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Mental Health Thread

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello All !!!

some of us have decided that it might be beneficial, fun, supportive and all that jazz to have a mental health thread. there are some of us here at the cat site who have talked about our mental illnesses and our expeirences with therapy and meds and I think this is could be thread to connect with each other and support each other during hard times...but if you are just having a bad day or whatever and don't necessarily have an ongoing illness this can be your thread too..

I can start by introducing myself again and talking about my stuff...I was diagnosed with mild depression at 18 and then at 19 I was diagnosed with a major depressive episode and generalized anxiety.. I am still diagnosed with major depression, but my symptoms of anxiety have now been rediagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. I used to be on Celexa, but I am off it now.. something I feel lucky with, because I wasn't sure how my meds would be, whether they would be permanent or not.. I'm still not sure. I go to therapy every week, with my therapist Mary. She is really awesome and lets me be myself and steer my own therapy. I also used to be a self-cutter everytime I had major anxiety or depression and sadness, I would cut my forearms up with razors to make it go away. I am doing much better now . Almost all my arm scars have gone away and I am addressing the issues in my past more directly and I feel that I am really going forward. I used to be completely helpless to my feelings unable to control or change them and so I would be unable to do school or read or anything.. I would just stay for hours in my bed staring at the ceiling crying and hyperventaling...

so today I am feeling pretty okay.. I finished a paper, and even though it is late and not as many pages as it was supposed to be, I am still trying to feel good about it because last year I didn't even finish the school year. I am feeling a bit worried about the summer because I don't go to therapy in the summer because my school pays for it and I think that I am going to have some challenges this summer..

how's everyone else ?

hey mom of Franz.. that's cool that you are a cultural studies major.. what do you think your focus is going to be? I do film and media studies mostly and gender studies...
post #2 of 18
I am 29 and started having panic attacks when I was 25. My mom and sister also started at that age. I'm on 10mg of Paxil and they are basically completly gone. I see my therapist only twice a year at this point because the meds help so much.

I agree that I'd love a thread on this issue.

but, I'm wondering if I should be talking about my cats' mental illness's too??
post #3 of 18


Well, I had been feeling like a piece of crud by the time I got to the doctor (I shall confess that when it comes to dragging my rear end to the Dr.'s office I am slow and of little motivation).... I had not been able to do anything.... tired completely and my anxiety was spectacular. I had even had thoughts on death.

I got the doctor and was diagnosed from depression on the monday after easter sunday. I have since been on 50 mg Zoloft..... I don't know... I think I have gone worser. I have had panic attacks already... and have been very panicky a lot of the time with palpitations.... having every now and then bad thoughts.


I shall confess that before I was started in the medication I was much worser than this... but I am still far from perfect. Too far.
post #4 of 18
I am bi-polar and before I finally made the decision to take my meds, I was a full-blown, hospitalized nut. Fortunately, I finally came to my senses and decided the doctors knew a little more about this problem than I did. My babies have helped me stay sane through a divorce, a move to Arizona, losing a child, finally finding myself alone with no family anywhere. My four-fotted families, inside and out, have proven themselves more honest and trust-worthy than my human family has. I think this thread is a good idea.
post #5 of 18
I am on Effexor for my Anxiety,i was diagnosed about 2 1/2 years ago but i believe that i have had it all of my life
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh.. Victor.. honey.. I know that feeling so well.. last year, my boyfriend told me he wanted to cheat on me and then promptly left to go have a good time at a festival for four days.. everything I looked at.. I thought about drinking bleach, eating all the drugs I had, slitting my wrists.. it was one of the most horrendous three days of my life.. I was in so much pain.. but i lived through it.. one of the things that helped was painting.. no matter how horrendous or ugly the painting was.. I could see it and it helped me understand my emotions so much better...

have you found a good therapist yet?... they can make such a difference in your life.. having someone who listens to you and doesn't expect you to listen back is really nice..
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea77
Hello All !!!

some of us have decided that it might be beneficial, fun, supportive and all that jazz to have a mental health thread. there are some of us here at the cat site who have talked about our mental illnesses and our expeirences with therapy and meds and I think this is could be thread to connect with each other and support each other during hard times...but if you are just having a bad day or whatever and don't necessarily have an ongoing illness this can be your thread too..

