Some unhelpful comments I’ve received

Just some unhelpful comments I can remember over my lifetime that I have heard, or still hear.

“Chin up”

Oh how I hate this one. I have said about hearing this, in this post, How has stigma around mental health affected you?
Depending on my mood at the time this is said, I can either be sighing and rolling my eyes inside myself, or sarcastically thinking how I could give you chin up if my fist went upwards to your chin, then you would certainly be chin up.
Surprisingly, I have never said where to stick that one, or respond in any way! But I have noticed instead, I distance myself off, like I am not there.

“Snap out of it”

Only heard this once and a very long time ago, that the memory of this one is vague to the situation.

“There is always someone off worser than you”

Oh, don’t you think I don’t know that?

But all the same, does that mean my feelings don’t count? Are my feelings worth nothing?

For years I kept my mouth shut and, did not say how I felt and it did not get me anywhere. I was silent and broken at times and I felt I did not belong in the world, because my feelings were not validated.
When I could cope more, then counseling begun, because there you are not judged.

“Oh… I have felt sad sometimes.”

OMG and eyes rolling when I got this one. My eyes were literally rolling as this was said once when I first talked about my depression and taking meds. At first, I thought she understood, but when a comment came out afterwards she said that, it clearly wasn’t the case. I even asked a question to be sure. I can’t remember my exact words now, but I clearly put this person in their place and corrected the different between sad and depression. This was the same person who was ignorant about my deafness, only a few years before.

“But that’s in the past.”

Seeing my dog get beaten, doesn’t make it go away, like it never happened, or the fear of my dad that I remember.

Being raped doesn’t make how it affects me go away!

“Think positive.”

So you think I don’t? I am doing well trying to be positive and some days are really hard to be positive, that I am tired being positive. I think I can have a day off, or two from being positive.

What comments have you received, that you found not helpful?

 

Related post:

Do you want to read up on further unhelpful comments. I found this page below, which will take you to The Mighty.

https://themighty.com/2018/08/what-not-to-say-support-mental-illness/

12th June 2019, Week 2 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

It’s time for “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts, kindly created by Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess.

For today’s prompts and how to join in, do visit this post, which will take you to Beckie’s post. You will also be able to read the reason behind “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts.

For today’s prompt, I have decided to use both the question and the image below.

The question:

What do you find to be the most challenging for you when it comes to your mental illness? (You can give an example and  also a means on how to cope.)

Motivation is the most challenging thing for me when it comes to my mental health. This does not help when I get the fatigue that comes with it.
When all else fails, the only one thing that does not and that is walking. So I take myself off and walk somewhere, preferably in nature.

The image:

What are some pictures (without text) with deep meaning(s)? - Quora

I can relate to this image above. The many changing faces how I once used to feel. That putting on the fake smile, to hide what was going on inside.
Putting on the fake smile I used to feel was more for the benefit of others at one times sadly. This was because of hearing “Chin up” that many times and basically wanting to knock their heads off, or tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, or fuck it to their response.
Thankfully now, I don’t have to hide it, because I am around people i feel who listen and care. They accept me at my down times, as well as at my best times.

5th June 2019, Trial #1 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess, is starting on a new prompt series called, Working on Us.

For today’s prompts, there are two prompts which you can either just do one, or both. For details of these prompts and how to play along, please do see todays post at: https://beckiesmentalmess.blog/2019/06/05/june-5-2019-trial-1-working-on-us-mental-health-prompts/

I have decided to do just one of these prompts and so I have chosen prompt #1 – Question:

When you first found out that you had a mental illness/disorder. Explain how this new revelation regarding your health affected you?

My mental health is depression and anxiety.
Depression has been the main symptom, because anxiety came second. But anxiety over the years has proved to be an issue at times, as my depression.

I wouldn’t say it has been a new revelation for me, because I always knew it was there, or not quite right. I just never did anything about it, because as I did as a teenager, I just soildered on and as a teenager, I wouldn’t have been aware about how my own mental health was in general then, even though I seen the trials of my mum’s mental health.
I was a person who got my head down, hoping to get through each difficult day. My long standing readers will know about my childhood difficulties. But for those that are new, then click on childhood in the tags section of my blog, because explaining it here would make it a very long post.

Fast forward after divorce, my mental health went down more and I felt I wasn’t coping. I referred myself to counseling, for the rape and about that relationship in general, which mum supported me on, by coming down on the bus with me and waiting in the waiting area, while I had my counseling. The counseling helped for that time then.

Another moment in time later, which then I was in a relationship. (The relationship that never went anywhere and what turned out to be a shocking later, that I discovered by accident some years later after having nothing to do with him.) During some point in those first two years I think it was now, one night, in my own bed, which I was on my own, I had a flashback of the time I was raped in my first relationship. It felt so real. When I woken up, I found myself in the same position, so god knows if I had been crying out in my dreams. It was real enough in my dreams, but to wake up and find myself like that, made it more sickening. I was hugely triggered and traumatised all over again.
Further counseling at a rape crisis centre, with the support then of the boyfriend I was with. This counseling went into areas of conversation that was not covered in my counseling elsewhere I had the first time round on this area of my life. I can’t remember if I was on medication then. I don’t think I was. But the counseling really helped, for that time.

Then in another area of my life, (before the above flashback) while still in this relationship, had issues with neighbours, while in a council property. The stress of it all brought me to a new time low. I lost a lot of weight with it. At this point, I was on antidepressants and I was scared to take them I remember. But the doctor reassured me of my concerns. My then boyfriend, supported me in that appointment, in case there were things that needed repeating later, with things being a blur and numb. I wasn’t long in getting a private property and this is how I ended up in private properties ever since. I can’t remember how long I was on antidepressants, as some of that time is now a blur.

