Mental Illness

I lost another friend the other day. Found out yesterday on Facebook. He lived on the west coast. All of us not in his inner circle are in total shock, since he always seemed to be so positive, so outgoing, so happy, so full of life and wanting to make the world a better place. He even started (or helped start) a group called Random Acts of Kindness. They would hit the streets with flowers or gift cards and give them to random people for no reason other than to make people smile. Everyone who passes away gets nothing but positive things said about them. But this guy, honestly, was universally loved. I can't say that about anyone else I've ever known. It's tragic that he felt so alone and that the world would be better without him.

Two young daughters that are now fatherless. I am so incredibly sad right now. As a person who has suffered as well, this really hits home.

January 27th, as it happens, is Bell Let's Talk Day, an initiative to help end the stigma of mental illness so more people get help before they decide to end it all. Or even living in suffering every day, as I did for a very long time.

Some people honestly still believe you can "shake it off", get up out of bed, put a smile on your face and move on. I can tell you with utmost certainty, this is absolutely not the case. Mine got so bad that it started to manifest itself physically. I was having debilitating physical pain. I don't go to the doctor often, but in August I was going regularly to make sure I wasn't dying. I had a miriad of tests done. But as it turned out, it was my brain causing all of my physical pain. And many many people have it much much worse than I did. And my fight is not over. It's a daily struggle, even with therapy and medication.

Start a conversation with family, friends, coworkers, anyone. If even one person feels comforted knowing that people won't judge them, it could make a world of difference.

Peace everyone.
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Comments

  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,461
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  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 35,886
    edited January 2016
    Really sorry to hear that HFD. :frowning:

    Yes, the stigma around mental illness is still a huge problem on all fronts. People's attitudes towards those with mental illness are still completely rooted in ignorance (although in a way I understand this, because I don't think it's possible for most people to really understand mental illness unless they have experienced it themselves), and, even worse, people who have mental illness often go into denial because of that stigma. They are unable to even acknowledge they have an illness, let alone seek help for it. And this problem is especially bad for men. I feel like many men who won't accept their own mental illness do so because it makes them feel weak, as though if they were just mentally tougher they wouldn't have the problem.
    Post edited by PJ_Soul on
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • wasa1971wasa1971 Calgary, CanadaPosts: 2,017
    For those of us who have at some point lost our spirit, suffered in isolation, or sat in the overwhelming silence of depression, know that you are not alone.
    I am so heavy hearted to hear of the loss of your friend HFD, It sounds like he truly made our world a better place.
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,461
    what I went through initially, in my mid-20's, was that I honestly was afraid of telling anyone about my thoughts. I honestly thought people would think I'm crazy, I'd be tossed in a padded room and would never be heard from again. that may sound silly, but that is honestly what went through my mind. I got better over time with medication and therapy, and things got ugly again for me a few years back, and came to a head this past summer. Even with all I knew about my own personal history, and with how supportive the medical system is, I STILL refused to go to my doc about it. I still had this faint hope that it would pass on its own; you make all sorts of excuses to convince yourself you don't need help so you don't have to be "that weak person who has to go on meds". It's not even just about what others may think about me; it's what I would think of myself. For some reason I deemed myself a failure for not being able to handle it on my own. it's so ridiculous. that's like a person with a broken leg just trying to "work through it" instead of getting a cast. but since we, as humans, feel we have power over the mental side of things, that it's different from a physical ailment, but it's actually not. when it's a chemical imbalance, there's nothing that can be done about it.

    I can't tell you all the different scenarios I thought up to try to erase myself from this planet while causing the least amount of hurt to my loved ones. I thought up these schemes of making everyone I know hate me, divorce my wife, leave town, and eventually, once no one cared about me anymore, do the deed. that's how an ill brain operates sometimes.

    I still have shit days. A lot of them. but with meds, there are fewer of them then there were in the summer. There is still so much more I need to do for myself to get better. it's a slow process. And I don't feel like a strong person. I'm not one of those "I can DO THIS" types. I'm quite the opposite, actually. always have been.

    I'm still standing on the cliff. just not at the edge right now. many people live on the edge of the cliff. it's not a good quality way of life. which is why so many choose not to.
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  • deadendpdeadendp Northeast OhioPosts: 6,025
    HFD, :hug:
    2014: Cincinnati
    2016: Lexington and Wrigley 1
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,461
    deadendp said:

    HFD, :hug:

    :wink:

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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 19,947
    I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, HFD.

