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Someoldguy

Someoldguy

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Jul 26, 2019
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314
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fly over country, USA
Hello. I have been having a difficult time for a few months now, and was diagnosed with Clinical Depression. I have tried to speak with family and friends about this, but I find that they have all distanced themselves from me. I guess I didn't really have any good friends after all. So, I'm here to hopefully learn a few things and perhaps help someone else somewhere along the way.
I've been to my doctor and spoken with a therapist multiple times, been prescribed medications as I've had thoughts of suicide. I must say that my experience with mental health care here has been . . . . . absurd. I'm still alive in spite of the 'help' I've received, not because of it. And I'm curious to learn if my experience has been unique, or 'par for the course'.
Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to learn from the rest of you, and perhaps even help someone somewhere along the way.
Thanks for following along.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
891
Location
Minnesota, USA
Hi @Someoldguy and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear about your struggle with mental health. I think it’s better not to speak with someone you know about your mental health. I learned the hard way🙂. You don’t want that label hovering over your head.

On this forum, feel free to share your experiences and thoughts comfortably as we all share almost similar stories and experiences.

I am glad you’ve joined us.
Wishing you the best and welcome again.
 
C

Coolname

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Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
197
Location
UK
Hi & welcome

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.

Talking about stuff is a good move and this is a good place to do that.

There is a lot of helpful information here on various threads. Is there anything in particular you want more information on? (sorry, there are no magic wands dispensing instant cures)

Medications are a strange one, It is trial and error to find a med and dose that suits you. Even then, for many people, meds are like an umbrella in a storm, far from perfect but better than nothing at all. I wouldn't be without mine because they generally stop me going to the darkest places.

Therapy experiences... I've had good and bad. In UK so therapy available without direct costs. Waiting lists to be seen, restricted number of sessions and a bureaucratic obsession with targets are big issues. I have received some excellent treatment from the NHS once I have got through the first line services but the first line can be poor. I'd be interested to hear more of your experiences under the US system.
 
Warrior

Warrior

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Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
482
Location
UK
:welcome: @Someoldguy to the forum sorry to hear how family and friends have put a distance there when you need them most but this can happen with a lot of people once health issues are mentioned "Pure ignorance":hug:

Do you have good insurance to cover the cost for seeing doctors and are able to move to who suits you because if so I would look for a good doctor who can hopefully give you good meds to help you besides making sure the first diagnosis of clinical depression is correct :)

I've had manic depression for years and get more lows which I could do without than highs :rolleyes:
 
Someoldguy

Someoldguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
314
Location
fly over country, USA
Hi & welcome

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.

Talking about stuff is a good move and this is a good place to do that.

There is a lot of helpful information here on various threads. Is there anything in particular you want more information on? (sorry, there are no magic wands dispensing instant cures)

Medications are a strange one, It is trial and error to find a med and dose that suits you. Even then, for many people, meds are like an umbrella in a storm, far from perfect but better than nothing at all. I wouldn't be without mine because they generally stop me going to the darkest places.

Therapy experiences... I've had good and bad. In UK so therapy available without direct costs. Waiting lists to be seen, restricted number of sessions and a bureaucratic obsession with targets are big issues. I have received some excellent treatment from the NHS once I have got through the first line services but the first line can be poor. I'd be interested to hear more of your experiences under the US system.
I must admit I've only had experience with 2 therapists, so perhaps that has skewed my perspective. One was court ordered when I was a juvenile and accused (wrongly) of molesting my half-sister. I don't know what divorce is like in the UK, but here, parents often use the children as weapons to upset the other parent. Puts the children in an absurd situation they've no control over. Anyway, I've no idea who paid for what as I had no means of support at that time, but I can tell you that due to circumstances, I'd have not said (fecal matter) to that counselor if I'd had a mouthful. Complete waste of time and resources due to trust issues. More recently, the therapist I spoke with came across as a pompous (posterior) who seemed more interested in informing me of his extensive background and ensuing burn-out than in listening to my story and offering any helpful feedback. The only beneficial concept I received from multiple conversations with this man was that just because one accepts things for what they are, that does not mean you accept, or perhaps more correctly, condone them. I have relatively enviable insurance coverage in this country. My wait time to see this counselor is approximately a week and I have a $30 US co-pay.

I'm not sure if that answers your question or not. (?) I'd be happy to expound if it does not.
 
