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Johnoco

Suicide/Mental Issues

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7 hours ago, Dunedan said:

Great article.

Andy's Man Club is a real life saver. I've seen men walk through the door in a pit of misery and despair, and by the end we've gone through tears and had a laugh and the smiles on faces at the end are a joy to behold. I've seen men who, 6 months on, are completely different people - smiling, joking, full of life. It is amazing what can happen at those groups.

I've been there myself. I had a break down. I did the counselling, went to support groups, and 4 months later I was considering how easy it would be to just step in front of a train. Or a lorry. Or a bus. It got to the stage that I was crossing the road if I saw a lorry half a mile away, just so I wouldn't be tempted.

I remember my first session at AMC after that point. I remember talking about all of these feelings. I remember sitting there, tears streaming down my face, as I told complete strangers about all these thoughts and feelings I had. One guy said to me "I'm glad you're here mate". Those men, total strangers, now good friends, got me through those incredibly dark times. They talked me through it, nodding along because many had been there themselves. I got through it. When life threw a curveball at me a couple of months later, they got me through that as well.

That was 6 months ago. And while the memories of those times are incredibly vivid, that is all they are. AMC saved my life, I am convinced of that. But it's not been a one way street. I know for a fact that some of the stuff I have shared in that group has helped other people with what they are going through. That is the wonder of the group.

There are no "top trumps". No-one's problems are bigger or worse than anyone else's. Everyone's feelings are valid and accepted. You don't even have to talk, not if you don't want to. But it's strange, when the ball gets to you, how easy it is.

It's OK to talk. It's OK not to be OK. 

Indeed.

It is part of human experience to feel bad, down, depressed, full of despair at times. Feeling these things does not mean we are defective, strange, mad, weak, losing it etc. Having these experiences does not mean there is something fundamentally wrong with us as individuals. 

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4 hours ago, longboard said:

Indeed.

It is part of human experience to feel bad, down, depressed, full of despair at times. Feeling these things does not mean we are defective, strange, mad, weak, losing it etc. Having these experiences does not mean there is something fundamentally wrong with us as individuals. 

This post reminded me of a section of Matt Haig's book Reasons to Stay Alive (which I recommend for absolutely anyone with any interest in mental health issues): "“Talk. Listen. Encourage talking. Encourage listening. Keep adding to the conversation. Stay on the lookout for those wanting to join in the conversation. Keep reiterating, again and again, that depression is not something you ‘admit to’, it is not something you have to blush about, it is a human experience.”

At work we had the follow up mental health discussion, and I like to think it has made it easier for the next time someone needs to speak to their manager or colleague about mental health issues if nothing else. I've now spoken to the managers in my part of the business, so 100 or so people will be engaging in these discussions over the next few weeks. 

Yesterday at one of the unis I coach we had the State of Mind guys come in, and they were really good. We had 25 students attend, lots of whom have possibly never spoke about their mental health before, and I think we're going to aim to make it an annual thing, every October to cater for the new students we get each year. I'm also aiming to get Outlaws to have a similar session, along with a State of Mind round this year. 

I don't say this for a pat on the back, but to illustrate that there is always something that we can do to help move us towards mental health parity. 

On a more personal note, I think I've found the combination to keep my brain relatively healthy. 2g Omega 3s a day, 5000 iu Vitamin D a day, at least 10 minutes of meditation every single day, yoga 3-4 days a week and general social/sporting habits. I only wish I had taken up meditation and yoga sooner! 

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Struggling a little at the moment because on so many fronts I'm in situations I don't want to be in but also it's my own fault I'm in these situations. It's a double hit of sadness. For example my obesity, I hate it but it's my own fault that I'm still a lazy, greedy phuckwit.

Edited by hindle xiii
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7 hours ago, hindle xiii said:

Struggling a little at the moment

Really sorry to hear that Hindle. Obviously not much any of us can say to make everything instantly okay but, in our own gruff way, we're always here with something approaching a manly nod of understanding and an ability to listen.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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8 hours ago, hindle xiii said:

Struggling a little at the moment because on so many fronts I'm in situations I don't want to be in but also it's my own fault I'm in these situations. It's a double hit of sadness. For example my obesity, I hate it but it's my own fault that I'm still a lazy, greedy phuckwit.

cut yourself a little slack here!