I can start by introducing myself again and talking about my stuff...I was diagnosed with mild depression at 18 and then at 19 I was diagnosed with a major depressive episode and generalized anxiety.. I am still diagnosed with major depression, but my symptoms of anxiety have now been rediagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. I used to be on Celexa, but I am off it now.. something I feel lucky with, because I wasn't sure how my meds would be, whether they would be permanent or not.. I'm still not sure. I go to therapy every week, with my therapist Mary. She is really awesome and lets me be myself and steer my own therapy. I also used to be a self-cutter everytime I had major anxiety or depression and sadness, I would cut my forearms up with razors to make it go away. I am doing much better now . Almost all my arm scars have gone away and I am addressing the issues in my past more directly and I feel that I am really going forward. I used to be completely helpless to my feelings unable to control or change them and so I would be unable to do school or read or anything.. I would just stay for hours in my bed staring at the ceiling crying and hyperventaling...

so today I am feeling pretty okay.. I finished a paper, and even though it is late and not as many pages as it was supposed to be, I am still trying to feel good about it because last year I didn't even finish the school year. I am feeling a bit worried about the summer because I don't go to therapy in the summer because my school pays for it and I think that I am going to have some challenges this summer..

how's everyone else ?

hey mom of Franz.. that's cool that you are a cultural studies major.. what do you think your focus is going to be? I do film and media studies mostly and gender studies...
I am truly excited about this thread... Andrea77 for having the idea!
Andrea you might want to ask Mary about a sliding scale fee for the summer, and you could have phone sessions. Phone sessions for me are not as good as the real thing, but there have been times I literally could not get out of bed, so they helped.

I guess I will "introduce" myself as well. I'm 48 year old woman with Bipolar disorder, some OCD and Andrea I too have been there with the cutting. You were very brave to talk about it. I guess because I'm a nurse, I do not like to say what meds I'm on. I think it can be too influential to some. It may be fine for others, just not me. I just don't like when people put down a med or praise it too highly...it can be harmful to the reader and your experience, (good or bad) can hurt someone. SERMON OVER

I've just come thru a mixed episode. Meaning for me, a small amount of depression and a whole lot of mania. My pdoc, changed my meds, and some of the dosages and I doing better. Anyone with depression and especially with bipolar disorder must know (it took me a while) that med changes and dose adjustments are a very common ordeal to go through. Our bodies are always changing. I was originally diagnosed with "just" depression and was rediagnosed with bipolar 5 years ago. This is very common too.
I work full time and am up for a full scholarship for school with Eli Lilly (drug company). I'll know more in July! Therapy with my therapist and my psychiatrist are the greatest. I learn more about myself all the time. It has truly been the best experience in my life. I give a lot of workshops on Mental Health at work (homeless shelter) and am always in the know with the latest info. So I would love to share it with you!
My best advice to anyone seeking therapy is this. If you don't mesh with your therapist or pdoc...FIRE HIM OR HER! Think of bringing a car in for repair, the mechanic screws it up big time...would you go back to him again...of course not. Treat YOUR therapy the same way. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit, don't dispair...keep looking!
One last thought. Though I know she's busy but I hope lotsocats can help us here...a gentelwoman and a scholar!

One more thing! There is a lot of info on the web about mental illness, or as some are calling it, brain illnesses. Go to sites you can trust
Nami.org
DrIvan'sdepressionCentral.com
About.com Look under depression
About.com Look under bipolar disorder

These a just a few...I'll post more soon!
Yea! Andrea77
post #8 of 18
Yeah.... in Puerto Rico when it comes to doctors you simply have to start weeding the bad from the good ones. I am accustomed to that one.
post #9 of 18
I have been diagnosed with Depression a while ago..... I also had to take Zoloft for awhile also.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by fostermom28
I am 29 and started having panic attacks when I was 25. My mom and sister also started at that age. I'm on 10mg of Paxil and they are basically completly gone. I see my therapist only twice a year at this point because the meds help so much.

I agree that I'd love a thread on this issue.

but, I'm wondering if I should be talking about my cats' mental illness's too??
LOL about your cat's mental illness!
My psychiatrist is so wonderful that he doesn't mind if you bring your pet with you into the session! Maybe next time I'll bring Franz...however after the subway ride, Franz will be needing a major tranquilizer!
Glad the paxil helps you!
post #11 of 18
While the administration of The Cat Site is strongly supportive of the idea of providing a place for our members to help each other through tough times and to share their failures and successes in seeking treatment for their psychological disorders, it is vital that everyone is aware that The Cat Site absolutely cannot be a substitute for professional intervention. Also, neither the administration nor the members of The Cat Site can be expected to provide accurate information regarding mental illness nor can we intervene when a member is in risk of harm to self or others.

Members must also be aware that confidentiality does not exist on a Bulletin Board of this type. It is quite possible that employers or loved ones will visit The Cat Site to see what you have posted. Also, unfortunately there are those who will use what has been posted as a weapon to hurt another person or who simply may not understand that their responses are extremely harmful to someone with your particular symptoms. Therefore, it is vital that all members posting in this thread be aware that divulging deeply personal information in a public forum to lay persons may open you to more emotional pain.

