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Mental health vs. the lucky people.

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by fekkinell, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. I just thought I'd throw this topic out there.

    Mental health is an issue that most people seem to avoid or, at least, tend to disregard.

    It's a difficult issue to address but it is one that I'm sure, in an open forum such as this, at least some people may relate to.

    Recently, I have officially been diagnosed with Panic Disorder. A fun name for something that is totally debilitating and affects my day to day life. I'm not fishing for sympathy here (and if you offer any, I'll probably be slightly pissed off by it).

    I am curious though, what are peoples experiences with mental health?

    Let's get this out in the open and have a friendly chat about it.
  2. You have my sympathy (go ahead and be pissed off) as I have had to deal with this plus several other conditions with 2 family members.
    Bloody hard for the one with the condition, and very hard for all those associated, f/a assistance from health services, and the vast majority of the "public" have no understand of just how difficult it can be.
    Many members of the"public" label anyone affected: Eg: stay away, 'that' type of person, must be a druggie etc
  3. Two major episodes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a kid here.

    I reckon if my parents hadn't been on to it and paying for a specialists' time in order to resolve the issue... I'd be worse off now.

    It was extremely debilitating as a child, I can't imagine living with it as an adult. The thing with OCD is, you know it's stupid to think that if you don't open and close the door three times the world is going to end... or that if you don't wash your hands, you'll get infected and die... but you do it anyway and try to hide it so no-one will see how stupid you are being.

    Months of seeing a psychiatrist who specialises in OCD (at the beginning, it was every day... trailing down to every week, every fortnight, etc) ended up with me being able to control it. It must have cost my parents a bloody fortune.

    Sometimes I'll catch myself having OCD thoughts, but I am able to control them and go ahead and do what needs to be done.

    I've always been fairly open about it, because I don't think it's really embarrassing or anything.

    The sad thing is, the majority of people who suffer with mental illness do so in silence, because of the fear they'll be labelled a crazy.
  4. I was like the general public a few years ago, didn't really think much of it. My GF is studying OT and since she is learning about it and doing some part time work at a brain injury respite centre a bit of it has rubbed off onto me.

    It really is quite a serious topic and I don't think that enough people regard their own mental health as highly as they regard their physical health, and considering the state of the majority of people's physical health, why would they? I also think that there really is no reason for most people to give it much thought, unless they are directly affected by it, which blows because it causes a lot of hardship (and if you need another reason, financial cost), in the community.
  5. my first gf suffered a small range of disorders

    she'd have panic attacks whenever she saw the police, eating disorders, stunted maturity. all the fun things you find out about someone after they move in :) her father was a policeman, who was shot dead on duty when she was very young. it screwed up her mother, who in turn screwed her up. she got insomnia, and would take to riding her mountainbike late at night. local police took an exception to this, and started hassling her. at one stage, a female officer drove her police vehicle over her pushbike. her mother wouldn't help her get help, and actually even made her use a different bathroom so the family 'wouldn't catch her bulimia'. a product of a fcuked up environment, basically. nothing worse then accidentally finding a large pile of aspirin hidden in the clothing draw of someone you love. i did my best to help her, but in the end i was visiting her in a psych ward. her problems and my inexperience with dealing with such problems were eventually too much, and it killed the relationship.

    i run into her every now and then, always have a hug for her when i do. that Ben Folds Five song reminds me of her everytime i hear it.
    at first she'd gotten worse, and discovered class A drugs, but the last time i ran into her she'd given them up and was working at an excercise gym and studying personal training

    so my thoughts are with anyone here, who are fighting their own demons.
    never give up hope, medical science has come a long way in addressing things like chemical imbalances in the brain and understanding how we think.
  6. What's panic disorder? Is that a type of anxiety?
  7. It's interesting hearing peoples responses. It's a strange area. Like everyone's said, it's something that most people are either unaware of or don't talk about. I'm only now discovering myself just how strong the link between mind/body actually is.

    Something that starts as something in your mind can trigger such a vast array of very real physical symptoms and immune responses. Or vice versa.

    TS. Panic disorder means I get repeated and sometimes prolonged panic attacks (over nothing in particular) regularly, with severe anxiety of having more attacks, between attacks. Imagine the most terrifying situation you've ever been in, multiply it by 10, then add the sensation of having your breath sucked out of you while a large person sits on your chest.

    It can happen if you're sitting around worrying about things, but mine's annoying in that I can be out in the car, or at the shops, or at the movies having a giggle, then suddenly be wanting to run away from myself.

