Depression and Other Mental Health Issues

smeg-head

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Had this many times before, there seems to be mental depression and physical depression, you can have it separately, or sometimes both at once, I've had tests before and there was nothing physically wrong they could find.

Also getting bombarded with negative thoughts, like someone is following me around trying to bring me down, just like that black dog thing.

I'm on 30 mg citalopram.

My Coping strategy is to keep alert, and recognise what the depression is trying to do, it wants to catch you off guard, and take over your thinking so it can trick you into suicide. If it can't do it mentally, it tries to bring you down physically.
The "black dog thing" is not the myth it is made out to be. It seems to follow me around. I often have feelings of negativity and self-harm. At the moment it is exacerbated by the fact that my Missus is being treated for Breast Cancer. This is the second time, even though she was told 21 years ago that she could never get it again after having both breasts removed!
I am being treated with 30mg Sertraline and have also attended counselling sessions. Trouble with counselling is it makes you feel worse by talking over problems.
I keep thinking, one day that black dog is going to leave me and find someone else. Until then, I just crawl under my shell until the black dog goes away.
 
For those in Thailand, I cannot recommend Manarom hospital enough: my angry outbursts, suicidal tendencies, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, fighting, excessive drinking, insomnia and "night terrors" have all been calmed (to almost acceptable levels) by several years of patient one-to-one counselling and declining medications. Most of all, though, because my wife and her family have been so supportive.

Unfortunately, SPVA/Vets UK have not been particularly helpful (except those on the 'phone whom I think are stars for their efforts) however I now have what I hope is useful advice for those who have, or think they have, PTSD or similar and live here.

Firstly, a bit obvious I know but has to be said, you have to admit that you may have issues and then go and get help. There are many hospitals that have mental health practitioners, I've met with several over the years at different hospitals, but Manarom has the widest spread of same and they also have more than one specialist in many fields of MHC (important if you don't "click" with the first, or second etc).

Points to note: 1) You must explain that you are a Brit Vet and that any prescribed medication must follow NHS guidelines for treatment of any/all diagnosed conditions - providing you want to receive financial compensation from HMG for same. They have forms they can complete for both Aussie and US Vets with MH issues, none from HMG. 2) You must ensure that the specialist specifically states that you are suffering from PTSD/MADD etc from the earliest possible session - again, providing that you wish to receive financial compensation from HMG. 3) Contact HMG asap after being formally diagnosed as it will take months or longer (started mine in late 2012 and still ongoing) for the process of compensation to successfully start to kick in. 4) Combat Stress are wonderfully supportive but cannot offer overseas/remote support unless you are able to return to the UK for a mutually suitable appointment. 5) Keep at it, including the extremely drawn out compensation process which can often add to your symptoms. 6) Note that virtually all MHC medicines (which tend to be very expensive - I've spent almost half a million since first seeking treatment) are only available via hospitals - even the "friendly pharmacy" around the corner/down the road etc that can always get you what you want without a prescription cannot supply same. 7) RBL legal are absolutely brilliant - in fact most of the reason I get any dosh back regarding my PTSD is down to them (and the former Hon Brit Consul on Samui).

I also recently received some very useful legal info from a UK specialist legal firm regarding suing the MOD/HMG (in particular for medical/financial compensation) which they have kindly agreed that I can share as follows:

"My firm does not deal with AFCS claims in isolation. We bring civil actions against the MoD for example, in the delay and diagnosing of PTSD. In such circumstances it is not enough to argue that you sustained PTSD whist in service, it has to be proven that there has been a breach of duty which has caused your condition to worsen.

Firstly, I have to advise you that to pursue a compensation claim in the English and Welsh jurisdiction, you must issue proceedings in the high court or the county court against the defendants within three years of your “date of knowledge”. The “date of knowledge” is the date when a reasonable person in your situation would first have had knowledge –

1 that your injury was significant; and
2 that your injury was either totally or partly caused by the act (or the failure to act) which you believe was negligent; and
3 the identity of the person (or organisation) who you believe was negligent.


Failure to issue court proceedings within this deadline could result in your claim being time-barred and you losing the right to claim compensation."


