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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Desperate to feel normal again

Topic: Desperate to feel normal again

22 posts, 0 answered
  1. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    6 July 2019
    My first post. Have been suffering anxiety and insomnia for years. Try to do all the right things. Had been on medication for about 7 years which helped a lot. Came off around Oct last year because I thought I was doing well but declining gradually back to a stressful state. I have removed some stressors in my life to help, I exercise, eat well, little alcohol and caffeine, have a supportive husband, although his snoring doesnt help the sleeplessness. Kids doing well. Elderly mother whose health is failing but good family network is helping so I don't take a lot of burden there. Can't figure out why I'm like this. Life is good except this illness. Am getting help from a few sources, and I read a lot of self help stuff. This forum looks awesome. I was on one when had marriage issues years ago and it was an amazing support to me. I reach out whenever I can. So i just don't get it. What's wrong with me?
  2. PamelaR
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    7 July 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hi Beatit and welcome to our forums

    Thank you for sharing your story. Not sure what's going on for you but I do think it's great you've found your way here. From everything you've said you are leading a very healthy lifestyle, e.g. removing stressors from your life, exercising, eating well, consuming little alcohol and caffeine.

    What I find even more amazing is all the other things you're doing - helping your mum, getting help from others, and reading 'stuff'. That is awesome Beatit!

    You are doing so well! Though I do understand that anxiety and insomnia are troublesome. I can relate to this feeling. Like you I've being doing all the things you are (above), but these two things are often present with me. Frequently I find these are related to things that I am fearful about (be it real or not). Is there anything happening that you think could make you feel fearful? No pressure to answer unless you want to Beatit.

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

  3. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to PamelaR

    Hi Pamela,

    Thanks for your kind words. I don't think I am really fearful of anything. I think I am very sensitive and just probably over-think everything. I get very upset if I don't feel I am treated with as much thoughtfulness and respect that I believe I treat others with. Some people can brush off that stuff fairly easily, but I hold on to it far too much. Its like a cat chasing its tail, I get teary about almost nothing, and so almost always feel sad these days. One thing that helps me a lot is to reach out and ask how others are going. Then I realise that there are people worse off, and it does makes me feel better that I can think about others even though I am often very sad and nervous myself. I hope you are doing well. I would like to hear your ideas as to how you deal with your anxiety.

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  4. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Dear Beatit

    Welcome to the forum. So pleased you found us. This is a safe place to chat about what bothers you.

    The human state in general is a complicated body with small things having a disproportionate effect. I can relate to feeling upset if I am treated thoughtlessly and without respect. As you say, others seem to brush that off while people like us hold on to it. I think I am getting better at looking at it and then moving on but it has taken a long while.

    I wonder if there is something else going on here. When did you last see your GP? It may be useful to have a chat soon with him/her and talk about how you feel. I see you know other people are worse off than you but you feel better because you can still think about others. It doesn't really work that way. While it's true others may have more to deal with than you it does not make your particular load any lighter.

    At times I suspect the knowledge that others are in a pickle can make us push down or hide our difficulties because we perceive them as not so bad. It seems selfish in some ways to get help when others also need help. The reality is that not taking care of yourself because others do not receive enough care will not help the other person. It will however help you and you are the person who must care for yourself.

    It may be you will go back to your medication though it's understandable that you would prefer not to do this. I know I am not keen on sleeping pills and avoid them. I am actually not keen on any meds but unfortunately I have several medical conditions that require treatment which is mainly pills.

    I wonder if you are a little depressed. Reading self help stuff can be useful but it should be targeted towards what is happening in your life. If you don't know what's wrong you can be trying all sorts of things that have no effect because it's the wrong problem. Telling yourself to get your act together etc or similar comments may be good in some circumstances but not helpful if the problem lies elsewhere.

    So I suggest you have a chat to your GP. Take a copy of your posts, or this whole thread, and show the doctor. It's useful as a conversation starter and the doctor has some idea what's going on. While exercise, good food and removing stressors is good it's not always the whole answer. You get teary about nothing, though I feel it is something even if you cannot identify what. Feeling sad is another indicator of something going on. Love to know how you go.

