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Forums / Welcome and orientation / A quick summary of me

Topic: A quick summary of me

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Flimbot
    Flimbot avatar
    4 posts
    6 July 2021

    I’m sure everybody struggles with giving a summary of who they are, but here we go…

    I'm a 36 year old single male who grew up in a big country town, moved to interstate for 8 years and then  moved back to the country town at the end of 2019 (just before bushfires, covid, etc)

    I grew up in a hardworking family. Everybody got along and we did things even in an extended family often. There were no traumatic events which I recall. I think due to my parents influence I've always been somebody who could save money and live within my means, so that’s not been an issue.

    I moved interstate for a change, moving from the area and living somewhere else had been on my mind for a while until that point.
    I moved back  because I was always aware that my parents are getting older and didn't want to live so far away when they would need me (still a while off yet)

    I have daily struggle with identity and finding what makes me happy. I have a history of depression and anxiety, going through various psychologists and under different medications since my teens.

    Several years ago, I gave that drinking, focusing rather on going to the gym and yoga. I started becoming content but as I got used to it, felt like I was just treading water. Since moving back I've been slowly sliding back into old habits. I haven’t started drinking too heavily yet, but I am drinking. I don’t exercise and am not motivated for it at all.

    On top of that I thought that I wanted a house, to settle down in the area. I bought a house as a deceased estate and started panicking as it was going through probate. It needed renovation, but I sold it as soon as it was renovated. There is more to my property story but I’ll leave that for another time.

    I'm finding that I’m far less resilient and panic easily. I’m always tired. I’ve started medication again and had started seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist but work being too busy I haven’t had time lately. I am in a constant struggle from what I think I want and what I think I should do. I think I've developed some separation anxiety after living with my parents again for almost 2 years, something I'd never planned or expected as an adult. I'm moving to my own place soon and hoping to rebuild my life closer to how it was interstate. 

    I'm looking for somewhere I can get support during this time

  2. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5565 posts
    6 July 2021 in reply to Flimbot

    Hope you don't mind me making a short reply... As there are only 2 points I want to make.

    On reading your story there are a few positives. While you acknowledge losing motivation you are hard working and acknowledge where you are at and getting help. These are big steps.

    The second point is...

    However you also say you are too busy and not able to get that help you are looking for? What would happen if you did all slow down a little? This was a topic I spoke with my psychologist about.

    Oh! Nearly forgot... Welcome to the beyond blue forums.

    Hope to hear from you

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Flimbot
    Flimbot avatar
    4 posts
    6 July 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    I didn't realise how much I wrote until I saw it again just now.. and how much personal information I would have given away if it weren't for the moderators. (Thank you!)

    Of course, replies are welcomed! Thank you for taking the time.

    I feel far less self aware than I was, but am definitely not above asking for help. I worry that I should have handled this year very differently and been more aware at the time of the house situation, but you can only do what you think is right at the time.

    Sometimes I don't know how to slow down. I work a standard 9-5 Mon-Fri job, so it's generally contained. My weekends at the moment are spent preparing to move at the moment. I was spending a lot of time volunteering last year and I've basically put all of that on hold to give me more space. I know I need to give myself more time, go for walks, and generally get out of the house, I have just put it to the back of my mind. I'll try slow it down.

    While finance is generally not an issue, I feel that the rate of psychology has gone up a lot. The one I was seeing cost around $200/hr. I was going to start schema therapy and would have been a considerable cost. I wasn't 100% sold on the therapist either but I may be just using those as other excuses, you can't really put a price on mental health.

    Depending on what happens with the Covid restrictions from Friday I may see my GP about a way forward. I have a psychiatrist appointment in the near future also to review medication.

  4. Mrs Chloe
    Mrs Chloe avatar
    4 posts
    6 July 2021 in reply to Flimbot

    Hi, do you find your counselling sessions with psychiatrist/ psychologist not working?

    If so, you may want to look up TMS- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. My husband was severely depressed so it did not work for him. Only the last resort worked- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). But you may benefit from TMS as it is non invasive.

    Wishing you happiness and clarity.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Gabs_
    Community Champion
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    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    6 July 2021 in reply to Flimbot

    Hi Flimbot,

    Welcome to the forums!

    You sound like you have an awful lot on your plate right now....and it also sounds like even though you know you do and most definitely need a rest, you are trying to power through instead of slowing down and focussing on your mental health. It's very easy to tell yourself the "should" narrative (eg. "I should do that"; "I should be able to juggle all of this"). I'm glad to hear you have stopped volunteering as you recognised that it was impacting you. That's a good first step.

