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The Mental Health thread

Mental Health  

300 members have voted

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

    • Yes
      97
    • No
      166
    • Maybe - yet to see a doctor about it
      39
  2. 2. Do you know someone who suffers a mental illness

    • Yes
      244
    • No
      31
    • Don't know but suspect they do
      27


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Swish    1
I think many of you are incredibly brave to write your experiences on here.

 

I have another question. I know a few people (both family and friends) with depression/anxiety, and what I'd like to know is how do you know if someone's behaviour is related to their depression or if they're just in a *normal* bad mood or just having a *normal* shitty day? ie. how, as the other person/supporter/friend, do you know when to have empathy and when to ignore the situation as *normal*? At times I have felt that I've either needed to walk on eggshells or been tired of always playing the supporting role when sometimes you'd like support in return. I think I lost my best girlfriend from school to depression. It all became about her and what she could/couldn't handle at whatever given moment. It was tough being her friend. I'm sort of ashamed to say that after a while I just gave up.

Hey Turtle - that's a bit of a tough one. I think the "treatment" for their regular "depressed" behaviour and "having a shitty day" is the same - you just provide positivity ... or simple moral support. As someone said, they don't really have a "bad day here and there", it's just varying degrees. All of their behaviour is related to their depression in one way or another.

 

But it DOES get wearying/hard sometimes and you have to look after yourself first and the person you're supporting second. And sometimes this means you have to walk away from them - sometimes for a little while, sometimes forever. But ultimately - if you're not in a good place yourself, you can't provide the support they need.

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fezza    1

Dave - I admire your committment to your wife, I really do. The more I learn about you, the more and more respect I have for you.

Funny, I was thinking of you today and I will call you during the week... I just dont know what to say.

 

Hohum - you know my email... you know where I work, it you ever want a chat, drop in... I am mostly there.

 

Uber - you know.

 

I think the biggest thing I have learnt is that you want to have to help yourself. People try and understand, hell, even I have tried to understand other people and it is HARD. It is tough to see someone so low and not be able to do a darn thing about it. All you can do is be there in the background.

 

I am no expert. I dont know it all. I have suffered in the past. I have experienced the lowest of lows and it became quite a serious problem many years ago... but that doesnt mean that I understand other people entirely. Everyone is different, everyone copes differently, some people need to lean, some people dont. Some do and dont depending on what day it is.

 

This thread has caused many people to think and that is great. It has made me think and reflect. We are all people at the end of day each with our own struggles. Reaching out to one another is so important in life. Some people cannot do that with the closest people in their life, some people need to just write of forums (you have all been hearing about my life for ages)... however it is done it is a good thing that people are reaching out.

 

Keep reaching out...

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Foxy Lady    21

I just want to say I admire those who have the guts to post about their struggles. I moderate on another forum and have sections for depression etc and there is some pretty raw stuff there, but also some wonderful support.

 

Sites like BlackDog and Beyond Blue are a good resource for those suffering, or those supporting.

 

Wonder to what extent people who (have the good fortune?) to be naturally upbeat find exercise easy, or the reverse, to what extent if depressed excercise becomes particularly difficult or near impossible ...

 

Longshot, I tend to regard myself as one of those people - and while I don't find exercise easy, I have to push myself, I find the benefit feed my positive attitude. I do suffer badly with hormonal issues and since moving overseas and hitting a 'certain age :lol: the lows are very low to the point I am seeking couselling to verbalize and strategize what I am facing in life currently. Having an understanding and caring partner is half the battle won. When I don't exercise for a while and feel down, it's damn hard to get motivated, but a supportive partner makes so much difference.

 

I have learnt a lot lately from Chinese Medicine and it's philosophy - I am blessed to have inherited a strong 'essence' from my parents, hence I am energetic and enthusiastic. I have also done a course in qigong and find this helps balance and focus my qi enormously. It's not weird and mystical. It's main function to to clear 'blockages' of our qi or energy as a way of preventing disease - often cause by all the crap and stuff in our lives. And it's better than being on blood pressure medication too.

Edited by Foxy Lady

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skel    224

I have put the link for the beyond blue website - fantastic resource. http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=89.676

 

There is a distinct difference between a "sad day / sad period" and depression. There are distinct symptoms that will lead to an actual diagnosis. A majority of these symptoms need to have been evident for at least a two week period and include sub catagories of:

 

1. Depressed mood most of the day

2. Less interest or pleasure in all activities

3. Weight loss or gain (when not dieting)

4. Sleeping difficulties

5. Slowed or fastened movements

6. Tiredness or loss of energy

7. Feeling worthless

8. Difficulty concentrating

9. Thoughts of death

 

It is about watching out for others - whether that be your loved one's, family or friends or even work collegues.

