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Dante
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The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

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I've been away from the board for a fair few weeks now. The reason is, in case anyone was wondering is that I had a mental health episode. This has been building for a number of years, and came to a head when a friend of mine took his own life last year. I decided that whilst I was far away from there right now, I didn't want to ever get close to that position.

I've suffered from depression and anxiety for over half my life, and aside from a brief period in my late teens, I've gone untreated, trying to cope on my own. This was frankly a terrible decision, and it's impacted on me quite heavily over the last 10 years or so. Over the last few years I've started having panic attacks, which are really not fun.

Having decided to seek help, I'm now on anti-depressants (Sertraline), which after an awful couple of weeks of side affects have made a dramatic difference to me. I'm not cured by any stretch, but I'm making huge strides to getting there that I didn't think possible a year ago. I'm waiting for a referral to the mental health services at the moment, but there is apparantly quite the backlog, so it could be a while.

I'm going back to work tomorrow after a month off, hoping that I can start getting things back to normal. I've not had a panic attack for a couple of weeks, and I'm hoping that by easing back in to work this can continue. One thing I've found that helps is just talking to people about my problems, and listening to others. If any of you are struggling in silence, please, don't be like me. Go and talk to someone. It doesn't have to be your doctor, even if it's a partner, a friend, or family member, taking that first step is a big weight off your shoulders.

I'll put some links in the OP, and some videos that I've found helpful. If anyone has any questions, I'm more than willing to talk, be it on the board, PM, or the various social medias if you don't feel comfortable discussing in public.

Updates

Calmzone - campaign for dispelling the stigma around men's mental health. Web chat options available.
UK: 0800 58 58 58
London: 0808 802 58 58
Calm zone twitter
Calmzine twitter
Crazy Meds - what's good, what's bad, what's interesting, and what's plain weird and funny about the medications used to treat depression.
Patient.co.uk - a general resource on health issues. Link takes you to the section on mental health specifically. Covers a wide range of things, from anxiety to dealing with insomnia.
Project UROK - social platform for peer support.
YouTube channel.
Frantic World - a website (and book) about mindfulness, what it is, and how it can help you.
MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) - an introduction to non-religious meditation and the benefits of mindfulness.
Headspace - a paid-for online guided meditation course. There is a free trial.
The NHS on returning to work after absence due to mental health issues. The NHS have a short online test that'll help you figure out if you're suffering from depression, and advise on what steps to take next.
Yellow Robe's section on meditation. Written from a Buddhist perspective, but should be useful to anyone trying meditation.
Therapy work sheets that are free to download (they're even under a Creative Commons license so you can pass them on, too). Covers a wide range of topics.
In a similar vein, here's a notebook you can use to keep track of things that help and hinder your recovery: Wellness Recovery Action Plan (pdf).
October 10th is World Mental Health Day.
Stephen Fry on his experiences with depression. Stephen Fry on his attempted suicide in 2012, and Alastair Campbell's response.Image Original tweet here.

Hints, tips, and resources for dealing with insomnia

- Sleeping tablets can help kick start your sleep cycle, but you'll probably find your doctor's reluctant to prescribe them as they're pretty addictive (though they may be happy to give you a few days worth).
- Avoid anything that stimulates your brain before bed (TV, reading, gaming, etc).
- Try to keep your bedroom exclusively for sleeping (no TV, phones, etc), and try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night. Speaking of phones - unless you're using a sleep-aid app (see below), turn your phone off, or better still, don't have it in your room.
- Try to do stuff that will relax you (hot baths, warm non-caffeinated drinks, all that stuff.)
- Exercise before bed is unhelpful, with the exception of sex/masturbation which actively encourages sleep.
- Music can help, but obviously needs to be relaxing stuff.
- You can get sleep meditation apps for your phone which some people find really helpful (and others find deeply annoying).
- If you tend to lie in bed thinking about stuff, some people find it useful to write out a plan for the next day before they go to bed (do this in a different room).
- Finally, if you absolutely can't get to sleep, get up and doing something else for a bit.