Someoldguy

Someoldguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
314
Location
fly over country, USA
:welcome: @Someoldguy to the forum sorry to hear how family and friends have put a distance there when you need them most but this can happen with a lot of people once health issues are mentioned "Pure ignorance":hug:

Do you have good insurance to cover the cost for seeing doctors and are able to move to who suits you because if so I would look for a good doctor who can hopefully give you good meds to help you besides making sure the first diagnosis of clinical depression is correct :)

I've had manic depression for years and get more lows which I could do without than highs :rolleyes:
As I mentioned above in a post above, I have what most would consider admirable insurance here in the US. I could try another therapist if I wanted to, but . . . . I'm an old man with old ideas. How many therapists should I seek treatment from searching for the ideal 'candidate'?
I may not find the therapist I am seeing likable personally, but does that really matter? If the advice is going to be the same, does the vessel or the mouthpiece really matter?

I am reminded of the observation : Ignorance is making a mistake once from not knowing better. Stupidity is repeating the same mistake over and over and expecting a different outcome.

I think when it really comes down to it, I am the one responsible for my mental health. I've struggled my entire life, and ultimately, I've had to figure things out for myself. Have you ever heard of Albert Camus? Sisyphus? I'm a bit like that. I keep pushing the boulder up the hill every day. The key is to not get upset or discouraged. :dance:
 
Warrior

Warrior

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Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
482
Location
UK
As I mentioned above in a post above, I have what most would consider admirable insurance here in the US. I could try another therapist if I wanted to, but . . . . I'm an old man with old ideas. How many therapists should I seek treatment from searching for the ideal 'candidate'?
I may not find the therapist I am seeing likable personally, but does that really matter? If the advice is going to be the same, does the vessel or the mouthpiece really matter?

I am reminded of the observation : Ignorance is making a mistake once from not knowing better. Stupidity is repeating the same mistake over and over and expecting a different outcome.

I think when it really comes down to it, I am the one responsible for my mental health. I've struggled my entire life, and ultimately, I've had to figure things out for myself. Have you ever heard of Albert Camus? Sisyphus? I'm a bit like that. I keep pushing the boulder up the hill every day. The key is to not get upset or discouraged. :dance:
Well I do like this bit "The key is to not get upset or discouraged" (y)

Thanks for explaining your insurance thank you, as I do know that some insurances only last so long with so much money to spend, then there's a 6mths break.

Yes it does matter regarding the right doctor's after the history I have behind me and how I've been treated and on the NHS your limited...if I could get rid of my new rheumo he'd be gone like a shot no messing, after seeing him google health conditions on my last appointment, it's disgusting plus the reason for saying get the right doctor also is I was wrongly diagnosed years back and you learn to know good doctors from bad :)
 
Someoldguy

Someoldguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
314
Location
fly over country, USA
Well I do like this bit "The key is to not get upset or discouraged"(y)

Thanks for explaining your insurance thank you, as I do know that some insurances only last so long with so much money to spend, then there's a 6mths break.

Yes it does matter regarding the right doctor's after the history I have behind me and how I've been treated and on the NHS your limited...if I could get rid of my new rheumo he'd be gone like a shot no messing, after seeing him google health conditions on my last appointment, it's disgusting plus the reason for saying get the right doctor also is I was wrongly diagnosed years back and you learn to know good doctors from bad :)
Bloody hell!

Are you telling me your current doctor was on line 'Googling' for solutions? That is ridiculous. You can do that yourself from home! And to think people here in the US are clamoring for government-run healthcare! BAH!
 
Warrior

Warrior

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Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
482
Location
UK
Bloody hell!

Are you telling me your current doctor was on line 'Googling' for solutions? That is ridiculous. You can do that yourself from home! And to think people here in the US are clamoring for government-run healthcare! BAH!
Yes he was looking up Raynauds and the best drug otherwise than the main one I can't use to give circulation off and open my blood vessels and the best part was when I picked up the prescription Viagra :eek: well if they do go that way in the USA I just hope they have the money for decent doctors :)
 
C

Coolname

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Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
197
Location
UK
Thanks for answering my question.

The only beneficial concept I received from multiple conversations with this man was that just because one accepts things for what they are, that does not mean you accept, or perhaps more correctly, condone them.
The above is a good lesson to learn. For me it is connected with the serenity prayer and accepting what you cannot change and learning to (emotionally and logically) recognise the difference between what you can change and what you can't.

I agree that we are responsible for our own lives and our own mental health but that goes hand in hand with accepting who you are and who you were, having compassion for yourself and others, recognising that we actually have very little control, particularly where our subconscious is concerned. Self responsibility and working within your values to obtain your goals is important but it is equally important to be realistic and cut yourself some slack.

Those counseling experiences do sound awful. There are many different types of counseling and therapy. It is worth doing a bit of research to see what type may be right for you. The therapeutic relationship is important, it is important to click with your counselor / therapist if you want best results.

