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Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Staying well / Merry Christmas in 2020

Topic: Merry Christmas in 2020

  1. Tangney
    Tangney avatar
    180 posts
    7 January 2021
    Doolhof, I have asthma, and have been taking medication daily for decades. It's particularly bad at this time of year as I get flare ups due to the humid weather. The way people are behaving towards those that are not wearing masks is quite confronting so I am tending to exclude myself. I know someone else with a different medical issue who told me yesterday that they aren't going to go out anymore, because it's too hard to put up with the questioning and humiliation. I am not sleeping due to my increasing anxiety due and distress. Ironically, I am supposed to be someone that the government is claiming to protect and "keep safe" with all of these restrictions. I don't want this so called protection. I would like the government to leave me alone to deal with my own physical health, as I have always done. It would be great if they had so much concern for mental health - another irony.
  2. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
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    Doolhof avatar
    8853 posts
    7 January 2021 in reply to Tangney

    Hi Tangney,

    Thanks for explaining your situation. I know people don't need to be stigmatised or put on show, but I am wondering if there could be some kind of Nation wide acknowledgement of medical reasons why a person can not wear a face mask. Maybe an identification card of your medical situation you could just show people might help them to back off.

    It is so confusing when masks are required and then they are not. I am sorry you feel it is easier to stay at home. I hope you are able to find ways to reduce your anxiety. My stress levels have been up for a while and I am not doing too well out the house either for different reasons.

    I'm going to try and make the most of today!

    Cheers to you from Dools

  3. golden82
    golden82 avatar
    435 posts
    7 January 2021 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Doolhof,

    Thanks for your caring post. I am sorry you are struggling also. Not sure what this year will bring with all this Covid and lockdowns and mental health. I also have limited MH support (almost none) - not for lack of trying. I have found doing all the leg work to try and get MH team to be so exhausting - instead just self-learning a bit from online. We will see how the year goes - I hope things go well/improve for you and like your ideas of making little positive changes - I will try to do the same.

    Take care Dools (ps I remember, you were the first person to welcome me to the forums last year Easter time - you are very kind :)

    1 person found this helpful
  4. golden82
    golden82 avatar
    435 posts
    7 January 2021 in reply to Tangney

    Hi Tangney,

    I have been off forums a couple days and checking them now - sorry to read of the distress you are in re mask wearing and the judgment from others. I will try catch up reading all your posts about this as I can see you have written a fair bit. But, absolutely it is not fair to you to be judged - regardless, but especially as you have a real reason. It reminds me a lot of MH and other invisible illnesses. eg if someone parks in the disability car park and gets judged and sometimes 'attacked' because they are not physically displaying a disability such as a broken leg. There is so much of this small-mindedness. I have had it before too. Several years ago I had to go into our CBD and had a panic attack and so went to a disabled toilet to lock away for a few minutes and try calm down. When I walked out I was abused by the man waiting with his walking stick waving it round at me and shouting and swearing at me that I am not disabled and should not use those toilets. I felt guilty and sorry for him. But really - he was the one abusive and I felt that was what I needed at the time. But I was judged because my 'injury'/'pain' was in my mind and it manifests with body shaking etc but no obvious broken leg or walking stick.

    I hope you can continue to go out and stand your ground if you have to - but I can imagine this is very hard. Know that you have everyone here supporting you - to keep pushing on with getting out and about. We had a lockdown here in Adelaide in November for a few days - complete lockdown - flipped me out a bit. I think being inside - or feeling like you have to be inside makes it worse. Please take care Tangney. I will catch your other posts and see you in your thread :) ps yes, Prof Ian Hickie makes a lot of sense - I have seen him interviewed once earlier last year.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
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    Doolhof avatar
    8853 posts
    8 January 2021 in reply to golden82

    Hi golden82,

    Thanks so much for your very kind words.

    I too have experienced a time where trying to organise, secure and receive mental health help seemed so difficult. Some people state it is easy, get a mental health care plan and you will be set. The psychologist I now see charges a significant gap even with a mental health care plan.

    One thing I am trying to do is to have a more balanced day. It was suggested I 1)include some kind of exercise or an activity that is helpful to the body like self massage, 2) achieve something and acknowledge it, even if it is just doing the dishes or something bigger like going to work, 3) to find something enjoyable to do each day, and also to 4) have some kind of connection with other people.

    Before Christmas and up to now I have not been doing this and have tried again today to work to consider these strategies. It helps me to have a plan for the moments when I am feeling lost.

    Hopefully putting this in place will help me through what ever this year presents.

    Cheers to you and wishing you well also! From Dools

  6. Tangney
    Tangney avatar
    180 posts
    10 January 2021
    Hello Doolhof, Golden and all. I know that exercise is very helpful to me and I was doing quite well in this respect before Christmas. Then with restrictions placed on people here in Sydney just before Christmas and with the constant threats from mask advocates, my MH started to go badly down hill. Then mandatory masking came into place which, even though I saw it coming, has been triggering for me and I am now on my way back down again. Added to this, I was stopped at least 12 times last Thursday, with some staff in one venue asking me repeatedly to show papers. I can imagine how much worse this would be for people from war torn countries who have memories of aggressive police and military, and even worse in terms of incarceration. I have found police who have approached and questioned me to be very aggressive and it has brought on anxiety at a level I haven't experienced for a long time. Yet, we hear how they are "working with the community". All this and today, there were 3 cases in the whole of NSW, all with links to known outbreaks. This news was coupled with more threats about increasing restrictions. I wish I could exercise, which actually isn't restricted but I've been so upset by other impacts on me that I'm too depressed to do anything. I hope everyone else is ok. I was reading in the Medical Journal of Australia earlier that a study by Monash University found a 25 percent increase in adverse mental health symptoms during the first month of the lock down from March to April. Goodness knows what the figure would be now. I also read another article about which discussed the term "disenfranchised grief", a term I had not heard before. It seems to mean grief due to a loss that is unacknowledged or not recognised as a loss at all by the broader society. I'm thinking that this "disenfranchised grief" syndrome is part of my problem.
  7. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    Doolhof avatar
    8853 posts
    11 January 2021 in reply to Tangney

    Hi Tangney,

    I'm really sorry you have copped some unwanted attention by various people due to not being able to wear a mask. It must be disturbing for you. I hope you are able to overcome the feelings of anxiety you are experiencing so you can enjoy the outdoors.

    Thanks for sharing about "disenfranchised grief" that makes sense to me. There is so much suffering in the world at present, so much unknown in our own society, not being in control from day to day, it does imprint on us all.

    I am finding I need to find ways to be resilient in all of this, to find moments of happiness, peace, to have a sense of anticipation for something nice to happen each day through my own planning or to be able to recognise the good around me.

    Hope you can get out and about without too much harassment!

    Cheers from Dools

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