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Everything posted by RichW

  1. I wish I was the kinda guy who could switch off and not worry about things I have no control over. Course I know how unrealistic that is, wellbeing is an inside outside thing. It's the chemicals in our brains and our experiences and perceptions of the world around us. Politically, my perception of the world around me is quite dire and I can't see it improving for some time. I don't know how many people areound here are UK based, but whatever. It was the general election on Thursday. It was hyped as the biggest general election in a generation, and its biggest issue, Brexit. Not health, education, mental health, the environment, homelessness, poverty, welfare, crime, the econmy - none of that, just Brexit, sticking our fingers up at our neighbourgs is more important than the rest of our problems. Now I expected to hate the result of the election and I do. I'd love to be wrong but if the last nine years is anything to go by, I can't see anything improving in this country for the majority of people, only worse. Again, I'd love to be wrong. Course things will improve for the rich, that goes without saying. I expected to hate the result, I expected to be angry and upset, but when you expect it you'd think there'd be a degree of acceptance there? I didn't expect this, I feel like I've been hit for six, I've been flattened. Course it's not like I expected everything to be rainbows and sunshine if we got the result I wanted - just less toxic. Less hate, division and hostility, a bit more compassion. Nationalism has been on the rise again here, and there's ot a great deal I can see to be proud of. At the same time, I kinda think I've made it a bigger deal than it ought to be. Yeah, there are worse governments and worse countries to live in. I know, not exactly helpful but whatever. Depression doesn't give a shit, could be anyone anywhere. It's not something you have to earn a right to, it's nothing to be guilty about. I'm probably preaching to the converted here anyway, hopefully nobody here thinks like that, but people do. Urgh.
  2. I suppose with the internet it's much easier to find like-minded people to communicate with on specialist forums and groups etc. Course people find ways to express what they like in real life too, they might be wearing a t-shirt of their favourite band. sports team or some film or TV show reference, whatever. Good way of striking up a conversation, and a couple of my best friendships have been struck up because of what they were wearing. I do struggle to connect with people too though. I used to be a hell of a lot shyer when I was younger but even now I'd still rather be in the background, if I find myself in a group of half a dozen people or whatever I'll be the observer, I'll listen while other people take the lead rather than actually participate. I've grown more outgoing as I've got older, but it's still kinda restrained as if I'm putting up a wall because I can't let people know the real me. I've got a fair few acquaintances but very few people I'd consider close friends. Online communication is very much easier for me. Well, you get more time to think about what you want to say, you've got your delete button. Maybe that's a double edged sword too though, you've got more time to think about what you want to say, you've got more time to think about how people might take what you say, how it comes across etc. More time to overthink, which is probably why I'm more of an observer than participant in groups.. As with anything related to depression, it's so easy to say... neither of us know how much we'll regret opening up to anyone. We encounter strangers every day, never knowing what their story is. It's safer not to though.
  3. Sometimes I think my wife is overly critical of me but half the time she's criticising what I do or don't do, or the way I do it. She's not criticising me, but it feels like it and every time I upset or annoy her it feels like a catastrophic failure. Depression does exaggerate the negative and play down the positive, it's hard but it's important to remember that what might feel like a personal attack most likely isn't.
  4. I'm six weeks in now and before this it'd been about 5 years since I'd been on any anti-depressants. My doctor told me six weeks and that seems to be a fairly general rule of thumb. I gave fluoxetine, citalapram and sertraline three months each, and mirtazapine I think about a month before giving up and going cold turkey. I don't remember noticing anything with any of them, and so far with venlafaxine I don't know either. I've been on 75mg since the start and I've got another six weeks left on the prescription I'm on now, when I'll go see my doctor again. I have been nauseous but I don't know whether that's more related to the depression or the venlafaxine. I have been struggling for sleep on hotter nights. Even last night was relatively mild but I still woke up at 5:30am. I have been anxious but again, I don't know whether it's related much at all to the venlafaxine. Other things like my appetite, sex drive and energy levels have been fairly consistent before and after starting on the pills. Course if we get a good day, or a sequence of them - and it will happen - I don't know if it's even possible to attribute that to the pills. Could have had some good news, maybe you've got a concert or holiday or something to look forward to coming up, maybe it's a change in the weather. Maybe it's the pills. I really don't know, but I'm prepared to go with the flow, see my doctor towards the end of this prescription and see what he thinks. While I'm an expert on what my own depression does to me and while I've got a reasonable enough idea what to do about it, I have no idea how.