Some really helpful stuff can be self taught. The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns is an excellent CBT self help book. Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life and The Happiness Trap are excellent ACT self help books. I also find Mindfulness really helpful in preventing thoughts and feelings from becoming overwhelming.
 
CelticTwilight

CelticTwilight

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Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
74
Location
Nocturnsville UK
Hi and :welcome: Someoldguy.

I am a 53 yr old male but bypassed middle age and have gone straight to having an extended pseudo semi retirement (it is officially 68 but I started work at 11 so screw anybody who isn't comfortable with that, circumstances largely dictated anyhow). Primarily this 'choice' came about as I found myself becoming extremely cantankerous before my time. This I now know was largely down to people I struggled to communicate with - not down to me as I have always been a talker - studied philosophy at uni as a mature student and my own grandmother told me when I was 9 after the latest stupid bust up over folk simply not listening that one day I would have her job (dealing with the family crap), it took me until my late 20s to fully appreciate what she meant and went through.

The ex first of all was what finally brought matters to a head before the divorce; in-laws from her; my own family + the five sets of further in-laws through my mother's series of marriages; so called friends, workmates, bosses, football team...I attracted most of it through being too nice then went from passive to aggressive like a missile. But from the ex who was the one that strayed and thought she could still dish it out the worm did then turn.

I aren't sexist btw, studied and enjoyed some feminism and my closer friends in later life have all been female.

I do try and take people as individuals and I think that is maybe relevant to what you are going through with these therapists. There are people who hate therapists like some folk hate lawyers or cops, don't even think it should be legal for them to be paid for doing it. And if everyone they have seen has been like those of yours then I guess I know who is the most to blame for that. I did initial counselling courses but it wasn't for me as I talked far more than I listened back then and have now changed anyway. I did take on board the basis of Person Centred counselling although have to admit I am a little hazy on all that stuff these days but it did become a factor not too much later as I experienced a continuation of my mental health problems. I often wondered what if I had become a counsellor when I was still screwed up.

My personal experience with counselling/therapy as a service user goes back 25 years and lasted for around a decade and it has been mixed not far off 50/50 which ain't good enough in my book. I would like to say 90/10 then I could reasonably blame myself for the 10%. But even somebody as self critical as me finally learned that some things just did not always add up. I have definitely had cross gender issues going on but generally that has not been the case and one of the male psychiatrist's wasn't partucularly a beneficial experience.

The first was brilliant and that's something as she was religious and I am not. I was diagnosed with depression and the biggest part was as she pointed out a very clear lack of confidence and vulnerability. I knew this was true from my weak showings against ex and co. I then thought all counsellors must be brilliant but that did not last for long after the next one I had to see. This woman accused me of flirting with her during one of the sessions. A guy with no confidence all of whose relationships had been disasters and crying out as to why I did not seem to have any female friends or get on with women in my immediate environment. Basically she didn't have a clue how to deal with this and her own failings had her ego react that way. Apologies I don't always express myself too clearly but hopefully you get the general picture. I did know somebody who worked as a marriage guidance counsellor that I had nearly ended up seeing professionally so I mentioned it to her and she reported the woman who was later promoted and even got in touch to inform me so. Individual chemistry between people can over ride or get in the way of such differences and those two early contrasting experiences is probably where I first learnt that (for myself). The experience as a whole has helped me sit back and look at things from a wider picture.

I don't know where I would be now if I had seen the poor counsellor first as I was still borderline suicidal and then what if I had two bad ones in a row like you. I think life experience has stood you in good stead here and you can smell something whiffy which sadly is not simply the negative side of your imagination but only a very true fact of life - they are hit and miss but then such is life and people - just because they have this title does not mean that you will be able to communicate with them on a basic human level.

I don't miss having so many people around me or a lack of wide circle of friends. I have lived alone for a long time and that is when and where I discovered who and what I am thanks in part to therapy but moreso for doing it for myself and that person is a loner who is comfortable in his own skin and reacted to many trying to change me by lashing out then recoiling. I wish I could find the picture which sums it up for me, if I do will try and post it. I found it in a newspaper magazine by a person called Stephen Appleby and it is a spot the difference type thingy. First picture on the left is of an untidy room full of books and ornaments and a man being visited by his relatives one of whom has a speech bubble with words to the effect 'time for a bit of a clear out' etc. The second picture has all the books and ornaments in the same places and the solitary man with a smile on his face.

The scenario I am presenting overall is that we don't always get the people we need when we need them (and have to work it out alone) but sometimes we get a very select few who come along when we don't need them but they are better for us.
 
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