    You said, "Some people honestly still believe you can "shake it off", get up out of bed, put a smile on your face and move on. I can tell you with utmost certainty, this is absolutely not the case". When I was going through a heavy depression and nearly killed myself, several of the people close to me distanced themselves from me. To some extent I guess I understand this because most of us are not taught to accept mental illness as just another part of the body being ill and we're not taught how to show compassion for that so most people just don't know what to do or say.

    Years later, one of those people, a family member, ended up with clinical depression as well. She told me shew was so sorry about not being more understanding about what I was going through during my heavy depression and wished she had been there for me. I wish she had too because it would have helped me a lot back then but rather than feel vindictive, I felt compassion because I know how difficult depression can be.

    I get a sense that overall, people are becoming more compassionate about depression. I wonder if this is because depression is becoming more common? I'd like to think that it is because people are becoming more compassionate.

    You also said, "I'm still standing on the cliff. just not at the edge right now. many people live on the edge of the cliff. it's not a good quality way of life. which is why so many choose not to." Just remember HFD, you have friends here who care about you. We'll stand by you on that cliff edge and try to all find our way back to more level ground. Thanks so much for sharing your feelings and helping us remember to care.
    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,461
    thanks brian. I've already had one pm from someone who identified with what I wrote, which is exactly why I did this. I'm trying to think of other things I can do in my limited reach to help. others and myself.
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  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 17,777
    Hits close to home, Hugh, as relates to my mom.

    Condolences to you on the loss of your friend, and a shitload of good energy sent from here.
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 35,886
    edited January 2016
    I went through the same with a couple friends Brian. I was suffering from PTSD/anxiety disorder, and none of my friends understood what I was going through. Not that they are jerks, so they didn't say it, but I KNEW that they were thinking that I should just suck it up, and that I was being weak. And I was right, because then two of my friends later told me that and apologized for not empathizing with me, once they experienced mental illness (one had severe postpartum, the other anxiety disorder. They said that until they experienced themselves, they didn't even come CLOSE to understanding what I was going through. Of course, I understood. Because I was the same. I had no idea how totally uncontrollable the symptoms of mental illness were until I lived it. No amount of sheer will power can help you, which is what most people who haven't felt it still think.
    Post edited by PJ_Soul on
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,461
    hedonist said:

    Hits close to home, Hugh, as relates to my mom.

    Condolences to you on the loss of your friend, and a shitload of good energy sent from here.

    sorry to hear that hedonist. I didn't know. :hug:

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  • dudemandudeman Posts: 1,269
    So sorry for your loss. It's not an easy thing to be where you are and it's always tough to say goodbye to loved ones.

    It might be time for "I Am Mine" on repeat.

    Hang in there man!
    If hope can grow from dirt like me, it can be done. - EV
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,461
    I'm actually listening to Man of the Hour a lot today. Seemed fitting. I'm thinking about recording it and donating the proceeds to his kids' trust. I've already sent an email to 10C asking about the legality of it.
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  • WhatYouTaughtMeWhatYouTaughtMe I have no idea what's going on right now!Posts: 4,187

    I'm actually listening to Man of the Hour a lot today. Seemed fitting. I'm thinking about recording it and donating the proceeds to his kids' trust. I've already sent an email to 10C asking about the legality of it.

    Great idea. Definitely post a link if it pans out.
  • Who PrincessWho Princess out here in the fieldsPosts: 6,974
    For years, I've kept a quote about depression over my desk. It's from the book Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gillmore. I've always thought it was absolutely spot on:
    Depression is a hard experience to communicate, and perhaps a hard one to understand, but once you've had it you don't forget it. It makes you look on the rest of the world with a bit more compassion, and it also causes you to watch the corners of your life more closely, so you can spot the darkness rapidly if it begins to creep back in.
    "The stars are all connected to the brain."
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,461

    For years, I've kept a quote about depression over my desk. It's from the book Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gillmore. I've always thought it was absolutely spot on:

    Depression is a hard experience to communicate, and perhaps a hard one to understand, but once you've had it you don't forget it. It makes you look on the rest of the world with a bit more compassion, and it also causes you to watch the corners of your life more closely, so you can spot the darkness rapidly if it begins to creep back in.
    BANG ON.

