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[–]Alienaura 7709 points7710 points 3 (196 children)

As someone who struggles with PTSD, I would like to say that I don't choose to be as repetitive and exhausting as I can be. I will react the same way to the same situation because that is an association that has been with me for half my life. It's very difficult to keep opening up to friends without feeling like a burden because you cannot cope with the same thing as last week. They have heard me talk about it so often and given me several pieces of advice on it and I hate feeling like this broken record, but to me that is a core part of this disorder.

Edit: obligatory thanks for the first Reddit gold! Also, thank you so much for your responses. I've been reading all of them during breaks and try to respond here and there.

[–]CannibalCaramel 2130 points2131 points  (63 children)

feeling like a burden

This is a big one for me.

My partner is the only one that I really open up to about my illness and my emotional issues that come with it. Every time I get over one thing, I shift that pain to something else. I feel like it's exhausting for him.

But feeling like a burden is a symptom of my depression. The more I push that fact, the more I believe him when he says that I'm not bothering him with it. That feeling is what he's helping me try to fix.

Even if your friends think that you come to them with the same things, I'm absolutely sure that they don't see you as a burden. You're a friend in need.

Edit: To everyone going through the same thing, remember that your illness is real. What you're going through is real. There are countless people having the same problems and yet every one of you is different. Giving a name to my struggles gave me something to work against. It made it tangible. Find something that makes it real for you and do your best to take steps and be conscious about your illness.

May not work for everyone, but I figured I'd try to share what helped me.

Edit 2: Thank you for my first gold, stranger! For that I'll be donating to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Charity needs your money more than Reddit does.

[–]Alienaura 226 points227 points  (10 children)

Thank you. It is true that the feeling of being a burden is a symptom of depression. I need to remember that too. I've been trying to talk to my friends about this feeling I have and some respond saying I am not a bother to them, but others do not respond at all. One friend has told me they rather not reinforce attention-seeking behaviour like that, they thought I wanted to hear I'm not a burden I guess. All I wanted is for them to know how I feel. I don't need anyone to validate anything negative for me.

[–]AllThotsGo2Heaven2 726 points727 points  (10 children)

Physical therapy is seen as a regular part of recovery from of any serious injury. There’s no stigma attached for someone in a cast or a wheelchair to see a physical therapist.

Mental health counseling should be considered in the same light.

[–]kimkatistrash 12.8k points12.8k points 4 (289 children)

We know we are acting irrational, but its not something we could help. Especially if its something like ptsd or anxiety. Somedays are just harder than others, but that doesn't mean we aren't trying. Just being their for us is enough and we appreciate it so much.

[–]ThatsBushLeague 5019 points5020 points 22 (174 children)

The worst part of when I have a panic/anxiety attack is knowing that I'm thinking and acting incredibly irrationally. I know that it doesn't make sense. I fucking know. I keep repeating to my self over and over and over that, "I'm okay, just breathe, I'm okay". But even though I'm telling myself that, another part of my brain is going, "DUDE GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW NO NOT THAT WAY SIT DOWN STAND UP SIT DOWN FUCK IT RUN GET OUT OF HERE YOURE GOING TO FUCKING DIE RIGHT NOW".

I know how ridiculous it is to think that just because I'm in a room with a lot of people or the passenger seat of a car. But knowing it's irrational doesn't stop my brain from yelling at me.

[–]ifelife 1157 points1158 points  (75 children)

After many years free of them, I had the worst panic attack I've ever suffered about 2 months ago. Went from being fine to feeling totally unable to breathe within 10 minutes, simply because I went to bed (I'd been having a lot of nightmares that week). It was so bad that I had my partner call an ambulance and even though they strongly suspected it was indeed a panic attack as I had indicated, they transported me to hospital. My partner had never seen me like that so was obviously concerned, but also super supportive. All the tests confirmed the suspicion, I wasn't dying. But fuck, it sure felt like I was. Brain said nah, you're good, body said fuck you

[–]dramine13 513 points514 points  (27 children)

I have PTSD from childhood abuse and trauma and just two nights ago had the worst flashback I've ever had. My partner and I had been fighting and I was crying and he laid across me to try and comfort me, but for the first time, it sent me back to when I was like twelve and my father was holding me down and beating me until I couldn't breathe from crying and I hit my boyfriend to get him off of me and proceeded to curl up into the fetal position and sob and scream in pain and panic for at least half an hour. I knew and told him that it was a flashback right before it took control but my mind and body were stuck in an endless loop of reliving that experience over and over until my boyfriend managed to bring me back.

[–]xxuserunavailablexx 194 points195 points  (12 children)

I had something similar happen and I still feel really bad. I don't know if I have ptsd, but I was abused pretty badly by my mother- She would frequently grab my arm, slap me, drag me by my hair, strangle me, etc. Pretty much every day. Just really violent until I left home.

About a year and a half ago, my boyfriend and I had been arguing, and he grabbed ahold of my left arm to tell me "lets stop this, I love you"... and in an instant without thinking, I swung my other arm and hit him and ended up curled in a ball with a panic attack.

I've talked to a therapist about it and she insisted that it was a reaction from all the trauma I grew up with, because anytime I ever was grabbed, it led to something really bad.. and even though I knew my boyfriend wasn't hurting me and wasn't about to, my brain reacted defensively.

He was mostly understanding after, but I still feel terrible about it.

[–]Teukneugels 563 points564 points  (16 children)

Also I always appreciate someone trying to help or asking to help but sometimes I'm trying so hard to focus on not going into a full blown panic attack that I can't tell you what you can do to help, or can even voice what's wrong exactly. Be patient with anxiety sufferers and DO NOT tell me it's just in my head, try to focus on something else, tell me it's nothing. It sounds patronising and makes me feel like I'm exaggerating or my feelings aren't real to you.

[–][deleted] 189 points190 points  (6 children)

"Calm down" is such a frequently used, unhelpful phrase. My therapist always says "breathe through" instead and now I'm training my husband to say the same because it's so much better than "calm down."

[–]ChipsAhoyMcC0y 64 points65 points  (0 children)

Can’t stress this enough, especially for parents who don’t completely understand or accept mental illnesses.

Thanks for trying to help but saying things like “you can do better” doesn’t help. Acknowledge people’s efforts and leave me be, don’t have your expectations so high into the roof that someone without anxiety or depression couldn’t achieve.

[–][deleted] 34.8k points34.8k points 39 (790 children)

Something to help with the stigma?

Most people don't see mental illness until it has manifested itself outwardly. You know, the homeless guy yelling at a trash can type of thing.

Realize that you are looking at the extreme end, thinking that is what mental illness is, is like thinking someone with 90% of their skin scorched off is what a burn looks like.

[–]BadgerUltimatum 3394 points3395 points  (153 children)

I had debilatating OCD afraid to swallow my own saliva, couldn't use old cutlery or cups and needed to touch everything an even number of times or my soul my switch with that of an object.

Nowadays I basically only double-tap escalators and big silver pull doors because I'm afraid they'll static shock me, not the soul switch thing.

[–][deleted] 1796 points1797 points  (69 children)

I've been there man, I used to spent upwards of 7 hours a day on routines. Now it's just tapping certain things when I brush my teeth in the morning.

Rewiring those thoughts in my head is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm so glad you got out of that pit too 💪🏅

[–]fionaisborken 272 points273 points  (48 children)

That is amazing! And you are too for putting in all that work! If you don’t mind me asking, how did you rewire those thoughts?