    To be frank, I am the same age as you and I understand the anxiety of someone who has grown up in a hardworking family and having maximum productivity being seen as something that you should aspire to. But it is not everything. Me, myself, was hospitalised earlier this year for a month at a private facility because I just kept going and kept doing. I worried about everybody and everything else other than myself. I gave myself excuses not to practice self-care and to miss psychologist and GP appointments because I had SO much work to do that I simply didn't have time to look after me. And sometimes when you are so busy doing, you can't see where the train is headed.... and for me that resulted in severe burnout, disassociation and my brain completely turning off (I couldn't read or write). The sheer responsibility of everything weighed so heavily on me that I didn't see how my mental health was deteriorating. The (metaphorical) plane was going down and I was too busy putting everyone else's oxygen mask on, rather than my own.

    Please learn from my experience and do not leave it too late. Your health is the most important thing. Never forget that.

    I really commend you on seeing the GP this week - I think it's a great step in the right direction.

    I'm here if you want to talk more. Please take care.

    G

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Flimbot
    Flimbot avatar
    4 posts
    7 July 2021 in reply to Mrs Chloe

    Thank you for the suggestion Chloe.

    I've had varying degrees of success with see psychologists. The most recent couple I just haven't felt entirely comfortable with, and while I still benefitted from going and having a safe space to explore things, I didn't feel comfortable enough for longer term care.

    I had never considered TMS or ECT honestly.

  7. Flimbot
    Flimbot avatar
    4 posts
    7 July 2021 in reply to Gabs_

    Thank you for your response Gabs. I often feel so misplaced and don't know where or how to start. It's definitely easier for me reading from people in similar situations or backgrounds.

    That said I'm sorry to hear of your decline earlier this year.

    I feel like I've developed an inability to make decisions, fixation on negative outcomes, mental paralysis, leading to physical sensations of shortness of breath, and burning scalp. This is all likely the canary in the coalmine.

    I'll try to give myself some attention.
    How are you managing now?

  8. Gabs_
    Community Champion
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    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Flimbot

    Hi!

    If it helps, I think a lot of people feel the same way. It can be so hard to know what the first step should be, or even mustering the energy of taking that first step. I know for me, earlier this year, I felt like I was wandering through a thick fog in my brain (does that make sense??), and you can kind of feel lost and making decisions can be hard or exhausting. It was supremely hard for me because when you've been seen as "functioning" and then you can't fake it anymore, you have to ask for help. And sometimes people like us don't know how to.

    The symptoms you are describing... I know them well. I really would like you to consider seeing a psychologist. Yes, they are expensive etc, but if you see your GP and go on a mental health care plan, you can get 10 sessions that you will be able to get a medicare rebate on.

    I remember telling my psychologist that I felt like I was drowning, the weight of everything was so much. And I said to her, I need you to make a decision (this was in relation to waiting for my psychiatrist appointment in the community or going into hospital). And it was actually such a relief to have her take control for me - she called my GP and said "We're getting her into hospital". And it was the right thing for me.

    I'm not going to sugar coat it - it was beyond hard. Just when you think you've climbed the mountain of seeing the GP/psych/getting a referral into hospital, then I rocked up to hospital and I had another big mountain to climb. Parts of it sucked, but the psychiatrist, the nurses, the occupational therapists who ran group sessions, they care and they want the best for you. Sometimes they want it more than you do. But each baby step forward, is still a step forward.

    Am I 100% now? No, but I hugely better than I was (I was at rock bottom). But I was lucky (looking back now, not sure if at the time I would have said that) to spend a month in hospital focussing solely on me and my ACTUAL needs (as opposed to "I need to go to work today" - which is not a real need). I listened to the advice from my health team, I listened to my body (turns out I was really shit at previously), I did mindfulness colouring in, pushed myself to go to group therapy, started reading up on perfectionism (which seems to be the root cause for my anxiety/panic/depression) and even when it got tough, I tried to be kind to myself. Healing isn't linear - it's up, down, back, forward. But it's putting your needs first.

    How are you going with self-care?

  9. Gabs_
    Community Champion
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    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Flimbot

    Just thinking, have you checked out any of the Beyond Blue resources? They have some really good stuff on anxiety that might be helpful to read. I also really recommend the Centre for Clinical Interventions website - they have some great workbooks (in simple language) on a raft of things, from anxiety, rumination, panic, depression, perfectionism... I use their stuff at home for me to work through.

    Additionally, there are some really good apps out there that can help, not just mindfulness, but more therapy based. Personally, I use Bloom CBT, which is really interactive and I used it in hospital too. I think they have a 7 day free trial, so you could take a look at that? Otherwise Smiling Mind, Headspace etc, are also really helpful tools.

    Otherwise, I am a big believer a nice hot bath, even if it is just doing something nice for yourself. I put my phone away and just sit in the bath and read. It's my "go to" self-care task even when I'm feeling like I can't be bothered doing anything. I'm currently reading "Perfectly Hidden Depression" by Dr Margaret Robinson Rutherford, but if you need something lighter, I recommend P. G. Wodehouse and his Jeeves series. It's witty, silly and his use of the English language is utterly delightful.

    Take care this weekend. I'll check back over the weekend to see how you are going.

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