    In a comedic sense, one line by George Costanza really always resonated with me. He is, as you know, a character that is depressed, neurotic, etc. He once said to Jerry "I can sense the slightest human suffering". that is me to a T, and I think it has a lot to do with my condition. I often will look into someone's eyes, and say "talk to me". They don't know how I have this "power" to feel their pain without a word. I often know something is wrong with my wife before she even does. I often get the "how did you know?". I don't know, just intuitive.

    I have also been told it's annoying because they don't always want help. they just want to ignore it.

    I really wish I didn't "feel" so much. To reverse Ed's line, "I don't wanna feel, I wanna think....how do I.....think?".

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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 19,947
    You guys are the best. Group hug!
    :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • Thoughts_ArriveThoughts_Arrive Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 10,255
    A lot of people are too ignorant to understand.
    Adelaide 17/11/2009, Melbourne 20/11/2009, Sydney 22/11/2009
  • Thoughts_ArriveThoughts_Arrive Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 10,255
    I am so pissed off psychologists and psychiatrists charge so much for 50 mins of their time.
    I for one need sessions but cannot afford it right now, $200 every week or fortnight is too much.
    How much does it cost in the USA?
    Adelaide 17/11/2009, Melbourne 20/11/2009, Sydney 22/11/2009
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 19,947

    I am so pissed off psychologists and psychiatrists charge so much for 50 mins of their time.
    I for one need sessions but cannot afford it right now, $200 every week or fortnight is too much.
    How much does it cost in the USA?

    It varies a lot, any where from $75 to $300. Too often it's too much, for sure.

    And just as frustrating, therapists who do what I call "Hollywood counseling", the kind where you go in, talk, pay a bunch of money, feel better for a day or two, go back, talk talk, more money and 'round and 'round you go. The focus of good counseling should be to help the client take action. Talking only helps for so long. Learning coping techniques, making the necessary changes and adjustments to one's life can last a life time.

    If you see a penny on the ground and pick it up and give it to a kid they will be happy but if you lead the kid to finding the penny on their own and let them pick it up they are more likely to be ecstatic and empowered. I've been down both roads and it's the latter one that saved my life- or actually taught me how to save my own life. I picked up my penny.
    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • Thoughts_ArriveThoughts_Arrive Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 10,255
    I don't think psychologists and psychiatrists really care.
    If they did they'd have a heart and lower their fees.
    All I did was spend $200 a week talking, venting and it got me nowhere and $3000 out of pocket.
    Now that I am unemployed I can't afford it.
    Adelaide 17/11/2009, Melbourne 20/11/2009, Sydney 22/11/2009
  • ldent42ldent42 NYCPosts: 7,832
    :hug: all around. Januarys are tough. Too many deaths in January.

    A friend and former colleague took his life six years ago. He struggled with mental illness his whole life. I still miss him. Still feel that guilt that maybe I could've done something, been a better friend, maybe it wouldn't have happened. Foolish thoughts, intellectually I know that, it's hard when it's someone you love.
    NYC 06/24/08-Auckland 11/27/09-Chch 11/29/09-Newark 05/18/10-Atlanta 09/22/12-Chicago 07/19/13-Brooklyn 10/18/13 & 10/19/13-Hartford 10/25/13-Baltimore 10/27/13-Auckland 1/17/14-GC 1/19/14-Melbourne 1/24/14-Sydney 1/26/14-Amsterdam 6/16/14 & 6/17/14-Milan 6/20/14-Berlin 6/26/14-Leeds 7/8/14-Milton Keynes 7/11/14-St. Louis 10/3/14-NYC 9/26/15
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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 19,947
    edited January 2016

    I don't think psychologists and psychiatrists really care.
    If they did they'd have a heart and lower their fees.
    All I did was spend $200 a week talking, venting and it got me nowhere and $3000 out of pocket.
    Now that I am unemployed I can't afford it.

    The ones who are good are saints but some of them are simply in the wrong field.

    I had a therapist chew me out once for saying that I wanted to have a little place in my house where I could be alone when I wanted to be. He said I had no right to expect that. I stopped going to see him.

    And once about 20 years ago after nearly killing myself I was sent to a psychiatrist. It wasn't my idea to see him but I figured maybe he could help me. I started to tell him about how upset I was when my S.O. at the time suddenly dumped me with no warning and he said, rather aggressively, "Well I don't want to talk about that!" I told him I was done here and walked out on him. The man was a monster.