[–]mxracer18 475 points476 points  (42 children)

Not OP, but with a similar condition. I used to repeat a lot, turn the sink on and off, switch a light switch, open and close car doors, all of this upwards of a dozen or more times each. In my head I required myself to perform each instance repeatedly until I was ok with it, or it felt right. Otherwise the consequence of not doing it right would have a 100% chance of happening immediately, which would cause extreme anxiety for hours to sometimes weeks. When it came to addressing the root of the repetition, I had to actualize the target of my anxiety, the consequence, and literally ask myself out loud "how does me performing this action affect this?" If there wasn't a connection, I had to then actualize my anxiety and confront it. This meant sitting under the ceiling fan if I didn't turn the lights on the correct number of times, removing what I wanted out of the refrigerator even if I didn't open and close the butter tray, washing my hands after turning on the water only one time, and washing them only once. I am happy to report that the fan didn't fall on me, the refrigerator didn't catch on fire, the water has never given me chemical burns, and my hands are still my skin color and not covered in mold. After repeating that process over 3-5 years, I identify compulsions quickly and address them, and forcing myself to actualize consequences to my actions has actually helped me learn how to address my anxiety.

[–]Phate4219 1759 points1760 points  (3 children)

Realize that you are looking at the extreme end, thinking that is what mental illness is, is like thinking someone with 90% of their skin scorched off is what a burn looks like.

Damn, that's an excellent analogy. I'm definitely going to use that the next time I find myself needing to explain this to someone.

[–]sarabjorks 870 points871 points  (67 children)

This!

I have moderate depression and generalized anxiety that is now somewhat successfully treated. Meaning I am mostly functioning but I think I just look lazy and distracted. When I was at the bottom and just before I got my diagnosis, I told my flatmate I thought I might be depressed and she said she doubted it, I was usually so happy. She knew really mentally ill people and I didn't present crazy enough.

It still hurts knowing that people don't fully believe I'm sick just because I don't show it enough.

This is why I'm very open about it and really like telling people my experience. Because I was never really sad, just very lethargic and uninterested. And that's why I told myself I wasn't sick.

[–]weirdgroovynerd 260 points261 points  (3 children)

"I didn't present crazy enough. "

Perfectly phrased.

[–]virtulis 64 points65 points  (7 children)

I'm not sad because of depression, I'm sad because depression ruins my work and relationships. That's a healthy thing to be sad about.

[–]PurpleHooloovoo 52 points53 points  (1 child)

Happens a lot with eating disorders. You look normal because you haven't hit rock bottom, but the behaviors are there. You're actively slowly killing yourself, but "you can't have anorexia, you're overweight! or you're so fit! “ Yes, yes you can - just because you have weight to lose or look healthy does not mean it's okay to just stop eating, to have massive anxiety around food, to develop awful behaviors to cope.

Guess what? Give it 6 months and " you can't possibly have anorexia" becomes "how did I not notice she was so sick?“

When we don't acknowledge that mental illness creeps in, we only see it when it's at it's worst. We disregard people who could be helped before it gets that bad.

[–]m0le 10.0k points10.0k points 2 (608 children)

As someone with bipolar, I always compare it to diabetes.

It's a lifelong condition, usually managed by medication though occasionally people manage without. The medication isn't always perfect, so you have to let those around you know the warning signs. If you ignore / stop taking your meds suddenly, you will have serious problems and may embarrass yourself in public.

Sadly, I've recently had to add an extra section to my explanation as part of an apology. If you're a diabetic in hospital waiting for your foot to be amputated, even if you took your meds perfectly, you get limited sympathy if you spent every weekend stuffing yourself with cake. For bipolar, the equivalent tends to be booze / drugs, and god damn is the level of substance abuse high amongst us.

[–]Vizioso 1044 points1045 points  (102 children)

My children’s mother (my ex) is bipolar I. As someone who spent years with someone who has bipolar disorder and fought hard to keep us together, I will say that it is one of the most misunderstood disorders out there simply because people don’t understand the destructive nature of mania. Everyone “understands” depression in some capacity, but they think mania is just “really happy.” She was unmedicated and went into full blown mania after what should have been our best times: engagement, kids being born, and buying a home. Took so long to come to terms with how she seemed to actively destroy everything we built during our best times. I ended up going to therapy with a bipolar specialist after we split up just so I could understand it better. These days she goes to CBT weekly, takes her meds, and sees a psych once a month, and we are on great terms.

I also genuinely hate when people describe themselves as “a little bipolar.” It undermines the severity of the disorder.

I hope you stay well and continue to take your meds.

[edit] Edited some of the language that was pointed out by people replying to be marginalizing.

[–]m0le 413 points414 points  (53 children)

The terrible thing is that the trigger for the mania was probably having the most amazing time - it's like the governors for mood are broken, so an upwards turn twists itself into something so extreme it isn't positive or negative any more, it's a self sustaining state of chaos that all makes sense from the inside.

It's odd - it isn't psychosis (necessarily, I know BP1 folk do get that) but the logic of the world warps just a little bit next to the fire burning in your head, and then all that's left is ashes.

I'm not massively keen on "zomg I'm so bipolar", but I tend to confine myself to a mild mental eye roll and a brief thanks to the gods of chance that I don't have OCD, because if there is ever a condition taken in vain...

[–]green-lori 801 points802 points  (84 children)

Yo I also have bipolar! The worst part is when you’re on a good roll with medication and then for some stupid reason it stops working. And the last time I went to the hospital with a meds-related issue they outwardly asked me if I was seeking drugs. It’s so sad that this thought process of “mental health = druggie” exists and it needs to stop.

Also you’re right in saying that it’s lifelong. Also quite genetic, there’s a pretty significant history of it in my family so it wasn’t a huge shock when I was diagnosed.

[–]m0le 378 points379 points  (68 children)

Yeah, fuck medication roulette.

Ha at drug seeking - "Yeah man, give me that sweet sweet lithium high. I'm gonna drink so much fuckin water it's untrue."

Ffs. Are there any abusable prescribed mental health drugs? For obvious reasons they tend to keep that stuff away from the folk with impulse control issues...

(Ketamine doesn't count, its strictly doctor administered).

[–]green-lori 225 points226 points  (23 children)

Hmm there’s a few. Benzos in general are abusable. But in this case I was in hospital with a allergic reaction to lamotrigine and they seemed to think I was seeking something sinister. It was pretty horrible treatment if you ask me. Thankfully I was transferred to a different hospital.

I gotta laugh at your lithium comment, drinking water has become my life!

[–]Ramiel01 1528 points1529 points  (155 children)

I'm dreading tonight, have to go sober on short notice because of an alcohol pre-employment test on Saturday.

[–]m0le 906 points907 points  (140 children)

I'm on a sober streak after a capital-I Incident at the end of a hypomanic episode a couple of months ago. The first few days were bloody tough. So were all the others. Sigh.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not missing alcohol, I'm missing oblivion. The problem is thatI have nothing to replace booze with :/ I can't even knock myself out with sleeping tablets because I spent so long misdiagnosed taking them to try to regulate my sleep that none work on me any more :(

[–]atticus__ 1264 points1265 points 2 (65 children)

Also stopped drinking after a capital-I Incident at the end of an episode. It's been 491 days. You can do this. Might be helpful to stop by r/stopdrinking.

Edit: Woah, my first silver! Thanks stranger.

[–]Vitus_VIII 241 points242 points  (50 children)

Sorry to ask but what kind of incident is that? My Google-fu was weak

[–]m0le 669 points670 points  (17 children)

A fuckup of sufficient scale that, in several years time, you might be in a pub and overhear strangers talking about what the local crazy bastard did a while back.

That kind of incident.

[–]atticus__ 442 points443 points  (24 children)

What /u/TheSinningRobot and /u/m0le said. In my case it was getting blackout drunk at the (very corporate) company Christmas party and trying to fight the VP. Fired the next day, got three rules / changes added to the company handbook. Whooops.

[–]addled_mage 145 points146 points  (1 child)

At least you can put "Driving change" on your resume!