I'm overweight as well and an important thing to realise that you can’t change everything wholesale in your life. Make a list of improvements you want to make, make them small and incremental, focus on one small change for about 2 weeks and move on to the next one. 

Personally I've found making a list and focusing on it is one of the ways I can help myself get through things. Give yourself a mental high five every time you make a positive step. In our lives it’s not boom and bust. I’ve really struggled on the health side of things since I was hospitalised last year. I’ve come up with a plan and I’ve set it up to start swimming again tomorrow. 

If you want to pm me to talk about anything, just do it!

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20 hours ago, hindle xiii said:

Struggling a little at the moment because on so many fronts I'm in situations I don't want to be in but also it's my own fault I'm in these situations. It's a double hit of sadness. For example my obesity, I hate it but it's my own fault that I'm still a lazy, greedy phuckwit.

Sorry to hear that hindle. The fact you can talk about it here and maybe elsewhere a good sign . Have you got any small incremental steps you can do to make things better? 

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21 hours ago, hindle xiii said:

Struggling a little at the moment because on so many fronts I'm in situations I don't want to be in but also it's my own fault I'm in these situations. It's a double hit of sadness. For example my obesity, I hate it but it's my own fault that I'm still a lazy, greedy phuckwit.

I think, and I can be very wrong, that most people have some self-hatred and some self-destructive tendencies. When those tendencies are comfortable, then people get to express that dark side in a cozy way. Alcohol, food etc. 

Beating yourself up will not help. It is like having an imaginary friend who hates you and then encouraging him. 

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"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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I've been pretty depressed for the last month or two and I think particularly concerned about that given it is no longer Winter (when symptoms typically peak for me). What struck me most was the complete loss of pleasure from things I usually enjoy, though generally I have continued to show up at least! 

I had my first doctor's appointment in 5 years on Friday - I have previously just learned to manage things myself. The doctor said he was actually quite impressed at my self-awareness and how well I've seemingly managed things previously. Given the typical stuff (meditation, exercise, yoga, gratitude diary, omega 3s, vitamin D, sunshine) etc don't seem to be working, I started SSRIs yesterday. I have a reasonable degree of scepticism about anti-depressants but that might be a good position to be in. It seems like the first week or two are meant to be worst in side effects, and today I was very jittery this morning, but that is the only side effect so far at least! 

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24 minutes ago, Saint 1 said:

I've been pretty depressed for the last month or two and I think particularly concerned about that given it is no longer Winter (when symptoms typically peak for me). What struck me most was the complete loss of pleasure from things I usually enjoy, though generally I have continued to show up at least! 

I had my first doctor's appointment in 5 years on Friday - I have previously just learned to manage things myself. The doctor said he was actually quite impressed at my self-awareness and how well I've seemingly managed things previously. Given the typical stuff (meditation, exercise, yoga, gratitude diary, omega 3s, vitamin D, sunshine) etc don't seem to be working, I started SSRIs yesterday. I have a reasonable degree of scepticism about anti-depressants but that might be a good position to be in. It seems like the first week or two are meant to be worst in side effects, and today I was very jittery this morning, but that is the only side effect so far at least! 

Good work on the effort you put in so far. 

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"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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Anti depressants worked for me but they do take time to kick in, I'd say maybe two weeks before you'll feel a benefit. It's a day at a time until then. Fingers crossed you feel better soon. The only side effects I had were good. PM if you want to know what they were.

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces
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47 minutes ago, Saint 1 said:

I've been pretty depressed for the last month or two and I think particularly concerned about that given it is no longer Winter (when symptoms typically peak for me). What struck me most was the complete loss of pleasure from things I usually enjoy, though generally I have continued to show up at least! 