  5. I've had periods where I've avoided bad habits. Well it was easier to avoid eating crap and drinking too much when I was unemployed and couldn't afford to, plus I was walking all over as I couldn't afford the bus. People still talk about welfare as if it's so generous and an easy life - it wasn't for me, yeah I lost a lot of weight without really trying, but with so much time on your hands, particularly when you're prone to overthinking as it is, it was hell. So yeah, sometimes circumstances make it easier to break some bad cycles but the pessimist in me says that not doing something because you can't afford to isn't an achievement. It's thought patterns that are the worst for me. I eat crap and drink too much knowing full well that I'll feel bad for it because in my mind I deserve to feel bad. I'm fully aware how ridiculous it sounds, I wouldn't expect it of anyone else. There's nothing special about me, but that shouldn't be a bad thing. Quite the opposite really, I'm not going to acheive anything amazing, the pressure should be off but I still hold myself to ridiculous standards. Even if I make the most minor and easily reversible mistakes, I'll give myself hell for it. Sometimes I think I could save the world and I'd beat myself for not doing it quick enough or better. It's ridiculous, I know. And I know I'm only human, I know I have many flaws. That's people, we've all got them. Just for some reason that I've never understood, I find other people''s flaws and mistakes much more acceptable and forgiveable than my own. I know it's wrong, but that's my normality. I wish I could just flick a switch and think "to hell with it, I'm not going to worry about this today, I don't care that I'm not perfect". I keep trying to flick that switch with alcohol but it never works and I know it never works but I keep doing it anyway. And that just becomes another stick to beat myself with, why do I keep repeating stupid pointless patterns, when will I learn, why can't I be stronger willed? I'm fully aware of what I should do and shouldn't do, what I should think and what's a waste of time and energy. I know where I'm going wrong, and where I should go right, I just don't know how to. Even when I try to make positive changes, like going to the gym, it feels like I'm lying to myself. Losing weight won't solve all my problems. Yeah, I might feel more worthwhile as a person if I do but I feel like that'd be wrong. Doesn't matter how much weight I or anyone else loses, we're still the same person and weight really shouldn't be a measure of worth but by wanting to lose weight I feel like I'm subscribing to a myth. I'm an imposotor.
  6. Wish I had the answer. I've got some terrible habits, I'll do things in full knowledge that I'll feel bad because of it after but I do it anyway. I'd go as far as saying it's self-sabotage.
  7. I'm four weeks in today. Haven't had any ringing in ears, but what I did get was a very dry mouth for the first couple of weeks. Has eased off a lot but it's still there. I'm only on 75mg for now, picking up my second prescription today and I think towards the end of that in week 7 of 8 I'll see my doctor again for review. I wouldn't have expected it to help so soon, I have no idea if it has. That's the most truly maddening thing about depression and anti-depressants for me, how can you know whether it's the depression or the pills making you feel a certain way? Likewise, if there is any noticeable improvement, how can you be certain whether it's the pills or a change of circumstances? I'm pretty much permanently exhausted but Venlafaxine is only one of several factors for why that could be. @jboogs, if you're still taking Venlafaxine, upped your dose or whatever, I'd be interested in knowing how you're doing three and half months in. Good luck.
  8. Went to the gym. Joined last week, third workout in 6 days. I'm hoping to do 2-3 a week. See what effect it has on my mental health too, if anything.
  9. Wish there was an easy answer. My self-hate just leads me into self-sabotage, I'll eat and drink too much knowing it'll make me feel like crap because in my mind, that's how I deserve to feel. Despite having such a low view of myself I'll have higher standards for myself than I do other people. I'll stew over mistakes that I'd have no qualms forgiving in other people, but because it's me I don't deserve forgiveness, I don't deserve kindness. It's never made sense but this is the way it's been for as long as I remember. It's easy to say it doesn't make sense, it's easy to tell other people that there's no reason that they should feel the way they do, that they do deserve kindness, fairness, happiness, health - whatever. How it feels like such an insurmountable task to apply basic logic like that to yourself, I've never understood. I am harsh to myself, I know that, and I know I wouldn't be so harsh to anyone else. How to combat it, I really don't know at all, answers on a postcard please. Expect that, like depression, it'll be different for so many people, that there won't be a quick fix and it'll take unlearning habits of a lifetime. Which is strangely daunting, cos self-hate feels like it's so embedded, it's become a key characteristic, I'm challenging who I am. Not strictly true, but that's how it feels and that is very real.