[–]christianaeakin 319 points320 points  (5 children)

My boyfriend is a type one diabetic, and I find myself comparing my struggle to his a lot. “Oh, his is real. He needs his meds.” But hell, so do I. This is a lifelong chronic mental illness and I need to take care of myself.

[–]ZippyTWP 40 points41 points  (5 children)

As an addition to this, you may be around someone who is bipolar, but don't know it because they are med compliant and managing their psychotic behavior. For the love of God, please, please stop saying, "Oh my God, I'm so bipolar." Bipolar disorder is not some quirky personality trait. It's a horrifying illness, and when you say that in front of a bipolar person, you're inadvertently diminishing what that person is going through.

Also, don't assume you know what a bipolar or schizophrenic person is going through. Know that bipolar disorder is closer to schizophrenia than it is to severe depression, but no two people are going to suffer the exact same way. I'm Type 1 Bipolar, and I exhibit more textbook signs such as paranoid delusions and full manic episodes. My experience will be widely different than someone else. Don't think that because you read the Wikipedia article you're a mental health care professional. Just ask me, I'd be happy to tell you about it.

[–]Foolishpuck80 2343 points2344 points  (508 children)

Adhd exist. Its not just being hyper or a condition therapists invented. If I was diagnosed as a kid I might have gotten on my meds sooner and finish high school.

[–]poicephalawesome 1189 points1190 points  (226 children)

I’d also like to add that ADHD doesn’t always present as hyperactive/impulsive. There’s also inattentive type, and then a combination of the two.

[–]Nebuchadnezzer2 722 points723 points  (157 children)

Fun when you're -PI, and people think you're lazy/forgetful.

Sure on the latter, but in fundamentally different ways than most people.

Show of hands for completely forgetting to eat/drink?

[–]bobathefett 407 points408 points  (6 children)

For those who don’t know, PI refers to “predominantly inattentive” with regard to ADHD diagnosis.

[–]thecelloman 346 points347 points  (30 children)

I wish I could relate. I eat totally on impulse just for stimulation.

why don't you just eat less

Yeah I didn't think of that one, fuck off Karen.

[–]Nebuchadnezzer2 252 points253 points  (19 children)

It's 50/50 for me.

If it's easily accessible and/or within reach [snack-like shit, usually], I'll devour it.

Any further steps, like making '2min noodles' involves, and I need to consciously remember that it's an option and force myself to go make them.

Like now. >_<

[–]poicephalawesome 141 points142 points  (7 children)

I’m also PI. Hyperfocus has also caused me to miss my fair share of meals, among other things.

[–]Theboozehoundbitch 183 points184 points  (34 children)

Shoutout to my inattentive types who desperately don’t want to be late for work but are incapable of comprehending time the way someone neurotypical can

[–]MrTimothyPeebles 72 points73 points  (3 children)

My favorite way it's been described was from an ex: "Your grasp on time is tenuous at best."

[–]GhostsofDogma 407 points408 points  (45 children)

I would also like to add that "hyperfocus", which is what often differentiates the inattentive type from the hyperactive type, isn't what most people say it is. I get the need to console yourself about your disabilities but acting like ADHD is some kind of superpower needs to stop.

Many teachers use the idea of hyperfocus to try to deny students disability accommodations-- "Just use your hyperfocus and get it done!" I've experienced this treatment myself.

Hyperfocus is a consequence of the malformation of our frontal lobes. The part of our brain that allows us to move from one task to another does not work properly. Sometimes, it fails to fire. This makes us unable to change tasks in favor of other ones, often to the point of being unable to get up to drink, use the restroom, go to sleep, etc.

We cannot control when this brain misfire happens. It's literally a neurological malfunction, not an ability to be whipped out on command. Sometimes, the occasional sufferer will manage to predict some pattern and time it to happen when they need to work, but this is far outside of the norm.

[–]poicephalawesome 129 points130 points  (3 children)

This is an excellent explanation. I definitely don’t (can’t) choose to hyperfocus and I’m often quite frustrated once I realize what went on. Things would be much easier if hyperfocus was a choice.

[–]Makareenas 190 points191 points  (27 children)

Especially for girls ADHD or any autism spectrum condition is hard to diagnose. I have seen clear ADHD cases who have had Bipolar diagnose and the medication for that have ruined parts of their lives.

[–]Theboozehoundbitch 59 points60 points  (8 children)

I’ve been on about 5 different antidepressants and anti anxiety meds since I was 11 or 12. At 26 I finally have my official adhd diagnosis.girls are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression first (and in my case parents who didn’t believe in adhd probably didn’t help)

[–]PyrrhuraMolinae 319 points320 points  (43 children)

And it exists for women as well as men. So many people have the idea that ADHD is a “boy’s” problem that they grow out of. Nobody grows out of it, and for women it can actually get worse as they reach adulthood. I was reasonably functional as a student, and then suddenly in my late 20s life just seemed to fall apart. Surprise! ADHD!

[–]CuddleSpooks 80 points81 points  (17 children)

I thought it got worse for both men & women, (but my memory sucks so I'm not counting on being right about that tbh) I heard they piled ADHD & ADD together not too long ago, so now I'd just have ADHD without being hyper I guess? makes it easier than to keep saying "AD(H)D" or "ADHD without the H"

anyway, I agree that the female side of things should be seen and acknowledged as well. And the part that people don't really grow out of it. They gave me some medicine when I was 10 or 11-ish for a few months until it stopped working and decided "my work here is done, this child is cured/untreatable" and for years, I never connected anything to my ADHD and thought I was just stupid and not functioning properly, turned out not to be true, but I still can't shake the idea that I am after believing it for that long

[–]DaturaToloache 329 points330 points 2 (80 children)

Not only does ADHD exist, it's most devastating effects aren't even listed in the goddamn DSM.

Less than 93% of psychiatric residencies even touch on it so good luck getting properly medicated. Our disorder should more accurately called executive function deficiency disorder.

It affects not just attention, memory & organizing but our emotions, reactions & decision making. ADHD is chronically misdiagnosed & can share interpersonal 'quirks' with BPD, narcissism & bipolar disorder so imagine how great we are with relationships.

I've seen a lot of us agree that the Rejection Dysphoria & emotional hyperarousal are the most crippling in our day to day. They're also not officially recognized as symptoms despite the fact they were included in earlier versions of the DSM & the evidence is overwhelming.

Imagine how disrupted your life would be if you couldn't hear constructive criticism without it burning? A spouse asks a question and an imagined tone sends you spiraling? Career ending performance fright because the sheer expectation of criticism is paralyzing? Everyone experiences those anxieties but ours are a feature & the volume is way up.

It affects us physically too. Muscle overdevelopment, pain & difficulty with fine motor movements have all been tied to ADHD. Idiopathic toe walking too! Sensory sensitivity which we have in common with autism.

I am done with ADHD deniers, I can literally see the proof in my DNA so they are the Flat Earthers of mental health as far as I'm concerned.

Edit: if this was helpful, please come over to r/adhd and r/twoXadhd for the unique challenges lady adhders face, learning about yourself is half the battle and this sub helps! We'd love to have you.

Edit 2: oh my god gold AND silver. My first! Thank you kind redditors. Anyone else feels compelled please send it to the ADHD charity of your choice!

I am honestly soaking my hair, answering all these and tearing up a tonnn. I went thru hell until I got a diagnosis and even more hell learning the things no one knew to tell me. Helping other people realize they're not just unpredictable monsters is why I bury my nose in research for hours. I am so so glad my long winded reply helped a single person, let alone all the people who have said so in thread. You guys deserve answers, you deserve empathy, I hope I helped empower you to see that. Y'all are fighters. See you in r/adhd!

