Mental illness and isolation


wonderwhatif
on Mar 09, 2016 @ 11:13 pm

Do any of you suffer from mental illness and feel it causes you to be isolated? People stop inviting me out as sometimes I have to cancel. I feel like if you've never suffered depression or anxiety it's very easy to judge and feel like the person is flaking. How do I stop from getting left out? I'm currently getting treatment but it takes time to find the right medication to get back on the right track.

Any advice, ladies?
 

44 Replies


TamiRobinson
Wow on Mar 09, 2016 @ 11:33 pm

Wow I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. I know stigma can be hard to overcome. Maybe your friends are scared because they don't know what to say to you to make it better. Maybe just being up front with them and explaining what's going on and letting them know how you're feeling will help. I don't know where you live but there's often support groups where you can meet people who understand what you are going through. I know medication can take a while to work, but hang in there. Recognizing that you needed help and doing something about it is difficult and really impressive! Not everyone gets to where you are so celebrate the fact that you are awesome!
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wonderwhatif
Tami on Mar 09, 2016 @ 11:39 pm

Thanks so much for your heartfelt words, Tami <3

I'm definitely going to try and be clearer communicating with them. I think the country they're from it's more kept quiet, so maybe that could be part of it.

I'm in Montreal right now so it's hard to find a good english group! I think it's very helpful that I've had depression a long time, so when I became anxious I could recognize the signs right away. For me right now, I feel it's totally chemical. I'm not unhappy like I was many years ago. I'm positive, my life is in a good place, but still I can't shake it, so I'm hoping I'll get the right medication soon ^_^
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prettyrainbow
. on Mar 10, 2016 @ 12:00 am

Take it one step at a time and go at your own pace. Your willingness to seek help is very brave in and of itself so make sure to celebrate that. Also celebrate the times you do make a stride forward and take note about the way it felt. I highly suggest keeping a gratitude journal where you can comment on the support system you had around you and/or the things you noticed that made you feel safe and comfortable. In addition, you can write down new, fun experiences you got to be a part of because of your strength and courage. It's a good way to get a new perspective on things and it can encourage you to move forward on the not so good days. If you do have an off day when anxiety comes back, don't look at it as a total failure. You're strong and you have the ability to change things, just like you're doing by getting the help you need. I would suggest you take notes on those days too, or have your husband do it for you. Jot down any triggers and see if there is a pattern. For instance, do you feel most anxious every time you need to go grocery shopping? You could then try to analyze why this is. Are you going on the busiest days when it will be most crowded? Maybe you need to adjust your schedule in order to find a more suitable timeframe in order to feel safe and comfortable. It does take a little work, but it will be well worth it once you know what it is that is triggering your anxiety.

In terms of dealing with agoraphobia, have you sought out therapeutic help in order to face you fear? Medication helps, but you also need strategies to help you cope and not depend on the pills to do it for you. I wonder if there would be a support group you could look into joining at a local hospital or clinic that deals with this specific issue. You might also have luck by contacting a university's Psychology faculty. They could direct you to resources you might not have thought of before.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you make the progress you're aiming for soon!

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wonderwhatif
prettyrainbow on Mar 10, 2016 @ 12:08 am

Thank you so much. You wrote some really good advice down there which I'll have to implement.

I'm currently waiting for insurance to come through to get help with my agoraphobia. We tried a non-pay doctor, but I was having such a hard time even getting to the appointments because it would flare up, so we're hoping a private therapist will be able to help more.

Thank you so much <3
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Hannah-Rae Larmond
Sending some love on Mar 10, 2016 @ 12:17 am

My heart goes out to you <3
I've dealt with my panic disorder as young as 7 years old and just recently been diagnosed with depression. Most of it stems from me losing my mother almost 10 years ago and I'm old enough to start actually grieving and realizing that what I had is no longer here. I've missed out on so many opportunities, ranging from just hanging out with friends to passing up a trip to anther continent, all because of my anxiety. I worry everyday every time I cancel that I'll lose a friend.

