Author Topic: The Mental Health Thread  (Read 16006 times)

Charlotte

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #285 on: October 05, 2021, 05:40:48 AM »
Smallcleanrat,

I agree with Mamselle and glendower. The work you put in daily proves you are not a snowflake or weak or any other negative thing you are telling yourself right now. Most people wouldn’t have the strength to get through one day of what you deal with and look at you! Pushing on and working daily to fight for yourself. If I’m not mistaken, you are in a PhD program. That is hard work and you are doing it on top of everything else!

Any therapist who dismisses the value of animal therapy has not kept up with the current research. I’m glad it was a former therapist, but get their crazy ideas out of your head. The research clearly shows the value and importance of animal therapy. As a scientist, would it help you to read some of the research on it? If so, I’d do that.

AmLitHist

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #286 on: October 05, 2021, 08:04:30 AM »
It's been a tough few months, with ALHS's health problems flaring up, and my own have been also, in response. Add in the general state of the world, the nimrod admins I work for, and....yeah. At my recent doctor visit, I saw in the summary note he upgraded (downgraded?) me from "minor depression" to "major depressive disorder."

Still, I'm not in a truly bad place; rather, like some have expressed here, there's just a "treadmill" kind of pall hanging over me, with the sense that it's always the same shit, different day, ad infinitum.  In an odd way, I appreciate knowing that others here are having similar experiences--not that I wish this on anyone, but, you know. It's just hard to find motivation to get things done.

apl68

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #287 on: October 06, 2021, 07:11:45 AM »
I want to be a self-sufficient, resilient, functional adult, but it feels too often like an unattainable goal.

You are not alone there.  Some of us, for whatever reason, have brains that flake out on us now and then.  I've been dealing with that for most of my life, off and on.  Only yesterday I came in to work, rested and ready to work, and then found some mental block descending on me from out of nowhere.  I was unable to even start working on anything but the most trivial tasks.  I spent hours at work, getting more and more wound-up over my inability to function, until I felt like I had to be anywhere else.  I finally had to tell the assistant director that I would not be back from lunch.  A whole working day completely wasted, and I'm supposed to be the boss.  Today I face a lot of bill paying and payroll work, which is routine business that I should have little trouble with.  But I still have in the back of my mind this dread over all the long-term planning tasks that I couldn't face yesterday.

I'm much better now than I was early last year, but these episodes still happen now and then.  They've held me back from accomplishing everything I've felt I could and should have accomplished in life.  On most days I feel like a mediocrity at best.  And yet, somehow, I have over the years come to be a respected member of the community, and a respected colleague in regional professional circles.  I've always supposed that I've just been a successful imposter.  But I've come to realize that all these people have had plenty of time to see through any imposture by now.  Evidently I've managed to accomplish some worthwhile things in spite of myself.  I suspect that, with persistence, you'll eventually come to a similar realization.

Paul of Tarsus once spoke of having what he called a "thorn in the flesh"--some chronic difficulty, which he never specified, that held him back.  This was over and above the recurring religious persecutions that he faced.  He said of this "thorn:"

"I begged the Lord three times to take it from me.  And he said to me, `My grace is enough for you; my strength is perfected in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ will rest on me.  That is why, for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."

The paradox that Paul talks about there has been my experience in life.  It's the best explanation I can find for why some of us have to deal with the sorts of things we talk about on this thread.  It's why others have to deal with other sorts of issues.  They are encouragements to us to have persistence, and to rely on sources of strength beyond ourselves.

So we're just going to have to deal with it.  But that doesn't have to be all a bad thing.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 07:14:20 AM by apl68 »
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far greater weight of glory; while we look not at the things which we can see, but at those which are unseen.  For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

mamselle

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #288 on: October 06, 2021, 07:25:25 AM »
+1

And sometimes, it's the feeling that something is wrong that needs to be listened to, because some part of our mysterious selves has caught a whiff of a problem that everyone else is passing off as a bit of stray methane in the air.

Others often don't help, trying to paper over a problem that needs to be addressed rather than ignored. It's not always a bowl of laughs, being the prophetic person in the room who sees where the train is heading if it isn't rerouted or stopped, but honoring the truth you know to be true about yourself or a situation is the right way to go.

We grow in courage as we handle these things, and find the strength to overcome them, somehow, if we just start.

(And some days, the Sabbath you need isn't always on a Sunday or Saturday, Apl68. Maybe you just needed that day off for perspective, too.)

Honor yourself as gift, even the thorny parts.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Cheerful

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #289 on: October 06, 2021, 02:11:34 PM »
A whole working day completely wasted, and I'm supposed to be the boss.

That's OK, apl68.  I know of no one who is 100% productive, 100% of the time.  Maybe be more gentle with yourself?  Everyone has an "off" day, even a whole off week, every so often.  Normal and human.

little bongo

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #290 on: October 08, 2021, 12:04:30 PM »
It's a good reminder for all of us to be gentle with ourselves. I've had an "off" 57 years, but I'm cautiously optimistic about tomorrow.

mamselle

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #291 on: October 08, 2021, 12:26:31 PM »
That's courage.