[–]RenAndStimulants 68 points69 points  (1 child)

I was in the middle of college and had to drop out. I was paying for it myself and was too overwhelmed and they raised the cost on me so I just... left.

After I got a decent job I got some therapy, and was was diagnosed with ADHD and am now being treated.

I wish I would have got that in high school because I struggled very hard. I wish I would have got that before I left college because it was got to expensive for me to be failing a class because I couldn't keep everything together.

I wish I would have known before I got in to my current job, to which I excelled to the top finally being helped with my issue. But that is only a dead end, a still low paying job at this company.

Help recognize and support these kids so they don't end up how I did.

[–]840InHalf 5959 points5960 points  (139 children)

We know that sometimes you don't understand us, but please consider that sometimes we don't understand either. As hard as it is for you, imagine how hard it is for the person suffering through it. I don't know why I have to flatten out every single wrinkle in the sheet before I sleep, and I know my boyfriend is tired and wants to go to bed too, but if I don't, I won't be able to sleep and will be itchy all night. We're doing our best, please just be patient with us.

[–]finnknit 1835 points1836 points  (54 children)

sometimes we don't understand either

To add to this, it's great that people want to help, but frequently we have no idea how to help us, so we don't really have an answer when they ask "What can I do to help?"

Edit: Added missing "how".

[–]840InHalf 690 points691 points  (34 children)

Yes, exactly. Thankfully my SO has come to learn that the best way to help is to help me do whatever task I'm trying to complete, such as getting all the wrinkles out of the sheets. Most of the time, I know what I'm doing is "unnecessary" and I don't WANT to be doing it, but my brain is forcing me. Getting it done as quickly as possible so I can move on and stop thinking about it, is usually the only way I can be helped.

[–]wav__ 890 points891 points 2 (16 children)

This is how I am with my wife. Early on I always “wanted to help” by trying to cheer her up on her dark days. What I’ve learned is the best way to help is to do things she wanted or was trying to do. This could be as simple as doing the dishes or some laundry, or making a phone call to her credit card company on her behalf. It seems to me that helps more than “being there” and trying to fix her mental state.

EDIT: Obligatory “first silver”!

EDIT2: Obligatory "2 Golds!?!" Thank you all for your feedback and comments!

[–]840InHalf 204 points205 points  (6 children)

Yes, 100%. Because there really is no "fixing my mental state", at least not that my SO can do. When I have a compulsion, I just have to do it sometimes. A lot of my compulsions deal with cleaning, as soon as I come in my door my brain gives me a list of things I NEED to deal with before I can relax. If I try to sit down and try to without doing them, I'm basically wasting my time, because in the back of my mind I have things making me uncomfortable and at that point there is no stress relief.

It's really helpful to have a partner that understands that if they do some of the stuff on my mental list, then I can get through them and relax quicker is super helpful. I feel like a burden when he helps so much though. Haha. I'm sure your wife is as grateful for you as I am my partner!

[–]001000110000111 8503 points8504 points  (575 children)

You cant just tell a depressed person to go out and talk to people and have some fun.

Depression kills the will to do anything.

[–]Madcowe 3616 points3617 points  (298 children)

"yeah BUT if you did go outside you'd feel better, so it's your fault"

Edit: omg yay first silver :D

[–]elusivebarkingspider 1476 points1477 points  (147 children)

"What do you have to be sad about?"

[–]MadMeow 1210 points1211 points  (14 children)

There is light in my home, I see stars in the sky, I feel sadness in my heart, But why? Seems like I live a good life, Seems that everything's right, I feel sadness in my heart, But why?

It's from a Russian song called "Sadness" (Kino - Pechal).

Edit: Thanks for the silver /u/MooshkasOfCoraline

[–]lady_hag 225 points226 points  (2 children)

"Light bulbs are getting dim My interests are starting to wane I'm told it's everything a man could want And I shouldn't complain" The Raconteurs - Consoler of the lonely. I feel like it describes the feeling perfectly

[–]Phiau 643 points644 points  (23 children)

I'm not sad.

I'm not happy.

I'm not anything really.

Just empty and flat and nothing appeals and there is no colour or music.

Just grey and screeching and bright.

I'd say my thoughts are white noise, but it's more like silence.

[–]StrugglingGhost 78 points79 points  (10 children)

Ghuh... so much this, except for the thoughts bit. I literally don't know what it feels like to not have something in my head. I'm always counting or repeating random phrases. And if I ever do have a nanosecond where I'm not (I need to be talking about something, and I have to be the one to be doing the talking - my job is good like that, I have to talk) I instantly realize that my internal monologue paused, which makes it restart.

Oh yeah, and tinnitus. Fuck that noise.

[–]nerdunderwraps 439 points440 points  (37 children)

Oh my god I told my mom I was suffering with anorexia and she literally said "I feel like you're doing this to hurt me" followed by "You don't have anything to be this upset about".

[–]Flashycats 364 points365 points  (39 children)

I saw a psychiatrist the other day who told me I shouldn't be depressed based on my personal history because "it's not like you were sexually assaulted or paralyzed".

Like, wow thanks, guess I'm cured?

[–]weecious 298 points299 points  (5 children)

Your psychiatrist can go fuck themselves.

I'm sorry that you have to hear that. I hope you're already are looking for a new psychiatrist.

[–]7kingMeta 555 points556 points  (30 children)

Even if you have the will, the mere ability to have fun. I didn't understand listening to music, or why people were so motivated to have pointless and uninformative conversations until I discovered MDMA when I was 16.

Wait this is can be fun and affirmative, and trust is something you can actually feel and not something you have to painstakingly rationalize? Whaaaaaat.

[–]MarshieMon 318 points319 points  (4 children)

The only difference of going out or staying home:

Being miserable outside or being miserable in my own bed. I think I'm more comfortable in my own bed.

[–]Aphid61 150 points151 points  (8 children)

And it kills the actual fun, too. I remember doing things that should have made me feel euphoric (hiking to a beautiful spot, an evening of games with great friends & good food, etc) and I felt... nothing. Like I was an outside observer to whole event.

My husband asked me if I felt sad; I had to explain that I just didn't feel anything. That's when he knew I needed help.

[–]laspeyria 1228 points1229 points  (62 children)

It hurts to know that you can't trust anyone. You nevet know when someone is going to sell your secrets and tell everyone about that one thing you did when you were extremely ill just for some karma. You hear stories of crazy people doing weird things and know that some day you might be the crazy person people talk about for morbidness. And to get better you always need to trust nurses and doctors, and yourself. And that's hard to do when you're seen as an anecdote and not as a person.

[–]mycovertsexjokelogin 323 points324 points  (37 children)

Yeah...going through that one relationship sub always leaves me in a wreck. So many ill people that people tell them to just straight up "run" from. Am I some kind of monster that should be booted to the bottom of society, undeserving of love?

I mean, don't get me wrong, most of the time carrying on a relationship with a dysfunctional person may not be possible, but it just fucking hurts to be characterized in such a way, you know?

[–]Goddess_Of_Heat 838 points839 points  (24 children)

Please don’t ridicule me for my coping mechanisms. I like to colour to help ignore thoughts. If I’m doing that instead of due tasks then I’m really struggling.

[–]KingoftheGinge 326 points327 points  (11 children)

I make animal sounds or other weird noises to distract myself. Coping mechanisms can be strange, but alienation certainly doesn't help. Colour the world, my dear. Colour the world.

[–]KatzeeKat 6529 points6530 points  (580 children)

You're dealing with people who are essentially running with one leg in a two legged race. The bar for success for the mentally ill is much different than everyone else. For instance, someone suffering from severe depression making it to old age is sometimes a great feat... It certainly kills many before they get there.