All I can tell you is to hang in there and open up to those that you trust and that love you. It started to get out of hand for me and I had to open up to people and tell them I was struggling - something I thought I'd never do. Those that truly care and truly love you, will include you in things and will go to the extent to make you feel comfortable in a situation where you'd feel otherwise. It's okay to open up and tell people that you're struggling - never feel like you're odd for doing so. I've had plenty of friends ask me out for drinks or parties or even just a simple get together and I've cancelled every time and they started to get upset with me - which is natural - but after I sat down with them and had a heart to heart, it was easier for them to not get so upset or angry whenever I bailed on a plan and actually, they still called me up to go out and get coffee at a quiet place (loud places with a bunch of people is a trigger for my panic attacks) and I appreciate them everyday for taking the time to understand.

Speaking is the solution to anything, and if they don't understand or accept it, then it's their loss. You're a wonderful person and what you deal with doesn't define all the wonderful attributes you have. When someone doesn't sit down to understand another human being, it speaks volumes on their part, not yours.

I hope you find peace, support, wellness, and love. Many kisses and love being sent your way <3
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wonderwhatif
Hannah on Mar 10, 2016 @ 12:35 am

Your words are so sweet and supportive, it means so much to me to know that someone else has gone through this too. I'm so sorry about your mum, I can only imagine and pain and despair that might cause!

Thank you so much. I think it's so hard for me to show weakness in front of anyone else because I already had one friend tell me I was just being 'negative' and that she couldn't be around me anymore because she was pregnant and I would bring her down, after being honest and straightforward about my struggles.

As a positive person, this really made me mad, but in some ways it's held me back too. You're absolutely right that when people can't empathise it's their problem not mine. <3
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rr126131
Definitely on Mar 10, 2016 @ 10:39 am

Very much agree with you on the having people judge, and I think it can create a cycle of avoidance which makes isolation worse.
Also totally agree with @prettyrainbow to take it one day at a time. It's easy when things have taken a down-turn to look at every time things have not worked out but ultimately if you are taking active steps to better yourself than there will be improvement. Celebrate the small things like not having to worry about a friend that has chosen to not support you. It may seem like a crappy thing but you are better off for not having people like that in your life. Just like @hannah said. Honesty is always the best way to go, even if it doesn't turn out the way you hoped. A few friends who understand and want to make things easier/better for you are better than a group.
I have gone through more than one episode of serious depression myself, and I can honestly say that little tiny things really do add up to make for vast improvements in overall mental-health/well-being.
Remember that regardless of what anyone else thinks or is doing you are allowed to make your mental-health your priority.
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Tracyr
Sending you Hugs on Mar 10, 2016 @ 11:42 am

You are an amazing person ,who shows so much compassion for other people ,you are sweet and kind and you deserve to be happy,no one has the right to judge or label you,enjoy the people around you who truly care,take it one day at a time ,you don't owe anyone any explanations for how you feel on certain days ,it's your life and unless people have walked in your shoes they are not entitled to have an opinion on your life.I want you to know that all the ladies on this site are happy that we got the chance to meet you on this site and I consider you my friend
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KrissiC
. on Mar 10, 2016 @ 11:46 am

I'm sorry you're feeling this way. You've taken the bravest and most important step - getting treatment. It will take time to see results, so go easy on yourself. Focus on the good and when things get too overwhelming, it's okay. Tomorrow is another day to try again. Are there any support groups nearby? If there are, would you be open to joining one? Talking to people with similar symptoms may help you and them, plus you may get a friend in the process! I found setting a little goal each day/week to something I found a bit hard or scary to help be get a bit outside my comfort zone and get back into the swing of things. Make your mental health your priority and know that there is help out there and you can and will
Get better. It just takes time. And obviously effort.

I've never met you, but you seem like a great, friendly person with lots to offer those around her. You have a great attitude. I really hope you are able to feel a bit better each day.
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BecomingVerity
Communication on Mar 10, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

I've found recently that being more open about what I'm going through helps people to understand, there's been an outpouring of support really which I never expected. I suffer from depression/anxiety/self-esteem issues and going out does generate anxiety for me. Not to mention I'm usually too busy with work/school to actually go out. So for the individuals in my life that matter to me I explain to them that I value them and want to spend time with them but that right now I have to focus on getting better and looking after me. Just remember, those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind!
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