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watl1

New member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
2
Hi everyone

I'm new to this forum and have been reading through the various posts with great interest, and wondered if anyone can shed any light on the following (sorry - this is a bit of an essay but will try to keep it as brief as possible!!!)

Basically, I'm now 31 years old but have struggled with depression on and off since my teens, and have been prescribed various anti-depressants in the past as well as seen counsellors, psychologists, psychiastrists and even a hypnotherapist. However, nothing really seems to have helped - instead I've just gone through ups and downs and managed to sort myself out. Both my parents have "emotional" problems and my dad went one step further and was sectioned for 6 months a few years ago but seems relatively stable now (parents aren't together). I've made various suicide attempts (although the last one was probably 6 years ago) and suffered very badly from body dysmorphic disorder during my late teens and early twenties.

I'm now at the stage where I can function relatively normally e.g. I can hold down a job, I'm in a long-term relationship, get on ok with my family, etc. but there seem to be a few things that make me feel I should get some help. For example, I don't seem to have any concept of personal hygiene (this is extremely embarassing to write and have never told anyone!) but I tend to bath once a month, brush my teeth once every few weeks, have little regard for clean plates, don't change my underwear and live in an absolute pig sty. I suppose I've always been quite bad with this sort of thing, but it's got a lot worse lately, where I just don't seem to care about stuff like that, yet I spend a fortune on clothes and makeup in order to look good on the outside when I go out! The worst part is that my boyfriend now seems to have become really messy as well, although the state of the place gets on his nerves so much, he tends to do the cleaning every now and then.

I also have a compulsive skin picking problem that I've had since I was about 13, have absolutely no self-esteem and really don't like myself, yet am popular and outgoing and no one would ever suspect any of this, and at the same time, seem to feel a lot of hatred and bitterness towards people in general - always seeing the worst and never really wanting anything good to happen to anyone. I have massive jealousy issues and feel as though I can't trust anyone.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm completely normal and everyone else is a bit bonkers for wanting a clean and tidy house, or to spend so much time worrying over hygiene and Detox products etc, but at the same time, know I'm not. It's very hard to explain... I never seem to feel at peace with myself and this year, nothing seems to make me happy and I've lost all motivation. I still have the odd suicidal thought but know I would never attempt it again, as I know it's just a cry for help.

Does anyone know whether this is just depression again, or whether it's something else? Of course, I understand that I can't expect a diagnosis on this website, but I've lost a lot of hope with the NHS for problems like this as I've been there so many times and they just don't seem to want to help or take me seriously - usually instead sticking me on a waiting list to see a mental health assessor person and prescribing me a load of Prozac. Once I get there, I also feel like I can never talk about my problems with them and get really angry inside - I'd prefer someone just to listen and not pass judgement, or even offer sympathy or any kind of opinion on my situation!!

Thanks in advance

Sue xx
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Hi Watl1. Thank you for your courage and honesty in your post. Can I say right from the start if this is depression it's not just depression. Depression is a crippling illness and it's never just anything.

I went through a period when I was 17 and I had od'd where personal hygiene was pretty low on the agenda. I was struggling really hard to stop from drowning emotionally and just didn't have the energy to look after myself. I'm not the tidiest of people but I now have it under some sort of control. I learned that if my environment is in a state where I can live comfortably then I feel a little better but it can take a lot of effort to work out where to draw the line. You sound as though you're quite high functioning but I would imagine that if you had a truly honest GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) test then you wouldn't score 100% on it.

The skin picking is a form of self harm and it's a coping mechanism. That's something that a lot of people on here will identify with. It's good to try to stop but you do have to get at the cause of the self-harm to do that.

Your last paragraph is quite angry. You want someone to listen without passing opinion or making a judgement but that's how the system works. We go and talk and we get feedback. It's not always easy to see the point of what the psychs are saying to us, especially if we don't really want to hear. I've found myself doing stuff I didn't want to do and hearing things that I'd rather had been never said but they made me think and reassess myself to a point where I could take responsibility for my life. Currently I'm stable but how long it will last I don't know but I am doing things today that I didn't think were possible just because I did some things that I didn't see the point of.

Good luck and Welcome. :hug:
 
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Goggit

Active member
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
36
Location
North East England
Hello, nice to meet you. Your skin picking point caught my eye. I had this problem for about 16 years. It got pretty bad. I don't know how I stopped, it just happened. It is self harming, just not with blades (finger nails, pins, anything will do). It's quite a shock how many people suffer from this. It's good that you have joined us, we listen and don't judge. How could we? It's always nice to exchange ideas, and to lean on each other a little. Hope to speak to you again.
Goggit:welcome:
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
Hi everyone

I'm now at the stage where I can function relatively normally e.g. I can hold down a job, I'm in a long-term relationship, get on ok with my family, etc. but there seem to be a few things that make me feel I should get some help. For example, I don't seem to have any concept of personal hygiene (this is extremely embarassing to write and have never told anyone!) but I tend to bath once a month, brush my teeth once every few weeks, have little regard for clean plates, don't change my underwear and live in an absolute pig sty. I suppose I've always been quite bad with this sort of thing, but it's got a lot worse lately, where I just don't seem to care about stuff like that, yet I spend a fortune on clothes and makeup in order to look good on the outside when I go out! The worst part is that my boyfriend now seems to have become really messy as well, although the state of the place gets on his nerves so much, he tends to do the cleaning every now and then.