Sleep-aid websites, apps, etc:
Sleep.io
Brain.fm

Llinks on autism, Aspergers, and that general area in adults
Autism diagnosis in adults
Adults living with autism spectrum disorder "I was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 45"
The National Autistic Society
And remember, you didn't get it from vaccines! ;) (TSFW - too sweary for work)

Doctor Of Mind, a YouTube channel about psychology, mental health, and medication.
Jeff Ragsdale, the man who gave the world his number. A lovely story about a lonely man who reached out to everyone, and got the most wonderful response.
Why I Didn't Kill Myself Today. A great piece in The Independent. In a similar vein, here's a book that people might find helpful: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig.
The 'big boys don't cry' myth - mental health and men. Fellas, it's OK to ask for help.
Ten lies your depression tells you. You're not thinking straight when in the clutches of the black dog. Don't believe what it tells you.
Four games about depression, designed to help those suffering and educate those who aren't. The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne, a game about social anxiety.

New Zealand and Australian resources that'll probably be useful to everyone:
The book "All Blacks Don't Cry" by John Kirwan .
Depression (NZ)
Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand
Beyond Blue (Australia)
A site set up by Ruby Wax for those struggling to help each other: Black Dog Tribe. (The name refers to how Winston Churchill described his depression.)

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And some Australian numbers:
Mates in Construction: 1300 642 111
Lifeline: 13 11 14

The 'You are Not Alone, It can Happen to Anyone' List
Allie Brosh (cartoonist)
Bruce Springsteen
Robin Williams (1951 - 2014) - YouTube tribute.
Stephen Fry
Charles Darwin
Ruby Wax
John Kirwan
Carrie Fisher
Winston Churchill
Jim Carrey
Ben Stiller
Sting
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jimi Hendrix
Marilyn Monroe
Wil Wheaton
Owen Wilson
... and the rest, totaling approximately 350 million people worldwide.

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And last, but not least... Am I Awesome?. Try refreshing the page a few times.


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Dante
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

Reserved
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

I'm glad you are feeling better Dante, hopefully this is a path that allows you to live a more enjoyable life.
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Dante
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

Cheers Ben, I hope so too!
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ArizonaRed
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

Depression is an illness/condition that kills because people do not want to talk about it and therefore it goes untreated.

Very smart move getting some help Dante.
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Martin
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

This is the reason I was away for a while.

Dante, read this - http://www.diycouturier.com/post/472496 ... when-youre
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

Mate I don't think you realize what an incredible Step you've taken sharing your story with us.

Just started dating a girl this year who is studying to become a psychologist so I've dealt a lot with year learning more and more I can about mental illness. It's a scary thing that really can hit who you least expect

Recently we lost a mate and it really shows you just don't know what people are going through. Always take the time out of your day to ask someone if they're okay. And really mean it when you ask. This guy spent his whole life taking care of his friends and helping others and in the end there was no one to help him

I wish you well mate and all the best. So glad to see you back on here and doing what you can to stay on the right path
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Martin
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

Mate I don't think you realize what an incredible Step you've taken sharing your story with us.

Just started dating a girl this year who is studying to become a psychologist so I've dealt a lot with year learning more and more I can about mental illness. It's a scary thing that really can hit who you least expect

Recently we lost a mate and it really shows you just don't know what people are going through. Always take the time out of your day to ask someone if they're okay. And really mean it when you ask. This guy spent his whole life taking care of his friends and helping others and in the end there was no one to help him

I wish you well mate and all the best. So glad to see you back on here and doing what you can to stay on the right path
There are a lot of people who struggle with it. Probably some of our own friends and we don't even realise.
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marcus leong
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Re: RE: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago


I've been away from the board for a fair few weeks now. The reason is, in case anyone was wondering is that I had a mental health episode. This has been building for a number of years, and came to a head when a friend of mine took his own life last year. I decided that whilst I was far away from there right now, I didn't want to ever get close to that position.

I've suffered from depression and anxiety for over half my life, and aside from a brief period in my late teens, I've gone untreated, trying to cope on my own. This was frankly a terrible decision, and it's impacted on me quite heavily over the last 10 years or so. Over the last few years I've started having panic attacks, which are really not fun.

Having decided to seek help, I'm now on anti-depressants (Sertraline), which after an awful couple of weeks of side affects have made a dramatic difference to me. I'm not cured by any stretch, but I'm making huge strides to getting there that I didn't think possible a year ago. I'm waiting for a referral to the mental health services at the moment, but there is apparantly quite the backlog, so it could be a while.