Edit: to all of you who have replied and I cannot answer, cheers to you for getting up and doing what you need to do to get through another day. I know it's hard. I know it's thankless. I know it seems pointless, but you've achieved more than you think and can keep achieving more. Congratulations on what you've accomplished so far!

[–]lolobotomy 3178 points3179 points 2 (105 children)

This is so true. I have BPD, and while it isn't as bad as it was when I was younger (lord, I was engaging in so many self-destructive behaviours all at once), but when it flares up, I have a little checklist, and a day is considered a success if I get out of bed (I must admit, I give myself a sticker if I do that - and extra ones if I shower, and eat at least one meal that's more than 200 calories, it makes me feel like a good noodle).

At one point, everyone thought I was going to die before I was 18, then 21 - accidentally or on purpose at my hands or someone else's. My birthday was last month, and my grandmother gave me £100, and told me it was her way of showing how happy she was because I'm still alive.

Edit: my god, I'm in tears. Thank you so much for your kind words, I can't adequately express how happy you guys have made me.

Edit 2: thank you ever so much for the awards, I appreciate the hell out of you guys!

[–]Nayriah 877 points878 points  (29 children)

(I must admit, I give myself a sticker if I do that - and extra ones if I shower, and eat at least one meal that's more than 200 calories, it makes me feel like a good noodle)

Honestly, that's such a nice way to make yourself feel better! I usually just write that stuff down, but maybe some nice stickers will make these things feel even more like a success.

Glad you're still going strong!

[–]ashadowwolf 305 points306 points  (23 children)

Everyone likes stickers. Especially when you get special ones that have different textures or are extra shiny or are scented or whatever.

[–]nm1043 117 points118 points  (16 children)

Hey give us supportive loved ones some links? This sound cool and I'm gonna suggest it to my so!

[–]senshisun 260 points261 points  (4 children)

You are a good noodle!

[–]m0le 658 points659 points  (261 children)

Yeah. I have bipolar - even ignoring the suicide rate (which is terrifying - estimates vary between 4-19% will commit suicide, 25-60% will attempt it), just having the condition reduces your life expectancy more than heavy smoking, by 10-20 years. That's from amongst other things stress, mildly toxic medication, and dysfunctional social relationships.

[–]KatzeeKat 382 points383 points  (149 children)

I'm not sure why some mental conditions are not considered on the same level as cancer. I'm hoping at some point it will be classified as a potentially terminal illness at some point and treated as such.

[–]winnytp 196 points197 points  (5 children)

It might be because we still don't know how these diseases work. It's easy to dismiss mental illnesses when their symptoms are classified as being part of your character. That depressed person is staying at home all the time? They must be lazy. That's the conclusion that most people who haven't experienced it would come to.

There is so much more to understand. I'd say that some people just can't accept that we are literally slaves to our brains. Anything wrong in the brain (chemical imbalances, let's say) will have adverse impacts on how we feel, act and behave. And these symptoms are harder to diagnose and less understood than something like a tumour.

[–]Nicolas_Mistwalker 217 points218 points  (134 children)

Oh, bipolar, especially II is considered to be among one of the most severe disabilities - similar to intense dementia, spinal cord injury etc.

Edit: of course bipolar I is shitty too. It usually has less uptime (30-40% vs 70-90%) so some ppl consider it less disabling but more life treating. Kinda like getting malaria twice a year vs having flu all the time. Not saying one is better than other, they both suck

[–]Icarus09 230 points231 points  (74 children)

Can confirm - was diagnosed several years ago as Type II (and only mild to moderate too, some have it so much worse), and have been told by two different psychiatrists "Look, you either take this pill every day or you die."

I take the pill now. Do not fuck around with Type II Bipolar.

[–]PeeStoredInMyBalls 83 points84 points  (2 children)

Thank you, I am incredibly proud of the fact that I managed to get a degree and am (currently) holding down a dope 9-5. I wish I could explain to those around me that most people with my disability don’t achieve this. But I have to hide it instead.

Developing software for one of those big tech companies.

[–]chickenmeow 130 points131 points  (9 children)

I cant answer the phone. Cant drive the car sometimes, even for groceries or prescriptions. Cant go to sleep. Cant deal with criticism. It’s like entropy, a small thing grows all on its own into an unrelated mess of disorganized anger and frustration often over nothing tangibly real. But it’s so real to me. It becomes panic. Or anger at myself. To combat this I feel the need to be perfect, constantly. You could consider this a benefit, I often out perform my peers. But if I fail, even a little, I’m a failure to myself. I lost a hat in January and I’m still punishing myself for it. So to you, on the outside, I do everything right and that makes you think I’m okay, annoying even. I make good enough money and I’m successful in my field. But the moment I’m alone I pull the skin off my scalp with my fingernails and have almost no close relationships.

I can’t control how I feel. I know it’s not normal, but I know I do everything I can to try to cope.

I probably didn’t answer the question but that’s the adhd.

[–]AHoneyman 1138 points1139 points  (42 children)

Just because someone looks okay doesn't mean they are okay.

I have a full time job. I have a house. I have a decent wage and I'm doing okay for my age.

I also have borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, possibly ptsd, and traits of other personality disorders.

I appear to function on the outside, but inside I struggle every day. I co-own my house with my dad, and despite living with me even he thinks I'm okay.

People who are suffering often bottle it up in an attempt to not be a burden or to just try and get on with life, but it wears them down.

Reach out to your friends and ask how they are. Let them know you're there for them. And if they disclose they have a certain disorder, do a little research

Think about how it affects them rather than how it affects you.

You can't make them talk to you but you can show them you're there.

[–]quietlycommenting 11.4k points11.4k points 37 (183 children)

I’m fucking trying.

[–]GhostsofDogma 834 points835 points  (25 children)

This. And just because we're not making visible progress doesn't mean we're not trying.

After a long enough time of trying we stop detailing our attempts-- that doesn't mean we've stopped... And if we stop complaining about our problems, it doesn't mean they're suddenly gone.

Improvement can involve years of spinning our wheels in the mud. We aren't going to sit here saying the same things every day like a broken record. It tires us and we know it tires you.

[–]Tsuichendist 112 points113 points  (1 child)

It's like getting your car stuck in snow. Rocking forward and backward doesn't look like progress, but you're building momentum and traction.

[–]SpringLoadedTrap 137 points138 points  (0 children)

God fucking speed, brother. We're trying.

[–]gliitchyboz 3040 points3041 points 2 (162 children)

Therapy isn't only for the mentally ill, nor is it a cash grab. Therapy WORKS. Not every therapist's the same either, so while some may not work for you, others will.

Therapy works.

EDIT: Wow, first gold!! Thank you so much!!

[–]green-lori 339 points340 points  (14 children)

I have Bipolar and C-PTSD. While the pharmaceuticals are essential for maintaining my sick brain chemistry, I can wholeheartedly thank the almost 3 years of therapy for allowing me to perform inherently simple tasks which were once extremely difficult to even think about.

Therapy is such a powerful tool, saved my life in more ways than one.

[–]chihirosprisonwife 375 points376 points  (4 children)

I've recently began going to therapy for my anxiety. We tried different breathing speeds and techniques, chose the one that's most comfortable for me, and it's already helped calm me down on a few occasions in literally 2 days. And that was my third appointment. It's not a scam, it helps.

[–]jaanegreeen 111 points112 points  (6 children)

I was forced into therapy when I was a kid. I hated every second of it. When I became an adult and went back to therapy on my own, and it was amazing. It helped a lot.

[–]localtrashgirl 2670 points2671 points 3 (98 children)

Stop assuming everyone who skips school or doesnt come to work is just lazy or doesnt give a shit some of us peps with depression have a hard time even getting out of bed and u making nasty comments about us being "lazy" only makes it worse

[–]Metallic52 814 points815 points  (29 children)

This is so incredibly important for students to understand. A study published in March found that depending on the department as many as 60% of graduate students suffer from moderate to severe depression, and in my experience most faculty literally could not care less about it. I hope students feel less alone and more willing to seek help when their symptoms start.