In summary,

1. The administration of The Cat Site cannot be expected to intervene if a member makes statements which suggest that they may be a risk to self or others. If you feel suicidal or feel as if you might hurt another person, DO NOT POST THESE THOUGHTS....INSTEAD, CALL 911, YOUR LOCAL MENTAL HEALTH HOTLINE, OR YOUR MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. Do not expect other members or the administration to intervene.

2. The Cat Site is a public forum with no real or implied confidentiality. Once your personal information is posted in a public thread, anyone visiting The Cat Site can read this information. Due to the many myths and misunderstandings about mental illness, this may cause problems for you.

Finally,

The administration of The Cat Site strongly suggests that those seeking information and support while dealing with a psychological disorder visit the web site of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill http://www.NAMI.org This is a truly wonderful organization and the web site has extremely valuable information and links to other sites that have been approved by NAMI.
post #12 of 18
My last post was as a Moderator...this post is from Dr.D.

I am going to stay out of this thread because I don't want anyone to think that what I say is the same as providing mental health services/intervention. Please understand that this is a legal issue rather than a personal issue.

However, if anyone wants to ask the college professor a specific question about medications, empirically supported treatments, symptoms, or causes of various disorders, I will happily answer to the best of my knowledge.

Please keep in mind that I can't spend much time here, and I rarely visit the lounge. So, if you have a question, please send me a PM and ask me the question. I will then post the question and answer in this thread. BUT please don't get upset if I cannot respond right away. There are many days in which I am too swamped to even get on the web so my responses may be many days late.

Also remember that I may give answers that contradict what you have heard or read. Some of my answers may upset you. Do not ask unless you want to know what the research shows (rather than what is generally understood as the "truth" among lay persons or professionals who do not have specific training in the field). Remember that I will be answering as a professor who is sharing the facts as we know them.

I understand that I sound a tad stiff in the above statements. What I am doing is setting my boundaries. I hope that each of you who choses to participate will also determine where their own boundaries should be on this public board and then stick to those boundaries each time you post.
post #13 of 18
Thanks lotsocats! We all do need to understand that this can not be used to help us with our problems, just like we can't take the place of vets! Lol

Ok, now about me:
I am 17 and was diagnosed with depression when I was 14. I used to cut myself, but was never suicidal. I never took my medication, I don't like medicine, actually I just don't like pills!Lol, it is amazing that I take my vitamins. I also did drugs when I was 16, different types. I have been clean for more then a year now but since then I gained a ton of weight which made me become depressed. I am not starting to lose weight, but I am still emotional. I am very anxious and paranoid as well, I won't leave for more then a day, and don't like being alone at night. Ah, I guess thats it, boy it is getting hot in here. Tomorrow is my weigh in day!
post #14 of 18
I get really bad PMS. Its almost like I'm bipolar for a week out of every month. The doctor told me the name for it...but I forget. He also told me that drugs wouldn't work since its "hormonal" and probably related to my endometriosis. Also, I have asthma and a heart murmur so I have to be careful about what I put into my body.
post #15 of 18
Hi, I haven't posted for a while and was surprised to see this thread.

I'm 35 and was diagnosed Bipolar at the age of 27. I've been on almost all the mood stabilizers (although there are a few new ones now I haven't tried) and found that only Topamax worked well for me without making me sick or worse. I also like Effexor. Right now I'm pregnant and cannot take the Topamax, but I do take Effexor.

Victor, Zoloft can make people very anxious. When they put me on it I gained 50 pounds in one month and was constantly so anxious it felt like I was having a heart attack. Go back to your doctor and tell them you'd like to try a different anti-depressant.

Vinceneilsgirl, who told you that drugs wouldn't work for it? A psychiatrist or an ob/gyn or GP? If it wasn't a psychiatrist go see one and see what they have to say.

I recommend that people really get into an open relationship with their doctor. You two are a team whose goal is to keep you stable.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey all.. I did PM Anne about this thread, because of all the reasons the Mod brought up.. since it is more heavy.. but I think that it can still be a supportive and helpful thread to talk about our feelings and stuff, but its up to all of us to pay attention to what is happening and what everyone is saying and be mindful of others lives and expeirences...
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
oh yeah,.. and I am doing pretty super today.. the sun is really shining. I think the weather does wonders for the mind. If you have sunshine in your area today folks, go run outside and enjoy it!! Sit in for a while, read or do something you really enjoy doing!!!! For me, I think one of the most effective ways of making myself stronger is doing things I love FOR ME when I feel better. Even if its just watching a film, or planning my own dinner.. this is really awesome.... visiting with my cat.. !!!
post #18 of 18
Thank you, lotsocats, for your posts. I thought that it might be a good idea to have such a thread, but was concerned that it may be a substitute for actually recieving help. I see it now as an encouragement to do so.
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