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Mental Health

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by TOCC, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. TOCC Guest

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    Im not entirely sure how to start this thread but this is a subject close to my heart, mental health issues are far more prominent in society then many are aware. One thing I've come to learn, is that mental illness knows no boundaries, it doesn't matter how strong, tough, intelligent or successful you are, mental illness can strike anyone.

    First time a mate took his life I didn't know how to act, we had just left school and lacked the maturity to really comprehend what had actually occurred. We didn't speak much of it, and still to do this day his name rarely comes up anymore.

    Similarly when the next 2 took their lives, we spoke of the demons they must have had and justified it to ourselves as an issue which targeted them, an occurrence or event which they experienced that was specific to them, it put us at ease believe that this event or experience wasn't one that the rest of us had to endure and thus we weren't at risk.

    More recently a further 2 have passed away, and my reaction is more anger then grief, I believe im a fairly rational(some on here may disagree) and analytical person, but it's something I can't rationalise no matter how many times I think it over, and I think the anger is over the lack of solutions and actions over this issue.

    I'm frustrated, that we have this preventable means of death that isn't getting spoken of or addressed, we speak of the darkness or demons yet i tend to feel we as a society trivialise it, we don't understand it so we don't talk about it. Yet, now I feel I'm at the point where we need to start discussing this more openly, in the hope that increased awareness may tempt someone at risk to reach out, or at least build awareness so some may be able to identify the signs and symptoms..

    Anyway, probably more a monologue then a discussion starter..
  2. TOCC Guest

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    I should clarify, that this isn't the same group of friends, some them are loosely affiliated though
  3. cyclopath Phil Waugh (73)

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    I think, from personal experience, that one of the biggest things is removing the stigma from "depression" which is a fairly loosely applied term, and can encompass a range of symptoms that don't automatically ring a bell for people (as you say - we need to educate people about the signs and symptoms). I also found it odd, when experiencing some issues a couple of years ago, that mostly it was accepted with empathy and understanding, but was surprised that a small few, very well-educated people, some of whom work in health-care as well, displayed a breath-taking lack of understanding. "Just get over it" and "sort it out" were a couple of responses.
    As you say, getting people talking about it can only help.
  4. mst Ken Catchpole (46)

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    To back up your point TOCC - from Lifeline: For every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives.

    Its a hard topic to talk about. I think many are afraid of what mental illness is and part of that is not understanding it.

    The reality is for many its something that is scarily close to home and hard to face, even more so to admit to. Many are sacred of the stigma but they shouldn't be. In many cases its treatable and we need to understand its like a physical illness. It takes time and treatment to heal.

    Whats is it: https://www.sane.org/mental-health-and-illness/facts-and-guides/fvm-mental-illness-basics

    Did you know:

    Many (of us) may have already suffered though minor cases of mental illness but we don't like to admit it. For others its a longer term battle; keeping things in balance so they don't slip back in to the darkness. One of the hardest parts I (Mr) found of that battle is overcoming the embarrassment. Its why many don't reach out.

    Its a hard thing to spot and its causes are more simple and common than most realise.

    Broken relationships, insecurity in your employment, financial pressures or even the simple reality is that your life is not what you think it is or others perceive it to be. It can a single thing or many small factors and timing could also be a cause. Then there are the events or incidents that can trigger things.

    Lifeline - Ph: 13 11 14.
  5. Sully John Eales (66)

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    I have very little to add to the conversation. I don't understand the mental state you must be in to take your own life. And I hope I never do.

    But I have suffered from depression and spent yars on medication sorting myself out.
  6. Ruggo Mark Ella (57)

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    I have ongoing issues with mental health and do the best I can managing it. The way I look at suicide is it being the one mistake in life you can't take back. It scares the shit out of me and that fear is the hope I hold in avoiding taking my own life.

    We talk about mental health and have come some distance but only in awareness and not acceptance. I would love to share my experience and hopefully it helps out another person but I know in my professional life I will be judged. I am trying to forge my career and I don't trust people with that knowledge. Reality is most people don't practice what they preach.

    Today's society as a precursor to poor mental health. We are on the verge of an entire generation of high youth unemployment. Everybody needs hope and something to strive for. The rapid change of our industry has seen older people lose jobs and not be able to compete in such a rapidly changing world. These things all have dramatic impacts on a persons self worth. We are not seeing leadership from policy makers to meaningfully address such issues.

    Worst thing about mental health issues is knowing when you have a good patch and you are feeling mental clarity, it can end in flash and for no obvious reason. I hate that feeling.