  10. Sorry if this has been posted about over and over but it's something I've been spending a fair bit of time thinking about lately. There's more to each and every one of us than the number on the scales and the shape, size, colour or age of our bodies but at the same time it feels so important. Healthy body healthy mind, they say. As per forum rules, no numbers or anything but I'm convinced that I have some kind of eating disorder along with a kind of body dismorphia.. I'm a binger, I eat my feelings and my weight has spiraled out of control again the last couple of years or so, as it has many times. For the last decade or so, my mind and body have been on a rollercoaster. I've never been comfortable with my appearance yet now I find myself looking back at photos from years ago wishing that I looked like that now. Earlier today I watched a program called Naked Beach which you can probably guess what that's about. It's probably more just an excuse to show !!!!!! on television, but the premise is that being around "normal" naked people is good for body positivity. Did find it a bit strange that there were so many adverts for cosmetics inbetween.. Anyway. So you've got three contestants who are experiencing issues with their bodies and you've got segments of the show with them each talking about the things they don't like about their bodies and the reasons why. All the while I'm sat here not seeing what they're seeing and wondering if it were me sat there whether they'd be seeing what I'm saying I see. Anyway, the conestants are staying at this resort with about 8 naked hosts and they do a few activities and experiments over the course of a few days and see whether their body image improves enough for them to strip naked on a beach with a group of relative strangers on national TV. By the end of the week two of them went fully naked and one went half naked. I can only imagine how nerve wracking that'd be for me, but they did it so fair play to them. I'd like to have the courage and confidence to do something like that even if I never actually did it. It does give hope that it can be done, that people can improve their body image without changing their bodies drastically. I'm joining a gym on Friday which I've done many times before and has yet to significantly improve my body image. When I was at my healthiest weight, I felt like I was a kind of impostor. Or that I was somehow being in denial of who I am, trying to be someone else. And i have these thoughts about body positivity too which tie in with my depression. I don't deserve to feel good, if I try to be positive about the body I have today I'm giving myself excuses and acceptance that I don't deserve. Anyway, sorry I'm rambling. I just wondered if anybody in here had any tips on achieving a bit more body positivity. One of the tests for the contenstants in the show was to spend 20 minutes each night looking at their naked reflection in the mirror and getting to know their body. Well that's what they said anyway, I thought I knew my body, I take it everywhere with me . Right now, being positive about my body feels like this monumental task and if only I could acheive that then it could have such a positive impact on my life and general wellbeing overall. But I don't know where to start... Any ideas?
  11. "Be more positive" is brilliant, isn't it? I wonder what the hell people who say it expect. Do they think it's a pearl of wisdom that no depressed person has ever considered? Course, positivity is as much a double edged sword as negativity. A pessimist is never disappointed eh? Positive people must experience so much disappointment and failure, but I guess if you're more positive these things won't matter... Be great to stick a sheild like that up, be unaffected by your own brain and the things around you.
  12. I've tried several courses of prescribed anti-depressants, natural remedies, sessions etc. I've never had a medical diagnosis of depression and never been to see a mental health expert. I'm not likely to be in a position to see a mental health expert either, here in the UK funding for mental health support has been slashed and I can't afford to go private. I always have my doubts though. Well, may as well paraphrase from the "The way we talk to ourselves" thread. Pull yourself together. I'd never expect that of anyone else, I feel it. Depression can be exhausting, sometimes I physically ache, sometimes the most trivial and small things feel like the biggest challenges. We're not faking it. Course there'll always be people who'll think that people are faking it for attention, there'll also be people with so many symptoms of depression who refuse to acknowledge the possibility that they are depressed for whatever reason. Personal pride, avoidance of stigma, whatever. I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone. Or however anyone else in any of these threads is feeling. If we're faking it for attention, why the hell wouldn't we fake something more fun?!
  13. I know I'd never talk to anyone else the way I talk to myself. I know I won't forgive myself for things that I'd easily forgive others for. I know it's unfair and unhealthy to have such unreasonable expectations of myself, but I do anyway. I don't know why I do. I've known how wrong it is for such a long time but it still happens anyway. If I don't beat myself up I'm too easy on myself, I'm giving myself excuses that I don't deserve. I know it doesn't make sense.
  14. I guess with the old high school guidance counselor they might've felt inappropriate conversing with someone who was a client, as you were. I've dealt with a couple of counselors but not for about 10 years now (wow, how did that happen?) and there does have to be boundaries so it's not necessarily about showing true colours. I'm sorry to hear about your experiences with bullies, nobody deseves that. I was so lucky at school as far as bullying goes cos I am the kind of person who gets bullied, I'm introverted, low of confidence etc. I just wish all bullies understood the impact of what they do and say. Felt it.