    Mary

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  5. Beatit
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    19 posts
    15 July 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Hi White Rose,

    Thankyou for your reply. I understand I have to speak with my GP and he is always willing to offer counselling and medication options. I haven't found counselling particularly helpful, as the last time the counsellor, as nice as she was, used to yawn in the middle of the consult, I used to get a little annoyed and therefore felt it a waste of taxpayer money to keep going. Maybe there is someone else for me who might be more suitable. I still prefer not to go onto medication if I can avoid it, as I was on it for many years. I know that is an option for me if all else fails. I am feeling quite good this last week or so, as I have been busy with more work hours and this has really helped to take my mind off silly things. Hope you are doing well.

  6. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    15 July 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hello Beatit

    Good to know you have been feeling better this past week. It's cheering when we can find a way to manage our particular difficulties or at least make a start.

    A couple of comments. Nothing is silly in life. If you are caught up in a thought or action it's because that thought or action has some meaning for you. It may be good or bad or anywhere in between but it is part of you. I agree that being busy can help to get out of a way of thinking. And as a reward we can feel good about accomplishing something else.

    I used to see a psychiatrist who frequently fell asleep when I was talking. At first I thought he was unwell and got concerned but when I mentioned it to his secretary she said "Oh no, not again. I'll speak to his wife". It seems this was a frequent occurrence. I was quite annoyed as I was paying him to sleep. I told him eventually how it made me feel, ignored, worthless, of no interest, just a way for him to get a living.

    I also told him if he did it again I would leave and not return. It cost me a lot financially to see him and his habit of being late even for his first appointment in the morning which was with me, caused me all sorts of difficulty going to work. In all it was a difficult period made worse because I was so unwell I saw him twice a week.

    So I agree with you about your counsellor. At the very least it's rude and more importantly makes you feel worthless. I'm not surprised you found counselling unhelpful. Did you mention this to your GP? If you decide to try again I think he should know and make sure he refers you to someone more professional and helpful. Talk to him about going on a mental health plan and seeing a psychologist. I gather your GP has ruled out physical causes of your sleeplessness which is a good start.

    There is a great deal written about Mindfulness and the ability to be where we are rather than thinking about where we are going, and making each moment an essential part of your life. I receive an email regularly from someone who runs a philosophy class in the UK. I had one this morning where the person was talking about being in the moment. I would like to quote a huge chunk but you can breathe again, I will just use a couple of lines.

    Rise to the occasion at the time the occasion rises. Don't dismiss anything as mundane.

    I hope you continue to feel well and thank you for your good wishes.

    Mary

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  7. Guest_2496
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    377 posts
    16 July 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Ah Beatit I saw a psychologist recently who was somewhat helpful but she used to yawn too! That and a couple of other things put me off and I’m back to doing it on my own.

    Hope things are looking a bit better now?

  8. Rabbit33
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    Rabbit33 avatar
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    16 July 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hi Beatit,

    Thank you for reaching out. I just wanted to say that there is nothing wrong with you. Everyone is unique and as individuals, we grow, we develop, we learn and we drift in and out of peoples lives. And vise verser, people come in and out of our lives.
    You post says 'desperate to feel normal again'. Can I ask you this. What is normal?
    Sometimes we spend a lot of time reliving the past in our heads instead of trying to live in the here and now and for what the future holds.
    I understand you mentioned you have anxiety and insomnia. It's great that you have reached out to get support with that and put action towards it.
    Anxiety and insomnia are tricky ones. Sometimes medication helps but usually is best worked on with medication and therapy together. Anxiety is so unpredictable and sporadic and affects us all different that sometimes therapy and slowly taking baby steps to push the boundaries where you anxiety triggers is more beneficial to us, especially long term.

    I'm not a medical professional but have anxiety myself and have done some studying in the field. however, please seek professional medical opinions for treatment options. My statement was more of a reassurance to you that this is normal and there are other services and options out there to support you with it.

