🧠😖 Mental Health

Barely a day goes by without someone mentioning mental health in the media. Excellent! It is good that we were finally taking this issue seriously and that it is getting regular and wider coverage.
What isn’t so good is the level of mental health care in the NHS, certainly here in Kent anyway. There is excellent care in the private sector. I spent some time under the care of The Priory nearly 20 years ago and it was first class (until the insurance money ran out and it was back to the NHS). I was fortunate enough to be able to fund some other private treatment myself because the NHS health care was totally inadequate.
Mrs SOG had a bullying issue a work a while back which triggered some issues for her and she was dealt with under the NHS. She had to wait months before the treatment started and then it was not adequate. They don’t have the numbers of trained staff needed. Mental health issues are not like broken bones or infections. They can take years to treat. They may respond better to different types of therapy. They take a lot of time and a lot of resources and the funding just isn’t there. If you have mental health issues you need help now, not in 3 months time. I do t know what it is like in Hampshire but I suspect you have similar problems there?
It’s all very well raising awareness and encouraging people to talk about it and seek help, but if the infrastructure is not there you are just creating further problems.

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Our company has set up a hotline for offshore workers with mental health issues.
A couple of questions that raised a few eyebrows.
1 how do you know if you have issues
2 most people working offshore are slightly mad in the first place.
Me not being home for a year triggered the question " how do you feel" " with my hands" did not go down well.

Nb am not making light of the subject.

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For those in work - Companies are becoming more aware of mental health issues these days and it’s becoming more common to provide access to support via Employee Assistance Programmes, occupational health or insurer-led early intervention services etc. All circumvent the NHS, at least initially.

Bullying at work should be an HR issue and if Mrs SOG was failed then they need to be held to account.

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Unfortunately it was only a three person company. The two bosses were partners and also friends of friends so it made things even more awkward. Fortunately she left and has found a job that treats people properly so that has been a big help.

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I think this was always going to be the outcome of Maggie’s Care in the Community policy.

The Old Manor in Salisbury to those days was always “the mad house”. How times have changed.

I do feel for all those single people WFH and locked down. A few eloquent Tweeters have helped spread the awareness.

Sympathy to @Sadoldgit it must be hard.

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The how do you know you have issues is a good question. I was diagnosed as a smiling depressive which means I used to deal with things by making light of them or turning them into jokes. Not good of course because eventually the turmoil that was being created inside built up to the extent that I had what we used to call a nervous breakdown. Mood swings, changes of habits, unusual behaviour, getting no pleasure out of things you used to enjoy - there are any number of signs. Talking to your partner is helpful because they will often pick up on things before we do. Talking is so important. Bottling things up is never good. Men have been especially bad about talking about feelings so to see this stuff being discussed more and more can only be a good thing.

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I know it has been said many times, but if your arm is in a sling you get plenty of sympathy. If you are going through a tough time mentally you get told to man up and pull yourself together.
I wasn’t as sympathetic towards Mrs SOG initially as I should have been, which didn’t help. It was only when I overheard her say that she had felt suicidal that I realised how serious it was (and this is from someone who had been through the process a few times in the past myself!).

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I know some people are clinically depressed, in that they just don’t produce enough endorphins.

I also know that in my own experience, there has normally been a driving force behind those bouts and it is usually security of some sort. Worried about money, worried about losing work, that sort of thing.

It is my view that the insecure nature of society underlies a lot of what we call depression. Not that we’re likely to see it happen, but I’d be very interested to see just how depressed we’d be with greater personal security.

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We had a guy offshore that lost the plot and we medivaced him to hospital as he was talking about killing people who were not onboard
When diagnosed with a mental issue they have got him on some drugs to help him. which meant he can no longer work offshore. This cant be good as he lost his job as well as his health.

I get what you’re saying, but…

So I suffer from generalised anxiety disorder, which is a type of depression. I’m not someone who struggles with thoughts of self-harm, or manic mood-changes.

What I personally struggle with is a fear of anything going wrong in life - whether that be health, money, planning etc. This means that in a normal day I spend so much of my time working out scenarios to the nth degree as to how I will deal with them if they go the wrong way. This can be utterly crippling, I can go without eating, barely functioning for a week, not being able to do anything other than worry, plan, worry some more, work out all possible scenarios. Tbh, it’s probably what makes me good at my job because I am incredibly thorough and organised.

I have had psychiatric help through the NHS, but the main issue is I’m as aware as anyone else that it is fucking stupid, but it’s just too difficult to control when I have something in my life go a bit wrong (I think it’s just called dealing with “life”).

In essence, there is help out there, but for people in my situation I don’t think anything will actually help me. So far I have managed to not take on the meds, because personally I feel I am intelligent enough to be able to mentally break through this. So far I have been incorrect.

Today’s society and social media do not help. There is a world of cruelty out there, that was probably always there, but was not given the platform of the ability to impact mine and others lives. Too many insults, too much schadenfreude, which makes me worry for my children, which doesn’t help my anxiety :unamused:

I don’t really know what my point is here, I just wanted to share where my issues are.

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You’ve just described every Saints fan before and during every game these days :wink:

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When I was first put on meds the doctor obvious saw my expression and said don’t worry, half the country are on them. He wasn’t joking. The trouble is that medication can stabilise your mood, but it doesn’t fix you. For that you need therapy and then it is a question of finding what works best for you. Different people respond to different treatments.

