cardiologist and ophthalmologist, then 6 monthly, then annually, then finally they told us they felt that they never needed to see us again. :lol:

 

It makes me cry just to type this even now.

 

As part of the service offered by the Royal Women’s (where we were airlifted to by the RFDS) we received psych counselling (optional but recommended) have not forgotten a comment made by the physiologist that the people who scare her were the ones who said it had not affected them at all. So for the past 14 years whenever I tear up over some child related story on the news I do not let it worry me. PTSD they tell me. Small price to pay for my child I reply (silently). They are only tears, they do not hurt. They tell you that it is not your fault but even though one agrees one can never shake the feeling of responsibility for so much pain being inflicted on one so young, or forget the cacophony of the various respirators or the myriad of klaxons that monitored her every breath and heartbeat for those months.

 

Now if only she would get through puberty I'm sure the world would be fine (that and the 7k for the braces). Maybe an v4 IPhone for xmas will help keep the peace ....

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I never knew depression, was always happy, had the perfect life, perfect wife, perfect family. Truly blessed, never had anything bad happen to me or anyone I knew.

Completely out of the blue I discovered my wife having an affair and as soon as it was out, she left me. My world collapsed, she was my everything, I could see no reason to live and I took a rope and went to hang myself. Have a mate who is a paramedic and I didnt want him cutting me down from a tree in a park somewhere, or some innocent party finding me, so I drove to the hospital, found a tree in the carpark and climbed up on the bar stool I brought with me and put the noose around my neck. They say suicide is the cowards way out, it isnt, I wasnt brave enough to do it, and the staff got me and took me in to the mental health unit. If I knew what it was like in there I would have certainly necked myself, there are things worse than death and that unit was one of them. Spent 3 days being treated like a lunatic, when i was a normal person who had had a terrible shock. Figured I had more degrees than the head psychologist did, so i told him what I knew he needed me to say, and I was released. I took the antidepressents which were very helpful, but I still woke up every morning and said "oh F### Im still alive, I wish I would just die".

I owe my life, a massive debt of love, to my brother and some cycling mates who looked after me, supported me through that time. I recovered fully after many months of doing it very tough.

 

I was given an insight into the world many people live in, a world of depression and undescribable pain. A pain so deep that you think only death will give you relief. I am glad I experienced that pain, I can now understand people who live with that.

I now understand the absolute necessity to support people in this world of pain with phonecalls, visits, anything at all however small. To know people care is everything to someone in that situation.

My friends and family mean much more to me now, I valued them before but even more now. I look for ways to repay them with kindness. When you are in pain, you are totally self absorbed, all you can think about is yourself, but now im not, I try to do stuff for others, and I do it gladly.

 

To those who have a perfect life be thankful, but be aware that it can come crashing down at any time. My short battle with the black dog was nasty but I won and I learned a lot from the experience.

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Farkin Dog. For some of us it will hang around forever and you just learn to live with it, and train it.

 

But you can train it. Hard work though... harder than Iron stuff... mind that can help :lol:

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Not being heartless - but time and again stories like above reinforce the belief that IM (or sports involving similar hard yakka - tour cycling being another one) and tragic past go hand in hand. You have to been through enough in personal life to go through the lows of IM training, I guess a lot of strength is derived from relatively bad past experiences.

 

Which fascinates me - if some experiences can make you do incredible things, IM being one - are those experiences really bad ? or just a blessing in disguise ?

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They tell you that it is not your fault but even though one agrees one can never shake the feeling of responsibility for so much pain being inflicted on one so young

 

Owning a little responsibility isn't all bad, it helps to give you a little bit of control and not feel quite so helpless when the world doesn't make sense and feels really scary and unfair.

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Good thread.

 

Would like to share some of my experiences in the hope that it my help others.

 

Not understanding or even knowing what my feelings were have seen me visit some dark places over the past few years.

