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Officially crazy - is my life over?

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Officially crazy - is my life over?

Old 06-26-17, 12:57 PM
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DaveQ24 
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Officially crazy - is my life over?

I know I said I wouldn't come back here for a long while. Several members reached out to me in private messages and made me feel a little better about my personal situation. For a few seconds. I appreciate their concern.

This post has zip, zulch, nada, zero to with bicycles - the mods will probably want to yank this thread and ban me, I get that. But I'm sitting here at my desk pretending I'm even mentally in the room, and all I can do is try to hold in the tears that I would love to let flow - but I don't need another public meltdown. I guess I can go through the pretense and say it does, because I rode about 75 miles Saturday morning, and that was about the only time in the past 2-3 months I've had any moment when some of the tension came out of my body.

I need objective opinions from uninterested third parties who don't know me. I can get only so much input from people I know or professionals before it all sounds like either a lot of pointless cheerleading or people just saying what they think I want to hear. Can I survive this, or am I toast and I should just accept that and pack it in right now?

Worse, how can I even begin to reclaim a shred of self-respect? - I never had much, now what little I had is completely gone. I look at myself in the mirror and all I can feel is extreme hatred for myself and I frankly do wish I were dead at this point.

So, it appears I'm officially crazy, on paper, PTSD and Dysthymia (a "lesser" chronic form of depression). I always knew I was "different" - but hearing someone tell me I'm literally "mentally ill" is hard to swallow. All there in black and white in insurance records, doctors' charts and notes, pharmacy records. No denying it or taking it back at this point - the genie is out of the bottle.

I didn't ask for the circumstances that lead me here. I can see down through generations of my father's family a history of mental illness; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, domestic violence. I certainly didn't ask for what was done to me as a boy and a young man, until 24-25, actually, I was pretty powerless to stop it and all I could really do was enter "survival mode" and try to ride it out as it happened.

I was proud of the fact that I was able to recognize just how wrong this cycle was at a very early age, and I AM proud of one thing still - I have NEVER perpetuated this in any way - I vowed when I was really young to do the opposite of what was done to me, and to be the opposite of those who did it to me. At least I still have that shred of dignity, albeit it tiny.

That's my only shred of dignity left. Otherwise, I feel basically like I've been nuked, and there is nothing but a little charred ash left of my life. I have an official diagnosis on paper of not one, but 2 mental illnesses, I now have a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and I now have prescriptions for three separate drugs (depression, anxiety/mood, and concentration). All of that is designed, in theory, to make me feel better - it doesn't, it makes me feel much worse about myself.

I slipped down the rabbit hole, and I can't ever go back. I can never un-hear those words or erase that diagnosis.

So, that makes me at 52 years old what? A failure, loser, joke, laughing stock, pariah?

I feel like all of those things and worse.

Through the years, I was able to compartmentalize away a lot of these feelings, and even use them to eventually propel myself forward in life. No one knew, I kept it all to myself. Now, I'm in this semi-public meltdown, key people in my life know, and I'm afraid that all it would take would be one person saying the wrong thing and everyone who has any interest will know that I'm just another crazy man.

So what am I supposed to do with this - give in and let it sweep me away, take away everything I have in life that I worked for - career, home, relationships, assets, possessions?

I have never been so deeply ashamed of anything in my life. Even what my father did to me sexually from age 3-4 to age 16 hasn't upset me the way those words do, and that was obviously a devastating thing to live through: "mentally ill". Two words. With those words, my life is flushed down the sewer.

What do I do? Seriously, what do I do with this?

At this point, I'm really, really sorry I ever attempted to "get help" with this - I should have been able to tough it out until I could seal all of this up in Pandora's box again, but I wasn't. Too late, no going back at this point. I can't erase this from my medical records.