It’s interest that you mention security. It could well be the driving force. Whatever it is there is much more stress around than there used to be. There never used to be road rage. That is transferring to trolley rage now with people getting wound up in supermarkets if you get in their way. Back in the 80s I remember it being said that people would retire earlier and there would be much more leisure time. Now people are working longer and some may never be able to retire.

Earlier in the pandemic there was talk of making huge changes to the way we live our lives. That seems to have gone out of the window now with people amassing large debts, worrying about their jobs etc.

It all ties in with the other discussions about violence against women and global warming etc. We need to reevaluate the way we all interrelate and live our lives but we seem stuck in a system which is not good for us and is not good for the planet.

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That sucks. You have my sympathy. Have you tried cognitive behavioural therapy? It helped me. It is no magic wand but it does give you the tools to help with things when you feel they are getting out of control. I didn’t have mood swings or self harm (well apart from an episode with vodka and meds) but did descend into a very dark hole from which I couldn’t see a way out. In my case getting out of a toxic marriage and a job that I was unhappy in was a great help too. I am an inveterate worrier and do have occasions of catastrophic thinking (always assuming the worst if my wife is late home, things like that) but the CBT helps a lot with that. It’s all about changing the way you feel by changing the way you think. By reframing things in your mind you can control the chemicals in your system that cause anxiety.
I am not the world’s happiest soul but I am on a more even keel now and it feels good to know that I have a measure of control over the way I feel whereas before I just felt that I was being sucked into a black hole and had no control at all.
It’s good to open up to people and to share. At the very least you get to see that you are not alone and there can be plenty of support out there through peer groups.
:+1:

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I have tried CBT - it doesn’t quite work for me but tbh I need to try something again as it doesn’t improve.

Cheers, and glad that you seem to be in a better place now!

I tried various other things too. Hypnotherapy helped me with driving anxiety. Perhaps try CBT again but with someone else. Sometimes a different therapist can work better? From what you have said, CBT sounds like it would be good for you.

I know I am never going to be 100% but having a loving, supportive partner helps as does knowing that the world is not going to end if I f*ck up, which I often do.

Knowing you have issues and understanding what those issues are is a massive plus Cherts. Try not to beat yourself up too much when things don’t work and praise yourself when they do. The way I look at it, I am a work in progress. Sometimes I cope. Sometimes I don’t. When I don’t I just remind myself that I can do better next time.

If you haven’t, have a word with your GP. Mine is very clued up about alternative therapies. Even if you can’t sort the whole thing you might find ways of dealing with some smaller issues and anything positive is a step in the right direction.

You sound like a strong character so I’m sure you have the strength to keep chipping away at this. I know it can be draining, but stick with it. You will get there.

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Just on the subject of workplaces, mine (only joined just before Covid) is pretty progressive. We have trained Mental Health first aiders in every office (six in and around London) and a great approach to wellbeing.

Our approach to our staff has been recognised with a silver award from Mind, which is also our charity partner.

I have not needed any help - yet - but it’s good to know we take things very seriously and have trained people on hand to offer support.

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I have always wondered about the mental state of the SAT divers

I think your point is, summarised, that few of us are being honest with ourselves or each other. We’ve seen others get sneered at or ostracised for some of the same things we might be concerned about. We’re loaded with ideas of what it means to be a success, what it means to be happy, what you can actually talk about and on that last point, what, where and with whom.

I’m not talking about out there theories or what-not. I’m talking about the anxieties we keep to ourselves and don’t bother mentioning to close friends or family. Now I don’t know if I’d go for the over-sharing thing, but I definitely know I keep too much bottled up, and don’t process as much as I should.

Had an assessor call me about a PIP claim I’ve got in. I don’t think I’m likely to get it, but I did have to recount the details of my eye injury and in doing so, got a pretty vivid flashback of all those events. I’ve made my peace with where I am on such things long ago, but I was floored for about a day just getting through that day again.

I didn’t process it, and I think that’s another big problem with mental health. People praised me for my attitude after getting through the initial load of all that. The guys at the Eye Hospital were able to improve things a lot, so it was easy to focus on the improvements and simultaneously do the stiff upper lip shit.

For that last reason, I think we Brits are particularly prone to it. We are not a complaining culture. We’re the perfect boiling frogs for this shit.

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Pap - thanks/sorry etc - you’ve nailed why the UK has ended up where we are - Covid excepted obvs…

My girlfriend has had depression and anxiety for a number of years and is (luckily) very able to manage it through medication as it’s due to chemical/endorphin imbalance rather than other factors.

It’s definitely opened my eyes to how much mental health care needs improving in the UK. She’s been very fortunate in that formerly her parents and latterly we are able to fund private healthcare as needed but one of my friends recently had very similar issues to her and was basically told you’re shit out of luck and to just man up when he tried to get support via the NHS.

Truly horrific how little freely available support there is - especially considering that suicide is the leading cause of death in Men 18-35 when this is also the age group that is by far the least well off and thus able to afford specialist care (lowest share of generational wealth on record woo - https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/millennials-versus-boomers-wealth-gap-2020-10%3Famp)

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