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09-21-2012, 06:57 PM - 1 Like   #1
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My real name is Roderick. I have cyclothmia. Tonight, it's all a bit much.

I've spent the last quarter of a century - and I'm still only 36 - being honest to those who know me because I know that the more people who stand up and say 'I have a chronic mental illness' the less prejudice there will be. I have cyclothymia. It's a particularly nasty form of manic depression, or bipolarism if you prefer. Manic highs where I'm allowed to steal a police car and get away with a crazy escapade? Nope. Manic highs where it all repeats again and again and again? And again and.............. Yep. Today has been a bad day.

If you also have a mental illness you're not alone despite how you may feel; there are people who love you and who do give a shit and will sit and listen to you and your problems. They're not there out of duty but because they love you. I re-learnt that today. Today has been a good day...

Life is hard, and life is easy. The difficult part of it is figuring out which is which. These songs always help me in both my crap and blisteringly good phases.

(I was there - best gig of my life and this was the highlight)

(I was here as well. Great year at Glasto..)

I wasn't there, but wish I was was....

And for the biggest lift of all - Texans square-dancing to psytrance!



09-21-2012, 07:03 PM   #2
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I think you're very brave to come-out and tell it like it is.
Tell me more about what you mean by: Manic highs where it all repeats again and again and again
09-21-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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LBA must kill you during your manic periods. Thanks for sharing with us.
09-21-2012, 07:27 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
LBA must kill you during your manic periods. Thanks for sharing with us.
Ha ha ha, yeah, and the fba and cba too.


Last edited by wildweasel; 09-21-2012 at 08:11 PM.
09-21-2012, 07:40 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
I think you're very brave to come-out and tell it like it is.
Tell me more about what you mean by: Manic highs where it all repeats again and again and again
Thank you; but I'm not brave, just a little honest, even if it has taken me a year and a half on this site before I've 'fessed up...

By 'again and ...' I mean that I often get a thought or sound or vision stuck in my head and it plays on a loop. One of the worst ones I've had was about a year ago when someone started their motorbike in the road outside my bedroom window. For about a month all I could hear was 'k'chunk. K'chunk. K'chunck. Vrum, vrum, vrum, vroooooooooom' playing on a neverending loop in my mind's ear.

The endless thoughts are worse.
09-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
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I'm not looking for sympathy or even understanding btw; I just want people to realise that mental illness is nothing weird or unusual. The best analogy I've managed to come up with is it's like having a broken leg. You can have a broken leg and know how to kick a ball, but because your leg is broken you physically can't. You're also more likely to have a mental illness at some point in your life than you are to break that metaphorical leg of yours.

Last edited by wildweasel; 09-21-2012 at 07:54 PM.
09-21-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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Well, you are among friends here.
09-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #8
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I almost hate to respond, I don't want to come across as a jerk ass, but sometimes do. Your selection of music would send me over the edge if I was required to listen to much of it....but that may have more to do with a difference in age and culture than it does with mental issues.

I have been fortunate to have, what seems to me anyhow, as a pretty stable mind, however, I do understand somewhat since I suffer from severe winter depression. Early in life it caused me some difficulties, like walking off the job and heading for sunny skies and warm climates in the midst of a cold gray winter. Not a bad idea,unless you have a wife and two little kids depending on you......

Eventually, I realized it was all in my mind, and it would pass with the season, and life would spring forth again, blooms would develop, Squirrels would have babies, and the sun would be high in the sky again early every day!

Here is my concern....and where I think you are fortunate in your misfortune....I have a close relation that is suffering from an unknown (to me) type of destructive mental illness, and I have no way to convince him to get help. He is in total denial, yet his life is continually turned upside down by his rash and unbelievably bad decisions. There is no violence involved, yet I can see this destroying his life without some very competent help. What do you do in a case like this?

My best wishes to you in your fight, and hope that you are able to defeat your enemy and find peace.Peace is a magnificent state of mind....one where I mostly dwell, and when I don't, appreciate all the more!

Regards!
Rupert

More my kind of music...but I can't listen to this from December through March (winter months) without crying my eyes out! Even now, it brings a little tear......Been with Mrs Rupert almost 47 years....we do remember! You are so right...it means everything to have someone that cares...that loves you!



09-22-2012, 02:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote

Here is my concern....and where I think you are fortunate in your misfortune....I have a close relation that is suffering from an unknown (to me) type of destructive mental illness, and I have no way to convince him to get help. He is in total denial, yet his life is continually turned upside down by his rash and unbelievably bad decisions. There is no violence involved, yet I can see this destroying his life without some very competent help. What do you do in a case like this?
"Very little" Is often the sad truth. You simply can't drag anyone into getting help. My wife tried to get me to accept that I needed help of some sort for many years, I rejected her please constantly. It was only when I realized I need help, when my PTSD and depression drove me to ever more dysfunctional coping mechanisms ( the drink and drugs stopped working to blot the crap out ) that I sought help. Since then I have trained as a counsellor, and like so many other counsellors and therapists I can tell who's going to not going to benefit within a very short time, the people that make that huge step on their own are the success stories. Those we see because someone told them they have to come, most of them don't finish the sessions and return to their old comfort zones.
Never stop advising your relative, but make the advice a message of support. Make it clear that you will support them if and when they choose to seek help.