 

Working in the disability sector, mental health diagnosis are common for a many clients (often in addition to other disabilities).

 

I too have suffered a short period of depression, in particular about 18 months after my accident. No one around me saw it, I kind of knew, but just didn't care for much of the going ons of the world at the time. I really believe by talking, learning and engaging our knowledge of our own experiences to others, it allows greater understanding.

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gjsven    18

Wow. When I first discovered Transitions I thought it looked like a pretty cool forum. After reading this thread I now know it's a community of really special people.

 

Another bipoliac here with a family history - suffered through my teens but was only properly diagnosed five years ago at 21, after a bit of an 'incident' within an organisation I was a member of. Despite having to deal with destructive influences of other people who refused to acknowledge that it was real, I received good treatment including medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, supportive family and goals to strive for.

 

At 26 I've been pretty well managed and 'normal' for a few years now and with the skills I've developed I like to think I've beaten mental illness. Thats not to say I no longer have the clinical condition or that I won't get recurrences, but I'm confident (through lots of practice!) that I can correct my warped thinking in a way that prevents 'crappy mood' from spiralling into 'crappy mood for a month' or 'I feel like making some toast in the bath'. In any case, these days I maintain my mental health the same way I maintain my bike - regular TLC and fine tuning to ensure years of good service. Treating them both with new toys every now and then is also very important! :lol:

 

I don't want to rant too much on here (I'm really good at writing long-winded essays!) but I will say to those who experience the black dog that there is definitely an end to it and with time and persistence the fog clears. To those of you who (like me) often find your perfectionism creates unrealistic goals and disappointment; think of your goals more as milestones on a journey. Sport is meant to be a journey of self development and discovery - in the grand scheme of things results are just numbers. Don't sacrifice the journey or the development in pursuit of the numbers; Allow the journey to run its course and the numbers will come, and whats more there'll be no reason for disappointment when you've done your best. :lol:

 

PS. Another excellent website and forum is DepressioNet - www.depressionet.com.au

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Swish    1
To those of you who (like me) often find your perfectionism creates unrealistic goals and disappointment; think of your goals more as milestones on a journey.

I will add to this something a friend (who suffers from depression) said to me only yesterday. Like many of us type A/perfectionist people, she suffers from that needs to follow "rules" in order to maintain control of her life. ie I MUST go for a run every day, I MUST do this or that ... which means when you don't, it can derail things a bit.

Something her counsellor told her that I thought was really good and could be used by ANYONE was to have PRINCIPLES rather than rules guiding your everyday behaviour. When you compromise a PRINCIPLE as opposed to breaking a RULE - much easier to deal with and less likely to tip off a downward spiral.

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tri_mel    3
I am feeling quite anxious these days - hard to know whether the feeling is normal or part of a disorder? :lol:

 

 

I have another question. I know a few people (both family and friends) with depression/anxiety, and what I'd like to know is how do you know if someone's behaviour is related to their depression or if they're just in a *normal* bad mood or just having a *normal* shitty day? ie. how, as the other person/supporter/friend, do you know when to have empathy and when to ignore the situation as *normal*?

 

Wow. This thread is fantastic.

 

I work in mental health as a nurse and reading this is very inspiring that people are brave enough to open up about their past and current struggles with their mental health issues. Very corageous as well as inspiring! We need more public knowledge and education about mental illness so it is not a "tabu" topic that is too uncomfortable to talk about.

 

On the subject of what is "normal mood swings" compared to "depression" - the clinical answer is a lowered mood for a period of at least a few months for a diagnosis of depression. But I believe it is also individual.

If you are able to pick yourself up out of your low moods and are still able to enjoy the things you used to enjoy, then that would suggest you are experiencing the usual high and lows of life.

If your moods persist for a longer period of time and you lose interest in things that you used to enjoy, lose weight, lose motivation and just generally feel crap, then that would suggest there might be more of a problem that you would need to seek help for. Hope this helps...

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Pumpkin    0
...the clinical answer is a lowered mood for a period of at least a few months for a diagnosis of depression.... But I believe it is also individual.

If you are able to pick yourself up out of your low moods and are still able to enjoy the things you used to enjoy, then that would suggest you are experiencing the usual high and lows of life....

 

Thanks Mel - I will refer to your expert diagnosis and consider myself "normal" :lol:

Edited by Pumpkin

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uberbiker    32
Apparently 1 in 5 Australians suffer from a mental illness, I wonder if there will be 20% of Trannies?