I'm going back to work tomorrow after a month off, hoping that I can start getting things back to normal. I've not had a panic attack for a couple of weeks, and I'm hoping that by easing back in to work this can continue. One thing I've found that helps is just talking to people about my problems, and listening to others. If any of you are struggling in silence, please, don't be like me. Go and talk to someone. It doesn't have to be your doctor, even if it's a partner, a friend, or family member, taking that first step is a big weight off your shoulders.

I'll put some links in the OP, and some videos that I've found helpful. If anyone has any questions, I'm more than willing to talk, be it on the board, PM, or the various social medias if you don't feel comfortable discussing in public.
I can't imagine what you're going through but glad that you seek help. Sure you will get better over time, stay strong my friend.
"In my culture, that is considered a dick move." - Birdperson

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Re: The Mental Health Thread

4 months ago

Ive met you a few times and I had no idea...

massive respect to you for talking about it online. (Y)
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Dante
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

3 months ago

Updated the OP with a bunch of links and information. If anyone has anything else useful to add, let me know and I'll stick it in there.
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Martin
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

Great links in OP. That must have taken some time. Ta for this.
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Martin
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

I got a sleep meditation app. Didn't expect anything from it and did the first session then put the bedtime story on and before I knew it I was asleep. It seems to work :)
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ArizonaRed
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

I got a sleep meditation app. Didn't expect anything from it and did the first session then put the bedtime story on and before I knew it I was asleep. It seems to work :)
Want to share the name of the App?
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Martin
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

I got a sleep meditation app. Didn't expect anything from it and did the first session then put the bedtime story on and before I knew it I was asleep. It seems to work :)
Want to share the name of the App?
Calm - Meditate, Sleep, Relax on Google Play

I have tried some things on YouTube too like calming videos that are 8 hours long and have positive statements over tranquil sounds.

ASMR can be good too.
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Martin
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

One thing I like a lot though is listening to debate podcasts or videos on my phone. Usually atheist channels. Probably not the best thing to listen to if you're trying to switch off but I just enjoy it.
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ArizonaRed
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

I got a sleep meditation app. Didn't expect anything from it and did the first session then put the bedtime story on and before I knew it I was asleep. It seems to work :)
Want to share the name of the App?
Calm - Meditate, Sleep, Relax on Google Play

I have tried some things on YouTube too like calming videos that are 8 hours long and have positive statements over tranquil sounds.

ASMR can be good too.
Thanks, I'll give it a try.
I can't believe it. I can't believe it. Football. Bloody hell.

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Dante
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

Yeah, I know a few people who have had results with ASMR. Doesn't do it for me, but it's worth a shot.
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Martin
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

Recently I've discovered audio books. My favourite ones are children's books and I like Roald Dahl a lot as I read all the books when I was a child. The Butterfly Lion is good too.

They're really good for anyone who struggles to sleep.
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Dante
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

Something I have found that helps me is making my own food. It might be easier to buy a packet of burgers or a pizza, but making them yourself is always going to be better for you, and I've found the process of doing it helpful.

Maybe not something too complex at first as it can be daunting especially if you've not cooked things before, but making burgers for example is a fairly quick thing to do, and pretty easy.
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

2 months ago

Over the prior 12 - 18 months I have made a point of cooking fresh vegetables for our meals rather than frozen or canned. Not sure if they are really any better for us but they taste a whole bunch better.
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marcus leong
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

1 month ago

Over the prior 12 - 18 months I have made a point of cooking fresh vegetables for our meals rather than frozen or canned. Not sure if they are really any better for us but they taste a whole bunch better.

You used to just eat frozen vegetable? That sounds horrible.
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ArizonaRed
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

1 month ago

Over the prior 12 - 18 months I have made a point of cooking fresh vegetables for our meals rather than frozen or canned. Not sure if they are really any better for us but they taste a whole bunch better.

You used to just eat frozen vegetable? That sounds horrible.
Convenient but not tasty.
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Dante
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

1 month ago

I think Marcus thinks you were eating them frozen.
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marcus leong
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Re: The Mental Health Thread

1 month ago

I think Marcus thinks you were eating them frozen.
:laugh:
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