    Continue with the awesome work! Sounds like you have a lot of support and aiming in the right direction. Sometimes the path is a little longer than what we hoped for but things always get better.
    Remember to have faith in yourself and to give yourself more credit. Celebrate the really small victories as well.

    Sending you good vibes and happy energy! :-)

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  9. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    16 July 2019 in reply to Guest_2496
    Hi Annie thanks for commenting on my thread. I found myself feeling rather small and inconsequential at the time, and have never mentioned the yawning to anyone except here. It was a number of years ago but I've never forgotten. It was an action that made me feel worthless. Must move on, now I've verbalised it, so to speak.
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  10. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    16 July 2019 in reply to Rabbit33
    Lovely words from you all, which I will hold close. I read a lot about mindfulness and cbt and try to put into practice whenever i can. Am hoping the insomnia and physical agitation will settle once I get my head in the right space and turning my thinking around becomes my new normal.
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  11. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    26 July 2019 in reply to Beatit
    Back to feeling anxious and agitated and wanting to lash out at people that I believe have hurt me. Had a good few days then bang sleepless nights, teary, worrying, fighting negative thoughts. Looking forward to feeling better again soon.
  12. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    27 July 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hello Beatit

    Sorry to hear you have taken a few backwards steps. Try to take this as part of the journey rather than a failing. It happens to us all, even those who do not have any anxiety etc. It's part of being human. Sorry about that comment. I try not to be trite or obvious but sometimes it's so true.

    Sleepless nights really are the pits. Unfortunately it's not only not sleeping, it's the ongoing effect on the rest of the day and night and day etc. Until we evolve into beings who do not need sleep we must have our 6-8 hours a night. Do you have any ways of getting back to sleep? I think it's probably what's been happening during the day that causes the sleeplessness but it's not much help when you want to sleep.

    My GP gave me a suggestion about getting back to sleep. She said I should stay in bed, not watch TV or read or do anything that is stimulating. Instead lie in bed and reconstruct a book you have read. Start at the beginning and work your way forward. Put in as much detail as you can in the appropriate place. You can reconstruct a film if you prefer. The idea is that you put all your concentration into this and slow go through the plot. I found it quite good and I do go back to sleep. Make sure you are warm and comfortable (or cool and comfortable) before you start. No good starting to doze off and realising you need a bathroom break.

    That may address the immediate sleep problem and help you to feel better but it does not affect the underlying problem of why you are getting distressed. Have you had a chat with your GP about seeing a psychologist? I think it may help you to talk to a civilised psych who is there to help. I notice you want to move on when you have found a reason for something that upsets you. That's great. However you do need to be sure you have explored all the consequences.

    You mentioned to Annie above about the counsellor yawning and said, It was a number of years ago but I've never forgotten. It was an action that made me feel worthless. Must move on, now I've verbalised it, so to speak. I wish it were as simple as that. You carried that particular event around for a long time which shows how very upset you were. Simply telling someone may not be enough to send that particular hurt away. Am I making sense? You said you felt worthless and that is not good and shows what a huge impact that situation had on you. Understanding the effect and then moving on is where a psych can help.

    Hope I have helped.

    Mary

  13. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    27 July 2019 in reply to White Rose
    Thankyou White Rose I tried your suggestion but I still couldn't settle. Im just agitated, i feel it in my body and on my skin. I am thinking about seeing my GP again to get back on medication, which I've been resisting. Maybe I'll also try a counsellor again but I am workingt on turning my thinking around, and I'm doing an online therapy course which is teaching coping strategies so I am tending to use phrases like move on so I'm not dwelling on negative thoughts and practicing the skills I'm taught. It's not an easy fix and takes time and practice for it to become natural. Thanks for the chat. Hope you are doing well.
  14. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    28 July 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hello Beatit

    Glad you are considering returning to your GP. I do get it about meds. I refused for a long time. When I finally agreed I did not get much relief as I had all sorts of side effects, some very scary. Eventually I tried a medication from the TCA group. It was good. Makes me a bit sleepy so I take it at night and all is good. Meds will not cure you. So why do we take them? They do help to keep us together and reduce some of the anxiety etc. In other words the physical aspects which are important.