    Attacks can come from nowhere and be in full swing within a few seconds, they usually last a few minutes + recovery time, but can sometimes take hours to recover from fully.

    Damn 'fight or flight' response kicking in when it's not needed essentially. :?
  8. I've had a lot of success with physical exercise therapy for depression and anxiety disorders (I'm a Personal Trainer, by the way!) Have you thought about that? Happy to chat more about it if you're not familiar with the ideas.
  9. Thorough.
  10. And with mental health issues able to strike anyone, at anytime, there by the grace of God....it's amazing that we'll devote literally billions of taxpayer $$$ on physical ailments, but when it comes to mental health the funding is scattered at best. Perhaps we see the terrible effects of mental illness and hope to God that it doesn't affect us and the best way of dealing with it is to ignore it.
  11. Couple of years with a girl who had borderline personality disorder.

    +1 to Tarmac

    Meds are a band aid solution at best. Prescriptions for life are not viable solutions. They should be the equivalent of painkillers for emotional distress. Take as required but don't develop a hyper-dependence.
  12. I've been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Every day is a challenge - some days are good some are bloody horrible. Disturbed sleep patterns, nightmares, inability to concentrate, headaches, panic attacks.

    Riding helps - because you must concentrate to ride it creates a state called "mindfulness" - living in the moment rather than having the past dominate your thoughts.

    Panic attacks happen when I have to deal with a crowd. Small groups are ok but sometimes shopping can be a problem.

    Apart from that life is good.
  13. Absolutely. That's what my doctor told me too. He said it gives you a sense of personal control and as a result you forget about the stresses.

    He told me this because I couldn't work out why I would panic in the car, but I was fine on the bike.
  14. The thing is there are so many different variables, you can't really apply general statements like these across the board. Think in terms of a leg injury. Sometimes you need temporary meds or crutches to get through, other times a lifelong walking aid might be appropriate. Some times surgery, sometimes physio, sometimes rest, sometimes being active etc etc.

    There is an approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy that incorporates mindfulness. It's getting popular now. And since I've mentioned it, if people have tried other forms of therapy (esp for anxiety) but they haven't quite clicked, or if they are contemplating getting more info, I would recommend a book on the subject entitled "The Happiness Trap" by Russell Harris. I don't like Americanny hyped self-help books, but this one is not like that (for starters this guy is from Melbourne :grin:) - it is a more realistic approach. He did not invent ACT, but I have been to some of his workshops (I work in the field) and I like the way he works. With ACT there is a shift in mindset from 'curing' anxiety (for eg) to being able to live a meaningful life and do tasks that are important to you even though you might experience anxiety. Obviously in partnership with this you work on understanding how and why anxiety works and on tools for coping/managing the effects of it. For some people even just the realisation that they can 'drop the fight' with anxiety and focus on daily life is a weight off their shoulders.

    Someone mentioned riding as a form of maintaining mental health wellbeing. I couldn't agree more - regardless of what particular approach you choose to take (if any), you can't underestimate the basics as a foundation for good mental health. Like maintaining activity, a good support network, sleeping and eating properly and making room in your life for activities you love and that centre you. Whatever that may be - fishing, riding, gardening, doing a crossword with a cup of tea, playing with your kids and making sure you are mindful to enjoy it.

    For me - yep you've guessed it. Along with family/friends, I find riding is a great way to blow out the cobwebs and keep me sane!!!!
  15. Aren't they normal for us riders?
  16. No never experienced it, I do know a bit about depression though.
  17. I have never had to deal with it, so i guess i am one of the crazy joe public that have mixed feelings about it.....but then again 4 years i thought disabled facilities were a waste of time and space (i seriously thought they were joking with all those building regs).....blahahah.....karma taught me......so now i just keep my mouth shut, and keep my thoughts to myself, incase karma is still listening in :oops:

    Oh yeah and karma if you are listening i reckon it would be a real pain in the asre to be healthly and have more money then I can spend in 2 life times!!! :)
  18. haha, they sure are :grin:
    (and you don't have to be crazy to date me, but it sure helps)
  19. same.
  20. Ditto

    I went through 2 years of panic attacks. There is a lot you can do to recognise the triggers and then shift your way of thinking to avoid a full blown panic attack.

    Happy to PM if you want to know some of the stuff I learnt.

    For the record I havent had a panic attack now since 2002 because what I learnt worked for me.

    Good luck with it man