Hope this helps anyone and thanks to all those contributing/sharing on here - it has also been part of my therapy. Stay safe everyone, please feel free to PM me if more details needed.
 

smeg-head

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Can I just say, there is no direct cure for depression and ptsd! There are ways of living through it, but nothing cures it. My dear Father has the idea that if you just "pull yourself together" everything will be alright. This shows the ignorance of the non-sufferer. It is a very real disease that needs treating properly. The NHS method of chucking a few pills every month at the problem doesn't work. As I've said before, counselling for me, doesn't work as I always feel more depressed. I think finding your own way of dealing with it is the way forward. I know people who take up hobbies, start painting or do DIY, all of these are fine, but they don't stop the thoughts when you are alone in your bed. That is when some sort of chemical stimulant is required.
Drug therapy is fine providing it is managed correctly. Many anti-depressants warn of some pretty serious side effects; so it is better to keep in regular touch with your GP or practice Nurse. Unfortunately, with the the NHS being what it is, nobody has the time to correctly monitor your Anti-depressant usage and you are left to your own devices.
Sorry if this post is dis-jointed and rambling, but I needed to get my thoughts out among fellow sufferers.
 

Legs

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Can I just say, there is no direct cure for depression and ptsd! There are ways of living through it, but nothing cures it. My dear Father has the idea that if you just "pull yourself together" everything will be alright. This shows the ignorance of the non-sufferer. It is a very real disease that needs treating properly. The NHS method of chucking a few pills every month at the problem doesn't work. As I've said before, counselling for me, doesn't work as I always feel more depressed. I think finding your own way of dealing with it is the way forward. I know people who take up hobbies, start painting or do DIY, all of these are fine, but they don't stop the thoughts when you are alone in your bed. That is when some sort of chemical stimulant is required.
Drug therapy is fine providing it is managed correctly. Many anti-depressants warn of some pretty serious side effects; so it is better to keep in regular touch with your GP or practice Nurse. Unfortunately, with the the NHS being what it is, nobody has the time to correctly monitor your Anti-depressant usage and you are left to your own devices.
Sorry if this post is dis-jointed and rambling, but I needed to get my thoughts out among fellow sufferers.

This is pretty much what I have been told by my Psychiatrist. The roller-coaster of depression never stops, you just have to ride it out and use whatever help you can get when you're at the bottom of the cycle. Meds do help, talking to someone sometimes helps, but apart from that you just have to struggle on through. I'm just on the rise out of the lowest level again. Hopefully with the network of psych, councillors and friends I have will help me climb back up again.

I have found that NHS Psych services are useless. I ended up with appointments every 9 - 12 months, each time with a different locum who hadn't read my file. Zero help. In fact it made things worse. Combat Stress are OK (just) but have been of little help to me. Veterans' First Point have been great so far. Peer Workers/councillors, 'drop in' centre and Psych teams. The only problem is that they are in the centre of Edinburgh and parking is a nightmare (Thank goodness for my Blue Badge!).
 
This is way outside my experience but braced up with this one by a friend who is equally clueless. Fact he is asking me means must be bad.

He has a daughter who was at Uni, doing well until towards the middle of her final year when she basically fell to bits: anxiety, panic attacks, became agrophobic, etc etc.

Since then basically been living with her mother (divorced and remarried but he has been funding them both) doing SFA apart from taking the happy pills and Facebook. Not claiming benefits nor registered as unemployed etc, wholly off radar apart from GP.

Now his ex wife calls him up last week and says "So when are you going to sort her out?"

Thanks

So he makes a few calls and seems like there are a lot of people whose job is to say "Not my job".

So question:

are there any outfits specifically geared up to helping out young adults with mental health issues?

Where to start in terms of Jobseeking/Benefits?

After 30 minutes of Google it looks like a bureacratic minefield Kafka would be proud of.

Follow up to this one with sort of a happy ending, but an utter shit sandwich middle.

Daughter got scraped up just in time, treatment, ongoing therapy, back home but still very far from well.

So pitches in for ESA as work is a complete non runner in her state.

Goes through the ESA Assessment mill and guess what? A sub 20 minute "assessment" of a complex mental health condition carried carried out by a gormless, rude and ignorant little cow who turned out to be a Physio and clearly had not read any of the papers.