    When I first saw a psychiatrist I had no real idea what I was supposed to do and what he was supposed to do. I really thought it was a case of taking some medication for a short time and all would be well. Much the same process as taking an antibiotic for an infection. I could not have been more wrong. I can chuckle at my naivety now but at the time I had no idea about mental illness or how to get rid of it.

    When the psych asked me questions about my past I used to get annoyed and said, "The past has gone, why do I need to talk about it? I cannot change anything". He would reply, "You need to understand what happened". It still took me a long time before I finally understood what he meant. In my defence, he was not good at explanations. He tried a bit of CBT but I was still stuck about the necessity of this. I now get that I need to understand my past though that does not make it easier and that meds can keep me better balanced while I learn.

    The past five or so years have been hard due to a number of bad experiences and they still catch me out at times. So stage three for me, meds, understanding the process and finally learning to implement management of these difficulties in my life. It's been a long and very hard journey for me. I want to say relief does not come easily but you can get there. Please resist the urge to rush ahead too fast. Learning needs a time of consolidation in order to be successful with the next bit.

    Sorry to go on about my own life. It can be helpful to learn about the experiences of others which is why I have written this. It's not meant to say I have all (or any) of the answers. So while we are all unique we do have similarities which help us to walk together at times.

    The sleeping tip does take a bit to get used to so continue to try it.

    I am OK at the moment. Thanks for asking.

    Mary

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  15. Beatit
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    19 posts
    1 August 2019 in reply to White Rose
    Hi Mary, thanks for your support. I have made an appt to see my GP to talk about more treatment options as i had a difficult couple of days and decided I couldn't function like this. Last 2 or 3 days I've been good again so am again thinking I might be able to manage without meds. I don't like this roller coaster ride but I guess recovery is full of peaks and troughs. Hope you are well.
  16. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    2 August 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hello Beatit

    I think you can go through the rest of your life deciding to try medication then deciding you can manage without it. It takes a lot of energy trying to solve these matters and it's energy better spent getting well. Whether or not you take an antidepressant is your choice. No argument there. What I would like to suggest is a full and frank discussion with your doctor. Perhaps you can prepare for this by writing down what you see as the disadvantages of medication. Include your feelings about it. You need to put all your cards on the table to help your doctor understand your reluctance.

    For me it was the belief that I was inferior in some way, a pathetic person who needed meds to cope with life. Well we do not think like that with other meds so what is the difference? Again for me it was the knowledge I was taking them for a mental illness, depression, and the world did not take kindly to crazy people. Well we know none of that is true and I eventually came to see it also. Not sure of your reasons so will not try to guess but I think you will find it useful to write about this and work out what causes your uneasiness.

    It's still your choice but maybe it will be from a more informed perspective. I am not urging you to take meds. I do believe you need to clarify your reasons, find out how many are valid. For example many people believe they are addictive, will make you put on weight, turn you into some form of a zombie. I also believe that your aptly named roller coaster ride needs to stop and allow you to get off. All your attempts to get well are being sabotaged by this ride as it sucks up all the energy needed to get well.

    Anyway I have preached enough. What do you think of my suggestion?

    Mary

  17. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    2 August 2019

    Hi again Mary, I can relate to your reluctance, I feel the same and also shame that I am not stronger. Anxiety and mental health issues run in my family and I have been aware for years of the need to take care of myself. I had resigned myself to being on medication indefinitely, even though some side effects bothered me a little, I knew I was on some pretty powerful stuff when if I forgot to take it for one night I would wake up feeling like I had been hit by a bus. I had the need to renew my script at one point and because my dr was out of town, i had to see another dr. He looked at my file and said ..YOU HAVE BEEN ON THIS MEDICATION FOR A LOT OF YEARS, have you ever thought of coming off it. Well at that time i was well, enjoying a very fulfilled life. I have always been into sports and was very actively involved in a sporting club having the time of my life travelling, competing and making great new friends, working as much or as little as i wanted, husband who was happy to support all these things, great kids making their own way through life, trips on the horizon, what did I have to be on meds for, life was truly a blessing. So I spoke with my GP and weaned myself off.