    It's always good to interview a counselor with specific questions to find out how they work and let them know what you expect and if they don't respect that, leave!
    Post edited by brianlux on
    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
  • Thoughts_ArriveThoughts_Arrive Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 10,255
    brianlux said:

    I don't think psychologists and psychiatrists really care.
    If they did they'd have a heart and lower their fees.
    All I did was spend $200 a week talking, venting and it got me nowhere and $3000 out of pocket.
    Now that I am unemployed I can't afford it.

    The ones who are good are saints but some of them are simply in the wrong field.

    I had a therapist chew me out once for saying that I wanted to have a little place in my house where I could be alone when I wanted to be. He said I had no right to expect that. I stopped going to see him.

    And once about 20 years ago after nearly killing myself I was sent to a psychiatrist. It wasn't my idea to see him but I figured maybe he could help me. I started to tell him about how upset I was when my S.O. at the time suddenly dumped me with no warning and he said, rather aggressively, "Well I don't want to talk about that!" I told him I was done here and walked out on him. The man was a monster.

    It's always good to interview a counselor with specific questions to find out how they work and let them know what you expect and if they don't respect that, leave!
    What is a S.O?
    My psychologist got annoyed at me as I refused to do what he asked in between sessions, I haven't been back since although I felt comfortable with him.
    Adelaide 17/11/2009, Melbourne 20/11/2009, Sydney 22/11/2009
  • ldent42ldent42 NYCPosts: 7,832
    S.O = significant other
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  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 17,777
    ldent42 said:

    :hug: all around. Januarys are tough. Too many deaths in January.

    A friend and former colleague took his life six years ago. He struggled with mental illness his whole life. I still miss him. Still feel that guilt that maybe I could've done something, been a better friend, maybe it wouldn't have happened. Foolish thoughts, intellectually I know that, it's hard when it's someone you love.

    It does seem like this month has been particularly difficult with various losses.

    My husband's coworker took her life several years ago as well...and mentioned him in the note she left behind though not in a negative way. Still, that kind of fucked with him for a while.

    As to therapy, I was fortunate to have a wonderful LCSW but didn't appreciate that when I told her I felt I was ready to be done with it, she discouraged me. I know my needs and instincts better than anyone. And once I quit? Life shifted for the better, and toward what are now my happiest, most at-peace-with-myself times ever.
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 35,886
    edited January 2016

    I am so pissed off psychologists and psychiatrists charge so much for 50 mins of their time.
    I for one need sessions but cannot afford it right now, $200 every week or fortnight is too much.
    How much does it cost in the USA?

    Where do you live? I know in Canada these things can cost a lot, but if a doctor actually refers you to a psychiatrist as a medical need you can get it covered. Also, where do you work? Any good benefits? Because I also know that my benefits actually include 12 free therapist sessions a year with good therapists if you need them, BUT it's not a benefit that is "advertised" for some reason. Most employees have absolutely no idea it's an option (which is shameful).
    Post edited by PJ_Soul on
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • Thoughts_ArriveThoughts_Arrive Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 10,255
    PJ_Soul said:

    I am so pissed off psychologists and psychiatrists charge so much for 50 mins of their time.
    I for one need sessions but cannot afford it right now, $200 every week or fortnight is too much.
    How much does it cost in the USA?

    Where do you live? I know in Canada these things can cost a lot, but if a doctor actually refers you to a psychiatrist as a medical need you can get it covered. Also, where do you work? Any good benefits? Because I also know that my benefits actually include 12 free therapist sessions a year with good therapists if you need them, BUT it's not a benefit that is "advertised" for some reason. Most employees have absolutely no idea it's an option (which is shameful).
    I live in Australia.
    I am unemployed.
    We don't get such work benefits.
    Adelaide 17/11/2009, Melbourne 20/11/2009, Sydney 22/11/2009
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 20,991
    edited January 2016
    Post deleted by Admin. See the Posting Guidelines.
    Post edited by Sea on
    for poetry through the ceiling. ISBN: 1 4241 8840 7

    "Hear me, my chiefs!
    I am tired; my heart is
    sick and sad. From where
    the sun stands I will fight
    no more forever."

    Chief Joseph - Nez Perce
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 19,947
    edited January 2016
    Post deleted by Admin
    Post edited by Sea on
    We're living on the edge of something big. It's a fantastic time in history to be alive.
    AMT, 1.25.15, 00:36 hrs.
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.
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