There seems to be no direction to turn with this that doesn't leave me broken with no sense of worth.
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Old 06-26-17, 01:32 PM
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counseling, my friend. there is no shame in that. keep cycling, of course. hang in there
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Old 06-26-17, 01:55 PM
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You feel the way you do about the diagnosis because of crappy social pressure and other people's biases. Would you feel this way had the diagnosis been some other anatomical medical condition? Our society, sadly, does little to aid folks struggling with emotion illness. Worse yet, they treat them as second class citizens. Don't let others do this to you. You have enough on your plate. Get help where you can and don't ever feel ashamed of seeking it.
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Old 06-26-17, 01:57 PM
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While I'm clearly not qualified to offer you advice, I just want to say very emphatically that you have nothing to be ashamed of! In fact, you have one hell of a lot to be proud of: you were dealt a terrible hand in life, but you've never perpetuated the evil done to you. The fact that you now have this diagnosis tells me that you are remarkably self aware, courageous and are striving for wholeness.

It may or may not mean anything to you, but I am praying for you that you will find that wholeness and inner peace. You are not a failure, your ability to retain your humanity through this makes you an inspiration.
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Old 06-26-17, 01:59 PM
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Clinical depression is not the same thing as "crazy." You're not crazy OP. You have what many, many people have - depression.

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Old 06-26-17, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveQ24 View Post
At this point, I'm really, really sorry I ever attempted to "get help" with this - I should have been able to tough it out until I could seal all of this up in Pandora's box again, but I wasn't.
Our military forces have to encourage service people with similar issues to seek help rather than "tough it out". I think that's good advice.
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Old 06-26-17, 02:58 PM
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This is probably a gross (and yet trivial) analogy, but deep hurt is like an infection; you can drain it early, which hurts, and leaves it raw, or you can wait and it may break on its own, or it may go inward. Ignore it, and it may lie dormant. Doing the work does feel awful, but in the right environment speeds healing.

Use the resources you've got. Bicycling is part of my mental and physical health maintenance. I've used all the things you've mentioned when I needed them.
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Old 06-26-17, 03:46 PM
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I can only say that I agree with everything already said and wish you the best of luck. Keep cycling and try to surround yourself with positive people.
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Old 06-26-17, 03:53 PM
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Stop thinking or worrying about your condition, and how it may reflect on you.

Instead focus on functioning, ie. doing what's necessary to live day to day, riding your bike if it helps, or even if it doesn't but like it.

We all suffer in our own ways, so like with folks in AA it's about living today, and dealing with tomorrow when you get to it.

Once you get used to functioning, and stop worrying about what won't change anyway, you'll find that life is actually getting easier, and you might be able to scratch away at the underlying issues.
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Old 06-26-17, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveQ24 View Post
I need objective opinions from uninterested third parties who don't know me. I can get only so much input from people I know or professionals before it all sounds like either a lot of pointless cheerleading or people just saying what they think I want to hear. Can I survive this, or am I toast and I should just accept that and pack it in right now?
Yes. You can survive this. There's good advice in this thread so I'll just say God bless and good luck.
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Old 06-26-17, 04:05 PM
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Both my wife and I have been through a lot - and I mean a LOT. Yes, we have PTSD. She has a psychiatrist and had a psychologist. Depression is always at the door. We are not afraid to discuss this with folks and let them know. It helps, at times, IF you have understanding folks. Some are, some not.

Neither my wife nor I are "crazy." I started a group on the internet for folks facing problems similar to those that gave us PTSD. It is a nice, confidential group of about 150 folks, and we share the raw truth of our situations, and it helps. Instead, we are proud of how we have overcome and live with our situation. We have developed strategies for coping - things like avoiding certain folks and situations; getting copious amounts of exercise (bicycling, swimming, walking, stretching); being careful of what we watch on TV and movies we go to; finding a church group (which helps to some degree); singing in the choir.

You have now officially recognized your situation. Great! There are steps you can take to make life better and easier. Your desperately needs a trained counselor at this time to help point the way out. Neither you or this group can provide enough support. A trained counselor helped her to understand and deal with an abusive and alcoholic father.

Medications can help, but there has to be feedback between the psychiatrist and you as to what is and is not working.

Most of all, YOU ARE NOT "CRAZY." You are similar to millions of folks in the US of A and around the world.

You now have a chance to further build your life. You need guidance to do that. Get that help.

May God Bless.

Both approaching 80.

