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DavidMS703

Mental health thread

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(TW: depression, anxiety, suicidality, self-harm)

 

Hi everyone. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! So, I was looking through the forums, and I'm not sure if there's a thread like this already but I think it would be good for us to have a place to talk about mental health. I don't talk about this much but I've struggled a lot with mental health for many years. It started in middle school when I was having trouble figuring out what I wanted and thought I should be getting into a romantic relationship since that was what I had been told to want at that age. It got worse when some of my best friends got into relationships, and I started feeling more isolated as a result. I became depressed and started feeling the need for more contact with single friends, which ended up being too much for them. I was having trouble at my school as a result so I ended up going to a short-term program early in high school designed to help students going through something, then another program for students with mental health issues where I stayed for the rest of high school. During this time I felt isolated and felt like I couldn't fit into any group of people without wanting a romantic relationship, which I figured out around this time that I didn't. A little after this, I had another friend who withdrew herself from me when she got a boyfriend, and I became suicidal and went to the hospital for it around this time. A little later, I had a highly toxic friendship with someone who first acted like she wanted to talk to me all the time and then suddenly withdrew from me a lot but still kept manipulating me into staying best friends with her and not actively seeking other friends. She would cut herself and send me pictures to manipulate me in various ways, and I started cutting myself around this time as well. My mom and therapist kept telling me in an invalidating way that they thought this friendship was secretly a romantic relationship, which certainly didn't help my mental health either. Eventually this person just stopped talking to me, which hurt at the time but I honestly think it was the best thing for both me and her. For a while I was still damaged by that friendship in a way that made it hard to maintain other friendships, but I think not being as close to anyone outside my family for a while was actually helpful with that. Soon after that I started going to my local community college, where I found some support, especially from one of my professors, but still didn't have a lot of connections for a lot of the time, which I avoided noticing by focusing on my classes. I still have anxiety and sometimes depression, but it's gotten a lot better than in high school, and I haven't been self-harming since starting college, though I still have the scars which I have been wearing long sleeves to hide even though they're not that noticeable anymore.

 

Thank you Connie for making the video that inspired me to create this post. I think discussions about this are important and not had enough. I would just like everyone to remember that mental health is nothing to be ashamed of and it's okay to get help if you ever need it.

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( TW : mention of self harm and bullying)

 

 

 

 

I deal with social anxiety and PTSD. Because of bullying (two years of it non stop, everyday,  when i was 12-13 year old)

 

While my aromantism and my mental health are unrelated, it cause me troubles with friendship. (trust issues, in other peoples but especially in myself. )

 

I am just glad i know about ptsd and anxiety because i really thought something was wrong with me and it was my fault. Not that it stop me from self harming and feeling guilty. Damn it, anxiety.

 

Well i guess it help to talk about it.

 

 

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Other times threads like these have popped up, I don't think I was ready to talk in detail with others about my own mental health so thank you for starting this wholesome thread now that I am. :) 

 

@DavidMS703 I'm really happy to hear that you've gotten a bit better and have learned how to manage anxiety and depression with some good support systems! You're doing great accepting and living with these parts of you.

@Cristal Gris The aromanticism and mental health relation you described is exactly how I feel too! I was never able to put it into words, though, so thank you for this. I'm happy you've learned about parts of yourself that have helped you.

 

As for me, I'm a mix of mental illness and suspected neurodivergence (the latter of which I'm still trying to pin down exactly, and the former taking from so many different symptoms that comorbidity has basically morphed into one really weird feeling hahaha). I struggled with depression for a long time (still do) and am a suicide attempt survivor. The trigger for the depression is high anxiety, which I've always struggled with, probably since I was born. I was a classic anxious/insecure attachment child. Part of the general anxiety is social anxiety (alternatively or perhaps additionally, autistic traits? Still confused about that one) and part of my coping strategy looks a lot like OCD but the overlap between anxious coping and obsessive/compulsive behaviours is pretty murky. Like Cristal, though, learning about different conditions has helped me understand my symptoms a lot better, and regardless of my diagnoses (official or not), I've found ways of coping.
I've gotten better at mimicking common social behaviours and events with practice, so that has lessened my discomfort somewhat, and my depression has gone from so severe I thought I would never recover to a little piece of my mind that I can grapple with most times. Many years ago I genuinely thought I would never see tomorrow, that I was the exception to all recovery stories, so it's sometimes strange (but nevertheless rewarding) that I'm still here and even spreading positivity. Sometimes my coping means doing no work and sleeping for 24 hours and sometimes it means getting hyperfocused on something, but all in all I'm getting better and am really grateful to my friends for being my support system when I was distressed.

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22 minutes ago, running.tally said:

 The aromanticism and mental health relation you described is exactly how I feel too! I was never able to put it into words, though, so thank you for this. I'm happy you've learned about parts of yourself that have helped you.

 

i mean, being aro certainly afected my view on friendship, but my anxiety and ptsd are really the ones to be blamed for my trust issues and self esteem^^ But yeah, i always love to know more about myself.

27 minutes ago, running.tally said:

Like Cristal, though, learning about different conditions has helped me understand my symptoms a lot better, and regardless of my diagnoses (official or not), I've found ways of coping.

Same. Humor is one of my way of coping. Finding relatable things too.

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@Cristal GrisI think it can definitely be harder to have friends if you have mental health issues or are aromantic in a society where romance is seen as the most important thing. I'm glad you at least know what's going on because I think that can be very helpful and so can talking about it.

 

@running.tallyI'm glad things have improved so much for you. Thanks for the positivity you spread here.

 

I definitely already had some mental health issues including some anxiety before the stuff in middle school with the dating scene, but it became worse for me then. I don't think being aromantic is to blame for any of it though; I think amatonormativity is for making me think I really wanted a romantic relationship and become distressed about not being able to find one and for teaching people of all orientations that romantic relationships are always more important than friendships.

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