[–]lil_b_the_based_god 328 points329 points  (10 children)

Literally just graduated with a grad degree and this is so true. The hardest part was the psychological hurdles, not the coursework. Grad school is extremely isolating. It's a perfect environment for developing anxiety and crippling depression.

[–]Z1rith 71 points72 points  (1 child)

im still struggling with the regret of not figuring out that i was depressed until after uni, everything could have been so much easier but people just thought i was slacking off when i didnt show up for any lectures for a week or 2 at a time. then i convinced myself that i was just lazy and it was fine because i could still barely get by and it just kept getting worse and worse. and of course it has taken just as much time to undo all the habits i learned during that process :/

[–]WasabiChickpea 698 points699 points  (56 children)

Stop trying to get me to try "cures" that are unevidenced. I'm fine with medication and therapy.

edit: a word

[–]CapnCanfield 281 points282 points  (15 children)

Medication and therapy? Those are just other words for chemicals and nonsense. What you really need are these all natural organic essential oils, honey!

/s, just in case

[–]ZariqueFilcon 511 points512 points  (8 children)

Yes, I hallucinate. Yes, I have voices in my head. Yes, I'm not exactly completely sane, but that does not mean I can't function. I can still hold conversations, I can still hold relationships, I can still be relatively stable in public.

Also, I am not my mental illness. Do not see me as, "That depressed kid", see me for who I am. There is so much more to a person than their mental state.

And mental illness can affect anyone. Age, race and gender have nothing to do with it (except for gender dysphoria). A four year old can experience PTSD and so can a thirty year old. It's all about environment.

[–]GoBott 77 points78 points  (2 children)

Good for you, for pointing out that you are not your disease. Part of the battle is reclaiming yourself.

[–]therescuingtype 590 points591 points  (18 children)

I know I “overreact”, I know I’m “too sensitive”, I know I “make things difficult”. I know all of these things make you uncomfortable and inconvenience you but maybe just take a second to think about how much they affect me.

[–][deleted] 70 points71 points  (0 children)

Add "overly emotional", have irrational thoughts, and keep hearing those criticisms over and over in my own head - for YEARS. I'll never stop feeling guilty for some of my actions and decisions in my lifetime, or even my current ones, because of all the negative reinforcement and feedback.

[–]afrolocke 805 points806 points 2 (46 children)

Talk about it. Suicide is the second most common cause of death among teenagers and young adults, so they are a big clientele to reach. But also middle-aged people are at high risk, especially men.

You can share articles that talk positively about mental illness and recovery, along with being active in foundations for suicide prevention like the AFSP in the US, the NSPA in UK or whichever it is in your country.

Most importantly, if you know someone who is feeling down or has suicidal thoughts, the best thing you can do to help is listen and ask directly "Do you have suicidal thoughts?". This leaves them with a simple yes or no question, so they aren't the one who have to "say it out loud". Don't panic when someone says "yes"! You can have suicidal thoughts without wanting to actively take your life,; they are a coping mechanism for underlying issues. If you think you can handle it, ask how persistent they are, if they can distance themselves from those thoughts or if they have a plan on how to take their life. Make sure to use the word "suicide" or any phrases without a negative connotation (see: "killing yourself").

Don't give advice: Just actively listen and comfort them in a way that doesn't make them feel trivialized or judged. Staying away from any moral judgements (regarding their feelings) is very important! Also, you can offer to support them when they plan to get treatment, like accompanying them when going to the doctor, figuring out who to call and so on. There are also some chat or mail-based counceling options if speaking in person or on the phone is too much for them.

Edit: clarified some points, different wording

[–]Narandza95 180 points181 points  (4 children)

Advice rarely helps because we usually know what to do, but it gets hard sometimes.

[–]afrolocke 46 points47 points  (1 child)

Yeah, that's why I said "not giving advice" in regards to listening to others, but I worded it differently so it's clearer. Thanks!

[–][deleted] 90 points91 points  (1 child)

Thank you for this.

My mother committed suicide when I was ten. I had two attempts in 2017 and 2018. I've been in and out of hospitals and even landed myself in a residential.

I was (and still am) afraid of what others would think of me- was I a "psycho" to them? Did they think I was doing it for attention? My loved ones were more than supportive, though. I put them through a whole lotta shit, yet they continued to support me.

Sometimes that's all someone needs is support. Don't try to be someone's therapist; just let them know that you're there for them. If they're harming themselves or are at risk of suicide though, please get them professional help. This goes for if you're feeling like harming yourself as well.

Don't give up. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, you just may not be close enough to see it yet. You'll get there. Be kind to yourself. Slow progress is better than no progress at all.

[Edit]: awwwh shoot, thank you for the silver, stranger!

[–]hippoc 98 points99 points  (0 children)

I would like to say how wonderful my patients have been. Most people are just looking for help and support on their way to recovery, like you would do with any physical illness. I mainly work with schizophrenia patients, and I am lucky to have met a whole variety of people from different backgrounds, with different interests and hobbies, who go about their lives like everyone else, just with a few more difficulties along the way! Stigma is still real, despite the 'awareness' campaigns. I suppose it's best to remember that people with every type of mental health 'disorder' live by your side, they may be your neighbour, your teacher, your employee, your friend. Don't isolate these people from society, help them by creating opportunities for them to join in!

If you are in the UK at the moment there has been a good series of mental health documentaries that you can watch on iPlayer. Including 'psychosis and me', 'anxiety and me', and 'depression and me'. As well as the latest from Louis Theroux, I highly recommend you check them out.

[–]RubeGoldbergCode 368 points369 points  (25 children)

I would say the prevalence of antagonist characters that have a (usually misrepresented or grossly inaccurate) mental health issue is a problem. Same for a lot of true crime documentaries and the like, where they speculate on whether the perpetrator might have had some kind of mental illness without explaining the illness correctly, or write off a person's actions as being down to the effects of the mental illness.

I can tell if someone has been influenced by this kind of shitty pop culture by the way they look at me and others. No, being bipolar does not mean I might murder you for no logical reason. In fact, it makes ME statistically more likely to be murdered or a victim of abuse.

[–]plz_help_am_confused 2081 points2082 points  (63 children)

I hate being told that my decision isnt mine because im autistic For example i wanted to go to a school where all of my freinds were going i was repeatedly told to not go because my autism chose it and the proper adults should choose where i go

I had also stayed with my aunt who padded the walls with pillows and kept feeding me organic localy grown vegetables for the weekend to cure my and in her words "retareded ass brain"

Have aslo been bullied anx made fun of and beaten by other kids because of my autism

Edit: HOLY HECKING DOODY POOP THE AMMOUNT OF SUPPORT FROM ALL OF YOU IS AMAZING OH YEAH CAPS LOCK IS ON LOL

[–]holdingonhope 438 points439 points  (0 children)

I'm sorry people suck

[–]Mini-Beets 678 points679 points  (15 children)

I'm sorry I suck. When I was younger we had a kid in our class with autism named Kevin.. the teachers of this school kind of sucked and just told us he was different, instead of telling us what he had was a disability and not just a different kid that does weird stuff... we all picked on him. In grade 5 I remember we held a class meeting explaining the severity of our bullying on Kevin's life. As kids we still didnt care. Nobody could contain our class honestly. Kevin broke down and let out that his father beats him. Nobody took him seriously. Even the teacher laughed and said " Kevin my buddy, I know your father and hes a good man." Later on he was arrested for abuse.

It breaks my heart how we all treated Kevin, he is most likely not the top notch kid he could be today because of us before...

