How do I know if it's real?

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How do I know if it's real?

Post by Aggrax on Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:27 pm

I'm sorry if I'm annoying people with the threads I make. I know this place shouldn't be about sorting out my personal issues and I really appreciate anyone who comments. I don't want to be a bother, but I've been driving myself mad trying to figure this out.

What if I' just making it all up? Every time I think about anything related to mental health the first thing that comes to mind is that I'm just making excuses, that I've found something to justify all the stupid decisions and bad habits I've come up with. That it's all just in my head and not real. Every time I think about talking to someone about this I'm afraid they are going to see some sign of this and despise me for wasting their time and playing at having an illness that other people really struggle with day after day. I don't want to try and see a Doctor about this, only to have it be a waste of their time.

Is there anything, anything at all, that can give me conclusive proof, one way or another?
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:37 pm

Seeing a doctor will give you a clearer idea, I think. Telling a patient "there's nothing chronically wrong with you" is not necessarily a waste of time either, if it's something that ends up helping you figure things out.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by reboot on Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:45 pm

In your case, since you have poorly controlled diabetes, you have a physical condition that is strongly linked to depression. This means it is very unlikely to be "all in your head".
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Caffeinated on Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:45 pm

I think that worrying that you're making it up, while still not being able to leave it behind and do the things you want to do, is actually a pretty typical thing in a lot of mental health issues. I don't know if there are many things to really give conclusive proof in mental health, as opposed to physical health, though. It's not like when you have a sore throat and they do a throat culture and can say "yep, it's definitely strep throat, here's your antibiotics". Mental health it's more like, if you have this persistent problem that is interfering in your life and you can't seem to shake it on your own, then it's something that a professional would be helpful.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by caliseivy on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:49 pm

Aggrax wrote:Every time I think about talking to someone about this I'm afraid they are going to see some sign of this and despise me for wasting their time and playing at having an illness that other people really struggle with day after day. I don't want to try and see a Doctor about this, only to have it be a waste of their time.

Is there anything, anything at all, that can give me conclusive proof, one way or another?

Speaking to a professional would be your conclusive proof (of if you have a mental illness). As far as wasting a doctor's time, that's usually what the intake (or initial) appointment is for. Most places will have you sit down with a therapist or counselor and either ask you direct questions or have you just lay out why you're there/what's bothering you and take down what you talk about, I'm assuming for a doctor to look over later. I think you'd only have to worry about wasting the doctor's time or playing at having an illness if you were actively trying to convince people that you had an illness you knew with certainty you didn't have in the attempts to get sympathy or some other form of reward. That doesn't at all sound like your case here.

Least that happens is you spend an hour or so unpacking your concerns with someone who most likely will have recommendations for your next step or just willing to emphasize.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by reboot on Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:00 pm

caliseivy wrote:
Aggrax wrote:Every time I think about talking to someone about this I'm afraid they are going to see some sign of this and despise me for wasting their time and playing at having an illness that other people really struggle with day after day. I don't want to try and see a Doctor about this, only to have it be a waste of their time.

Is there anything, anything at all, that can give me conclusive proof, one way or another?

Speaking to a professional would be your conclusive proof (of if you have a mental illness). As far as wasting a doctor's time, that's usually what the intake (or initial) appointment is for. Most places will have you sit down with a therapist or counselor and either ask you direct questions or have you just lay out why you're there/what's bothering you and take down what you talk about, I'm assuming for a doctor to look over later. I think you'd only have to worry about wasting the doctor's time or playing at having an illness if you were actively trying to convince people that you had an illness you knew with certainty you didn't have in the attempts to get sympathy or some other form of reward. That doesn't at all sound like your case here.

Least that happens is you spend an hour or so unpacking your concerns with someone who most likely will have recommendations for your next step or just willing to emphasize.

Also, it is not a waste of the person's time. They are being paid for your visit no matter what your diagnosis/situation is. If they have an open spot in the schedule it is beneficial to them to fill it with whomever calls and give them the necessary services.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Werel on Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:15 pm

Absolutely, seeing a doctor will not be wasting their time. That's literally their job, which they CHOSE to pursue as a career, and are paid for. Wink

Caffeinated wrote:I think that worrying that you're making it up, while still not being able to leave it behind and do the things you want to do, is actually a pretty typical thing in a lot of mental health issues.

And a million times this. Depression's playbook of lies, page 1: "you're not depressed, you're just weak."

(And working out your personal stuff IS partly what this place is for, so you're not wasting our time, either!)