Sue xx
Hi Sue, when I was younger, especially in my teens & early twenties I didn't wash a great deal either. During times of illness not at all hardly & when I have had episodes not changed clothes, even sleeping in them at night, when I slept.

Presently I do change boxers & socks most days, usually every day, but I do get allot of wear out of clothes, I don't think jeans & shirts; which I wear most often, need washing a huge amount. I will get about two weeks of wear out of a pair of jeans but I rotate them. I bath at least once a week, sometimes 2 or three times, sometimes almost every day - as I do find baths relaxing. I do think that many people, however, are overly concerned with washing & cleaning. I know many people that shower at least once, often two to three times a day, & I think it is silly. I have a very close friend who Hoovers the whole house every day, & is constantly tidying. I hoover about once a month. I also brush my teeth once a day, & some days I forget, I do have very good teeth & no work needed in over 6 years, apart from cleaning.

I do try to keep the house relatively organised, & every now & again I have a good tidy, clean & clear out. Simply because I prefer things to be organised.

I think allot is what you feel comfortable with, my Gran in her old age was clean, she washed every morning, but would usually have a bath about once a year, I know other people who bath only once a week, sometimes less. I think that what is more important is how you feel about yourself & your quality of life. Something I have done for a long time is to write to do lists, I try to keep the lists now in a A4 pad, & I write down everything I want to do & need to do, then when I have done things I cross them off. The list is quite long at the moment. It has short & long term goals on there. I will usually write down at night some things to get done for the next day, like - washing up, shopping, errands, people to ring etc - it doesn't need to be complicated. Then I try to work through the list. It does help me to break things down into smaller chunks. I do this when tidying the house & work on small sections one at a time, & not take on everything at once. When I am not as motivated as other times or have been recovering I write down things as simple as - have bath, brush teeth, post letter, etc. & get a sense of achievement from doing the simple stuff.

I do think that goal setting can be very motivational, & taking time out to do things I enjoy doing, whether it be chatting to a friend, watching a good film, eating some good food etc.

You sound like an interesting person Sue & I wish you all the best. :hug:
 
intelgal

intelgal

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
1,413
Location
Yorkshire
I can relate to a lot of what you say! I spend a fortune of products etc but live in an absolute shit hole and spend more time hiding it then doing summat about it.
The skin thing is also a big problem I have scabs everywhere. Progressed to actual cutting last year but its hard to change habits of a life time.

The bit I can most relate to is the front of being this outgoing person. Everyone I know thisnks I am life and soul but its one big act that gets so hard and tiring.
:grouphug::grouphug:
 
W

watl1

New member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
2
A big thank you to everyone who has replied and for the tips - it's really comforting to know that there are folks in similar situations, and I didn't realise how hard it would be to face all this stuff. Also, in response to the first response, I didn't mean "just depression" in that it wasn't a big problem, but "solely depression" - ie I wonder if it's depression or something else as well? Apologies as I didn't mean it to sound as though I was belittling it as I know it's a huge problem for loads of people :eek:)

There just doesn't seem to be any logic involved either with regard to the hygiene stuff - for example, I'm really fussy about eating and cleanliness when I'm in a restaurant or round a friend's/relative's for dinner, but don't seem to care in my own house! Also, when I use the loo at work, often I'll turn the tap on to wash my hands if I think someone's in the cubicle listening but won't actually wash my hands! I remember when I was younger being nagged by my dad to brush my teeth when I was in the bathroom, but would just turn the tap on so it sounded as if I was, but again wouldn't bother…I just can't understand it.

I notice the skin picking seems to take place most when I'm either stressed or bored - it used to just be my face but pretty much all of my skin gets attacked now, although I only use my nails.

Anyway, thanks again peeps! I hope to be able to contribute to the forum in the future.

Sue x
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Sue, I didn't think you were undercalling depression I was merely trying to say that you shouldn't underestimate the power it can have over you.

Re your hygiene - and this is just a personal opinion - I wonder if you use hygiene in the same way that other people use food? Maybe it's a control issue?
:tea:
 
G

Goggit

Active member
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
36
Location
North East England
Hi Sue
Re the skin picking. You might like this. I had this problem when I was much younger. I didn't understand it or recognise it as self harm. It became so bad that I sought help from my GP. He scratched his head (Stan Laurel style) and told me to wear mittens at all times. It's such a comfort to know that all of the money spent on his training was not wasted.
See you later
Goggit:D:D
 
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