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Old 06-26-17, 05:34 PM
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If it will make you feel better, the score on this thread (so far) is 10-0 in your favor. You probably have a lot more supporters than you think.
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Old 06-26-17, 06:21 PM
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There are roughly 450 million people worldwide who deal with some type of mental illness at any given time. You are not alone. The label is stigmatizing, but the reality is that you probably have a chemical imbalance in your brain. Like any other illness, you are not responsible for creating the disease but you are responsible for it's treatment.

Please be kinder to yourself...you did not ask for or deserve the treatment you received.

I would like to suggest that you set aside the self loathing for a brief time and put some of that energy into researching what depression really is. The medications for depression are designed to restore the balance of neurotransmitters in your brain...they level the playing field to give you a fighting chance at doing the work you will need to do to feel well again.

You are a fighter, you are resilient, you can find your peace. Be kind to yourself and take the time you need to heal. There are millions of us who share your pain.
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Old 06-26-17, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveQ24 View Post
So, that makes me at 52 years old what? A failure, loser, joke, laughing stock, pariah?
A survivor.

Best wishes dude. Keep riding.
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Old 06-26-17, 06:41 PM
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I don't know why you are feeling acutely depressed at this moment. Has this been going on a long time, or is it something recent? You absolutely must stop worrying about what other people (including doctors) might be thinking about you.
What you need to do is erect and maintain boundaries. Distinguish clearly what is "you" and what is "them". You are letting people invade your personal, spiritual space and you have to call a halt to that. There is a great deal of work you can do in counseling, or alone, in regards to enforcing your personal boundaries and annealing your aura.
Create a sense of anger. Anger is more powerful than sadness. Declare war on those who would intimidate or belittle you. By war, I mean declaring your own spiritual identity and validity. You will have to stand and fight. If you're going to go down, don't be the one to do it.
Your spiritual welfare is depending on you standing firm on this one by realizing and cherishing the good in you. There is good in all of us. Don't be an enemy of yourself by denying or under-valuing the good in you.
Astrologer Jeffrey Green has a lot to say about recovering from abuse. Like you, he is candid about his personal story. Also read books from Aeoliah (Awakening Your Inner Light: Healing Self-Abuse and Reclaiming Your True Identity) and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth).
Ask your guardian angels and ancestors to intercede on your behalf. This is a spiritual battle that you must win.

Last edited by 1989Pre; 06-28-17 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 06-26-17, 06:41 PM
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You might try a mental exercise. Cover all the mirrors in your house.

Not because you don't want to look at your own ugly puss, but as a reminder to stop fretting about what you look like (metaphorically), and move on with your life as if everything were OK (even if it isn't).

Break this low self-esteem, introspection habit and move on with your life, and you'll be happier.

if you're seeing professionals, don't ask about your problems, and ask instead for specific tools to manage specific issues that you can identify, ie. difficult getting out of bed in the AM, dealing with the minor inconveniences of daily life, etc. As you run into a problem, make a note, and discuss it, with an eye to coping, not curing on your next visit. With a bit of help, you'll move from the incapacitated yo the walking wounded category, which is far more populated than you might imagine.
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Old 06-26-17, 06:51 PM
  #17  
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I'm objective, uninterested and don't know you. You had a tough childhood. My advice is: don't dwell on it. Reliving the past has never been a productive exercise for me. Memories are over rated. Yours have been unpleasant so flush them and make new, better memories going forward. Can't change the past. Ride your bike until the present starts to make sense. Ride your bike like your life depends on it. Medications, professionally or self prescribed, only mask problems, never solve them. If your weekly riding mileage doesn't seem to help, double the dosage. If you can take the time, pack a tent and sleeping bag, go riding in wide open spaces. Ride far. If you do, I predict you will gain a valuable perspective. You might find that the future is worth living.
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Old 06-26-17, 07:19 PM
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A diagnosis of depression is as common as a stone. And has been all of our lives. When I was a kid, Valium was the most commonly prescribed drug in the country and these days it's often whatever antidepressant is the flavor of the day. And "PTSD" is just a recognition that extreme events in our lives have long term consequences.

Respectfully, I suggest the thread title is just plain wrong. Diagnosed or otherwise, huge numbers of us have borderline 'depression' without much in the way of significant causality even required. With what you have faced in your life, if you didn't suffer some level of depression or related stress on your psychology you'd have to be some kind of sociopath. PTSD is nothing more than a clinical acknowledgement that these events had deep and lasting impacts. Which is anything but crazy. You'd have to be crazy not to be impacted.