I had my first doctor's appointment in 5 years on Friday - I have previously just learned to manage things myself. The doctor said he was actually quite impressed at my self-awareness and how well I've seemingly managed things previously. Given the typical stuff (meditation, exercise, yoga, gratitude diary, omega 3s, vitamin D, sunshine) etc don't seem to be working, I started SSRIs yesterday. I have a reasonable degree of scepticism about anti-depressants but that might be a good position to be in. It seems like the first week or two are meant to be worst in side effects, and today I was very jittery this morning, but that is the only side effect so far at least! 

I still have days when I am literally shaking with anxiety and I have no idea why. So I come on here and yell at some quitlings until I feel better.

For me, it’s only ever one day at a time. There are a lot more good days than bad days (and the bad are so far from being as bad as they once were) but I don’t think the job’s ever going to be properly done.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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58 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

I still have days when I am literally shaking with anxiety and I have no idea why. So I come on here and yell at some quitlings until I feel better.

For me, it’s only ever one day at a time. There are a lot more good days than bad days (and the bad are so far from being as bad as they once were) but I don’t think the job’s ever going to be properly done.

it's a bit like going over badly on your ankle. You can get right again but if your not careful you can go over on it again. I've found the  bouts last less time and the intervals between them are greater as time goes by. 

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2 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

I've been pretty depressed for the last month or two and I think particularly concerned about that given it is no longer Winter (when symptoms typically peak for me). What struck me most was the complete loss of pleasure from things I usually enjoy, though generally I have continued to show up at least! 

I had my first doctor's appointment in 5 years on Friday - I have previously just learned to manage things myself. The doctor said he was actually quite impressed at my self-awareness and how well I've seemingly managed things previously. Given the typical stuff (meditation, exercise, yoga, gratitude diary, omega 3s, vitamin D, sunshine) etc don't seem to be working, I started SSRIs yesterday. I have a reasonable degree of scepticism about anti-depressants but that might be a good position to be in. It seems like the first week or two are meant to be worst in side effects, and today I was very jittery this morning, but that is the only side effect so far at least! 

Do you have someone to talk to about things?  The relief valve is something a good friend and I share and it works wonders for both of us. We’ve both got wives who struggle badly with health issues so we can’t go to them to vent, it was getting to both of us until we realised support was so essential for us as well as carers. Another good friend of mine goes to church once a month or so to talk to the vicar there, even though she’s absolutely non-religious, she just appreciates the absolute independence, confidentiality and most importantly the caring attitude (and free nature!) of the church.

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"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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3 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Anti depressants worked for me but they do take time to kick in, I'd say maybe two weeks before you'll feel a benefit. It's a day at a time until then. Fingers crossed you feel better soon. The only side effects I had were good. PM if you want to know what they were.

Yeah I'm expecting that, though I'm trying to treat it with a degree of curiosity. I've found I have loads more energy and focus today than usual which is quite interesting...though meditation has been impossible! My girlfriend has actually been on the same medication previously (Sertraline) so I at least have a reasonable idea of what to expect.

1 hour ago, ckn said:

Do you have someone to talk to about things?  The relief valve is something a good friend and I share and it works wonders for both of us. We’ve both got wives who struggle badly with health issues so we can’t go to them to vent, it was getting to both of us until we realised support was so essential for us as well as carers. Another good friend of mine goes to church once a month or so to talk to the vicar there, even though she’s absolutely non-religious, she just appreciates the absolute independence, confidentiality and most importantly the caring attitude (and free nature!) of the church.

Yeah I've got quite a few people actually, I think I've been lucky in that I'm quite willing to talk about my depression. My rugby mates have all been brilliant which has been a huge help, and my girlfriend has too. I've also had conversations previously with my manager at work about it so he can make accomodations there too.

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6 minutes ago, Saint 1 said:

Yeah I'm expecting that, though I'm trying to treat it with a degree of curiosity. I've found I have loads more energy and focus today than usual which is quite interesting...though meditation has been impossible! My girlfriend has actually been on the same medication previously (Sertraline) so I at least have a reasonable idea of what to expect.