I hope you get it.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Charlotte

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #292 on: October 10, 2021, 06:37:58 PM »
I am discouraged. It feels like I am being blocked at every turn as I try to do research, find a better job, and improve any area of my life. I feel that my value in this world has gone into the negative and that I am not worth the effort anymore.

Here goes another week of pretending to be worth something.

Morden

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #293 on: October 10, 2021, 08:01:39 PM »
Hi Charlotte, I think a lot of academics associate our value with our achievements (first grades, and then later grants, publications, awards, positions, prestige, etc.). But what if you are worth something simply by being you? I watched a video once when I was depressed (I'm sorry I can't remember the author or title); he talked about all the myriad ways we interact with the world around us without even paying attention, and how those people we don't even know would be different without us. I know it sounds a bit like "It's a Wonderful Life," but I remember crying when I thought about being worth something simply by existing. You are valuable.

little bongo

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #294 on: October 10, 2021, 08:21:14 PM »
+1

Charlotte, I've made too many stupid and downright horrible mistakes to consider myself a smart man, but I do have some value. And so do you. As much as you can, try to put a team together--go-to friends, relatives, a therapist or an analyst--people who will listen to you and be there for you, whether it's because they love you or because it's their job to help you.

Also give yourself some pleasure or peace each day--whether it's breathing for a few minutes, some kind of exercise, a favorite food or something sweet (or all of those things, if you can fit them in). You can consider it a reward for showing up.

And if it helps to vent here... well, yeah, do that, too.

apl68

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #295 on: October 25, 2021, 12:50:57 PM »
My mother (late 70s) has been gradually getting forgetful in recent years.  While visiting with her late last week, I noticed that these senior moments have been reaching alarming levels.  She didn't recognize a pillow that she had set on a bed as something that she had put there.  And she suddenly no longer remembered what panini is.  Dad has expressed concern recently about her memory.  I now understand why.  I had always supposed, based on family history, that this would happen with Dad first.

Now I'm getting very worried about both of them.  Up to now they've been doing quite well.  But in the nature of things I'm going to watch them both die within the next few years. 
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far greater weight of glory; while we look not at the things which we can see, but at those which are unseen.  For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Morden

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #296 on: October 26, 2021, 08:45:11 AM »
Hi apl68, It's really hard watching parents age. There is a caring for elderly parents thread that might have some coping advice, but it hasn't been very active lately. I don't know how easy it is for your parents to access health care, but it might be worth having your mom go in to see a doctor just to check her over and see if there's anything odd in bloodwork, etc.

dr_codex

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #297 on: October 26, 2021, 05:03:39 PM »
My mother (late 70s) has been gradually getting forgetful in recent years.  While visiting with her late last week, I noticed that these senior moments have been reaching alarming levels.  She didn't recognize a pillow that she had set on a bed as something that she had put there.  And she suddenly no longer remembered what panini is.  Dad has expressed concern recently about her memory.  I now understand why.  I had always supposed, based on family history, that this would happen with Dad first.

Now I'm getting very worried about both of them.  Up to now they've been doing quite well.  But in the nature of things I'm going to watch them both die within the next few years.

My mom is around the same age; my dad is almost a decade older. When we all started to notice his short-term memory gaps, mom took him for some cognitive testing. It won't stop or reverse anything, but it does provide some baselines for monitoring.

Coincidentally, my parents are visiting for the first time since COVID came into our lives. I've been so concerned about their physical mobility (ack! install a handrail!), that I haven't had much time to probe their mental acuity. That's probably a good sign.

I'm looking forward, and thinking back. My paternal grandmother had almost no memory when she died. She'd forgotten me for years, and by the end didn't recognize her sons. Her body made it into her 90s, thanks to a lot of care, but at the very end, almost all she responded to were hymns. (That's for you, Mlle.)

You never know how long folks will stick it out. One of my earliest memories is of my paternal great-grandmother's 100th birthday party. She may surprise you, yet.
back to the books.

Puget

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Re: The Mental Health Thread
« Reply #298 on: October 26, 2021, 06:02:50 PM »
My mother (late 70s) has been gradually getting forgetful in recent years.  While visiting with her late last week, I noticed that these senior moments have been reaching alarming levels.  She didn't recognize a pillow that she had set on a bed as something that she had put there.  And she suddenly no longer remembered what panini is.  Dad has expressed concern recently about her memory.  I now understand why.  I had always supposed, based on family history, that this would happen with Dad first.

Now I'm getting very worried about both of them.  Up to now they've been doing quite well.  But in the nature of things I'm going to watch them both die within the next few years.

I'm sorry, that's hard. Putting on my cognitive neuroscientist hat, you should get her a cognitive evaluation sooner rather than later. Memory lapses are usually the first thing noticed, but executive function (which supports abilities like decision making, risk assessment, planning, etc.) is usually actually the first thing to decline. There may already be things that aren't safe for her to do, like drive, manage money, or even cook unsupervised. It is better to know, before something bad happens. Even if the news is bad, there is also some relief in having concrete information instead of just worrying and wondering.

Also, from my mom's experience with my grandmother in her last years (mild progressing to moderate dementia, lots of other health problems), it was hugely helpful to have both a geriatrician and a geriatric social worker. The social worker in particular was hugely helpful in helping think through options and contingencies, identifying good long-term care places and other services, etc.
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