I don't know that any meds promise a cure, but some can help some individuals over the short term and that can be enough to help you try and get on track in a positive direction. Personally, I think riding or similar activities are a great help. And counseling can be a real benefit. But ultimately, you have to be strong enough to decide that you are a fine human being and you believe in yourself. And unfortunately your mind can also be your worst enemy in getting there. You have some powerful demons, but you're bigger and better than they are. You can beat them.

Good luck.
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Old 06-26-17, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveQ24 View Post
I guess I can go through the pretense and say it does, because I rode about 75 miles Saturday morning, and that was about the only time in the past 2-3 months I've had any moment when some of the tension came out of my body....

I was proud of the fact that I was able to recognize just how wrong this cycle was at a very early age, and I AM proud of one thing still - I have NEVER perpetuated this in any way - I vowed when I was really young to do the opposite of what was done to me, and to be the opposite of those who did it to me. At least I still have that shred of dignity, albeit it tiny.

That's my only shred of dignity left. Otherwise, I feel basically like I've been nuked, and there is nothing but a little charred ash left of my life. I have an official diagnosis on paper of not one, but 2 mental illnesses, I now have a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and I now have prescriptions for three separate drugs (depression, anxiety/mood, and concentration). All of that is designed, in theory, to make me feel better - it doesn't, it makes me feel much worse about myself....
Hey, it's just labels. What you say here is no small thing thing. You broke the cycle! Amazing! And, you come up with a way to help you cope: exercise - biking specifically. Use it, lean on it. You may not see it yet but you've made great strides. And I AM your objective third party!
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Old 06-26-17, 09:55 PM
  #20  
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When I used to drink, I always said I didn't care if I lived or died. Then I got really sick and thought I was going to die. What turned me around was caring friends. Knowing that someone did care about me and wanted me to live was a huge deal.
I was able to stop drinking, (and later stop smoking) because people made me feel like I was worth something.
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Old 06-26-17, 10:10 PM
  #21  
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Some observations and advice from a fellow rider:

Don't be a professional victim. As best you can, just get on with your life. You were dealt a crap hand in your childhood. Your only good choice is to not fold and instead play out the hand you were dealt.

If the doctors and pills aren't doing you any good, you don't have to keep taking the medication, and you don't have to keep seeing the doctor. All medicines have side effects, and most have serious side effects for a lot of people. The doctors can't turn back time. You are the one who has to live with your past and with your current problems.

A diagnosis of mental illness is extremely common. It getting out to friends and coworkers is not a welcome development. But honestly, it may be juicy gossip for short while, then very soon it will be old news and no one cares.

In short, your life is not even close to ruined. You are much better off than the child that you used to be. Learn to forgive yourself. Both for not being stronger, and for any mistakes that you may have made.
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Old 06-26-17, 10:18 PM
  #22  
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One thing you should do is make sure this isn't a mistaken diagnosis due to something like a metabolic disorder (blood sugar issues with diabetics, for example, can mimic these kinds of symptoms). This will require the cooperation of an enlightened allopathic physician.
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Old 06-26-17, 11:24 PM
  #23  
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See Dave? You have all of us supporting you.

We take care of each other. You're not alone.
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Old 06-26-17, 11:36 PM
  #24  
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Sometimes life sucks. Embrace the suck. Screw the lemonade... enjoy the lemons. Some of history's greatest figures have been totally crazy. By comparison.... you are barely sick.

Get treatment, and enjoy yourself. There is no shame or need to beat yourself up.... for a little minor mental illness. You're plenty sane enough to walk around. That should mean... your just crazy enough to enjoy yourself.

I find my joy in cycling. Find your joy. Then spend as much time there as you can spare.
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Old 06-26-17, 11:47 PM
  #25  
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You are talking about it, that's a big step. My son has a multitude of problems right now and he won't talk to anyone, won't open up to friends or professionals or family. I really worry about him. Keep talking, keep feeling, no matter how hard it is. It's the way towards surviving and beyond. You don't realize how strong you really are.
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