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An honestly grim situation

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by janikowski, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. janikowski

    janikowski Member

    Hello. I am a 20 year old male. I have been suffering from some form of "mental illness" for the past 8 years, and possibly my whole life. My condition has deteriorated to the point that every single day of my life is a living hell. I cannot function. I cannot go to school, to work. I have no friends, because I am unable to feel attatched to people, even family members really. I have severe anhedonia. Everyt morning, I barely have the strength to get out of bed. The list goes on and on. Basically, pretty much every aspect of my life is completely FUBAR.

    I have tried so so hard, in therapy, in life. Nothing has worked. The profesisonals have come to the conclusion that my mental illness is largely or comepletly being caused by unknown biological/neurological factors, which would explain why no amount of therapy has made so much as a dent. The sad fact of this matter however, is that the biological causes of mental illness are not understood at all really, which is why all they can really do for people nowadays is administer dangerous psych meds which don't even address the cause, just numb the symptoms, AND, they don't even understand how these meds work too. It will probably be many years before mentally sick people can get true medical help that doesn't chemically castrate them and is based more on actual known science.

    But, as for me, I truly believe I'm screwed. I wish I had enough "will power" to overcome my sickness, but I really don't. Its sort of like trying to think your way out of cystic fibrosis or cancer; it can't really be done. There is something wrong with my brain, or my chemicals, or my cytokines (cytokine theory of depression), or whatever, but, its gonna be a LONG time before this stuff is scientifically understood, which means a LONG time before effective treatments or cures.

    I've had an extraordinarilly painful life, and its getting worse. I feel my illness is both chronic and progressive, meaning it never really goes away, and it is getting worse and worse over time.

    BTW, not that it really matters right now, because psychiatric "diagnoses" are not based on objective medical/laboratory criteria, but are based solely on a clinican's observations, but, my "diagnoses" are "depression and anxiety" and obsessive compulsive disorder, although I truly feel those labels fail miserably to describe the breadth of what I experience on a daily basis. When I told my symptoms to the psychaitrist, she said "that's weird", further reinforcing the grim reality that no one knows whats really wrong with the mentally ill.

    I can't take the pain anymore. Every single moment is so painful. I've already done everything from thinking positively to eating healthy (vegan, no junk food whatsoever), to trying to staty active. NOTHING has worked, and, I suppose, why should it. If my brain or whatever is mysteriously screwed up, how can I possibly pull myself out of this? Its like asking a quadriplegic to run a mile; it can't be done.

    I want the pain to stop, but I don't think I'll every be able to kill myself. I honestly, no joke, wish I could put myself in cryogenic stasis (fry from futurama) until medical science could actually help me, but I read that they cannot do it to humans yet. I feel like my life is already over, like its been over for a long time, maybe my whole life.
  2. warrabinda

    warrabinda Well-Known Member

    What has your pdoc done about this?
    You sound incredibly intelligent and articulate.
    What's a day like in your life?
    I think you're quite right about you can't think your way out of this. Have you ever read Girl, Interrupted? Theres a section at the back which explored the psychiatric chemical vs psychological theory of mental health. If I could without flouting copyright laws I'd type it up (can i?) if you're interested. that therapy can be helpful to a degree however it's missing the point there is often a chemical imbalance, dopamine or serotonin. no matter of analysis will change that.
    I think you can think alongside it though. you can coexist with cancer and other disabilities for example. that doesn't mean the pain isn't there, but you can have space for peace, if not fulfillment.
    may i enquire as to whether your anhedonia is a term you are using to describe your experience or something that has been told to you?
    When was the last time you experienced a positive emotional state?
    To be human, I really wish I could do something to spark some happiness for you without seeming patronising!
  3. janikowski

    janikowski Member

    I see you mentioned "chemical balance". As someone who has spent years in the mental health system, I honestly believe that that phrase is largely used as a way to market psychiatric medications to the masses. The truth, is that its not really based so much on science. There isn't a single available test to measure the levels of the "chemcials" in your brain, like seretonin, dopamine. All they know, for example, is that with people who exhibit behovioral signs of depression, their symptoms are sometimes relieved FOR A WHILE by certain medications. They don't know how or why.

    Whats a day like lin my life? On psychforums.com, I made an incredibly long thread detailing what I experience on a daily basis. I don't expect you to read it all or even read any of it, but if you want to take a gander: http://www.psychforums.com/depression/topic57364.html (I'm udaitaxim).

    The word anhedonia, as I understand it, basically means "an inability to experience pleasure/joy from life/activities". That fits me perfectly. No matter what I do or where I go, I usually feel pretty empty, miserable, and in pain (mental and physical, although physical is likely neurological in origin, form depression). I play the piano quite well, but even when I do that, I almost never enjoy it at all. Its incredibly frustrating, yet like every other part of my life, I can't seem to help it.

    I used to be content with trying to co exist with my sickness, but its too hard now. I;m not sure why. I don't know if its because my sickness has gotten worse, or because I've become far more aware of how sick I really am in the last year. It may be both.

