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Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

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Meatyfool
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Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#176894

Postby Meatyfool » October 29th, 2018, 1:25 pm

From the practical legal issues board:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14461

Just trying to get things out there, mostly as a cathartic thing for my present troubles, but I might also print off and show to my GP.

I have had issues with my mental health for a long time, and I think it fair to say that I have never managed to voice my concerns clearly enough to my GP to get to the bottom of it.

So, in a nutshell, I bailed out of a well paid IT career in 2005 after having episodes of "stress" for the previous couple of years. I subsequently spent 16 months off work caring for my newborn son before got a much lower paid part time job without the same level of responsibilities. I had another change of job circa 2010 which was an absolute disaster - what I called a conflict of personalities at the time with one individual. Feeling sick all the time, loss of appetite, feeling like I could cry at the drop of a hat. My capability to think clearly went out of the window and I got sacked (thank god!), but not before having a crash in blood pressure and nearly passing out on one occasion. Got my old job back, and with a transition later on to a slightly different full time role, I have been with the same employer ever since. Count my lucky stars, the job and the people I work with are great.

However, since 2010 I have had a number of incidents that have left their mark on me. Someone maliciously sent me a Police NIP (Notice of Intention to Prosecute for reckless, dangerous or ???? driving) - sorry can't dredge up the last word, begins with I, but my thought processes are so screwed right now, can't bring it up! Nothing ever came of it but I was left sobbing wreck at one point, and had the same issues with loss of appetite, inability to think clearly etc for weeks.

At least one other incident that doesn't spring to mind!

I've been prescribed sleeping tablets to help during the worst times of crisis and had anti-depression tablets for some months as well.

Several months ago, I reported to my GP about my concerns about my memory - not being able to keep things stick. I got a memory clinic appointment which said nothing wrong. I think he got the wrong end of the stick thinking I was concerned about early dementia, but memory issues I can now see are just an example of a wider issue of my thought processes feeling like glue - not being "sharp" and regularly making stupid decisions any other person wouldn't have made.

Bringing things up to the present - I nearly knocked someone down on a zebra crossing a couple of weeks ago which scared the **** out of me - I had been distracted by my sat nav - just another indication of my brain making wrong decisions - I should have paid attention to the road. For a while I went through the same sickening feelings again, catastrophising that I would be reported, but I then suspected that she may have chided herself for not paying attention herself for not looking out for a silent electric car before crossing the road!

This incident was a blessing in disguise because I re-evaluated my decisions leading up to that near miss and did some websearching as a result. I may/may not have suffered from stress, I may/may not have suffered from depression, but the one thing that has never been mentioned is anxiety.

After this incident, I booked a non-emergency appointment with my GP (next month) to discuss this. To my layman's mind, I think I have been suffering from anxiety for years now without the clear cognitive ability to see it.

My eldest son has autism but also significant learning disabilities. Whilst we can leave him at home some of the time to do his own thing; flapping hands, flapping ribbons, playing videos on his ipad, swinging in the garden, lying in bed (teenager!) etc, we have to do everything else for him. My wife has the mental constitution to cope better but I do not. Life is an almost constant series of worries: are the bathrooms locked (floods), are the kitchen/utility taps locked? I hear water - panic and sprint! How large is his nappy? Is he starting nappy dipping again? Has he taken his dirty nappy off? Are the waterproof mattress covers on, or has he pulled them off again? And so on.

Taking him outside is just the same. Put harness and rein on before going out. Walking along the pavement, must remember to put him on the shop side of the pavement, me to the road side. Sirens - are they coming this way? Get him into a shop if possible, cover his ears with hands if not. Motorbikes, same thing. The real punisher though is the knowledge that if I lose concentration or control of him on a pavement and he leaps out into the road and gets hit, I am on the end of a five foot rein before I fly through the air too.

Can I really have been living through anxiety for years? It beggars belief.

I got talking therapy after one of the incidents above, not much use as the event that crystallised my need had long since retreated into the past.

So, big yay for me for finally thinking about anxiety and booking to see my GP about it. And yay again for informing my boss and HR adviser this morning to get their support too.

However, knowing that my mental acuities have been shot (potentially for some time), there may be something in what I have said above that should be screaming out loud and clear to me! Please let me know if so!

