Author Topic: The Mental Health Thread  (Read 7812 times)

Charlotte

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #180 on: October 28, 2020, 11:22:23 AM »
Any multi-step process drains my mental energy, even basic ones like getting dressed. It shouldn't take me 20 minutes just to change clothes, but there are days I need to regroup and refocus between each step.

I had an idea when reading this and it may be helpful or it may not. It may require too much work to start it but I wanted to mention it in case you do find it useful.

Some people have success using a minimalist wardrobe. For some, this means having a limited number of clothes with preplanned outfits. Others buy multiples of items and wear the same thing every day. For example, they own four pairs of jeans and seven black T-shirts to wear every day. (Or another work appropriate outfit.) They keep it simple for ease of decisions.

I cannot remember where I read this or if it has research to back it up, but some people say you have a limited number of decision making abilities per day. Each time you have to make a decision, you use up some of your limited capacity to make those decisions. One idea behind the minimalist wardrobe is to eliminate some of the nonessential decisions in the morning to “save” the decision muscle for the more important things.

Now, planning a minimalist wardrobe and or/buying a new wardrobe might be far too much to take on right now. But you might try the idea behind it of eliminating any nonessential decisions. As someone else said, offload anything you can to make it easier on yourself.

If it works with your finances, try one of those meal plans where they send you the food precooked (or if you enjoy cooking, perhaps the meal kits) so you don’t have to prepare or think about meals. Just pop it in the microwave. Or frozen dinners.

The easier you can make these tasks, the better. Even a can of soup requires a couple steps that can be eliminated by a frozen dinner. You want to make things as easy to accomplish as possible. The more you can accomplish, the more likely you are to continue to work towards accomplishing things.

I hope this helps. Please keep us updated on how you are doing.

OneMoreYear

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #181 on: October 28, 2020, 11:48:30 AM »
Any multi-step process drains my mental energy, even basic ones like getting dressed. It shouldn't take me 20 minutes just to change clothes, but there are days I need to regroup and refocus between each step.

I had an idea when reading this and it may be helpful or it may not. It may require too much work to start it but I wanted to mention it in case you do find it useful.

Some people have success using a minimalist wardrobe. For some, this means having a limited number of clothes with preplanned outfits. Others buy multiples of items and wear the same thing every day. For example, they own four pairs of jeans and seven black T-shirts to wear every day. (Or another work appropriate outfit.) They keep it simple for ease of decisions.

I cannot remember where I read this or if it has research to back it up, but some people say you have a limited number of decision making abilities per day. Each time you have to make a decision, you use up some of your limited capacity to make those decisions. One idea behind the minimalist wardrobe is to eliminate some of the nonessential decisions in the morning to “save” the decision muscle for the more important things.

Now, planning a minimalist wardrobe and or/buying a new wardrobe might be far too much to take on right now. But you might try the idea behind it of eliminating any nonessential decisions. As someone else said, offload anything you can to make it easier on yourself.

If it works with your finances, try one of those meal plans where they send you the food precooked (or if you enjoy cooking, perhaps the meal kits) so you don’t have to prepare or think about meals. Just pop it in the microwave. Or frozen dinners.

The easier you can make these tasks, the better. Even a can of soup requires a couple steps that can be eliminated by a frozen dinner. You want to make things as easy to accomplish as possible. The more you can accomplish, the more likely you are to continue to work towards accomplishing things.

I hope this helps. Please keep us updated on how you are doing.