Yeah I've got quite a few people actually, I think I've been lucky in that I'm quite willing to talk about my depression. My rugby mates have all been brilliant which has been a huge help, and my girlfriend has too. I've also had conversations previously with my manager at work about it so he can make accomodations there too.

Meditation can be dodgy if you start from scratch in a depressed state. You spend a few minutes being aware of it, then stop it. Unless you see it pass, it might not help. And it can be like being very obese then trying to train for a marathon. Also, you have probably lost zest for life, trying to sit and focus will be harder and not directly address that  

Rugby mates can be great. It can be harder on the girlfriend, so that is really impressive. Good luck to you. 


"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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3 hours ago, gingerjon said:

I still have days when I am literally shaking with anxiety and I have no idea why. So I come on here and yell at some quitlings until I feel better.

Maybe you could think twice about doing that in future.  Have you considered that the quitlings may be struggling human beings also?

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I struggle sometimes, I struggle sometimes to look at the screen that I'm typing on.

I struggle to get out of bed most mornings.

even when I have work, even when I have nothing to do, 

I struggle to the Job(less) Centre, & home again,

I struggle to go swimming in the sea, or the Baths,

I Struggle to search work,

I Struggle not to.

I Struggle to go to 7 meetings of AA,

I Struggle to survive & not drink.

I struggle, again, and again, over, and over,

But I'm here. 


Sex and Money are like Oxygen

They're not important until you're not getting enough.

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1 minute ago, Bleep1673 said:

I struggle sometimes, I struggle sometimes to look at the screen that I'm typing on.

I struggle to get out of bed most mornings.

even when I have work, even when I have nothing to do, 

I struggle to the Job(less) Centre, & home again,

I struggle to go swimming in the sea, or the Baths,

I Struggle to search work,

I Struggle not to.

I Struggle to go to 7 meetings of AA,

I Struggle to survive & not drink.

I struggle, again, and again, over, and over,

But I'm here. 

The day I die, no-one on this board will attend my funeral. That makes me content.


Sex and Money are like Oxygen

They're not important until you're not getting enough.

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10 hours ago, Saintslass said:

Maybe you could think twice about doing that in future.  Have you considered that the quitlings may be struggling human beings also?

I have often noted that quitlings struggle as human beings.

But to go further would be unfair on this supportive thread.

It was only a flippant, throw-away comment. Sometimes I find this board helpful, sometimes it really isn't.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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10 hours ago, Bleep1673 said:

The day I die, no-one on this board will attend my funeral. That makes me content.

Just to annoy you, I'll be there.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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52 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Just to annoy you, I'll be there.

Next Thursday, Hastings Crem.


Sex and Money are like Oxygen

They're not important until you're not getting enough.

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17 hours ago, Saintslass said:

Maybe you could think twice about doing that in future.  Have you considered that the quitlings may be struggling human beings also?

This board is the last place you need to be if you have anxiety problems.

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4 hours ago, hindle xiii said:

Last night I read this sentence;

Being silent isn't being strong.

This is actually part of how I have reframed my depression and in particular talking about it more openly. I think at times it can feel a bit weak to be sad over nothing or to feel that without good reason, you don't want to do the things you usually enjoy. If I can 1) continue to live my life 2) talk about it with others, then I'm actually doing something which makes me pretty tough! 

Anti-depressants have been genuinely life-changing since I started them two months ago. I think I already was pretty good in terms of dealing with my depression, for example I'd still exercise, have a social life, not miss work and so on, but it feels like I now have a new "normal". I'm exercising loads more, actively making plans rather than just responding to others, I have a lot more energy (particularly in the mornings) and my mood is better. The doctor said he hardly ever sees such a positive response, particularly so quickly, so I do wonder if the other work I was doing for my depression has made a difference. It's all the more surprising because having read a lot on the subject of depression, I know the issues that anti-depressants often have and how they can often be comparably effective to placebo - I didn't expect them to work for me really. 

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