Brain Problems, Who's Got 'Em?


#1

(i’ve even got 2 la la la la la la)

25 Year Old Area Man Who Posts A Lot Online Has Depression And Anxiety

4 years after being diagnosed (I’ve probably had it for 6), and being on and off anti-depressants, I’m 4 months into a 6 month course of therapy and getting anxious about the end because I’ve made progress but it doesn’t feel like enough. I’m lucky enough that we even have an NHS to help me out with this but mental health services are so poorly funded. Right now 99% of support seems to be 1) Get A Job (I mean I can and I’m trying but it’s hard and there are many people who have it much worse than me) and 2) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (situationally useful but not the one size-fits-all approach it’s sold as). And that’s just the systemic stuff.

Kind of a problem with general perception of mental health is it’s mostly assumed you’re implying anxiety+depression, and even that’s not gonna be solved with “It’s Time To Talk” and “come in, have a cup of tea and a chat”. No??? Sorry??? I Want A Therapist Please??? Not A Well-Meaning But Barely Trained Volunteer???

We can probably have a Constructive Nuanced Discussion about care and attitudes towards neurodivergence but also I think it would be a good thread to just fuckin’ vent a bit too.


#2

Anxiety and depression here too, but also ADHD, which I think is a big reason why it took me three tries to find an antidepressant that really works for me. Getting on the right medication has been a miracle for me. I’ve woken up with bad suicidal ideation basically every day since I was a teenager, but it’s like the medication just flipped the switch that was controlling that to off overnight.

I’ve tried the therapy covered by gov’t health insurance, in Ontario there’s no cap on how long you can get it but it’s pretty underfunded so appointments were only fifteen minutes long. Not great.

I discovered the Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast a few months ago, and while it’s not a replacement for professional therapy, I find that it often provides a great starting point to process what’s going on with me. Listening to other people’s experiences often leads me to consider mine from fresh angles.


#3

Hi! I have PTSD and anxiety disorder stuff related to trauma and other things and I’m absolutely a person to talk to if you want to see what “in recovery” looks like. I have my bad days (because mental illness and I’m not on lifelong medication) but 2 years of talk therapy helped me through dealing with unresolved issues relating to earlier life trauma as well as (at the time) being harassed/stalked online.

I used to be extremely agoraphobic and prone to panic attacks and now my anxiety is down to much more typical, manageable level. I’ve had a full time job for 3 years, I still have a stable relationship and I have an anxiety cat named Varin who I love very much.

A lot of my mental stuff is inherited in some capacity but also ties back a lot to stuff that happened to me as a teen and got untreated largely. Don’t be like me and neglect that trauma can have a profound lifelong impact on you in ways you might not be aware of, but do know it’s not insurmountable. I’m much more able to cope with my situation and new stress just because of the help I got finally a couple of years ago. It really made a world of difference.


#4

Person with depression, anxiety, and trauma related stuff here. Also autism, which went undiagnosed for 24 years (I turn 25 in June).

I was severely bullied for 10 years of my life and now I have to completely relearn what my self-worth is - and that I am allowed to feel good about myself. Early attempts at CBT stranded because my autism was undiagnosed and I was just constantly wondering why I was doing certain things, and what the use was of it all. Then I decided to try a different kind of therapy and that did work, although it was hard for me to trust therapists because before that at least two mental health professionals had told me “you don’t look depressed”.

Strangely enough the biggest progression I’ve made over the past two years happened when I quit tumblr. I had no idea that site had become such a toxic influence on my life until I went offline for a week and found myself in a severe state of panic when I thought of going back.


#5

CBT has… not had the results I would hope (and later I ended up reading academic papers that made it sound like my poor experience wasn’t unusual). I was going through the system (NHS) some time ago and it was pretty dire. Huge waiting lists for local psychiatric services and waved leaflets about doing it privately (which would have been great if I wasn’t living somewhere with unaffordable rents, a low paying job, and no spoons to do much about anything independently). As you say, the offers that did arrive seemed more volunteer based, so you’re basically reliant on friends and medication. Considering I initially just barely avoided being taken in for sustained observations (after ambulance/initial intake, I was released to care only because I had friends who said they would look after me) then it seemed my case was treated as rather unimportant when I had to see the GP and get scripts(/extended). He didn’t share my interest in finding medication that allowed me to be both functional and stable so I ended up signed off work enough that my job vanished (technically probably illegal dismissal but there was no chance of me fighting through a review and then taking it higher while still quite sick).