Yes, this is exactly what I have done when I had cycles of significant depression and was trying to make as many tasks as easy as possible and reduce decision fatigue. 
For example, after I did laundry on the weekend, I'd hang full outfits on a hanger, and every morning would just grab a hanger and put those clothes on.
Meals were simplified and preplanned (I lose my appetite when I'm that depressed, so nothing sounds good and it's all about eating some calories). So, every day for breakfast would be oatmeal, fruit, & tea, and lunch was a sandwich, yogurt, and small bag of chips (when I was packing lunches to take to the office). For dinners, I'd cook a large portion of a really easy, comfort food dish on Sundays and just heat up a portion every night.  The fewer smaller things I had to decide on gave me more ability to do the more complicated stuff.  I don't know if this would work for you, but it's one of the behavioral things I would do when I was in that kind of mood.
Be gentle with yourself during this time.

smallcleanrat

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #182 on: October 29, 2020, 03:02:31 PM »
Still mentally processing everyone's replies (and thanks so much to those of you who sent me advice through PM; much appreciated!).

Just want to say how grateful I am for all the moral support and practical advice I've gotten from these fora. I've been in such need of some sense of community, and the one I've found here has had a major positive impact.

Will post again soon.

Wishing you all well.

polly_mer

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #183 on: October 30, 2020, 06:20:52 AM »
I'm glad you checked in here, smallcleanrat.  We're here for you.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

little bongo

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #184 on: November 04, 2020, 08:19:58 AM »
Friday it will be two weeks on the buspirone. Periods of calm here and there, with some nascent ability to handle children's meltdowns, followed by periods of my own meltdowns. Still undergoing counseling, with emphasis on self-coaching.

Also--dodged retrenchment for this year, at least. That was an important year, because I finish my 10th year in the spring and get "vested" in July--entitled to a pension, kids attend tuition-free, etc. (Provided there's still a school by then, of course.)

Plus, the McRib, nature's most perfect food, returns December 2. Brighter days ahead...?

apl68

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #185 on: November 04, 2020, 10:19:06 AM »
Plus, the McRib, nature's most perfect food, returns December 2. Brighter days ahead...?

It's always helpful to have something to look forward to!
Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on Earth, where they can decay or be stolen.  Lay up treasures for yourselves in Heaven, where there is no decay or theft.  Where your treasure is, you heart will be also.


You can't take it with you.  You can only send it on ahead.

smallcleanrat

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #186 on: November 24, 2020, 07:31:47 AM »
Started oral ketamine this week. Had first dose at the clinic; didn’t spontaneously combust so they cleared me to continue dosing at home.

Hope this helps because I could really use some relief soon. I want to wake up and live my life. I’ve used up too many years fighting just to stay afloat or regain lost ground; forward progress has been excruciatingly slow. I don’t know how much more time I can afford to lose before my chances for building a future for myself dwindle to nothing. Most of the people currently in my life have never seen me truly well, and it would mean so much to be able to change that.

More than one loved one on more than one occasion has told me that my suicide would be unwanted, yet still something of a relief: a clear endpoint to the relationship allowing them to let go and move on. Because of love, they don’t feel able to just walk away from me, and so they’re trapped with me and my issues and an uncertain future, not know when or even if I’ll ever be better “for good.” And it’s excruciating being on the receiving end of that message, even knowing it’s not an uncommon feeling to have at times regarding a chronically ill loved one.

Every time someone close to me expresses impatience regarding how long I’ve been struggling it kills me a little. I’m trying. I know other people have suffered through worse and showed more resilience, but I’m not them. I admit I’m lacking. All I can do is the best I know how with what I’ve got and who I am.

Morden

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #187 on: November 24, 2020, 09:02:52 AM »
You are not lacking; you are fighting--which is really exhausting. Please keep going to therapy, taking the drugs, playing with Maestro. You are valuable.

smallcleanrat

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #188 on: November 28, 2020, 11:37:28 AM »
You are not lacking; you are fighting--which is really exhausting. Please keep going to therapy, taking the drugs, playing with Maestro. You are valuable.

Thank you, Morden.

Feeling cautiously hopeful the new treatment will help me.

The first 24 hours after the ketamine dose were interesting. Didn’t notice a huge difference, but they told me it takes multiple doses to feel the strongest beneficial effects.