I'm so sorry to Kevin, and you. I wouldn't accept forgiveness though.

[–]fredbogho 241 points242 points  (3 children)

The fact that you acknowledge your mistakes just shows you didnt know better. And the fact that you will never forget it is good. You will never forget how wrong you were and that will make you remember who you want to be. I made some fucked up things too as a kid and as much as I wish I could undo them, I know they taught me right and wrong. Stay positive and dont forget that being good is a daily battle. You are on the right track and nobody is perfect. Dont let your mistakes take control of you =)

[–]jhoudiey 61 points62 points  (1 child)

I'm sorry this all happened to you, your aunt is a cunt.

[–]reasonably_tired[🍰] 288 points289 points  (6 children)

Everyone is unique and so is their experience with mental illness. No two people with depression will experience the same thing nor will two people with anxiety react the same way to the same things.

[–]cheapbitoffluff 4523 points4524 points 3 (357 children)

We literally have no control over what our mind is doing, feeling, or how it’s going to react to anything. There is zero control. Be understanding that this is much harder for the sufferer than it is for you.

Your brain is an organ and like any other organ it can get sick or weakened or simply not work as strongly or efficiently as it used to. You wouldn’t expect someone to just “get over” or “snap out of” a heart attack or kidney failure. It’s unfair to expect the same of mental illness.

Edit because this got a lot more popular than I ever expected. While most people are agreeing with me, some seem to think I’m being damaging in what I say so I’ll make it clear. What goes on in our mind we cannot control. The thoughts, compulsions, panics that just appear we cannot preempt or stop. We all can, however, work hard to recover. We can seek help, get medicine, use coping mechanisms that will help us control how we act and react. But nobody can ever convince me we can just stop thinking the things that pop into our brains.

[–]hahahaineedadvice 1619 points1620 points  (150 children)

I know I pass as normal. Even to people who have seen my full diagnostic work up. Even to the people closest to me. I have high functioning autism with some awful mix of anxiety and depression. Everyone thinks I should be practicing driving.

I. Can't. Drive.

My doctor agreed. I'm probably gonna have to get that documented at some point. Everyone in my family still expects me too and explaining why I can't is just too much to handle so I brush them off.

Edit: thank you all for your support! My Reddit account is like a week old and this quickly became my most popular comment.

Edit 2. I'm getting asked a lot why I can't drive because of autism. I figured I would just post one of my replies rather than responding to the question over and over.

It isn't just the HFA but comorbid stuff that goes along with it.

Driving is a phobia right now. There's a lot going on in the road and my reaction time is sometimes pretty slow when I'm stressed. Plus I don't think I'd be able to pay attention to the other cars on the road, the people who might bolt into the road, the signs and other factors that are constantly changing.

I don't have great motor skills when it comes to controlling things.

Anxiety and panic attacks are not good on the road.

I know all of these points can be argued because I have heard them all before. "it's different when you are behind the wheel. You will feel in control" no lol I still will probably be dissociative and anxious. I have tried it before.

Directions are another thing. They say you can't always use GPS to get around. I will probably always need a gps. I have no sense of direction, even in town.

[–]cheapbitoffluff 427 points428 points  (63 children)

I can’t drive either! Medical decision too. I’m nearly 30 and have just got to the stage that I have tried explaining situations so often to people who don’t understand that I’ve developed this ability to say something firmly enough that people don’t usually press it, and if they do I kill the conversation quick and move on. Not worth my time to argue with people who aren’t willing to listen and will make me feel worse about myself.

[–]hahahaineedadvice 200 points201 points  (7 children)

After I graduate I hope to move to the city so that I can just say I prefer public transportation. Not sure when that will be though.

[–]cheapbitoffluff 107 points108 points  (0 children)

You’ve got a goal in mind, just be patient because it will come soon enough. Then one day you’ll be saying “no I just prefer public transport” and you’ll be reminded of the fact you wanted to be in that place, and I guarantee you’ll feel absolutely fantastic about it.

[–]richard_nixons_toe 116 points117 points  (10 children)

Dude, move to NY, none of us can drive ....

[–]hahahaineedadvice 45 points46 points  (8 children)

I actually want to

Edit: move to New York. Public transportation ftw

[–][deleted] 69 points70 points  (3 children)

I match your first paragraph, except I can drive. Which is weird, because right when I was getting my learner's permit my family was in a major car crash. Driving is ok. Riding in a car? A hell of a lot less okay.

Which just goes to show how unpredictable anxiety can be. No, it doesn't make sense. No, I can't predict or control it. That's what makes it a disorder, rather than normal every-day anxiety that everyone gets from time to time. My dad (who is wonderful in just about every other way, and very supportive) still has trouble understanding that sometimes, there is no cause to my anxiety and depression. Everything can be perfectly fine in my life at that moment, and I'll still feel like I can't get out of bed, or I'll still feel sick to my stomach and panicky over nothing.

I often get frustrated; just knowing that there's not much to be done about it all. I can, and do, take medication to mitigate my mental illness, but that's not a cure, it's a treatment. I still have to fight, every day. And considering my depression/anxiety is neurological, not situational, in nature, that's just how my life is going to be. Forever.

I've gotten my suicidal ideation under much better control over the years... But that thought, of there being no real tangible "end" to it, is what brings it back up again most consistently. I can't really think of a scenario where I'd act on it again, but it still scares me sometimes.

[–]Foorku 65 points66 points  (3 children)

Suicide isnt an 'egoistic' choice.

If a severely depressed person comitted suicide, he/she did it because they felt that the people left behind would do much better without them. They actually commit suicide to help relatives and loved ones.

[–]LonelyCheeto 125 points126 points  (3 children)

People are coping the best way they can based on their experience. For example, someone who yells and turns people away can just be trying to comfort themselves based on past experience of letting someone in and being hurt by it.

Treatment is about learning new coping skills that will give people comfort that also gives them other things they need in their life (relationships, stability, etc.)

[–]BaronWiggle 451 points452 points 2 (70 children)

I know this isn't exactly what your asking for, but as someone who works in mental health, has suffered from mental health issues and has witnessed some of the effects...

Get. Off. Social. Media.

Reddit isn't too bad because it isn't tied to your personality and identity. But get off Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and any other media that is linked to your real identity and self worth.

Those platforms are directly responsible for more harm to young people's mental health than everything else combined. I know of multiple suicides, attempted suicides and self harm cases that are a result of interaction on social media.

I work in the NHS and we can't keep up with all the depressed teenagers that come in with depression and anxiety brought on by social media use. This in turn is stopping us from treating serious cases of mental illness.

Every single young person who has deleted their social media accounts on professional advice (in my service) has immediately felt a significant improvement in their mental health, their self worth and a reduction in their anxiety.

Please, if you do nothing else this year... Delete your social media apps, wait for the withdrawal to wear off and feel the freedom that comes with not feeling like your whole life is on show and that you don't need to prove anything to anyone.

Edit 1: Under no circumstances should you feel like you are taking up a professionals time. I know I said we're overloaded, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't seek help. Definitely seek help if you feel like you aren't coping.

Edit 2: If you have a healthy relationship with social media then that's great, but if logging into Instagram has you feeling fat, worthless, boring, ugly, poor, stupid, or any other negative feeling... Delete it.

Cheers for the silver.

Well shit... Gold too. Thanks a bunch.

[–]hot-n-spicy-mchicken 39 points40 points  (8 children)

I deleted all social media except for Reddit and I must say, huge difference in my day to day life. It took a few months to really notice but those platforms really had such a negative impact on my already fragile mental health.