[TW: suicide] I ended up not finding a medication that stuck (but lots of people do and you should absolutely not think that not being medicated is somehow a goal - different things work for different people) but manage things by radically not caring (kinda radical acceptance, in the psych parlance). If I can’t do something then I don’t get into a spiral of despair about it, I accept I sometimes can’t do things. When I do have the energy and capacity I’ll do stuff but I’ll not tailspin when I can’t. Nothing’s worth that because there’s no point forcing myself beyond my capacity and killing myself. If I don’t do something what’s the worst that can happen? I lose a job - already done that and I can’t work when I’m sick/during an episode. So what’s the point of spiralling out of control with doubt, anxiety, and fear trying to force myself to get something done? I look for the signs of a panic attack and prepare myself, I know they’re coming, I ride them through, and I’m on the other side. Panic about panic attacks only makes them worse - over time they’ve gone from at least daily occurrences to some periods where they flair up and I might step back a bit and expose myself to fewer triggers and elsewhile I’m generally only getting minor twinges (a painful rush of adrenaline now and then but that’s about it).

I take every day as an extra. I got so far and then couldn’t go any further. But, in the end, I came out the other side of that so everything from here onwards is a freebie, a bonus. Anything I can do is pure positive and when I can’t then I can’t feel guilty because it’s all more than if I wasn’t here.

In the years since, I got a new degree, got a PhD, and have lectured on multiple continents. I’ve worked on cool projects, made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and learnt a lot more about who I am. I feel much better most of the time and have learnt coping techniques to manage it when I don’t.


#6

I’m also a 25 year old man with depression and anxiety (and likely other undiagnosed things, but I’m sure about those two). I definitely need somewhere to vent.

I’ve struggled with both pretty much my entire life, but up until a few years ago I managed it on my own. Unfortunately, college has destroyed me. About 2 years ago I finally got to a point where I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore and I withdrew. I was pressured by my parents to go back immediately, and though I was seeking help finally, I was nowhere near ready and withdrew again. I thought I was doing better, but I went back this semester and totally bombed. It’s at the point where I find myself considering giving up on school (though my family situation makes that pretty much not an option).

My therapist moved away last year and I’ve been too stressed/anxious/depressed to make myself find a new one. I’m bad at taking my meds regularly. If I miss another psychiatrist appointment I’ll be dropped from their care.

Basically I’m a mess and it feels good to get all of this out.


#7

I’m also 25 and have anxiety and depression. We should start a remarkably specific club.

I have narcissistic personality disorder, too, which is a lot of fun. The ways it interacts with my anxiety and depression basically put me in a constant state of inner turmoil, because my anxiety manifests as extreme self-doubt and self-loathing, but also, I love myself way more than I deserve to. I’m also kind of terrified to seek treatment for my anxiety and depression, because I worry that it’s the only thing that keeps the worst of my narcissistic traits in check?

Like, I have anxiety about not being as good a person as I think I am. I know I have low empathy, and I feel like my anxiety compels me to compensate for that. I could go on meds to help with it, but then I worry I’d just become a colossal, conceited asshole? Or is that just my anxiety telling me that I’m garbage and I can’t improve? We Just Don’t Know.


#8

Dyslexia. Learned about it around early middle school. School didn’t have a special ed program to help me so some class like writing and english was not easy for me since it takes me a long time to organize. High school was were I got the help I needed to get through school like taking apart class work in to segments to make it easy to understand. However, I did have to be held back a year to finish the classes I needed.

While I still struggle trying to do new things I keep in mind the lessons I learned to help me. I mean you’ll see me in forums like this correcting my spelling or grammar more often since I may go by writing fast and miss something. Criticism do come up from people who don’t know about dyslexia. I even remember this one professor in college saying the special ed program is for people to “pretend” they need help. Kinda wish I could punch him in his face, special since he was very right wing.


