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25-07-2018, 11:22   #1
Boards.ie: Niamh
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Now ye’re talking - to someone with mental illness

Good morning everyone. We have a new AMA for you today and I think it's one that lots of people will relate to in small or large parts on the subject of mental illness. Our guest describes himself and his experience here:

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I was quite a successful person in middle management in my late twenties. In my early thirties I started to develop depression. Things went downhill fast in my work life although I managed to finish a degree while I was off work and gain Part-time employment which later turned into a full time gig. Thankfully my job has health insurance as I had a resurgence of depression about three years ago to the point of attempting suicide. Through some great inpatient care I’m recovering well and have since learned I am co-morbid with ADHD. I’m on a small pharmacy of drugs each with it’s good and bad points.

I’d be delighted to share my experiences with you of mental illness, how it effects those around you, care and medication and anything else you’d like to ask. However if you are in crisis talk to someone urgently on 116 123.
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25-07-2018, 11:32   #3
rizzee
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I don't have any questions, just want to say fair play for doing this and good luck in the future!
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25-07-2018, 11:37   #4
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What're your thoughts on medication? I've thought of talking to a doctor about it for during particularly bad bouts of anxiety however I'd see it as a major step backwards and would be afraid of trying to get back off it.

Thanks for doing this by the way.
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25-07-2018, 11:50   #5
I'm recovering from mental illness, AMA
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What're your thoughts on medication? I've thought of talking to a doctor about it for during particularly bad bouts of anxiety however I'd see it as a major step backwards and would be afraid of trying to get back off it.

Thanks for doing this by the way.
Without wanting to overstate it I'd be dead without the medication. While trying to get my medication right they tried one of the older tri-cyclic anti-depressants it taught me two things. Firstly fair play to anyone with anxiety - it gave me anxiety to the point of being terrified to get out of bed. Secondly it showed me we've come on hugely from even a few years ago. In regards to steps forward or backwards, I'm not sure I'd classify it as either. It's just something you may, or may not, need.

The short term treatment for anxiety is benzos but they are highly addictive and you would only (if ever) be put on them for a short period. Most of the drugs used now, at least for depression are not open to abuse. The withdrawal can be pretty bad, but not in an addicted sense and following medical advice is key here. I have a habit of 'going off my meds' and cold turkey'd several (non-working) anti-depressants prescribed by the GP with some fairly nasty withdrawal symptoms.

The problem you'll have with GPs is they are not specialists and there will be a lot of "try this for six weeks let me know how you get on". Stick with it they will hit across the right medication.

Although I'm fairly convinced medication is the way to go a holistic approach including coping strategies is also very helpful. During my time in hospital they taught us to sort of observe our emotional state in a detached manner. It really helped along with other coping strategies like 'radical acceptance' of situations you can't change. They did a lot of other bits too but those were the ones that 'resonated' with me. For other people it can be something else.

If you can get some intensive short term help that's my suggestion. There seemed to be more people in for anxiety than depression and they seemed to really benefit form a few weeks day patient care.

Last edited by I'm recovering from mental illness, AMA; 25-07-2018 at 11:55.
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25-07-2018, 11:55   #6
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Has any form of dependence resulted from your past depression? Say, needing a drink after a bad day?
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25-07-2018, 11:57   #7
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Fair play to doing this. Best wishes with the future.
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25-07-2018, 12:01   #8
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Has any form of dependence resulted from your past depression? Say, needing a drink after a bad day?
Oddly enough not substance but sex. Sex addiction became a major issue and still is to a degree. That was my coping mechanism. Although I like a drink and it was a hard thing for many people to give up. Very few of the medications used should be combined with alcohol, but there we all were on a Monday talking about how we'd at least had a glass of wine over the weekend.

I'm off the booze six weeks now after a recent relapse of depression, and don't really miss it. Odd that I never gave it up before, but the I think we're all a bit blaze about how powerful alcohol really is.
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25-07-2018, 12:09   #9
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What does being co-morbid mean, I haven't heard that term before? How does ADHD affect you, does it interfere with work for example and make things more difficult or does the medication you are on deal with the symptoms enough that it doesn't bother you?
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25-07-2018, 12:13   #10
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Like said above,fair play for opening up about your experiences

I was always a person who did not believe in depression or mental health issues,Now over the last several years i believe i am suffering with some form of it myself,either depression or anxiety
I can see what would have caused it over the years and i never actually got my feelings of my chest
I am going to try go to the doctors and see what options are out there for me

Cheers
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25-07-2018, 12:21   #11
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What does being co-morbid mean, I haven't heard that term before? How does ADHD affect you, does it interfere with work for example and make things more difficult or does the medication you are on deal with the symptoms enough that it doesn't bother you?
Sorry just means with. It was the term used by the Psychiatrist I probably shouldn't be using terms like that as I don't want anyone to think I have any medical insights what so ever just what's worked and not worked for me.

Pre-medication I worked in a fairly hectic environment so fliting form one task to another, delegating a half done job etc. wasn't an issue. It was a real issue, especially as it is a much more junior role, in my current job. I'd speak out of turn, get really agitated, couldn't focus etc. I'm on Conserta which is long release Ritalin with top ups of instant release Ritalin. It really helps but it's not a cure-all unfortunately.

I still get agitated now and again but the Ritalin calms me down and means that I can concentrate. Some stimulants like Ritalin work very differently in people with ADHD than they do with 'normal' people. So I don't get superpowers just a regular 'normal' level of concentration and not being distracted by everything going on around me. I still find it hard, but not impossible to do boring everyday tasks which was a major problem before. Now I know none of us like doing the washing up, but I used to find it almost tear inducingly frustrating, never really got that - that was off before I got diagnosed.
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25-07-2018, 12:23   #12
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Hi, thank you for doing this AMA. I also suffer from mental health issues and it's very important to fight the stigma and to talk about these issues.

I've had my boyfriend telling me that I should go for a run to feel better. At that time I didn't even have enough energy to turn on the other side in bed or to have a shower, and he insisted that if I go for a little run now, I will feel much better. He also told me to "just get over" my anxiety attacks, saying that I can't be possibly stressing out about such little things as using a different entrance to Tesco than I have planned to use.

I think he has a better understanding of my struggles now and is being supportive.

My question for you: Did you have someone close to you who didn't entirely understand how mental health works and insisted on you doing something that you knew won't help? If so, what was the most ridiculous advice you got?

Best of luck in your recovery
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25-07-2018, 12:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstlight View Post
Like said above,fair play for opening up about your experiences

I was always a person who did not believe in depression or mental health issues,Now over the last several years i believe i am suffering with some form of it myself,either depression or anxiety
I can see what would have caused it over the years and i never actually got my feelings of my chest
I am going to try go to the doctors and see what options are out there for me

Cheers
I was EXACTLY the same. Pffft people with depression, they're just a bit sad, have a drink/sleep/pour some cold water on your face and get on with it. It wasn't until I got crippling depression that I understood.

I really hope you find some relief. I put off going and getting properly sorted for years, it's a massive regret and has really held me back in life.
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25-07-2018, 12:28   #14
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any side effects to being on so much medication, do you think you could function without it.
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25-07-2018, 12:29   #15
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Did you find any funny or strange side effects from taking the medication?

Fair play for speaking out on this. The stigma around mental health is improving, and it's people like you that are helping to break down those walls, and make it ok for it to be talked about.

I've recently finished up with medication, after being on for 12 months. Not gonna hijack your AMA though, just wanted to wish you well, and throw out that question for you
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