It's nearly 15 years since I said out loud "I think I need some help" The bravest words I've ever said.........
09-22-2012, 04:53 AM   #10
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You're right in saying you're not alone, and brave to state that you know it. That may or may not make things easier for you, I hope the former. As we're chiming in, I'll add that I too have suffered depression (not the manic type though) and all that goes with it. I am still suffering from side-effects of the very, very poor drugs that are so often used to control it, almost ten years after I last took any of them. Music can be a great therapy, even more so when the love of it is shared by a friend.

All the best.
09-22-2012, 05:09 AM   #11
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Another sufferer here, although me and it are familar roomates now and once I worked out it was a part of me I came to terms with it and got help.
Will always be vulnerable, the last period being when I couldn't find work after a tough period when my late mother was terminally ill. Happy to say all is well and its all about maintaining balance between the lows and the highs-I'm pretty mild though, more of an anxiety/mood disorder but can quickly drop into a depressive period from an elated one.
Echo what the Op and Rupert (I also find winters particularly hard) have said aswell as an explanation. The difference in having a dysfunction in the brain than another part of the body is it affects how you perceive the world.
I have periods of anger and paranoia (again on a minor scale) where I get frustrated with people around me but experience tells me to bite my lip / disbelieve what I see and force what I would regularly do as I know what I am perceiving is wrong. Often all it takes is a strangers smile/hello to shake me out of it.
My brother has severe depression yet holds a steady FT job- he amazes me with his mental strength as does other people I have met with mental illness.
I find photography is extremely therapeutic in that I can totally isolate myself from social interaction for a period, take my time and catch and see the beautiful life around me.
Along with medication a good routine helps all though not too regimented in as to become OCD.
Excercise/sleep and healthy eating all help, reduction in smoking alcohol and coffee and knowledge of what your triggers are and what to do if an episode is coming on. Of course these things don't happen overnight, they come G..R..A..D..U..A..L..L..Y. Motivation is hard to come by and that is where others can help, often it just takes a gental push, "Come take a walk with me?" "Come join me for a coffee" ,sometimes helping find out about activities the person may enjoy or find out when /where education and courses are. As others have said they do want to have to change and it is this period of lucidity that we look for to help people with conditions. As with anything with people it is highly subjective and differs from person to person but this stuff isn't rare and once someone realises they are not the only ones who have trouble coping with life then that is when they can be helped.

Last edited by Tonto; 09-22-2012 at 05:15 AM.
09-22-2012, 07:13 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice and support guys. I've found photography has really helped me as it gives me an interest outside the home and gets me out and about. I'm starting psychotherapy and counselling next week as well as the meds I've been taking for a while so I'll see how that goes.

For those who have S.A.D., something that helps is to put a fluorescent light on a timer switch behind your curtains set to go on a couple of hours before your alarm in the morning. The bit of light coming from behind the curtain tricks your mind into thinking that it's summer. My old doctor recommended that to me and it does make a difference; but be prepared to explain to the neighbours that you're not growing anything illegal...
09-22-2012, 08:24 AM   #13
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Years ago, I clipped a little quote out of an article I was reading that said "Be kind, everyone you meet is in a hard struggle"

I think that it is even more applicable in today's world. If you can take a few minutes to listen to a strangers "story", you will often find they are in a battle for their life, for their sanity, for their children, for their friend....we are all in some sort of struggle most of the time. A smile, a few kind words, a caring act....if we all do it, we all benefit. You also find, you will benefit the most yourself!

Regards!
09-22-2012, 12:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Years ago, I clipped a little quote out of an article I was reading that said "Be kind, everyone you meet is in a hard struggle"
I have the same little saying on the edge of my bookshelf, but everyone you meet is "fighting a hard battle". It's attributed to Plato. I don't know if this is correct or not; I forget where I found it.
But we would all do well to remember it, when we're having a bad day ourselves, to be a little more compassionate to others.
Photography has helped me through some difficult times because I find it so totally absorbing. For a while, the rest of the world disappears, while I think about composition & exposure etc. Indeed good therapy, whether you do it alone or with others.
09-24-2012, 05:31 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildweasel Quote
For those who have S.A.D., something that helps is to put a fluorescent light on a timer switch behind your curtains set to go on a couple of hours before your alarm in the morning. The bit of light coming from behind the curtain tricks your mind into thinking that it's summer. My old doctor recommended that to me and it does make a difference; but be prepared to explain to the neighbours that you're not growing anything illegal...
Have looked into the S.A.D. lights before- wonder how they would go as studio lights!
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