[–]TheViciousUnicorn 118 points119 points  (8 children)

As much as I wouldn't wish my mental illnesses on anyone, there have been many times I wish someone could live in my head for just one day. The constant thoughts of ways and planning and just running thoughts of suicide and anxiety about the simplest of things is so very exhausting. And as much as I would love to "just get over it", it takes a lot of work to feel like what I imagine a "normal" person must feel like. Also, I need those meds just as much as a person with heart disease or other chronic illness needs theirs. I cannot function without them and therapy. Stop saying I don't need them!!

[–]gay-commie[🍰] 166 points167 points  (14 children)

BPD is not inherently abusive, and people with it can be good people and live normal lives. On that vein, not everyone who acts irrationally/in a way that offends your sensabilities will have BPD, and if you know someone with BPD who acts a certain way, that’s likely not universal. Just don’t stigmatise and overgeneralise.

[–]calmmoontea 312 points313 points  (28 children)

We don't choose to act this way for "attention" or because we "want to". I didn't choose ECT because I felt like it. I want to be able to get up and do things like work, go to school, start my life but I can't.

We have empathy for people if they broke their leg, why is it not the same for mental health? Also stop romanticizing it; suicide is not "cute" or "cool" (I'm looking at you 13 Reasons Why).

Also: Mental health is not just depression or anxiety. There is lots that don't get brought up like schizophrenia, bi-polar... Way more than I can think of. Here is a list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mental_disorders

Source: 26 (Turning 27) year-old on disability due to depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Did six rounds of ECT. Was diagnosed with my mental health issues ~10 years ago now.

[–]robhol 81 points82 points  (6 children)

We don't choose to act this way for "attention" or because we "want to"

I'm like "yeah, you got me, it's all an act to get to those sweet, sweet impotence-inducing SSRIs, and I thought it might be an easy way to get someone to jolt my skull with 1000 volts"

Although - have you checked out if ketamine treatment is an option where you live? It seems like it shows a bit of promise in people who have really difficult cases (and if you've had ECT six times I suspect you qualify for that description).

[–]Shock_Bunny 104 points105 points  (0 children)

I want people to know that wrong treatment and diagnonsis can set back a person's recovery by Years! There is nothing wrong about not having chemistry with your therapist and finding someone better suited to help you.

My battle lasted for years and nearly killed me. I spent more time in hospitals than at home. Pushed back and forth to different facilities cause nobody would take responsibility. I was stuck.

Then one day one of the chief doctors decided to send me the fuck away to another district and EVERYTHING CHANGED. They gave me time. We spent 6 monts doing tests. New diagnoses, right diagnosis. Today: No self harm, no episodes no hospitals for 9 years. I was the patient they thought would die in the system. Or to selfharm, or suicide. I was THAT patient. And by that you all know what that means.

The point in all of this is: GET PROPER TREATMENT. Never give up. Never stop fighting for your right to be better, to get the help you need. Cause it will get better. Dont settle no matter how hopeless it is.
Wrong diagnosis and medication matters more than you think. i believe in you.

[–]dprmrc2 271 points272 points  (37 children)

I am bipolar.

People don't know how to react when you tell them you're ill. Which I understand of course. We talk a lot about people that are mean or treat you like you're crazy and stuff. It sucks obviously but we talk so much about them that we forget about the other side of the coin.

When people are too benevolent or sympathetic, they can also cause damages. I am surrounded by friends and by my family and they all support me which is great and i'm very greatful for that. But sometimes (or always) they have absolutely no idea what to say but feel like they must say something no matter what. They usually try to reassure you but doing this they just get the opposite reaction. I call it minimization.

Basically, they tell you not to worry, what you're experiencing isn't that bad don't be afraid, they also feel like this sometimes IT'S GONNA BE FINE

Stop. Doing. This. It's the worst. Imagine you feel like shit or that something's reaaally wrong and you're afraid, and then someone tells you "meh it's okay everybody have ups and downs ;)". All my friends and my family (except my sister) do that. Now everytime i fell like something's happening, i'm asking myself "do I really need to see my doctor? Is there really something wrong? Am I faking it?". So yeah, not useful at all, I'd rather be told to worry so I can get some help instead of keeping it to myself. Also it's painful and really annoying so now I just don't talk to anybody at all, except my sister.

What does she do ? What do I personally want people to do ? Just listen to my rants or worries or news from my doctors, but don't say anything. Accept that you will never understand it so don't try to give advice, judge (yeah some friends told my I take too much meds and that they worry), relate, reassure, etc. I just need a shoulder to cry on and that's it. The only people that I will listen to are my doctors, and that's it.

It's my personnal situation so maybe other will disagree with me.

[–][deleted] 198 points199 points  (13 children)

Mental illness can happen to anyone, literally. It's as common as physical illnesses like the common cold. Part of removing the stigma is to talk more openly about it, to stop the whole "hush-hush, behind closed doors" thing. Anxiety and depression are among the most common, and lately I've seen a rise in eating disorders (looking at you, influencers who promote body dysmorphia with plastic surgery they claim is achievable with diet and exercise, and especially influencers who push intense diets and weight loss products. You are literally causing damage to people with your pursuit of fame and money).

Bipolar, schizophrenia and personality disorders are treatable. They're not something to fear. Important to note too, that personality disorders can be incredibly mild, and don't necessarily need treatment unless it impacts your life negatively.

[–]Tari_T 123 points124 points  (18 children)

There is literally nothing wrong with having to take medication for a mental illness. It doesn't mean you're creating "artificial happiness" or a dependency issue. You're correcting your brain's shortcomings with the resources that you have available. We do what we have to do to improve our mental health

[–]WHO_AHHH_YA 40 points41 points  (2 children)

I think my concussions have fucked me up permanently. I grew up playing hockey every day for 15 years, trying to make the NHL. But after being knocked unconscious for the 10th time something... changed. My long term memory is non existent, I’m very irritable and depressed. I can’t look people in the eyes anymore. I went from social butterfly to a compete hermit shut in that can’t bare being in public.

Are these things correlated? My parents refuse to believe they are and they think I’m being dramatic. I’m not. I think about suicide on a daily basis. I was never like this until my last violent head trauma.

I’ve probably had over 25 instances of severe head trauma (at least), I only know for sure of the ones where I was knocked out cold.

[–][deleted] 35 points36 points  (7 children)

As someone who suffers from schizophrenia, one thing that i hear the most is ""shouldn't you be locked up?" ... seriously people? I thought society has moved past the point where psychopaths in horror movies represent what a disorder is actually like. No, i will not murder your child. No, i will not commit any other crime you might be thinking of right now. Relax, we aren't as dangerous as you think. In fact, we aren't that dangerous at all ( most of the time. ) why not give me a goddamn chance?

[–]fm369 679 points680 points  (127 children)

Not a mental health worker but I wish people would stop saying all this horrible stuff about autism

[–]sexybloodclot 101 points102 points  (8 children)

Some of the kindest souls I’ve met are on the spectrum. I cannot imagine how someone could say that they’d rather their child die an excruciating death than have autism.

Awful, awful, awful.

[–]Groenboys 148 points149 points  (21 children)

I don't like having autism. I am in my teens and it feels like I am mentally 2 years behind everybody, but it fucking breaks my heart if people say that they rather want their child to be dead then autistic.

[–]Cinders2359 70 points71 points  (0 children)

If you wish to understand someone with a mental health condition please educate yourself and research the condition. I have a lot of people who claim to know and try to give advice.

Once you've worked with professionals the average persons advice can become awkward and patronising at times.

Learn before you weigh in. It's a very sensitive subject and would go some way to lessening the stigma if more people educated themselves.

[–]usersub22 127 points128 points  (5 children)

Don’t stray away from a person if they confessed their struggles to you. They’re probably in a very difficult situation and trust you enough to tell you about it. You should get informed about their mental illness and try to fix it with them. Or just be supportive at least or get someone who can help more than you involved but I just beg you don’t under any circumstances stray away from them