    Almost 10 months later and the rot has set in. Relationship struggles, not husband, we've been there done that and things good with us I hope, left my beloved sporting club due to conflicts with members, other struggles with people I thought were friends, and estranged from beloved sister who also has mental health issues. Mother, also with mental health issues needing care, but gets abusive and lays on the guilt trip. Lucky I do have sisters who support here. I haven't done so much, because I've been too scared to get dragged down, so have been on the perimeter offering support to sisters mostly.

    So I guess my reluctance to be on meds is mostly due to my need to feel I should be able to cope given the wonderful life I have been blessed with, as well as my need to be healthy and active and avoid medication if possible. It's a combination of things really I guess.

    I will speak to my GP, he knows me very well. I sincere,y appreciate your concern Mary. Take care.

  18. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    3 August 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hello Beatit

    Thanks for your reply. We do have fun beating ourselves up over these matters. "I should be stronger" figured largely in my dislike of meds. I was talking with my GP a few days ago about pain medication. I have hurt my back and was feeling quite sorry for myself. The GP was happy to give me some pain relief and we talked about when I had pain and how long it lasted etc and then he decided the most appropriate medication. All very civilised.

    He also talked about the need to keep the pain under control and what break through pain meant. I found the whole conversation quite enlightening. I commented about a friend a friend of mine who had pancreatic cancer and who had sadly passed away some time ago. She was refusing to take pain relief because the time may come when she needed more relief and perhaps she would have become so accustomed to the relief that it would not work any more. I have to say I was gobsmacked. She was putting herself through this pain just in case it got worse later without considering how pain relief worked if taken properly.

    My GP explained that taking the meds regularly prevented or at any rate reduced the severity of the pain. Taking it when she was already in pain was not as effective as keeping the pain under control. I knew that at the time and tried to explain this to her but she was so afraid she would be without relief later when the pain worsened that she put herself through unnecessary pain. In the end it was this that persuaded me I needed to take an antidepressant. I could see that regular amounts of an AD were better than trying to dose myself up at those times when the world looked at its worst. In fact the world was less likely to be so bad if I took the meds regularly. It certainly gave me something to think about.

    I do feel taking meds regularly is more effective than only using them when we feel bad as it does keep the bad stuff under control. It seems a shame you were encouraged to stop the meds at a time when your life was settled and productive, though I can understand why and quite possibly would do the same. I hasten to add I am not particularly in favour of taking any medication which is unfortunate at the moment as I take several different medications as I have myeloma. I would not even consider stopping this medication because the myeloma will simply have free rein.

    This is some food for thought. Sorry to take up the whole post with my story but for me it illustrates the dilemma we have.

    Mary

  19. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    8 August 2019
    Hi again Mary, I am really sad to hear of your Myeloma. Is that something that has set off your anxiety and depression. It is a lot to deal with. What is your chance of recovery? I hope it is manageable for you.
  20. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    8 August 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hello Beatit

    Thanks for your post and good wishes. Myeloma is not curable but the treatments will keep it under control. It was a bit daunting at the start but now I understand it better and know what to do it's fine.

    It was a bit confronting to learn I had this condition but in a way It's good. I have found myself consciously making decisions on what I want in my life. I have not stopped much but will not take on any other 'jobs'. There are things I want to do and I had a rueful laugh at my ambition to complete all my embroidery projects. I think I will need a couple of lifetimes for that.