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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Aggrax on Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:46 pm

I don't want to be some kind of mental health hypochondriac who uses "depression" as a way to cover every time I screw up. What if I am just lazy and afraid of responsibility and change?

I know that people with depression aren't able to just "get over it" or change their way of thinking, but what if I can? What if it's not depression, but some other fixable thing I'm ot lazy to do or to stupid to understand.

I know a doctor would probably be best but that isn't really an option.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by reboot on Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:02 pm

Aggrax wrote:I don't want to be some kind of mental health hypochondriac who uses "depression" as a way to cover every time I screw up. What if I am just lazy and afraid of responsibility and change?

I know that people with depression aren't able to just "get over it" or change their way of thinking, but what if I can? What if it's not depression, but some other fixable thing I'm ot lazy to do or to stupid to understand.

I know a doctor would probably be best but that isn't really an option.

Dude. Mental health issues are always "in your head". Duh! It is mental health. Just like heart disease is always in your heart. Rule out the illness before you ascribe things to being lazy
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:20 am

Aggrax wrote:I know that people with depression aren't able to just "get over it" or change their way of thinking, but what if I can?

Well, stupid question time: have you tried just getting over it?

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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Aggrax on Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:07 pm

reboot wrote:Dude. Mental health issues are always "in your head". Duh! It is mental health. Just like heart disease is always in your heart. Rule out the illness before you ascribe things to being lazy

I feel like that's the opposite way to go about it. I need to eliminate the simpler possibilities before thinking it's something more serious.

Gentleman Johnny wrote:Well, stupid question time: have you tried just getting over it?

I guess it's more of a question of if I've tried hard enough. According to my parents and siblings, the answer is no, I've barely tried at all and need to start taking these things seriously. I don't really know, personally, if the problem is that I can't do it, or that I didn't try and now I'm rewriting things in hindsight to make myself feel better about having once again made the wrong choice. Honestly, I think my family is probably right. All of them are smarter than I am and understand things better than I do.

Not that I feel like it really matters. I don't see much of a point in trying anything anymore. I feel like I've made to many mistakes, didn't learn enough about how to take care of myself and not be a horrible person, and now it's too late. I feel like this is all going to catch up to me and kill me sometime before the end of this year.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Enail on Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:49 pm

Aggrax, if things are feeling so serious, and you don't think you can make yourself try now, why not go to a professional and find out if depression could be playing a role? If it's not, you're in no worse a situation than before, and if it is, you can get the help you need to deal with things and get better.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by reboot on Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:09 am

Aggrax wrote:
reboot wrote:Dude. Mental health issues are always "in your head". Duh! It is mental health. Just like heart disease is always in your heart. Rule out the illness before you ascribe things to being lazy

I feel like that's the opposite way to go about it. I need to eliminate the simpler possibilities before thinking it's something more serious.
.

Depression is the simpler possibility, in that there are options, and a variety of treatment is available. Once you rule out physical and mental health causes, the other options are the more difficult to deal with
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Aggrax on Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:11 am

Enail wrote:Aggrax, if things are feeling so serious, and you don't think you can make yourself try now, why not go to a professional and find out if depression could be playing a role? If it's not, you're in no worse a situation than before, and if it is, you can get the help you need to deal with things and get better.

The last time I went to a doctor about something like this, all I got was a years worth of bills, my car put in a ditch on the way to an appointment and a bunch of awkward, terse conversation with my parents about how all of this probably isn't really necessary. I can't even tell if any of that year was worth it or not. If I can't get some kind of solid proof that I need to see a doctor about this, then it's just going to be the same routine as last time.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:29 am

Aggrax wrote:
Gentleman Johnny wrote:Well, stupid question time: have you tried just getting over it?

I guess it's more of a question of if I've tried hard enough. According to my parents and siblings, the answer is no, I've barely tried at all and need to start taking these things seriously. I don't really know, personally, if the problem is that I can't do it, or that I didn't try and now I'm rewriting things in hindsight to make myself feel better about having once again made the wrong choice. Honestly, I think my family is probably right. All of them are smarter than I am and understand things better than I do.

Not that I feel like it really matters. I don't see much of a point in trying anything anymore. I feel like I've made to many mistakes, didn't learn enough about how to take care of myself and not be a horrible person, and now it's too late. I feel like this is all going to catch up to me and kill me sometime before the end of this year.