#9

I have never been professionally diagnosed but teachers in elementary school told my Mom I had ADD (which made her furious, because she didn’t agree). Since then I’ve noticed I definitely can have problems staying focused sometimes. I don’t like the idea of medication altering my brain chemistry, though. (I am a creative person with many talents and I don’t want that creativity being held back, which I’ve heard can happen in these scenarios)

I dropped out of high school for a multitude of problems and I slipped in to a depression that lasted nearly a decade, leading to me becoming an unhealthy recluse, something I’m still fighting to recover from (went back to school a couple years ago and finally graduated, and basically with honors in every subject except math). Like many other posters in this thread, it also came hand in hand with anxiety and panic attacks over seemingly mundane things (I have a very, very intense fear of vomiting, which for a period of my life lead to borderline anorexia because I didn’t know what was wrong with me)


#10

Comparatively minor anxiety disorder and the occasional panic attack here. I’m only really posting here to say that after a year or so of therapy, I got over my fear of medication and started on Lexipro, and it really helped me. The little guy sitting on my shoulder telling me all the different ways things could go wrong is still there, but I’m able to ignore him a lot easier and get some real sleep now.

Obviously medication isn’t the right thing for everyone, but it works sometimes and might be worth investigating.


#11

28 Male. While I have mild generalized anxiety, mild ADHD, and mild PTSD from childhood trauma, nothing that is debilitating by any means, I just wanted to drop in and say I love you all. You’re all wonderful human beings, and it means a lot that you share your story with the rest of us.

So, thank you for being the beautiful people you are.


#12

23 and I got that OCD :v:

I’m currently taking meds to control that little voice in my brain that tells me the world is going to end if I don’t keep checking that one thing! I was in talk therapy for a while and that helped immeasurably. I would definitely recommend paying a neutral third party to barf your emotions at. I’m always open to talk to anyone who’s curious about my experience with it.

I also probably have dyscalculia! But I’m not super interested in paying a person to tell me that yup, you’re clinically bad at math, unless I can get into a time machine and go back to elementary school. I’m an adult and nobody can make me not count on my fingers.

I’m also Autistic, which isn’t a mental illness or disease but y’know, pretty thoroughly mediates my day to day life, including how I deal with my mental illness.


#13

You mention drugs, but have you thought about therapy? I know it can be really difficult to go to and afford, so maybe that’s a huge factor. From what I remember about narcissistic personality disorder, talk therapy is the most treatment. And it may help with the anxiety and depression. It is worth a shot, because you are worth it. Maybe you have tried that as well and it never worked out.

These thread are difficult. I just want to throw out some love and acceptance for everyone. I can never fully understand what everyone has gone through, but I do wish the best for you.


#14

Depression as a co-morbidity of a physical thing. Went on therapy, stopped being on therapy, found a very supportive person and we trade being there for each other, and then went on antidepressants about a month ago when support networks, exercise, and productivity were starting to not be enough to keep me not depressed. The antidepressant is working so far.


#15

Timely post for me (though I’m a week behind because I usually only read digest email). The brain stuff first. 48 year old female. Rapidly cycling mixed state bipolar, PTSD, OCD and agroraphobia. Due to an inherited mutated gene from each parent I can’t take drugs that work with serotonin and due to rapid metabolism drugs that might help don’t stay around long enough to work. It is what it is I manage it all (through therapy & a lot of structure and the love and support of my wife). But of late I have struggled with the need to come out about all of this at work but due to the stigmatization around mental health my therapist counsels against it. And I don’t disagree especially since I think the impulse may be a desire to sabotage my work life which provides a framework for structure. But on some level I do believe it is a real desire to live honestly because I have been out about my sexuality since I was 16. So here I am coming out to strangers because I have been in a prolonged depression and Sunday mornings are the worst and I am running from intrusive thoughts.

A sincere thank you to the person who started this thread.

Side note I came out & first time ever posting anywhere. Yay me.


#16

Welcome to the “I want to be honest about this at work but I don’t want to jeopardize my job” club!


#17

BiI loved justice point btw


#18

Oh, hahah, thanks! I miss doing the podcast a lot.


#19

Actually I think it was how I was first introduced to Austin Walker’s work. So I guess you are in away how I ended up here. Funny how life works.


#20

pretty severe anxiety problems and adhd and also depression over here

it’s a lot better than it used to be these days though which is nice, anti-anxiety drugs doing a lot of work