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A push for better mental health


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Hello Everyone.

I have quite the long history of mental health issues that I have battled with for most of my life. I guess with it being RUOK day, I wanted to start a topic about mental health and just how bloody important it is.

Where I live, I assumed that my country had a decent health care system. But reflecting on my previous treatments, I realised that it's really a wheel that keeps on spinning. I realise I am getting bad so I seek treatment. I am put onto a waiting list of up to 8 months, and by then I am a bloody mess. I go to treatment, explain my problems, get "treated" with the same treatment methods that I explained haven't worked for me in the past, give the psychologist the benefit of the doubt because it took me 8 months to see one and I really need the help, end up stagnant, try to find a new psychologist, go onto a new waiting list and convince myself I will be okay and the next psych will help me. Rinse and repeat. 

I'm not a doctor but I do like to do research, and i'm quite sure that having recurring depression for 14 years when you are seeing psychologists, doctors and psychiatrists isn't normal. I appear to function pretty normally from the outside, but I am constantly fighting myself. It's a damn nightmare. Speaking of nightmares, I haven't had a decent sleep in close to a year. I am struggling to keep the façade of normality up.

I was in a bad place last year, but there was reason behind the madness. Now I am slipping again and I can't find a source for it. I know sometimes you have good and bad days but gee, it's 4 bad days followed by 1 or 2 good ones. I recently started seeing a psychologist who is also a doctor. He is exploring the theory that I have been misdiagnosed for years. He wants to get me in to see a psychiatrist, but that won't be happening for months, as there is a waiting list for appointments. It's better than nothing, but I can't help but feel that if I was physically ill I would be treated much sooner than with mental illness.

Awareness with mental health has come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Have you had struggles like this? What did you do to get the treatments you needed? Any advise, stories or rants are welcome.

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Hi Alice,

First off, I am sorry that you've had such challenges.. and on top of it, the pains of having to struggle along for too long w/out any real support 😞 .

Not sure your age, but yes, it can take some to actually be 'diagnosed' properly.. Yeah, I've been there on & off for years.

I had to learn self care along the way as well though.. In my teens was depression ( due to a damaging upbringing as a child) ... I improved for years 🙂 .. But, yes, it hit again when more negatives hit me and i hit bottom hard, again.

Back on med's (diff ones) and 4 yrs of therapy ( one on one & group).

I feel some things can be improved yes ( the wait times).. Unless you are risk of harm to self or others- then you're in someplace immediately).

My experiences, I don't think I have had to await overly long- possibly because I live in a smaller community ( not a large city).

But, along the way I had to learn self care.. I had to learn my triggers and how to learn those that were toxic to me and avoid it best I can.... so there's a lot of factors in there.

Presently, I am on a mood stablizer ( was previously on an anxiety med), I do also struggle with sleep - which is very important- but I have my 'nightly ritual' to make sure I DO get some sleep! ( I used to take melatonin, but am off that now, I have resorted to tea before bed, i lay down & watch one last show.. and settle. I also have a fan running , which is white noise)...

I also do 'my own thing', a lot... I did isolate for a while, but I also managed to get my anxiety under control- to where I was kinda 'able' to handle things out of my home better ( more functionable).

But, over time, things have improved with me learning how I function and my triggers, etc.  I have not been to therapy in a good while, as I feel I am fine with all I know and how I deal with things now- with help of my meds.

I have a small circle of friends I hang with ( yeah, I have ahd to remove the occasional one), I do a lot at home, on my own, my tv, music & crafts- I'm doing okay there :).

 

Thankfully, for the most part, I am sitting in an alright place now.. I don't like sudden 'expectations', as that sets off my anxiety- so many know to give me warning.. give me time.. Is just how I am.

As for needing a DX, yes wait times suck! My youngest had to wait to get his diagnosis for about 2 yrs. 😕 ... What is most helpful is to have BOTH a med that's helping and therapy - not just meds. And I came to realize ( for myself), that anti depr's never really helped me, so I weaned off them & went back to doctor's repeatedly over a cpl yrs time and is when I hit bottom, is when i was put on the anxiety meds for a cpl of yrs, weaned off them, then went on the mood stablizer -so this can take time... to see what helps us. ( we're all wired differently).