Speaking for myself, I knew I was trying hard enough when I went to get help. No one wants to admit they potentially have a fucked up brain (or thought process), no one thinks going to therapy is a cool, hip thing to do. So if you want to get better bad enough that you can push though that and take action anyway, you are taking it seriously and you are trying. And hey, if you're not going to last the year anyway, then you owe it to yourself to get in a headspace where you can make the most of that time.

Less flippantly, take a year. Break it down into small steps. Look online for cheap or free mental health services today. Call one to schedule an intake by the end of the week. Show up for intake next week. Just take it one step at a time instead of worrying about having to be all better right now. You can't change the past, so you've got to start with where you are even if that sucks. Just slow and steady and have enough faith to keep at it for the sake of keeping at it instead of worrying about how fast its going.


Last edited by Gentleman Johnny on Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:33 am

Aggrax wrote:If I can't get some kind of solid proof that I need to see a doctor about this, then it's just going to be the same routine as last time.

Aggrax, the fact that you don't feel well about your self esteem, body image etc. is proof. You don't have to wait to be in an extremely debilitating circumstance to warrant seeking help.

Also, your parents don't get to decide if you're worth being helped through therapy. They don't get to hand-wave or trivialize your concerns, because it's your health. Not theirs.

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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Aggrax on Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:01 am

HermitTheToad wrote:Aggrax, the fact that you don't feel well about your self esteem, body image etc. is proof. You don't have to wait to be in an extremely debilitating circumstance to warrant seeking help.

Also, your parents don't get to decide if you're worth being helped through therapy. They don't get to hand-wave or trivialize your concerns, because it's your health. Not theirs.

Things like thoughts and feeling I might be having aren't proof. I don't have a shred of credibility with my family anymore. Unless I have solid, unable to be faked, verifiable proof it's not going to do me any good.

I'm almost never right, I almost never make the right decisions. If four other people that know you that well tell you your wrong, tell you that this is all because you've spent your life taking the easiest route, being lazy and refusing to do a single damn thing to fix it, maybe they are right.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Enail on Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:03 pm

Alright, Aggrax, I'm just going to say it:  Caveat: I am not a doctor or any kind of expert, this is just my opinion. BUT! Every. Single. Thing. you say just screams depression. Even when - especially when - you are trying to explain why you don't think it's depression. You are depressed. It is so, so clear you are depressed. It is not your fault you are feeling awful and struggle with looking after your health. It is an illness, it is not your fault that you have that illness, and you need help to recover.

Your family is doing you harm by not taking this seriously, by dismissing your problems with "you just need to try harder, stop being lazy." Whether or not they mean well by it is beside the point - you have tried to try harder, and it doesn't work. Because 'try harder' does not fix depression. You need professional help for that. And they are hurting you by treating it like a character flaw, they are contributing to your depression by making you feel worse about it. Your family is wrong about you.

It sucks that you're in a situation where your family is unsupportive and undermining your attempts to deal with the problem, and where the financial factor is standing in the way of getting help. It means that you are going to have to be the one in your corner. You are going to have to believe yourself that this is hard and that you are doing what you can and that something is wrong that you can't solve alone. You're going to have to stand up for yourself, to decide that you deserve to get the treatment you need. You are going to have fight for yourself, fight to get help, even if your family tells you you don't need it. And you are going to have to keep reminding yourself that it takes time to recover, that there will be ups and downs even if you are getting all the help you need, and that not getting better right away doesn't mean you're faking it or not doing a good enough job.

I know that's not a simple thing to do, that it's just one more thing that takes an incredible amount of effort and energy and trust when you don't have any to spare. And I wish there was a way to make it easier for you. But do it one step at a time, even if one step seems simultaneously too difficult to imagine and trivial to be worth trying. Make the steps as small as you can, and celebrate each one like you've climbed a fucking mountain if that's how hard it felt, because that's real, how hard it feels, that's not something you're making up. Keep doing that, little steps, and if you don't manage something, that's okay, just try again later and be proud of yourself for trying.

The first thing you need to do is look for free or low-cost mental health services in your area. Here's a link that has some suggestions. If you're having trouble breaking it down into smaller steps, I'm sure people here will be happy to help.

If you feel like you need permission to get help, this is your permission. You need to get help. You deserve real professional help. Get help.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Werel on Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:54 pm

Enail wrote:Every. Single. Thing. you say just screams depression. Even when - especially when - you are trying to explain why you don't think it's depression. You are depressed. It is so, so clear you are depressed.

...If you feel like you need permission to get help, this is your permission. You need to get help. You deserve real professional help. Get help.