 

1 in 3 on this site :lol:

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Sunset    0
1 in 3 on this site :lol:

 

Maybe there is a link between triathlon and mental illness? :lol:

 

 

Sorry, don't mean to make light of it. I actually take anti-depressants myself.

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Bored@work    1,439
Dave - I admire your committment to your wife, I really do. The more I learn about you, the more and more respect I have for you.

Funny, I was thinking of you today and I will call you during the week... I just dont know what to say.

 

 

Try with something like this

 

"Dave ya tosser what ya been up to" It's the way most of my mates start a converstation when they call :lol:

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A Zed    7
Maybe there is a link between triathlon and mental illness? :lol:

 

 

Sorry, don't mean to make light of it. I actually take anti-depressants myself.

maybe more of a link with those with the addicitve/ocd nature that spend far too much time browsing tri forums :D eg me :lol:

On a positive note, after some serious resting the last week or so im definitely feeling less anxious, unfortunately that has blown my BL chances out of the water, and at the same time created an alternative problem causing its own anxiety due to losing all fitness and eating crap food. Now hopefully when I start serious (half arsed training seems to have been part of the problem) training again as of tomorrow I can get back on top of Everything.

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Bored@work    1,439
Bord@work - It sounds like your wife is lucky to have you :D

 

 

Na I'm lucky to have her.

 

I still leave dirty clothes on the floor & never put away my clean clothes. Only just learnt to put the toilet seat back down :D I guess no matter how old you are or how long you have been together you can always strive to be a better man (or partner)

 

Next goal is to learn how to cook :D;) Apparently chicken wraps, toastie toasties, curry & BBQ get a bit boring after a while.

 

My biggest challenge at the moment is trying to support my wife as she aims to drop 25kg - man it's tuff need to choose my words very,very carefully :lol::lol: I'm now the one that's hiding lollies around the house :blink:;)

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Bored@work    1,439
Oh maaaan, you are WHIPPED! :D

 

 

I live in a house with three females (4 if you include the dog) - I'm lucky they haven't voted me off the island :lol::lol:

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Swish    1
Only just learnt to put the toilet seat back down

I know this is a thread hi-jack ... but I am a female, I live with my husband and father-in-law ... I never get angry when they leave the toilet set up, not even when it means I fall into the toilet in the middle of the night (no I don't turn the light on, I am an expert at going in my sleep :lol:). Guys have to put the toilet seat up when they go, so I am not sure why it's so hard for us chicks to put it down again!

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bulldog    48
I know this is a thread hi-jack ... but I am a female, I live with my husband and father-in-law ... I never get angry when they leave the toilet set up, not even when it means I fall into the toilet in the middle of the night (no I don't turn the light on, I am an expert at going in my sleep :lol:). Guys have to put the toilet seat up when they go, so I am not sure why it's so hard for us chicks to put it down again!

 

 

 

 

what is worse? a guy who leaves the seat down and gets some pee on it with a bad aim or just leaves it up?

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Guest Turtle   
Guest Turtle
I know this is a thread hi-jack ... but I am a female, I live with my husband and father-in-law ... I never get angry when they leave the toilet set up, not even when it means I fall into the toilet in the middle of the night (no I don't turn the light on, I am an expert at going in my sleep :lol: ). Guys have to put the toilet seat up when they go, so I am not sure why it's so hard for us chicks to put it down again!

 

 

No - we shouldn't be hijacking such an important thread but whilst we're there....sorry Swish, have to disagree on this one. It's also easy for chicks to open doors, walk on the road side etc. but for me it comes down to manners and chivalry and is a good indicator of someone's level of upbringing and their ability to think of others. Give me a gentleman any day.

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nealo    1,280
No - we shouldn't be hijacking such an important thread but whilst we're there....sorry Swish, have to disagree on this one. It's also easy for chicks to open doors, walk on the road side etc. but for me it comes down to manners and chivalry and is a good indicator of someone's level of upbringing and their ability to think of others. Give me a gentleman any day.

 

And this is why us guy's get so confused! :lol:

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Otter    112

Post cancer I struggle with moderate to severe anxiety. There is no cure.

 

I self medicate with really strong coffee (it's a desensitisation agent), red wine, tri training and hanging out with my friends. When this fails I can always turn on who ever happens to be the most annoying customer of the day. You know who you are...

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Swish    1
what is worse? a guy who leaves the seat down and gets some pee on it with a bad aim or just leaves it up?

what's worse is guys that miss the toilet altogether ...