Meatyfool..

midnightcatprowl
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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#176945

Postby midnightcatprowl » October 29th, 2018, 6:12 pm

Some small suggestions:

don't rely on being able to properly express your problems when face to face with the doctor. Write it down. Maybe just a version or just a simple copy of your post which started this thread. Take it with you in your hand to refer to and/or give to the doctor (but still take a copy for yourself to refer to) and/or send it to the doctor in advance (but still take a copy with you);

don't feel that doctors are strangers to mental issues be it stress/anxiety/depression whatever. In fact the medical profession tends to be particularly prone to mental issues themselves and not just because of over-work in an NHS setting, it is in fact sort of endemic to the role of a medic. However doctors often find it difficult to get a straight story out of patients in the time allowed for each appointment. People who present mentioning a pain in their foot may actually be feeling suicidal. People who talk of their depression may actually be essentially suffering from a pain in their foot. The more the doctor gets the problems straight from the shoulder, the more likely they are to be able to help. Getting the real and experiences across avoids things like memory tests undertaken because the doc thinks you are worried about early onset dementia when actually your brain is simply frozen by stress and anxiety;

it is a gross over-simplification to say this but one reason why some women cope better with the sort of situation you are talking about than do some men, is simply that women often have more in the way of friendship/acquaintanceship networks (and women often class people as 'friends' on a much slighter acquaintanceship) and feel more able to speak openly to their friends/acquaintances or even just to Fred or Mary in the baker's shop or at the checkout in Tesco about the difficult situations they are dealing with. So women are able to let out a bit of the built up steam at more regular intervals and also feel more supported by even quite casual social interactions. Some men, of course, can do this too, and some women, of course, can't do this, but nevertheless I'm pretty certain that more women have this sort of support than do men. This brings me back to my initial comments. You desperately need to explain to the doctor the situation in which you find yourself and the effects it is having on you. Don't rely on being able to do so 'out of your head' as it were at the point when you walk into the consultation in case you fatally fall back on your habits of social interaction in that sort of situation. Write it down. It is much much easier to say how you really feel and what you are really experiencing and what is happening as a result if you 'say' it in advance on paper rather than relying on the inspiration of the moment when that friendly doctor is saying hello and asking what they can do for you today in the 10 minutes allowed for the appointment.

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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#177079

Postby bungeejumper » October 30th, 2018, 10:52 am

Not a lot to be able to add to what midnightcatprowl has already said, apart from my sincerest best wishes. I am not surprised that you're mixing things up and getting into messes, with all the horrible pressures you've been under recently. The brain has a few inbuilt cut-outs that are designed to keep you in one piece, and you're seeing them. (On a much lower level, during my cancer scare earlier this ear, I found myself utterly unable to make even the most insignificant decisions for a couple of weeks - not even whether I wanted coffee or tea, or how to empty the dishwasher! I could get lost, just moving around the house. Weird. In my case, the confusion passed eventually.)

I will, however, second one of midnightcatprowl's suggestions, which is to write stuff down. Not just for the sake of explaining it to the doctor, but also because it can help to limit the way that the same old worries keep bouncing around endlessly in your brain. Write things down, and you nail them to the floor, and then you know where they are so you won't have to spend the early hours of the morning going through them for the 97th time.

I found this out from personal experience, nearly forty years ago, when I was freshly out of my first marriage. My ex-wife had just been sectioned and was confined in a secure institution (yes, it was that bad), and by god, was I feeling mixed up and exhausted. :roll: So many worries, so much thinking about what had happened and what might happen next, and what could I have done to make things turn out differently? All pretty useless, really, but I needed to get it sorted out in my head so that I could move forward again. Before that, though, I had to stop the same old worries from echoing around my cranium until I could scream with the frustration.

Not being one for pharmaceutical remedies, I wrote a series of letters to myself that (to use that phrase) nailed each complicated issue to the floor so that I knew where to come back and find it, instead of having to re-think it each time. It helped enormously. And eventually, when it was all over, I was able to burn the letters. Maybe give it a try?

With very best wishes

BJ

Meatyfool
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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#177153

Postby Meatyfool » October 30th, 2018, 2:38 pm

MCP, BJ,

Thanks for the replies.

MCP,

You have read my wife to a T. She can natter to someone she has just met in a bus queue as though she has known them for years.

And yes I find it difficult to open up. The people at work are really nice, but I don't socialise with them. I go home and have family to deal with. I have no time to my own - no hobbies. I used to read all the time before kids when commuting by train. I don't exercise!

I will print out my original post to give to my GP - I will expand on it as well, ensuring I get all the symptoms I can "see" down on paper.

Actions: I am in discussion with my boss about rearranging my hours to get a Friday off one week in three - pub lunch/walk with my wife- no kids!
I will pedal the exercise bike at least twice a week while watching telly in the evening. Getting out of the house on my own even for a few hours one evening - perhaps a book in the pub (I've felt that that was selfish before now, leaving my wife at home).

Thanks.

Meatyfool..

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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#177160

Postby chas49 » October 30th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Meatyfool wrote:MCP, BJ,

Thanks for the replies.

MCP,

You have read my wife to a T. She can natter to someone she has just met in a bus queue as though she has known them for years.

And yes I find it difficult to open up. The people at work are really nice, but I don't socialise with them. I go home and have family to deal with. I have no time to my own - no hobbies. I used to read all the time before kids when commuting by train. I don't exercise!