  15. Quite takenaback by you saying that there's no truth whatsoever in different people finding different things attractive - that's a cold hard fact. How much evidence do you need? If it's such a concrete fact that women are "hardwired by evolution to prefer particular traits in men", why do lesbians exist? Why do men who don't have the strong jawline, broad shoulders and alpha personality still exist after thousands of years? Surely they'd have been wiped out by now. Handsome and ugly are both subjective. Sure there'll be people and traits I consider attractive that you don't and visa versa. How do people have different tastes and fetishes? There's nothing absolute about any of it.
  16. RichW


    Probably a thousand threads on here about feeling numb but course they've all got their personal aspects. Don't know what I'm hoping to acheive from adding another thread to the subject and selfish as it might be I'd rather this than be a burden to any of my friends or family. Just feeling pretty much empty right now. I've felt for a long time that my life is totally pointless and for the most part I've been fine with that. Sometimes better than fine, If life is pointless, that should take the pressure off shouldn't it? You can't lose. Something I've been struggling a bit more with lately is a general loss of interest. I haven't really felt passionate about anything for a long time. The things I used to do, the places I used to go, the people I used to know who meant so much to me at the time. Everything fades, places, things, people aren't what I thought they were for so long and I'm not who i thought I was. There are a few people who've been closest to me throughout my adult life who I barely hear from anymore and yeah people change, priorities change, the things that make us tick change but it doesn't make it any easier not to feel rejected. I don't know, just hard to envisage that the things that meant the most to me, the people who meant the most to me or I meant the most to ever being replaced.
  17. I'll never know for sure, but I can't see it making a major long tern positive difference. Yeah, it'd be nice to not worry about having enough money to get by but I'm a worrier, there's no shortage of things I can find to worry about and I think being rich would only become another. I'd end up suspicious of whether people want to know me for who I am rather than what I've got in the bank. I'd hate that, I've got no desire to be rich. Confortable would be nice.
  18. There's nothing true about that at all. Nobody's worth is based purely on their appearance and in any case there's no such thing as a unifined attractiveness, different people are attracted to different things, physical features, personal characteristics, shared interests etc etc etc - you must know that yourself? There's nothing black and white, cut and dry about human relationships at all.
  19. I'll never understand why people are like that. You'd think a shared interest would be a pleasure but it's nothing unique to gaming that people get so hateful. I'm not a gamer but of the online fandoms I've been involved in there's been so much oneupsmanship and so many cliques that act like velociraptors. If you do this or don't do that, you're not a real fan. It's easy to be abusive online though, if only people held the rule of thumb not to say anything to someone online that they wouldn't say to their face on the street, the internet would be a much nicer place. It was the title that brought me here anyway, I feel like I need better or new friends or a hobby too. Or maybe it's just me who needs to be a better friend. I dunno, I feel like right now I and some of the people I've been closest with for 15 years or whatever are in different places. There's nothing inherently wrong about it, people drift apart, people change, priorities change, that's life. But it doesn't make it any less hurtful when you're the one sending people messages and the replies take longer and longer to come. I can't help but feel rejected when people I used to see several times a week, I'm lucky to see every few months.
  20. You've made me think now. I was cycling home from work one night about 2 and half years ago and a car just shot straight across the junction and through me and didn't stop. Suffered ligament damage in my right knee and it's never going to be normal again. At the time I was in the best mental and physical shape I'd been in for years and I've declined a hell of a lot in both aspects since then. I've not considered PTSD and I'm sure it isn't, I haven't been having flashbacks to the hit and run or anything like that, I have cycled since but don't any more since my bike got stolen. Definitely become more easily angered by bad drivers. i've spent more time than I'd like wishing for karma to find its way to whoever it was who did it to me. It just really took the wind out of my sails at the time, although it wasn't my fault it was a real hit to my confidence. Took a decent while before I was able to walk properly again, I couldn't exercise for months and I fell back into the habit of comfort eating again, which I suppose could be my equivalent to your gambling addiction. I just feel like now the hit and run should've run its course as an excuse, there shouldn't be anything to stop me getting back into the mental and physical shape I was just before it happened. But I'm nowhere near it.
  21. Sorry for the super late reply. I've been married three and a half years, but I don't think that ought to matter too much. Not really had a conversation about it the point of the thread, just passing comments here and there really. My wife will often see people replying to this or that on my Facebook and ask who they are and I'll tell her and a little about them. She's met a fair few of my colleagues but not the one I was talking about in the OP although I think they'd get along quite well. I think part of the connection for want of a better way of putting it is a self-worth thing. I am too reliant on other people for self-worth and I know other people can be so unreliable. I'm having a bit of an issue with one of my oldest friends at the minute, we've gone from seeing each other every week to a handful of times per year. I used to be a priority to her but now I'm more of an afterthought. It happens, people and priorities change, I just wish it didn't leave me feeling like a failure of a human being when people who've been such a fixture in my life for so long drift apart.
