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Mental Health

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by P Thought, Sep 28, 2020.

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  1. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What is it? Who has it and who doesn't, and how do you know? What is mental illness, and what do you do about it?

    When it's someone else, whose job is it to help? How do we know what helps?

    When it's you, how do you know what to do?
     
  2. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think it comes down to:

    Do you feel okay? If not, why not, and what can you reasonably do about it?
     
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  3. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I was in on a conversation about this, and someone was saying some version of "Just deal with it. Terrible things happen, and some people have worse luck than others, but you just take it as it comes and handle it".

    I did my best to explain to them that people with certain mental health issues just can't do that. They don't have the means. People who misunderstand mental illness seem to have a tendency to make certain assumptions about a person's baseline, but that baseline is precisely where the problem lies.

    Hammering a nail is dead-simple. It's the easiest thing in the world to do. But change one small condition, such as your hammer being broken, or not having a hammer at all, and it becomes incredibly difficult, or even impossible.
     
  4. KATT

    KATT Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Everyone has 'mental health' just like everyone has 'physical health'. It's a scale, from good to bad and can vary constantly throughout your life.

    Mental illness is obviously on the bad side of mental health. A mental illness that is something that is a professionally diagnosed condition i.e. a condition with a specific medical name.

    I think we all have a part to play in checking in on those who we may think are having mental health issues. Just something as simple as being a friend to talk to can help. Mental illness probably needs professional help though.

    When it's you having issues, just talk about how you are feeling with someone you can trust. Don't try to bottle it up. There are also charities that can help and point you in the right direction.
     
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  5. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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  6. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Well, the answers to those questions probably require some deep expertise. But then again, we all own teles, so we are a pretty smart bunch!
    Society has been moving towards a broader and more far-reaching definition of mental illness, such that we are often medicating people whenever they feel down in the dumps. I feel like there is a wide range of personality traits out there, and "mental illnesses" are generally defined as whatever is at the extreme end of a trait. So in other words, being vain and arrogant and self-centered is not a mental illness, but at the extreme end of arrogance lies NPD and Sociopathy. Anybody can be indecisive, or neat and organized, but over at the extremes, we call those people ADD and OCD.
    Being depressed about things sometimes is no more of a mental illness than being happy all the time. Being so depressed that you lose motivation to continue with life, to stop striving, THAT we can define as a mental illness.
    Somebody who insists their pedals must all be the same color, brand, or shape probably suffers from some degree of OCD.

    Internet forums like this probably make this kind of problem worse, like an AA meeting where everybody talks about their favorite brand of scotch.
    And anyone who disagrees with me is plain old crazy.
     
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  7. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    First off, I'm no certified clinician nor counselor -- please understand that.

    Second, I'd say that based on the situation of a). the previous 6-7 months, combined with b). the rapid fires (and subsequent) smoke inversion, combined with, c). younger people returning to school and all that it implies..

    Stress has been 'off the charts' lately for many. Since you're relatively nearby and have suffered through the fires and all that, I will *assume* your stress has been ~= to mine, and my neighbors, etc. "It's been a lot lately". Recognize that first off.

    Second, cut yourself some slack. Things are bad and they aren't going to change overnight. In my case, I try to adapt some 'coping strategies' -- I go for a run every other day, I set aside specific time to play the guitar every day. I make sure to contact the people important to me and realize the world is bigger than myself and that other folks are suffering too. Do try to find one little thing that makes you happy every day -- no matter how small, no matter how little you or others might think it trivial.

    Sometimes, when I do that, I realize my situation isn't all that bad (I'm a full time caregiver; which, to translate for the folks that do not know what that actually means is.. I'm usually busy, broke and don't get many chances to get out and have fun'. So, 'it is what it is', but you try to carve out little ways (at least at first) to make life a tad bit more enjoyable and bearable.

    If things are really bad, then I recommend a trip to your PCP (primary care doc) and discreetly bring up the issue (be careful what you say, because it may end up in your chart and once it's there, it can follow you around for life). Meds may be a viable option ('been there, done that'). Many work great. Sometimes brain chemistry can go a little wonky, but fortunately, brain science has improved to the point where things can be managed with a little trial/error and effort. Do enlist the understanding and support of a trusted other/significant other. Sometimes, it is that person who will be the best and most objective observer.

    Best of luck, and do hang in there.
    I've always appreciated your posts and want you to keep posting.
    Let us know how it's going.
    :)

    https://www.nami.org/Find-Your-Local-NAMI/Affiliate?state=OR
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
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  8. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Unless you are a qualified mental health professional, you have no business trying to "help" someone. Encourage them to seek a qualified mental health professional. If you feel you have a problem, you should do the same.

    Telling someone to "deal with it" is the height of ignorance.
     
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  9. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    When you reach a point of concern or doubt seek a professional who has experience. That applies to just about anything.
     
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  10. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Meister

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    Wow, great topic! Thanks for raising it. I think the #1 thing to keep in mind--for yourself or others--is that it's ok to not be ok. Ask for help when you need it--I did.
     
  11. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hear what you're saying.