I will print out my original post to give to my GP - I will expand on it as well, ensuring I get all the symptoms I can "see" down on paper.

Actions: I am in discussion with my boss about rearranging my hours to get a Friday off one week in three - pub lunch/walk with my wife- no kids!
I will pedal the exercise bike at least twice a week while watching telly in the evening. Getting out of the house on my own even for a few hours one evening - perhaps a book in the pub (I've felt that that was selfish before now, leaving my wife at home).

Thanks.

Meatyfool..


Great set of actions I think.

Just as a suggestion (may not be right for you, but worth throwing out for consideration):

There is a charity which I volunteer for (and there are other similar schemes throughout the country) called TCV - The Conservation Volunteers (https://www.tcv.org.uk/) who run outdoor volunteering activities (Green Gyms). There is research which shows the mental and physical health benefits of this sort of activity (https://www.tcv.org.uk/greengym/health-benefits).

Why not take a look to see what's in your area? You don't necessarily have to commit to a regular session.

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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#177182

Postby Tempi1 » October 30th, 2018, 3:54 pm

I can relate to a certain extent to the anxiety issues that can build up when caring for an autistic child. My niece is both physically and mentally disabled, along with a diagnosis of autism, and I've seen what caring for my niece has brought about in my sister and brother in law.

Constantly having to be risk aware about places and people can heighten anxiety levels, as well as bring about a strong response to anticipate catastrophes, or 'catastrophising' (if such a word exists).

See if your doctor can help by getting you on a CBT counselling course (Cognative Behavioural Therapy), as that can give good understanding and tools to help one deal with anxiety.

And see if you can get any help in relation to further care for your child, or get you and your wife some proper respite care for you both to take some full/proper time off. See if the doctor can help with this; we were able to do this privately, so I don't know if social services can help.

Don't underestimate the draining effect that can occur when caring for someone with challenging behaviour.

With best wishes in getting help.

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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#177183

Postby Itsallaguess » October 30th, 2018, 3:59 pm

Meatyfool wrote:
I don't exercise!


I think you should try to change this situation as soon as you feel able to. It'll bring you a number of benefits, both mental and physical, over the short, medium and long term.

I do hope you're able to work through your current issues and begin to cope a little better - it really does sound like a lot to have on one plate.

Kind Regards,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#177720

Postby OLTB » November 2nd, 2018, 7:53 am

Itsallaguess wrote:
Meatyfool wrote:
I don't exercise!


I think you should try to change this situation as soon as you feel able to. It'll bring you a number of benefits, both mental and physical, over the short, medium and long term.

I do hope you're able to work through your current issues and begin to cope a little better - it really does sound like a lot to have on one plate.

Kind Regards,

Itsallaguess


Hi Meatyfool and thank you for your post - I wanted to reiterate what Itsallaguess has suggested.

Your life sounds like a bit of a treadmill with no let-up for you and I think exercise (however little) may help. Our eldest has suffered from anxiety since he was a little boy and we had tried to help with this as much as possible - mainly medicine/rest/diet but nothing really worked. During his University years he went into 'party-boy' mode and wore an invisible mask of being centre of attention/organiser of fun events/life and soul of the party. This could only go on for so long and one early morning we were called to the hospital as he had tried to take his own life. As you say in your post, this is a very difficult sentence to write.

We took him home and he left University for the rest of that year - he stayed in his room but at least he was home and we could feed him nutritious things and ensure a regular sleep pattern - things that hadn't been happening which made his anxiety and depression worse.

We then arranged a weekly private counselling session for him which lasted about seven months and after a slow start during which time he could get used to the counsellor, it was as though the flood gates opened and all of his inner worries / demons etc. came flooding out. At the same time I had read that exercise releases serotonin in the brain which is a feel-good chemical and helps with people who have anxiety and depression. I have exercised every week morning for years, however, he isn't in the least bit sporty so it never appealed to him. The counsellor also suggested exercise so we started just going for walks in the country at first (not too long) and the act of going out, walking, being in nature was wonderful and gave us time to chat. Then, out of nowhere, he rented a small patch of land at an allotment nearby and this was a revelation. Turning a muddy, overgrown patch into his own creation has been his turnaround and he is now working full time and looking forward to the future.

So, exercise can mean many things (working outside, in nature, turning soil etc. in my son's case) so I would find out what you think might be something you could do (doesn't have to be gym/swim etc. if that isn't your scene) and try to get outside and do something to get your heart beating faster. Also eat well, get decent sleep and meditate.

With all good wishes for the future, OLTB.

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Re: Feeling like crap - mental health issue again!

#180827

Postby GrandOiseau » November 16th, 2018, 12:51 pm

Just to say I totally agree a hobby or regular me time is essential.


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