The report that followed was utter rubbish, ignored medical evidence and contained errors and outright fabrications. It appeared to have been mostly cut and pasted.

In order to be awarded ESA you must score at least 15 points. From the delightful selection of options copied below, she was scored at 0 points.

None. Nix. Nil. Bugger all.

Begone, says DWP. Nothing wrong with you. Off to the Job Centre, JSA and off our statistics! Next!

Job Centre took one look at her and exercised their discretion not to make her actively seek work as that would have made her worse

So, next a request for a Mandatory Reconsideration of the ESA decision. AKA a Mandatory Rejection. And so it was, in fact what came back was even worse in some ways: it was wholly clear that all the many corrections, additional facts and a further medical opinion had either been ignored or most likely not even read

Appeal and off to First Tier Tribunal.

Appeal has been allowed, The Tribunal scored her at 42 points


ESA Mental Health Scoring

Activity 14. Coping with change.

14(a) Cannot cope with any change to the extent that day-to-day life cannot be managed. Score 15

14(b) Cannot cope with minor planned change (such as a pre-arranged change to the routine time scheduled for a lunch break), to the extent that, overall, day-to-day life is made significantly more difficult. Score 9

14(c) Cannot cope with minor unplanned change (such as the timing of an appointment on the day it is due to occur), to the extent that, overall, day-to-day life is made significantly more difficult. Score 6

14(d) None of the above applies. Score 0

Activity 15. Getting about.

15(a) Cannot get to any place outside the claimant’s home with which the claimant is familiar. Score 15

15(b) Is unable to get to a specified place with which the claimant is familiar, without being accompanied by another person. Score 9

15(c) Is unable to get to a specified place with which the claimant is unfamiliar without being accompanied by another person. Score 6

15(d) None of the above applies. Score 0

Activity 16. Coping with social engagement due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.

16(a) Engagement in social contact is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the claimant. Score 15

16(b) Engagement in social contact with someone unfamiliar to the claimant is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the claimant. Score 9

16(c) Engagement in social contact with someone unfamiliar to the claimant is not possible for the majority of the time due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the claimant. Score 6

16(d) None of the above applies. Score 0

Activity 17. Appropriateness of behaviour with other people, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.

17(a) Has, on a daily basis, uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace. Score 15

17(b) Frequently has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace. Score 15

17(c) Occasionally has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace. Score 9

17(d) None of the above applies. Score 0.
 
How do you deal with there just being an empty hole where your motivation to do anything was, the only way out is by motivating yourself but you can't because your motivation is not physically functioning, you are paralysed and just want to stay in bed ?
 
How do you deal with there just being an empty hole where your motivation to do anything was, the only way out is by motivating yourself but you can't because your motivation is not physically functioning, you are paralysed and just want to stay in bed ?
You don't need motivation, you just need to move. Bring the body and the mind will follow.

Don't go waiting for motivation, it may never come, just move, and motivation will come.

Personally, and especially with regards to my alcoholism, I found mental pain and suffering a great motivator too, but I'm hard, I can take a lot of it before I do anything about it; I'm quite happy to sit in my own shit.

Oh, I also find that forcing myself to mix with a bunch of people great for motivation also. I go to A.A. meetings; a bunch of folk who want to be better people; it helps motivate me to be better.

I also mix with runners (local running club); I hate running mostly, but they help motivate me to be a better runner.

I have a tendency to isolate myself from others; it's much safer conversing on the internet isn't it?

So I just move, even if I don't want to, and I join groups. I guess pain is the real motivator and really hard folk, maybe like yourself, can take a shit load of it before you do something about it.
 
You don't need motivation, you just need to move. Bring the body and the mind will follow.

Don't go waiting for motivation, it may never come, just move, and motivation will come.

Personally, and especially with regards to my alcoholism, I found mental pain and suffering a great motivator too, but I'm hard, I can take a lot of it before I do anything about it; I'm quite happy to sit in my own shit.

Oh, I also find that forcing myself to mix with a bunch of people great for motivation also. I go to A.A. meetings; a bunch of folk who want to be better people; it helps motivate me to be better.