  22. Well that's my relationship with food in a nutshell. I'm not sure if I fall into any ED category but in a way I think it'd be an odd kind of comfort if I did, that there's a recognised name for whatever I'm doing and there's helpful advice out there in dealing with it. As far as food goes, I've made the same mistakes more times than I could ever care to count. My brain associates junk food with comfort but at the same time I think my eating is a form of self-sabotage. I'll binge and I'll feel sick. I know the drill, time and time again. I'll gain weight, I'll feel disgusting but that's a comfort in its own way too to reaffirm your own feelings. I don't even know if I'm in the right section, I feel like I kind of understand why I binge eat but at the same time I wish I had the mental resolve to stop myself. Maybe I'd feel better about myself if I took more care of my diet and overall health, who knows. My weight has been all over the place for the past decade. At my healthiest weight I've felt like an impostor, as if wanting to be healthier is a superficial or insincere thing, as if it's something I don't deserve. When I'm bigger, that's just me knowing my place. I want to get over this and stop the destructive binge eating, I really do. I'm fully aware of the damage I'm doing myself, I just don't know how to stop.
  23. Very true. Sometimes hanging in there doesn't feel like enough, but then again it's not like I've got any hopes and dreams to accomplish. Sorry to hear that. Don't mean it to sound callous but I think sometimes people can be a bit keen to grieve if that makes sense. I'm sure when I go there'll be people making me out to have been a better person than I ever was and making themselves out to be closer than we ever were, too. Feels like an extreme form of not speaking ill of the dead - which is something I'm against anyway to be honest. Take Michael Jackson, in the years running up to his death he was a joke to the media, he was hounded left right and centre, the UK tabloics called him Wacko Jacko whenever they'd have a story about him. Then he died and all of a sudden he was a saint, the tabloids couldn't praise him enough in their tributes to him. Now that, I find disrespectful. Death shouldn't change the way you feel about a person. The guy I mentioned at the start of this thread, we were more acquaintances than friends, it was a shared fandom thing really. I think to act like we were closer than we were would be disrespectful too, to both him and his closer friends and family. I wonder about that too, without the pressure of hope. Again, it's something I've got mixed feelings with. I mean, ambition is important but it's important to be realistic too. I think for me acceptance can only lead to complacency and regrettably I really have let myself go over the last year. I suppose it's about getting the balance right, being able to give yourself a pat on the back for trying but not beating yourself up if you don't make it. I know anything can happen, who knows whether that's a positive thing or not. I know from experience and the law of averages that there will be better days, but there'll be worse too. I do have a few plans for the year that I'm looking forward to, more than I can reasonably afford really. I'm going to Prague in April, Glastonbury in June and got a few other concerts lined up inbetween. It's great to have stuff to look forward to, we all need it but it's still temporary and yeah it might make the day to day easier in the run up to the plan you're looking forward to, but it's not going to change you as a person. And that's what I need.
  24. Couldn't think of a decent title for what this post is about so that'll have to do. This time of year is always associated with fresh starts and new beginnings and I must admit while the new year new me stuff does have its appeal, right now it's just feeling futile. Here in the UK, we're living in very uncertain times and politically it's hard to see much to be positive about. Quite the opposite really, I'm as ashamed of the country I live in as I am the person I am. Anyway. On Christmas Day my mother's cousin died and on Sunday a friend died. Both cancer, mother's cousin in her 70s and friend in his early 40s. I say friend, we weren't particularly close. My mother's cousin, I used to work with but I'd not seen for a good ten years or so anyway. I'm sad for them and their closer friends and family, but I'm not grieving if that makes sense, it's not my place. Suppose this is where the reflections come in though. Sometimes the futility of it all is a comfort, sometimes it's a nightmare. Today, this year, I've got no idea which direction I'm gonna go and I can't shake the feeling of it all ending soon.
  25. The festive season just feels like a non-event with a ridiculous build up and for me, is kinda tinged with guilt. I've worked through it anyway from 21st and my next day off is tomorrow. I don't have kids or anything, just me, my wife and cat here. Most of my friends here where I am now, like me, aren't from here. They're spending their season away with family if they're not working. Didn't have that option this year, but if I'm still at the same place I will next year. I struggle with winter anyway, struggle to get into the spirit and to be honest the season just makes me feel like a let down.
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