    I wish all those struggling with mental health the best in their endeavors.
  7. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    I have to applaud TOCC for starting this conversation. It's something we as a society fail on so many fronts when it comes to mental health issues. Simply starting the conversation. This then leads to isolation, desperation and in many cases capitulation.

    I'm a long time sufferer of both depression and anxiety. Since my mid-teens to be more precise. For a very long time I wasn't able to articulate exactly how I felt which in my case lead to great frustration and outburst of often intense anger as a young man.

    From the age of 25 through 29 I also had the pleasure of just crippling panic attacks.

    For a long time I refused to acknowledge its existence in my life and when I did I still had some serious dissonance when it came to treatment options. Which to be frank only exasperated my suffering in the long run.

    I'd be lying if I said I hadn't contemplated ending things on more than a few occasions but I was fortunate in that I had the support of my family who were never shy of ensuring I knew that I'd be better off sticking around. Honestly, during my darkest times this is the only thing that kept me fighting.

    I tend to think that one of the big reasons we handle it so poorly is that mental health isn't black and white. Depression isn't just feeling a bit sad but is often far more intense and nuanced than many would expect. From a sufferers perspective there's just so much fear, isolation, desperation etc. involved that you often have no idea where to go or what to do. All this then compounds as you begin to distance yourself from others. I cannot begin to tell you the impact it has had on a number of my relationships over the years. It can be just utterly crippling. All for the often imagined fear of being label as 'different'.

    The turning point for me involved getting a kick up the arse following a the death of a relative which sent me into a bit of a spiral. At the time I didn't appreciate it but in all honesty it was needed.

    It lead me to the point of acceptance of my condition. Which lead to finally finding the right mix of medication and lifestyle that has made a huge difference in my life. The person I am today opposed to two years ago are near unrecognisable.

    I know that this will likely stick around for the rest of my life but I've become fairly conscious of it's impending presence and now have the skills to approach it head on.

    Talking about it certainly helps.
    Dctarget, Ruggo, mst and 3 others like this.
  8. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    We have a long way to go on the issue. I'm glad you are sharing a bit of your experience here and I would encourage you to continue if or when you feel you need to. Something I have realised it that owning your issues around mental health has helped me beyond belief.

    I'm now comfortable in approaching my condition with others and openly discussing it with them. You'd be surprised after just do that how much someone's understanding and acceptance grows. By discussing it freely I've in effect taken all the power away from my issues. It's remarkably liberating.
    Dismal Pillock and Ruggo like this.
  9. The Honey Badger Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    It is very common, but I suspect this site may have an over representation of the problem.

    Being predominantly male would make it so. Being an anonymous outlet for fantasy is a form of therapy for some of us.

    It's the teanagers and young adults (both sexes) that are most troubling. - that's not to diminish what older people suffering.

    Not sure what you are supposed to do when your 13 year old daughter watches 13 reasons why. WTF is that about? What sick mind would even make a show like that aimed at teanagers.

    Motivating teans and young adults, trying to get them to see the positives and embrace life can be challenging a difficult task at times.
  10. Tex Ken Catchpole (46)

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    When I look back I can count six people with varying degree of proximity to me who have ended their life. It's a shattering thing for all involved, and one that scares the crap out of me.

    I've experienced some ups and downs in terms of my mental health and am currently in a bit of a down time. What struck me is how much easier it is to bear when you talk to a professional. Sharing with family and friends is excellent and encouraged, both in terms of breaking down stigma and allowing other people into the 'shell' that many men create. But seeking out a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist via your GP is a really good thing to do. In my experience it was the hardest when I was ignoring the problems building up - speaking to somebody and allowing the problems into the sunlight was a blessed relief.

    Thanks for starting the thread TOCC. The more we talk about it and accept that happiness and mental wellbeing sometimes need a bit of work, the closer we are to shifting those awful statistics.

    For what it's worth, deleting all my social media would be one of the better self-help actions available, but I don't think i've got it in me!
    RugbyReg, Dismal Pillock, mst and 3 others like this.
  11. cyclopath Phil Waugh (73)

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    So true. I hadn't really registered what was going on for me, but I was aware I was sleeping poorly, waking and finding my brain going 100 miles an hour and not being able to switch things off. There had been a number of common stressors (family deaths, health issues etc) over a period of 5-6 years, which I just thought I had dealt with, but ended up getting to a point where I hit a wall. I went for a GP check-up and was ticking off all the things and my GP just stopped me and said, "You're depressed", which I kind of knew but had avoided accepting, as it was manifesting as more anxiety than anything else. Half a dozen sessions with a good psychologist made a huge difference in teaching me some simple mindfulness techniques to calm everything down. Plus, exercising makes a big difference for me.
    It was of course disturbing that the partner of a colleague (in whom I had confided) in the medical world was running the story around about how "Mentally unwell I was, on medications and seeing a psychiatrist" - managing to break confidence, demonise the condition and spread lies in one fell swoop! Some people just don't get it.
    RugbyReg, Dismal Pillock and Tex like this.
  12. Tex Ken Catchpole (46)