I also mix with runners (local running club); I hate running mostly, but they help motivate me to be a better runner.

I have a tendency to isolate myself from others; it's much safer conversing on the internet isn't it?

So I just move, even if I don't want to, and I join groups. I guess pain is the real motivator and really hard folk, maybe like yourself, can take a shit load of it before you do something about it.
What if you don't want to move because you have no motivation to move ?

Chicken and egg situation ?
 

StBob072

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You don't need motivation, you just need to move. Bring the body and the mind will follow.

Don't go waiting for motivation, it may never come, just move, and motivation will come.

Personally, and especially with regards to my alcoholism, I found mental pain and suffering a great motivator too, but I'm hard, I can take a lot of it before I do anything about it; I'm quite happy to sit in my own shit.

Oh, I also find that forcing myself to mix with a bunch of people great for motivation also. I go to A.A. meetings; a bunch of folk who want to be better people; it helps motivate me to be better.

I also mix with runners (local running club); I hate running mostly, but they help motivate me to be a better runner.

I have a tendency to isolate myself from others; it's much safer conversing on the internet isn't it?

So I just move, even if I don't want to, and I join groups. I guess pain is the real motivator and really hard folk, maybe like yourself, can take a shit load of it before you do something about it.
Mr Banzai, I respect your honesty about your alcoholism, and the steps you took to overcome this issue, but perhaps in your case it was clear what you had to do. To paraphrase "give up the booze and everything follows".

Not everyone's issues are so clearly defined, and without knowing the root cause of depression it's difficult to know ones "enemy".
 
Mr Banzai, I respect your honesty about your alcoholism, and the steps you took to overcome this issue, but perhaps in your case it was clear what you had to do. To paraphrase "give up the booze and everything follows".

Not everyone's issues are so clearly defined, and without knowing the root cause of depression it's difficult to know ones "enemy".
Mrs StBob, not once did I say anyone should give up alcohol; I said stuff like 'you don't need motivation', you can still move, and bring the body and the mind shall follow.

Or join some kind of group and get some motivation from that.

And there's more to alcoholism than just giving up booze, otherwise it would be simple; just stop drinking. But so many just can't. So we, forced by pain (motivation), go and find help.

So I think you're paraphrasing someone else's post.
 
Mr Banzai, I respect your honesty about your alcoholism, and the steps you took to overcome this issue, but perhaps in your case it was clear what you had to do. To paraphrase "give up the booze and everything follows".

Not everyone's issues are so clearly defined, and without knowing the root cause of depression it's difficult to know ones "enemy".
I think what @Whey_Aye_Banzai is trying to say is that running (A hobby) helped him to focus. It is always good to have a focal point and many people find that a physically demanding hobby is very good way of doing this. Other hobby's are available.
 
Thank you for remidiing me to to take my tablet.
 
When this thread popped up I'd just read Mark Carney online saying "Floodlighting the Bank of England green and wearing ribbons during Mental Health Week says to colleagues: it's OK we know the issue exists and we stand with you. "
YOU. YOUR parents. Your partner. Your friend, colleague, child, brother, sister, neighbour. Of any four people one will suffer an episode of mental illness. That's a quarter of the population, more than 16million people. As an economist I can't resist rolling out numbers. Bear with me, they're important.
It's in the Express but so what.

He seems to be talking from a business and economics perspective, and it's something at least. No doubt tackling mental health head-on brings economic benefits, and some people obviously can't conceive of any others. But to be blunt, occasional soundbites and gestures are not the leadership and funding that's really needed, as if we really had any of those, and they don't get to grips with mental health and stigmas in wider society.
 
They need to stop employing the dregs of the NHS in mental health, and start being professional.
It would be quite nice if the funding for mental health was better. I think part of the problem is that 'the crazies' aren't a unified voting demographic.

In the USA I believe there's a movement within recovery circles to try and politicise recovery from drugs and alcohol; to make alkies and addicts a voting demographic. They're attempting to emulate the gays, who were well organised, with a strategy, who got together and forced their government to do something with regards AIDS.

But at present, if a UK government wants to pinch a few pennies, they can cut (or underfund) mental health services and they know they're not going to lose any votes.
 

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