I want to cosign every single thing Enail is saying, Aggrax. And then I want to give you a hug. Please, please take what you're experiencing seriously, and please seek out whatever help is available to you. I've been in that place and I'm not anymore; there's a path out of there. Please take it.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Aggrax on Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:52 pm

Enail wrote:It sucks that you're in a situation where your family is unsupportive and undermining your attempts to deal with the problem, and where the financial factor is standing in the way of getting help. It means that you are going to have to be the one in your corner. You are going to have to believe yourself that this is hard and that you are doing what you can and that something is wrong that you can't solve alone. You're going to have to stand up for yourself, to decide that you deserve to get the treatment you need. You are going to have fight for yourself, fight to get help, even if your family tells you you don't need it. And you are going to have to keep reminding yourself that it takes time to recover, that there will be ups and downs even if you are getting all the help you need, and that not getting better right away doesn't mean you're faking it or not doing a good enough job.

I know that's not a simple thing to do, that it's just one more thing that takes an incredible amount of effort and energy and trust when you don't have any to spare. And I wish there was a way to make it easier for you. But do it one step at a time, even if one step seems simultaneously too difficult to imagine and trivial to be worth trying. Make the steps as small as you can, and celebrate each one like you've climbed a fucking mountain if that's how hard it felt, because that's real, how hard it feels, that's not something you're making up. Keep doing that, little steps, and if you don't manage something, that's okay, just try again later and be proud of yourself for trying.

I don'r know if I can do that. When I tried seeing someone about this in 2013, I could never be sure if it was working or not. Sometimes I thought things were going okay, but other times I would just not want to go to appointment, or I would say that I would try something and then not be able to do it. I thought I was trying to fix things when I scheduled a sleep study and got a CPAP machine, but now I barely use it. I just quit. How can I honestly be trying to make my life better if I know the solution to a problem, have the solution next to my bed every night, but just don't use it? Not even for a good reason, I just don't use it. How can that be anything but not trying?
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by reboot on Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:59 pm

Because when you are depressed even the simplest and most pleasurable things are too much effort? When I was depressed I could not even motivate to do things I enjoyed, much less things that had to be done just because.

Why not tell your PCP everything you have said here and let the doctor tell you if you are depressed or malingering? Worst case scenario is they tell you that you are not depressed and you can rule it out.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Aggrax on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:03 pm

The few times I thought about talking to a doctor about this, I've always felt like I haven't been able to explain it well enough. Whatever I think about saying just sounds petulant and whiny in my head, no matter how much I try to make it otherwise. Most of the time I feel the same way about these posts too.

The only reason I started weeing anyone in 2013 was that I broke down and started bawling in a doctors office after my weight shot back up into the 440s and I couldn't hold back. Doing things that way didn't make me feel better, it made me feel childish.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by reboot on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:14 pm

Aggrax wrote:The few times I thought about talking to a doctor about this, I've always felt like I haven't been able to explain it well enough. Whatever I think about saying just sounds petulant and whiny in my head, no matter how much I try to make it otherwise. Most of the time I feel the same way about these posts too.

The only reason I started weeing anyone in 2013 was that I broke down and started bawling in a doctors office after my weight shot back up into the 440s and I couldn't hold back. Doing things that way didn't make me feel better, it made me feel childish.

Print out your posts here and give them to your MD. That way you will not second guess yourself.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by caliseivy on Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:46 pm

I will second reboot's suggestion of printing out your posts.
If you're still worried about appearing whiny and petulant think of it this way: if you had a physical health issue that was interfering with your day-to-day function (like chronic pain, severe allergies, intestinal problems etc. - even if it wasn't day-to-day, but sporadic enough that there were things you just couldn't do sometimes) you would go to a doctor to explain your issue and find a remedy. This is the same thing.
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Re: How do I know if it's real?

Post by Werel on Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:19 pm

Thirding the idea to print out your posts. If even that feels too scary or personal, another option a doctor will be able to understand very quickly is symptom lists. Here's a list of common symptoms of depression (note that these are just some of the most common ones, and even some clinically depressed people may have few or none of them):

Mayo Clinic wrote:-Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness
-Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
-Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex
-Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
-Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
-Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
-Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
-Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
-Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
-Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
-Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
-Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

But just from what you've posted here, you seem to be dealing with a whole bunch of these symptoms. Could you print out a list like this with checkmarks next to the things you're feeling?

And one more word of wisdom from those guys...

Mayo Clinic wrote:If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Depression often gets worse if it isn't treated.
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