    I'm not anxious about this condition and the reality is we will all die at some time. My depression was triggered about a year after I left my husband. It was a huge shock to be living on my own but I managed and very much enjoy being by myself. I have family and friends and some volunteer work. I stopped going to my book club as I have lost my taste for fiction. Too many other books to read which I find more valuable. And of course posting here is important to me. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to support those who are on the same or similar journey I have taken. I feel I can relate better to those who write here.

    Have you managed to chat with your GP? I hope together you can settle this issue. As I said before it takes a lot of energy being on the on-again, off-again roller coaster. Unless the AD itself has difficult side effects making you uncomfortable in some way and it has proved successful in the past I think I would start again. I'm not keen on meds as I have said. I once told my boss I felt that I had the words "I see a psychiatrist" tattooed on my forehead. Like you I felt ashamed of myself thinking I should be able to cure myself.

    The reality is we usually need help when we are unwell. I had the 'flu this week and felt quite unwell. Went to my GP and told him I thought I had the 'flu and he agreed. Feeling more human again and back to posting here. Well at least a few posts as I still get a bit tired. It's OK to admit to myself I feel unwell and take life easy for a few days.

    I suspect when we have depression etc we know it's not going away quickly like the 'flu. Instead we need to pay attention and work on putting ourselves in the best position. If you feel better by taking an AD then why not? It is like someone who has diabetes and most take meds every day. I find it easier to look at it in this way.

    Mary

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  21. Beatit
    Beatit avatar
    19 posts
    8 August 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,

    You sound like you are in a pretty good place and that gives me a lot of inspiration. You have a lot to deal with. I read up a bit on Myeloma and it can be manageable, but you would know all about that.

    I find reading people's posts here very soothing, I like the stories about people's walking adventures and the "three things I am grateful for" posts. It helps me to be in a more positive frame of mind. You may have noticed I was up around 2 am reading and posting. It actually helped me to get back to sleep after a while because I found it really comforting. You are doing a great job helping people on this forum.

    I saw my GP yesterday, and just as you said, he talked about people needing blood pressure medication as an example, and I just have a need to be helped by my AD medication. Just because it is a mental health condition doesn't make it any worse. He knew I was ashamed and he tried to alleviate that. He said the physical symptoms of what I can go through at times can have a worse effect long term on me, than being on long term AD. So I have to look at it more like that. I am feeling rather teary this morning but I know it is because I have to come to terms with the shame again. I'm off for a walk now and then working from home today and out for dinner with family for my husband's bday. So the day has great things in store.

    Take care Mary.

  22. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    10 August 2019 in reply to Beatit

    Hello Beatit

    Thanks for your post. I am glad you are considering taking an AD. I know all about being ashamed of taking them. It is of course our communities that are scared of mental illness but it's not easy to spot who has and who has not got a MI unless you know someone takes meds. It's unfair as no one would penalise someone who has high blood pressure as your doctor said. Well we have to live with it but public figures are admitting they have depression and other MI which is good.

    I listen to ABC Classic on the radio. Two of the announcers revealed their MI on air and had several discussions. Of course there are many sporting people who have also put up their hands on this topic. This is what is going to make MI as acceptable as other illnesses in the community. The spin off from this is that we may heal faster when we can let go of our shame and the desire to hide our MI from others who may think less of us.

    I do agree with your doctor about the physical effects of MI which is not always recognised by those with an MI. It can be exhausting to cope with the various ways MI plays out in our lives. Hiding it just puts an extra layer on it all. When we are recognised as being unwell it will be so much easier to ask for help and to respond to that help. Public opinion will not make MI go away but a positive regard will help us to get well more quickly.

    Thank you for your compliments. It's always good to know I have helped in some way. Reading the posts you describe is good for us all I believe. Helping someone has a double benefit, for the helper and the person helped. I had the 'flu during the week and as you probably know, it leaves you feeling exhausted. My GP told me I would have been more unwell if I had not had a 'flu vax. 'Flu gone but I still get tired easily. This is the first time in a week I have answered more than one post and most days none at all. It's 8:30am and I already want to go back to bed. Maybe if I have breakfast it will help.

    Good to hear from you and know you are considering meds.

    Mary

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