    The last time I experienced a positive emotional state, was a few days ago. It lasted less than a day, but it was incredible not to feel so screwed up for a change. I was only able to achieve this state though by pushing myself incredibly hard to do things that a normal human being would do, things that I seemed to be hardwired not to do, like making friends and being more social. After doing all of these things, I honestly believed that I'd finally found the answer, and I could have a regular decent life, but, it didn't work out. The next day, I felt as bad as ever, and simply couldn't muster the strength to repeat everything I had done. I figure someone reading this might think "well there ya go. All you have to do is push yourself really hard and you can do it". Im sorry to say, I really don't think thats the case. The amount that I had to push myself just to have less than 14 hours of decency was incredibly ridiculous, and maybe a fluke, as I find that repeating things like that don't necesarilly have the same effects every time.
  4. warrabinda

    warrabinda Well-Known Member

    I understand your point about chemical imbalance and perhaps you are correct. I wonder why people do show improvements then when on anti-depressants? I'm curious, I am on the fence about it. I've heard arguments for both 'sides'.

    I read your post on psychforums, and I noticed a fair few people were trying to label you with something. How did that make you feel?

    Aside from your mental health issues, what do you do? I mean study/work... who are you outside your mental health?
  5. janikowski

    janikowski Member

    I didn't finish high school, dropped out due to "depression". I don't have a job, nor have I ever. Every now and then, when I still had some hope or something that I could live a decent life, I would try to look for a job, but even looking took the wind out of me.

    I get a sense that maybe your asking me what my identify is, or how to I identify myself. Is that correct? Well, I believe the biggest reason I think so much about my "sickness" is because I'm always in pain. Its kinda hard to think about other things when your always in pain, when it hurts you time and time again to talk to strangers, when you can barely get out of bed. Honestly, the symptoms come BEFORE the thoughts. Sure, I try to carry on like everything is okay, but my "condition" is so bad now that I really can't distract myself anymore.

    As for the people trying to label me on psych forums, it is of little importance to me now, because I'm most certain that wether I receive one psychiatric label or a dozen, it will not lead to any kind of productive treatment, because it seems that most if not all psychiatric labels are based solely on observation of behavior alone, and do not delve into the etiology (cause).

    As for why some people improve on psychiatric medication, well..... Even though the science isn't understood, I suppose that in some way, it relieves the symptoms, for a while. It probably does something to your body that somehow gives some relief. I just don't buy into the whole chemical imbalance thing as of now, because its not really based on tangible science IMO. I also know that these drugs have been associated with nasty side effects, which makes sense, because drugs are NEVER, in my opinion, a real solution, at least not when you have to take them indefinitely and the game plan is "we'll see what happens".
  6. warrabinda

    warrabinda Well-Known Member

    I am just clarifying that your pain is psychological rather than physical? What is this pain? How does it manifest? You say it's before thoughts - is it mood then?

    When you quit school did you enjoy any subject in particular? even if you hated all of it was there anything that was preferrable? I guess the horrid thing about depression is that it flattens everything - I'm in my 'dream' job and can't feel a thing. Losing interest - common symptom dadada...

    On a positive note - I absolutely hated school, I think the only thing I found interesting was the bus trips to and from. Barely passed due to mental health issues. If I could go back I wouldn't have bothered staying till final year. I don't know about where you are but there are plenty of pathways to higher education or training anyway. In fact in my current profession nothing I got taught at school was of relevance anyway.

    It's not what I think anyway that matters as you know! Just pointing out that it's not the end of the road.

    Are your family around? Are they supportive? What do they think is the root of your problem?
  7. janikowski

    janikowski Member

    Is my pain psychological or physical? Honestly, its hard to put into words. I believe that my pain stems from whatever is causing my "depression" or whatever. When I am feeling "down", there are the more intangible symptoms like anhedonia, lethargy, loss of interest; Then, there are the more tangible physical manifestations, which I've always had a hard time describing: sometimes my body feels "heavy".

    Honestly, I don't know if I enjoyed any subject in school. Towards the end, I hardly even showed up to class. I used to like english, but towards the end, everything just sorta melted together into an blur that I couldn't bring myself to care about. Also, the more depressed I am, the harder it is for me to use my intelligence; I believe I have high intelligence, but this disorder has become so profound that it handicaps me mentally.

    I'm currently trying to get my high school diploma. For a month or two I was working pretty solidly on it, but lately I've lost the pace, and am having a hard time getting going again. Usually, when I try to do schoolwork, I get these weird bodily pains that I usually don't summon the willpower to overcome.

    I've thought about working, and applied for a very small 10 hour - a - week part time job at my therapy center.

    My family situation isn't great, but it could be worse. My mother is mentally sick, more so than I in my opinion and in the opinions of others. My father died when I was 12 and afterwards my mother became increasingly emotionally abusive towards my sister and I. I haven't really spoken to my mom for about a year. My sister and I drifted apart, and although I sometimes try to call her and talk, I feel a profound emptiness between us that I really don't know what to make of. Even though technically we have spoken on occassion over the years, it feels like we really haven't spoken together in a long time.

    I have some extended family. My aunt tried to help me out, but she also seems to have signs of mental illness, signs similar to my mother; she may not be as sick as my mom, but still enough to notice. Anyways, she didn't seem to have any tolerance for me or my "idiosyncracies" or whatever. I guess she felt depressed or something when she was around me, so now we just speak on shallow terms, if at all. I have a grandmother who is nice, and who might help me out if I needed help, but, she is rather.....strange; not mean, just....strange, and I think this makes it hard for me to appreciate my interactions with her.

    As far as what my family thinks is wrong with me, well, I don't know, and neither do they. The professionals don't know either, as is the case with most moderate and serious mental illness IMO. My extended family always noted that I "was an unusual" child". They say I was very smart, but also hyperactive with other quirks, like various sensory sentivities like aversions to certain clothing materials, sounds, and other things, as well as marked "social anxiety". I've already told all this to the professionals, but, no answers.
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