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    The link between masculinity and mental health is fascinating, particularly this expectation that 'real men' should suck it up and carry on without flinching. I'm not a great example, having let the sleeping dog lie for too long, but seeking help is far braver that sitting schtum and letting the pressure build to unmanageable levels.

    Dealing with the dark stuff is hard and uncomfortable and I wish I didn't have to do it, but the alternative is not tenable and when I asked myself the simple questions - 'Are you happy?', 'Would you be comfortable feeling like this for the rest of your life?', 'What's stopping you from speaking to someone?' - the answers, while not simple, were clear as day.
    Dismal Pillock and cyclopath like this.
  13. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    I usually avoid using this word on here without censorship, but feel that the universe urges me onward to say:

    What an fluffybunny.
    cyclopath likes this.
  14. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    (My disappointment that it is now censored is beyond my ability to describe).
    cyclopath likes this.
  15. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    Lads, I gotta say I've never sought any form of help, so bravo to those that do. Admitting there is a problem can be hard for those of us blessed with testicles, and the suicide rate shows it, unfortunately.

    As someone who grew up in a rural area, its the harbinger of what happens next - the unemployment thing in particular will reflect the despair that many drought-ridden communities are experiencing.

    I'm reaching an age now where I'm well into the groove of what might be a mid-life crisis, with various health issues, deaths on both sides of the family, and various work pressures. I question the purpose of my existence some days.

    This thread is a timely reminder that I probably need to start talking to someone.
    Ruggo, mst, Tex and 1 other person like this.
  16. Dismal Pillock Peter Sullivan (51)

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    Dr Frankie Boyle has got the cure for what ails us you you and us. Well, aside from massive doses of pharmacotherapy. Easily the greatest shrink in the world (who doesnt have license to prescribe massive doses of pharmacotherapy):

    As my shrink says (I actually go to see him under the guise of "teaching him English" {yes, I know, I know, thats unpossible you say} but really, unbeknownst to him, he7s been treating my mental illness every Thursday afternoon from 2-3pm for the last 12 years, I just havent told him his real purpose yet) it's all just brain chemical imbalances.
    "Give a mentally ill person shock treatment and they'll feel a slight jolt."
    "What happens if you give it to a normal person?" I venture, struggling to keep the half-hopeful lilting rise out of my voice.
    "It would be like being hit in the head with a shovel."
    Tex, cyclopath and Pfitzy like this.
  17. Dismal Pillock Peter Sullivan (51)

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    probably at the opposite end of the spectrum than the above, instead of wallowing in and searching for reasons for your misery, my Doc espouses Morita Theory, that being, rather than dwell on the past, or fret about the future, just focus on what you have right here and now, at this exact moment.

    The sun is shining.

    Or, its raining but I have a roof over my head. It's a great roof.

    Or, its raining, and I have no roof over my head, and no friends, and everyone thinks I'm a c**t. Except this pet rock. He's my best mate."
    TOCC, mst and Pfitzy like this.
  18. Sully John Eales (66)

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    Exactly Dismal. It's bloody easy to forget to look for those things when you are burrowing into your own hole.

    Sent from my D5833 using Tapatalk
    TOCC likes this.
  19. Jon Chris McKivat (8)

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    Well done on this last paragraph TOCC. Society needs to get over itself and take these issues seriously.

    As well as actually being there for someone when they need help. just a generalisation of course, but there are a lot of people who off the cuff say that they are going to be there and then fall short; potentially leaving people feel abandoned and worse after working up the courage to talk to someone in the first place.

    I personally don't have a lot of experience in personally dealing with internal demons, and thankfully haven't lost anyone to suicide. But at the same time I still talk to my mates about how i'm feeling and try to get them to talk to me about how they're feeling.

    Not sure if it'll catch on and perpetuate. But I think it's the least I can do.

    So, that said - Brisbane crew, if you want/need someone totally removed from it all to talk to. PM me, we'll work out a time and a place and we'll have a coffee. Not a professional by any means, but happy to listen and hang shit on any SR team but the force.
    TOCC likes this.
  20. mst Ken Catchpole (46)

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