 

back on topic now. Sorry for the hijack! I echo the sentiments of Tri Mel - I think it's wonderful that people have been so open and forthcoming about their experience with mental illness. We are definitely moving forward as a world with regard to this.

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Guest Turtle   
Guest Turtle
I think many of you are incredibly brave to write your experiences on here.

 

I have another question. I know a few people (both family and friends) with depression/anxiety, and what I'd like to know is how do you know if someone's behaviour is related to their depression or if they're just in a *normal* bad mood or just having a *normal* shitty day? ie. how, as the other person/supporter/friend, do you know when to have empathy and when to ignore the situation as *normal*? At times I have felt that I've either needed to walk on eggshells or been tired of always playing the supporting role when sometimes you'd like support in return. I think I lost my best girlfriend from school to depression. It all became about her and what she could/couldn't handle at whatever given moment. It was tough being her friend. I'm sort of ashamed to say that after a while I just gave up.

 

 

Irony and tragedy. I can't believe I'm even writing this post after having written that above post only a number of days ago.

 

Yesterday I received a devastating phonecall to hear that this girlfriend just took her own life. Tall, blonde, blue-eyed, 36, dux of our school, a doctor, married to an Olympian and with two beautiful blonde littlies under the age of 3. It all sounds picture perfect and yet, for years and years she has struggled with depression and an eating disorder. It obviously just became too much.

 

In a way, I can't believe I wrote that post and still then, didn't take it as a cue to call. I gave up a while back because I lack the understanding and knowledge of how to deal with others in that situation. I am so fortunate to not know those depths of despair but that is no excuse not to at least lob the occasional "hello" into an inbox or go for coffee, whatever. I will live with that shame/regret for the rest of my life. I should never have given up on someone - especially a best buddy.

 

I guess what I want to say is:

Hug your loved ones tight and TELL them you love them. Don't assume they feel it and don't let them assume they're loved.

Forgive your foes. Who knows what they're going through.

Never hide behind work or triathlon or some other activity if you're crumbling inside, just for the sake of scrambling for some normality.

and Never EVER walk alone with the black dog. There is always someone who would willingly walk with you.

 

..may she finally have found her peace...

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Swish    1
Irony and tragedy. I can't believe I'm even writing this post after having written that above post only a number of days ago.

 

Yesterday I received a devastating phonecall to hear that this girlfriend just took her own life. Tall, blonde, blue-eyed, 36, dux of our school, a doctor, married to an Olympian and with two beautiful blonde littlies under the age of 3. It all sounds picture perfect and yet, for years and years she has struggled with depression and an eating disorder. It obviously just became too much.

 

In a way, I can't believe I wrote that post and still then, didn't take it as a cue to call. I gave up a while back because I lack the understanding and knowledge of how to deal with others in that situation. I am so fortunate to not know those depths of despair but that is no excuse not to at least lob the occasional "hello" into an inbox or go for coffee, whatever. I will live with that shame/regret for the rest of my life. I should never have given up on someone - especially a best buddy.

 

I guess what I want to say is:

Hug your loved ones tight and TELL them you love them. Don't assume they feel it and don't let them assume they're loved.

Forgive your foes. Who knows what they're going through.

Never hide behind work or triathlon or some other activity if you're crumbling inside, just for the sake of scrambling for some normality.

and Never EVER walk alone with the black dog. There is always someone who would willingly walk with you.

 

..may she finally have found her peace...

Turtle - one of the first things you learn when you receive counselling as a "support" person for someone with mental illness is ... you are not responsible for their happiness and you are not responsible for their actions. And you have to look after yourself first and foremost before you can provide good support for them.

 

It is such a tragedy that your friend took her life :lol:

 

But ultimately - your actions/inaction were NOT responsible. Do not take ownership for her actions, simply grieve for your friend that her illness was so overwhelming that all the love she obviously had in her life could not overcome it.

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Jeffro    0

I'm writting this and hoping those that have some form of thinking illness, note thinking illness - not always the same as mental illness. I think as triathletes we let ourselves be taken over by thought process and this is seperate to who we really are (ie) the real you and the fake one -the thinking ego that does so much damage and causes so many cases of anxiety and depression. You can believe me when I tell you that if you get a grip on what anxiety and depression really are they tend to lose a lot of their power over you.

 

I'm not a yogi swami or even particularly religieous but anyone with these problems I urge you to read a book from a man by the name of Eckhart Tolle, called a New Earh, Awakening your life's purpose. It gives an incredible insight into what is causing all these problems at the moment and what you can do to straighten yourself out, it is an epidemic and a change must come - read this book, it will blow your doors off.

 

Best,

 

Jeff.

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