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Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Open Discussions about how Mental Illness affects your life.

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Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Postby Stephen87 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:57 pm

Hello people,

This is my first time posting on a mental health forum. I am reaching out because I really feel like I am in a lonely helpless place. For me, and probably many others, the virus has made my life much more isolated. As I get older my family gets further apart and that it is making my illness worse.

I guess the topic of this post, is how did you feel when you finally realized, or accepted, the cold hard truth that you may have a moderate mental illness? Something that is at least disabling and causes distress in your life? Maybe it ruined your finances, relationships, friends, family or physical health? I have always been in denial of mental health issues out of self preservation. If I accept that I am damaged, I feel desperate and hopeless. Seeing what my mother went through was terrifying. I know my cognitive bias must change.

A little background on me. I am beginning to think that I have a functioning form of schizophrenia. My mother has a decently gnarly case of schizophrenia and my dad was a unloving functioning alcoholic. He talks to himself and has a very hard time making decisions. I feel screwed in life and feel like I have been dealt one hell of a wild card. I don't want to blame them, but I do. If you have an illness and you have a family that actively, and emotionally, supports you then consider yourself blessed.

I am in a treatment outpatient setting. I have been diagnosed with Severe Anxiety Disorder and Substance Abuse Disorder. I heavily abused benzodiazepines and I was a wreck. I always knew deep down that I may have schizophrenia. But I could be wrong and benzodiazepine abuse is very unpredictable and produce some wild and varying symptoms. Rather than a diagnosis, I just need support.

Do I have delusions or hallucinations? No, but when I am under tremendous stress, I believe I have experienced two mental breakdowns in my life during the last three years. I struggle with anhedonia, severe lack of motivation, and have anxiety that keeps me away from forming normal relationships. From all my bad decisions, its embarrassing to form relations with normal people. I know no one is quote unquote normal, but I think you get my drift. I just bond better with flawed people, but sometimes struggle to find them or be accepted.

I will probably even feel embarrassed writing this. I really need support with real humans right now. Now mind you, my life is not all bad but I am headed down a dark road. I think that if I reveal my weaknesses to people, my fear of them will disappear. I was constantly made fun of in my early 20s because of my thought processes and emotional issues. Little did I realize that I was acting like a man child because of my lack of proper development from my parents.

I do take medications, one of them being Rexulti, that I just started and it helps. Anyway, I have a ton of embarrassing stories that I would I like to relate to people with. I think I need to tell my treatment team my concerns. I often act as if everything is alright out of fear.

What are my options? Where can I really find support in this world? If it is a real serious mental health issue, do you actually stand a chance and how did you do it? At the age of 32, time is not on my side in regards to where I'm at. I do have a lot of college credits and am pursuing Human Services as a field but I do not feel ready.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Postby MindOnAir » Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:32 am

As someone who has been diagnosed as AvPD, my advice would be to find a job. And yes, you are hearing from an avoidant who has severe anxiety. It took me 10 years of staying at home rotting myself away before I realized opportunities will not come if I don't look for them. Once you work, you might realize you are actually capable socializing with others not to mention customers. I would also suggest asking a job advisor at your college for help mentioning "hey I'm really going through alot of stuff in life right now" could you please extend the length I can take to complete my studies. Also don't pursue a bachelors or masters degree or something if you aren't ready to put in the work. Don't put yourself in financial stress. Stop worrying and do it.
Dx: Avpd, Paranoid Personality. Erotomania. Shoplifter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
27. F. Working full-time. Been shoplifting free for 2
years and counting.
Medication: escitalopram 10 mg
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Re: Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Postby mal70 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:46 pm

Thanks for sharing so much thoughtful info on your situation. Hope this is not offensive to you or trite. Think of what you have accomplished, with the college credits that you have earned. Think of the good things in your life. I would believe they are there, maybe you have to take time to recall them or the good times. The government lockdown is a bit of a problem for socializing. Before the lockdown I found a place to to dance lessons. Lessons gave me something to work on. I don't know if you have the time or money. Have you considered prayer to God Almighty, Almighty is Almighty
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Re: Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Postby Remember Ronni » Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:20 pm

I was 39 when I was first diagnosed with a mental health issue. But, i think I'd known about it my whole life. So finding out there was something wrong was actually a relief. Now it makes sense kind of thing. Knowing that means you can, with a little research maybe, find the right kind of help and support for you.