 

Feeling like a failure as a husband, father and human being and no longer wanting to exist.

 

Feeling angry, frustrated and an empty shell unable to communicate how I feel, identify what I need or accept help from those offering affection and love.

 

Knowing something is wrong and feeling powerless to do anything about it.

 

Days and days of emotional black out, eating the cupboards bare, sleeping as much as possible to escape, tired of pretending to be happy at work and other "more formal" social situations. No motivation or desire to do anything, living in a daze. No wish to interact with my family or ride my bike (an activity that I normally enjoy).

 

Looking at my children and feeling guilt and regret for the emotional violence present in the family home.

 

Understanding that life has beginning, middle and end, feelings of so much time lost, reflecting on mortality and the churning nausiating thought of leaving a negitive legacy when life should be shared and enjoyed.

 

Do anthing to avoid thinking about how I feel, like ride my bike, get angry and blame other people (I'm angry because you.... I'm sad because......) when I should have been asking myself what the feeling was and what need was not being met.

 

Growing up in a family where feelings and emotions were never discussed. Now at 40 years of age, starting to feel a connection with myself for the first time.

Little G was never asked how he was feeling or if he would like a hug. Guess as a child, you do not really realise the impact of not exploring your emotions and you may hear something like:

 

1. Feeling Sad. Why you feeling sad, you have a roof over your head, food to eat, nice clothes, games etc........... ok so I learn that it's not ok to feel sad.

 

2. Feeling Angry. That's not nice. You are a bad boy (person). Go to you room & think about it....... ok so from an early age I learn it's bad to feel angry.

 

3. Feeling Happy. Stop that running around and making noise. Go to your room and come back when you have settled down....ok so I learn that even

happiness cannot be freely expressed.

 

Now constantly checking in with myself and asking how I am feeling. Don't automatically say "yeh feeling great!!!" when someone asks how you are going.

 

Even last year if someone asked me to see a Psychologist, I would have said "maybe you need that sort of thing but I don't", it all seemed lightweight, theoretical and a stupid idea.

 

A few months ago I was not feeling very good at all, so I started to search through articles on the net and then it dawned on me that I was indeed depressed. I looked up a Psychologist who had experience with families and children. I went to my first appointment, not feeling nervous or ashamed because I decided by myself that it was time to seek help. It was just time to start to face up to myself.

 

I am now making some progress and it is a wonderful thing to start to get to know yourself again and not perceiving every request or critisim as a threat. It is also very scary as you have to learn new skills and also learn to release things locked up tight inside you for many years. It is also quite exciting knowing that you are commiting to yourself rather than others and it all leads to being a more balanced Husband, father, brother & son.

 

Have also started Yoga, which really good for the cycling too!!! and my father in law put on to a great book that I am getting absorbed into now. I'd recommed this as a great practical read:

 

Thomas d'Ansembourg: Stop Being Nice, Start Being Real http://www.amazon.com/Being-Genuine-Stop-N...t/dp/1892005212

 

 

I now really believe that to understand and communicate emotionally with others, you really need to get to know yourself, your feelings of emotion and identify your own personal needs.

 

Now good days feel good (I have a need that has been met) and others not so good (try and figure out what need has not been met and make a request of myself or someone else to help).

 

Understand that you cannot feel happy 24/7 but you can build a tool box to help you understand what you need. Bit like you get a pain in the tummy, you think it may be cancer so you worry. You go see the Dr who tells you it's just constipation & gas. It still hurts, but you now understand what is happening. The same is true of our needs. even though we are not feeling good, understanding what need is not being met offers great comfort.

 

 

Apologies if this post is a bit sketchy, it's really just a brain dump.

 

 

 

Take it easy,

 

Geo.

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Hey George, sorry to hear about your troubles but glad you are getting them sorted.

 

You always seem like such an effervescent, happy and enthusiastic guy, I would never have guessed.

 

Good luck and have a really great Christmas.

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