I did feel slightly more activated in that there didn’t seem to be quite so much effort involved to initiate tasks. One thing I noticed was a mild intensification of affectionate feelings: toward boyfriend, cat, labmates...just about everybody I know (even if I didn’t interact with them). It was kinda nice feeling slightly less disconnected.

I did get a distinct break in suicidal ideation (big difference between day before and day after the ketamine). I hope it wasn’t just coincidence.

48 hours after that dose I felt pretty awful (mostly due to migraine pain). Spent Thanksgiving day in bed with a cold pack wrapped around my head. Don’t know if this was some kind of hangover effect or just a normal migraine. Took about 2.5 days for the pain to dissipate.

Next dose is next week, so I’ll get to see if the experience repeats.

Instructions from doctor while trying out this treatment: don’t drive, avoid caffeine and alcohol, don’t make any major life decisions.

Morden

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #189 on: November 29, 2020, 09:51:48 AM »
OK. One dose down, next one coming. Check in with us to let us know how you're doing. Sending all good thoughts.

little bongo

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #190 on: November 29, 2020, 08:41:20 PM »
Same here, smallcleanrat. Good thoughts headed your way.

Charlotte

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #191 on: January 18, 2021, 10:26:47 AM »
Today is apparently Blue Monday (https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/18/health/blue-monday-2021-debunked-wellness-scli-gbr-intl/index.html) and I thought about this thread. How is everyone doing with the start of a new semester?

dr_codex

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #192 on: January 18, 2021, 08:47:55 PM »
Today is apparently Blue Monday (https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/18/health/blue-monday-2021-debunked-wellness-scli-gbr-intl/index.html) and I thought about this thread. How is everyone doing with the start of a new semester?

Well, I'm hoping that my colleagues actually attend the mental heath training. We are routinely offered the chance, and I'm routinely the only person to sign up for it. But I have my fingers crossed: the need is obvious; the delivery will be remote; and, it will be 90 minutes instead of 6 hours.

My students are scared, and confused. I know how they feel.
back to the books.

Charlotte

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #193 on: January 19, 2021, 05:00:13 AM »

Well, I'm hoping that my colleagues actually attend the mental heath training. We are routinely offered the chance, and I'm routinely the only person to sign up for it. But I have my fingers crossed: the need is obvious; the delivery will be remote; and, it will be 90 minutes instead of 6 hours.

My students are scared, and confused. I know how they feel.

I wish my department would offer that training. This semester, all my classes are online and I’ve been trying to think of ways to be supportive and encouraging to the students when everything feels so distant. I’ve thought about posting resources throughout the semester but I’m not sure what or how to best approach it.

I know I’m struggling and I suspect my students might be as well.

smallcleanrat

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #194 on: January 21, 2021, 07:34:13 PM »
Starting a new round of ketamine, higher dose, since whatever benefits I may have had from the first round were extremely short-lived. Going through any kind of treatment and still struggling to function at the end of it feels uncomfortably like failing an exam in school. Like, the instructor did their part but I failed to live up to mine. Sometimes it’s hard to admit to doctors I’m still having issues because it feels like a personal failure at this point.

Severe insomnia now...sometimes feel like jumping off the roof out of sheer desperation to not be conscious anymore. And sometimes because I’m just sick of how useless I am most of the time. Memory is shot, sleeping pills just make me groggy without inducing anything remotely like restorative sleep. Tripping and walking into things a lot. Nothing that can’t be explained by the prolonged sleep deprivation.

Cat cuddles go a long way towards distracting from the misery of sleepless nights. He has a cute little snore I find soothing, and he is at his cuddliest in the wee small hours of the morning. Still need to find a sleep solution soon so I can be productive; being able to get experiments, chores, and errands done is always a strong morale booster. I need some wins soon, even if they’re small ones, to quiet the part of my brain that demands I justify my existence.

Clinging to the fact I was able to give a presentation today and stayed coherent enough to respond to questions and comments. If I can get a decent amount of lab work done tomorrow, so much the better. Might give me some momentum going into next week.