Another things re: self care is not just meds & needed sleep, it's your environment & what you eat - gutt health, I have learned.. I eat & drink better now.  Our mind & body is a whole.... So, yes, it's a few things that can affect us... ( On FB, I have a mental health group and a Page on what's good for the Body).  

 

So, is maybe an idea to sit back and look at yourself & your own world.  Are there triggers?  Reasons for your challenges/ things affecting you in a negative? Or is it just within yourself? I know, the worst place to be is in your own head 😕 .. Many of us have that challenge.

 

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8 hours ago, AceAlice said:

Hello Everyone.

I have quite the long history of mental health issues that I have battled with for most of my life. I guess with it being RUOK day, I wanted to start a topic about mental health and just how bloody important it is.

Where I live, I assumed that my country had a decent health care system. But reflecting on my previous treatments, I realised that it's really a wheel that keeps on spinning. I realise I am getting bad so I seek treatment. I am put onto a waiting list of up to 8 months, and by then I am a bloody mess. I go to treatment, explain my problems, get "treated" with the same treatment methods that I explained haven't worked for me in the past, give the psychologist the benefit of the doubt because it took me 8 months to see one and I really need the help, end up stagnant, try to find a new psychologist, go onto a new waiting list and convince myself I will be okay and the next psych will help me. Rinse and repeat. 

I'm not a doctor but I do like to do research, and i'm quite sure that having recurring depression for 14 years when you are seeing psychologists, doctors and psychiatrists isn't normal. I appear to function pretty normally from the outside, but I am constantly fighting myself. It's a damn nightmare. Speaking of nightmares, I haven't had a decent sleep in close to a year. I am struggling to keep the façade of normality up.

I was in a bad place last year, but there was reason behind the madness. Now I am slipping again and I can't find a source for it. I know sometimes you have good and bad days but gee, it's 4 bad days followed by 1 or 2 good ones. I recently started seeing a psychologist who is also a doctor. He is exploring the theory that I have been misdiagnosed for years. He wants to get me in to see a psychiatrist, but that won't be happening for months, as there is a waiting list for appointments. It's better than nothing, but I can't help but feel that if I was physically ill I would be treated much sooner than with mental illness.

Awareness with mental health has come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Have you had struggles like this? What did you do to get the treatments you needed? Any advise, stories or rants are welcome.

Hi OP,

Those waiting lines sound absolutely dreadful. I am sorry you are dealing with that. "Universal" healthcare systems in some countries use "queuing" (long lines) to keep costs down, and surely you are a victim of those cost containment measures where you live. In my country (U.S.), healthcare is almost instantaneous by comparison but way more cost prohibitive. I like the system here better, but I guess that is because it is the proverbial "devil I know."

I am curious: what are the symptoms of your mental health issues? 

I have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). I have been prescribed a variety of treatments in the past, from xanax generics, talk therapy, and antidepressants. Therapy was almost always a net positive, but it did not fix the underlying problem on its own. Xanax was merely a bandage and I did not like the way it felt. The antidepressant (Zoloft, an SSRI) was dreadful: it caused sexual dysfunction, dizziness, and eventually strong suicidal ideations (which stopped when I stopped the medication). 

Recently, a new doctor prescribed me a purely anti-anxiety medication called buspirone (a.k.a. BuSpar). It has worked like a charm. I am generally anxiey-free around 90% of the time. It has been a game-changer. It does not work for everyone, but it has worked for me. Perhaps it is worth discussing with your health provider. 

I hope this helps. Life is difficult, often especially so for those of us with mental health issues. Stay strong, OP. Reply if you have any questions or need to vent. Also, feel free to private message if that works better for you. 

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I have a lot of mental health diagnoses. Some I was very lucky to deal with with free care provided by my husband’s employer. They now no longer provide that beyond 8 sessions which well all know does diddly shyte. 
 

I have a real severe medical/dental  phobia which I would like to deal with but can’t right now due to Covid. 
 

Mental health while improved has a long way to go. 

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