I find it sad that realising you have a mental health condition brings with it so much stigma and pain. I mean if you'd been in a car wreck and lost your leg shame etc probably wouldn't even enter your mind. Because it's somehow more acceptable to have a physical disability than it is to have a mental one. And yet many of those mental health conditions could, if not treated etc potentially be fatal. So the first step is probably just accepting where you are right now.

Just because you have a mental health condition it doesn't mean your life is over or that you should give up on life. Yes you might have a few more challenges to deal with than the "normies" but why not find out what you can do? I mean you got all those college credits in spite of the fact you had a potentially serious mental health condition that you didn't even know about. So with the right treatment, help and support who knows what you could acheive?

Ok so your life turned out a bit different to the one you'd expected or hoped for. Doesn't mean you can't have a good life though. Or that the trip down the long dark road is inevitable. You found out in time to do something about it.

As for telling others I wouldn't run out and buy the t-shirt just yet. Just because the internet isn't always great at telling people what your diagnosis really means, all they see is the stigmatized version. I have BPD. That isn't a popular one either :mrgreen:
Diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (BPD)
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Re: Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Postby lilyfairy » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:58 am

Stephen87 wrote:I guess the topic of this post, is how did you feel when you finally realized, or accepted, the cold hard truth that you may have a moderate mental illness?
I think by the time I was at that point, I was already quite unwell- it had crept in as little things building up over the space of about two years. The fact it had a name and that it was acceptable to be going through that was the bigger thing for me- my friends at the time had watched me go through those two years leading up to it and, well, I found out later that friends are meant to be supportive, not make fun of you for it.

Stephen87 wrote:I will probably even feel embarrassed writing this. I really need support with real humans right now. Now mind you, my life is not all bad but I am headed down a dark road. I think that if I reveal my weaknesses to people, my fear of them will disappear.
Nothing wrong with needing or asking for support. "Normal" people do to- just without the complexity of mental illness on top of it. You can choose who you share with though.
Stephen87 wrote:What are my options? Where can I really find support in this world? If it is a real serious mental health issue, do you actually stand a chance and how did you do it? At the age of 32, time is not on my side in regards to where I'm at. I do have a lot of college credits and am pursuing Human Services as a field but I do not feel ready.
Would recommend starting with asking your regular doctor for some help- they should be able to point you in the direction of a therapist who can help. At 32, you'll be fine. Honest. When I've done various courses over the years I've met people at all different ages doing a career change and re-skilling- even into their 40's and 50's. Reassess what you want to do and if you want to take a different career path, whether within the same industry or something totally different- even if it's an entry level job in another industry. I'm 36, I've been in hospitality and tourism since I left school- I really don't enjoy it, but where I live it's an easy industry to get a job in. I'm currently doing a course for a trade level certificate to get into something more along the administrative side of things that I can probably cope with better than what I'm currently doing and hopefully be able to work more days a week in than I can with my current job. At 18, I was always set on a university degree, but it's never come off, and the more I think about it, the more I think it's so not for me- and the degree I was set on would really not have worked out- I'd be in the same place I am now with difficulties dealing with large groups of people, just a different environment. Can you use some of your credits towards another course?

Stephen87 wrote: I think I need to tell my treatment team my concerns. I often act as if everything is alright out of fear.
Telling them can be really hard, but they can't help you best if they don't know what you need help with. If you don't feel you can tell them verbally, would writing it out and giving it to them help?
First rule of mental health: Learn to distinguish who deserves an explanation, who deserves only one answer, and who deserves absolutely nothing.

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Re: Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Postby calmkooky » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:45 am

Hello. First off, thank you for sharing your story. This pandemic has made all things worse for most of us. The loneliness is just indescribable, and it's hard to reach out to people around us. I'm not sure if they would understand. Or maybe we don't want them to worry. Anyhow, life goes on, and we have to be okay.

Wish you well!
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Re: Realizing You Have Mental Illness

Postby Wally58 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:47 pm

I too, had a substance abuse and other mental health issues. They called me 'dual-diagnosis'.
Of course, the substance abuse issue had to be treated first before we could work on the other problems.
After I sobered up and my mind cleared, I was trusted with effective medications and the therapy could sink in. I listened and learned.
Really after the drugs and alcohol were lifted, 90% of my problems were solved and I could work on the other 10% with the help of 12 step programs, counseling/therapy appointments and real friends.
There is no cure for alcoholism or addiction, but it can be arrested and you can be whoever you choose to be after that life-altering decision.
I chose to keep the parts of me that I liked best and discarded the parts of me that I no longer wanted to be. It is One Day at a Time.

Best of luck to you. :D
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