The Black Dog - mental health awareness

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--- Quote from: Slug on January 18, 2021, 12:22:12 pm ---Sadly Sam, My experience of seeking help has been pretty much the opposite of what you're saying. I was 19 and in the military when I first started getting visited by "the Dog".....I sought medical help and was effectively given the verbal equivalent of a slap in the face and Pull Yourself Together rant.....I was told to "deal with it"....so I did, first with drink, then drugs and then other more self destructive behavior, until I was Jailed and dismissed...I was in Colchester with so many veterans of N.I. and the Falklands, it was more like Broardmoor !

 Over the last 40 years it has effectively ruined my life.....despite their BS, most employers don't want "Nutters".  I was forced out of my last job because my health issues.....despite their own policies. No amount of Regulations or Laws did any good whatsoever. Never have done, doubt they ever will......maybe it's different if you don't work in Overalls.
Maybe for others it might be a different experience......they can but hope.

--- End quote ---

That's shit, and sorry to hear that.  I can imagine the military being like that.  Not the best place for sympathy, though I'd like to think they were way more on top of things like PTSD these days.
Times have moved on a bit (that that I'm calling you old  ;) ) but I suspect a 19 year old presenting these days might get a different experience.  There is far more awareness around mental health issues, particularly in men these days.  Principally in response to the appalling suicide rate.

Hope you continue to manage things.  Its never too late to seek help and with new treatments/understanding etc you might just drop on something that helps.  I've heard other say that it can take a long time and trying lots of different things before dropping on the thing that works for you.

Slug, you have a lot to offer. I really like the model dig I bought off you. I am sure others would like versions of that.

Thanks Pete.....but at the moment I'm on 60mg of Fluoxetine a day, and have been for the last 10 years, I'm only a few steps up the evolutionary ladder than a vegetable. Zero motivation.
 One of the reasons I used to do the catering at CHECC and a few times for the BCA was it gave me something to do, you know, divert the boredom, and have some people....OK mostly students....believe I knew what I was doing.

 Sam, in a month's time I'll be 59, that is old  :o not to some I'm sure, but after decades as a "techie", spent grovelling around on my hands and  knees under Aeroplanes, Vehicles and other machinery.......not to mention caves, my body is buggered......stil Aldi do a very nice Australian Red at £3:99 a bottle, so there's always that. :beer2:

In no way do I wish to diminish Slug's experience, but mine (much more recently) was different.

For people who think in bullet points like me, this is what I learned:

- Talking to someone (anyone) helps.

- You will be surprised how many other people you know have also suffered.

- Help is out there, and it works.

- Pills work for some people, not for others. Different pills work for different people.
- Some people will tell you that fresh air and exercise is a cure. It isn’t, but it does help.

- Getting better takes time, and there will be bad days as well as good days.

- Don’t ignore the possibility that there may be something wrong with you physically as well as mentally.  In my case, feeling crap most of the time due to undiagnosed Parkinson’s Disease was a significant factor in my mental health.

I've always considered myself fairly resilient from a mental health perspective, perhaps because I always keep myself busy, so don't have time to let my mind dwell too long on anything.

When the first lockdown cut off all access to everything and everyone, I slumped to a pretty low place. Motivation for anything was non-existent. I was hardly sleeping and on a steady downhill spiral.

When travel restrictions for exercise were lifted, I got together with a few friends and we started a few simple underground projects on an evening after work. I felt immediately revived, yet there were always those determined to tell me I was being selfish and irresponsible for going caving; fortunately, I managed to ignore them.

While my motivation never quite recovered to pre-lockdown levels, I have generally been much better for getting out for an evening once or twice a week, either alone, or with one or two others. In fact the best I've felt for ages was after a Swildon's trip shortly before Christmas when I was offered a beer afterwards, by someone staying at the hut. I'd quite forgotten the simple pleasure of sitting by a fire, beer in hand, chatting caving for an hour before heading home.

This latest lockdown has rewound all that though, with threats of police clamping down and handing out fines when no law has been broken, I've not bothered to leave the house. Based on the interpretation by some members of this forum, I shouldn't leave my village, let alone cross the administrative boundary that lies 200 yards from my door, between me and the hills. Sorry, but while you might subscribe to the 'man up and deal with it' approach, I will be escaping these confines to protect my mental health as soon as I find the motivation.


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