    But the word "help" has a lot of different meanings. Last Friday and Saturday I sat with a 19 year old kid who had tried to off himself. In our hospital that's a one-on-one situation. When he wasn't sleeping we talked guitars (he's a player) and traded songs on our phones. I didn't help him by getting him a diagnosis (his mom's bipolar and he thinks he is) or get him started on meds. Instead I tried to relate to him in a nonjudgmental manner and let him know that he doesn't have to go through this alone. Sometimes just knowing there's someone else out there is a help. I get people who ask me when they're visiting a relative who's on hospice about what to say or what to do. I tell them to just be there and play it by ear. Often just their presence is a help.
     
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  12. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suffer from anxiety and depression.

    Not severely, and not clinical.

    There are occasions I can do the “stiff upper lip” thing, and there are occasions (once every few weeks) that I need medication for the anxiety, which I take under supervision of a doctor.

    I’ve tried multiple types of antidepressants, and all of them make me extremely physically ill; therefore, I handle my mild depression by eliminating things that cause my depression (and anxiety) to get worse—which is why I “fired” a few relatives and acquaintances from my life.

    I also speak to a counselor (minister) on regular occasions, which helps.

    I listen to my wife when she points out aspects of my attitude or behavior are indicating that I’m not doing well.

    If and/or when the medication, counseling and support stops working, I’ll take stronger steps.

    All of these this methods listed above only work with mild depression and moderately severe anxiety, and only work if you’re humble enough to admit you have an issue and humble enough to take steps to deal with them.
     
  13. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A couple things:

    1) Asking for a friend, maybe lots of friends ;)

    2) There are lots more questions, I know, but I keep wanting to know, who says?
     
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  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Talk to your doctor.
     
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  15. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I hate that there is a negative stigma surrounding the seeking of mental health counseling. I have had close family members receive terrific help from mental health experts. The main challenge is finding a doctor who (a) actually cares, and (b) is a good fit personality-wise.

    I have seen people who needed some help, but they got stuck with a very poor doctor. It’s heart breaking.

    If life requires us to carry an emotional tool box around, certainly we should seek to put as many good tools in that box as possible. That’s all the mental health experts are trying to do - help to provide proper tools and training for people.
     
  16. Chandlerman

    Chandlerman TDPRI Member

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    One of my favorite sayings:

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” -Krishnamurti
     
  17. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    There's a broad continuum between "normal", normal but quirky (me :lol:), and psychotic. My wife is a psychologist. She's spent our entire married life diagnosing me and trying to fix what's wrong, all to no avail. That says there's no talking someone out of crazy, even if you yell at them.

    In my mind (only an opinion), mental illness starts where someone no longer has the ability to function in society in a way that meets expectations, expectations of oneself, and the expectations of others. Talk therapy doesn't cure mental illness but it can provide coping strategies. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications, the side effects of which may be tolerable or intolerable. People we think are truly mentally ill are often those who either refuse to take or can't afford medications. Others are merely annoying because of their inability to cope. We find them in the workplace, at Walmart, almost everywhere.

    Criminality is different. It sometimes stems from a lack of options, a lack of choices, or making bad choices. It's sometimes a result of unrecognized and untreated mental illness. It causes some people to run for office and others to run from the cops.

    There's a person I work with who has a sign hanging from a string on the wall over his work area. It says, "I see stupid people everywhere". Some days he reverses it. On those days it says, "I see crazy people everywhere". He's just a regular guy who sees things most of us miss.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  18. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
    800-273-8255


    www.crisistextline.org/
    Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
    Free 24/7 support at your fingertips
    US and Canada: text 741741
    UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808


    My suggestions for friends with challenges:

    1) Refer them to pros when you can.


    2) Listen if you can, but allow yourself to stop when you aren't comfortable.

    Therapists have training in how to "leave it at work" and they have their own therapists to help them manage. If you don't have those, you don't have the proper safety gear. Sure, you can probably hammer a nail into a wall to hang a picture without safety glasses. But somewhere between "tack hammer" and "jackhammer" you need to put those glasses on. If you don't know where that line is, best to err on the side of caution.


    3) Don't try to help with or solve their mental health problems.

    For example: off-balance brain chemistry can be interpreted as emotional response by the cognitive part of the brain, which then looks at the person's life for something to be emoting about. In non-MH situations, you can relieve an emotion by solving the problem that is causing the emotion. In these cases, you can't. The problem isn't causing the emotion- the emotion is there first and is attaching itself to the problem. It will just reattach to something else if that problem is resolved.


    4) If you want to help, help with logistical problems.

    If your brain is not 100% and you're trying to navigate insurance issues by yourself, it's easy to say "eff it" and go back to bed. You might be able to help by sitting with the person and listening to "If you want to find a mental health professional, press 1" with them.
     
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  19. telemaster03

    telemaster03 Tele-Meister

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    Tough question and it's different for everyone.

    I consider myself happy, positive and upbeat most of the time. When things go wrong for an extended period of time it gets me down and I find myself in what I call a "funk". I can usually get myself out of it but would seek help if I couldn't. More of a threat to me is seasonal depression which rears it's ugly head about this time every year...the colder weather, coupled with less daylight and added holiday stress, does a number on me and I'm continually told to deal with it. Until recently it never dawned on me that there are people who experience the same issue in summer.

    These are mild issues but large to me. I empathize with those who have more pressing and larger issues that require help and assistance instead of "just dealing with it".
     
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  20. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Fair enough. By don't "help" I'm talking about knowing someone who is not currently under treatment and then offering advice (other than to seek a qualified professional) with no qualifications.
     
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