The last time I was on antidepressants, were at a time I blogged about here. That was when my old workplace broke me that much, that I could take no more. I was depressed and I was having lots of panic attacks. God knows how I still managed to keep going to work. I was that messed up, I really shouldn’t have been there. But I kept doing my shifts and doing what I automatically seem to do as a child.
I also had counseling, which towards the end delved in my childhood. I was having triggers when going into this area and because NHS counseling only lasts so long and because of the nature from childhood, it had to be treaded carefully. This counsellor said because if what I seen as a child and the other things in regards with what dad was like, that I likely to have PTSD. To hear this being said to me shocked me, even though it made sense.

I was on antidepressants longer than the doctor would have liked. This was because I did not want to start weaning off then when I was having driving lessons. Then when I did not do anymore, because I couldn’t deal with it any further, plus I had a double-death in the family; my cousin and her husband.
Then, as you know, followed by discovering the true horrors of the ex-boyfriend and finding out what he truly was by accident in a Google search not related to him, there was no way I could think of reducing my antidepressants. So antidepressants were reduced some months later, even though it was still a difficult time.

Present day, I can still feel lows at times. But I am feeling particularly low since my first day in new job. But I remain medication free, since I last came off them, as mentioned above.

I take each day as it comes. With the now stresses I have had since living here, that you know about and being more of a carer for my mum than I ever been, lists are becoming more my friend, because since February, I am finding myself more forgetful then ever before. I have used a diary for years, but a list is in addition to my diary.
If I have a lot to think about in a day, then a list is created and placed on my coffee table. I will also take the list with me, if required.

I hope this post gives an idea, as it has been very hard to write this one. Not because of the topic, as this is now easy with the counseling and support I have had over the years. It’s just a bit grey in areas, as I forget things and I found just writing this post, in how best to get my words down. So feeling brain tired, is probably the best way to put it.

Thank you for reading, if you got to the end of this post.

A worrying time

(This post comes with trigger warning, as it’s talking about overdose.)

Yesterday was a worrying and stressful time. My mum is hearing voices. (Possibly.) I say possibly because I keep an open mind in case something is going on outside, down the road as it was supposedly. But I do wonder if she is hearing them and this is her form of tinnitus, because as usual, it happens when quiet.

Me and mum did have a tiff when I said that she had to keep an open mind it could be tinnitus.
I have tinnitus all the time every day of a high pitch whistle in my right ear, but randomly in the past, I have heard car alarms and smoke alarms. Now when I say I heard these, I really thought I did and it did freak me out on these ocassions for each, because as for the car alarm that happened as I was going to bed and so my hearing aids were not in. I don’t hear car alarms in the home with hearing aids in, so not going to hear them when out. But it took me twenty minutes to register this as I was looking for this car going off.
When it came to the fire alarm one, I was standing under my fire alarm when I was convinced it was going off. This happened in the day and so I was wearing my hearing aids. When I walked away from fire alarm it seamt quieter, but when I walked back, it was loud and so I was really convinced it was going off, regardless that visually it wasn’t and I don’t hear the fire alarm anyway because of my deafness, but this never crossed my mind at this point, because I was so convinced. I also use an alerter to help me hear the fire alarm. This flashes and has a loud alarm that I do hear and this wasn’t going off either. I could have easily argued this one, if I was with someone that day. It was doing my head in and I left the house, taking the fire alarm in my head, proving what I kept telling myself in the house, that it’s not going off.

As I said to mum about my weird, caught me out moments of tinnitus, they really did freak me out and they caught me out. I really believed it was happening, because it felt real. I said to mum that she can’t hear me with her hearing aids in when she is in the kitchen, while I am sat in the living room, so she is not going to know what is being said down the road when she is not wearing her hearing aids. I said to her you may hear noise and know if it’s a man or a woman down the road. But not the details.
Mum argued that it is very quiet. I did hear it. And I responded that yes, I know it is very quiet and I also know how tinnitus can really get to some people because you are aware of it more when it is quiet, because you have no distractions like the day. But again, it doesn’t mean you can hear the details of what someone says down the road when you have no hearing aids in, because twice, so far at this point, you have not heard me in your home when I have spoken to you and when I ask you exactly what has been said you can’t give me an answer, even though you are convinced someone is talking about you.

This isn’t the first time since my mum has been home that readers will know that my mum has heard voices. The difference this time is that this one is now a nasty one and so I can see how it’s affecting my mum.

Whether real, or tinnitus, it is real. It is real to my mum and I have said this. But whether real, or tinnitus, as I have said to mum, you have to find a way to deal with this, to help it stop, or something, to make it better for her.
Regardless of this tiff we had, we are fine.

Mum wasn’t going to tell them that visit her each afternoon, because she was scared she be sectioned. But as I said to her, if you don’t, I will. I said to my mum, I am worried, because I can see how it’s bothering you today and I said for them to know, doesn’t mean you will be sectioned, because that won’t happen. It’s about helping you to settle back in and as the doctor said at the mental health unit before she was discharged, it’s about preventing you from coming back.
I continued to remind her, that as long as you take your meds accordingly and don’t harm yourself, you will not go back.

So yesterday, I ended up being really stressed and worried for my mum. Mum has not been in her home for quite a month now and as I said before she was discharged to the doctor and my mum, my worry is when we get the two week, or four week mark whether it starts again (voices) and how my mum will cope. I can support my mum, but mum had to do the work too. My mum has to find the ways to cope. I have suggested in the past what to do, but my mum doesn’t follow it through.

I am scared I will find mum on her bedroom floor like before. But this time, not surviving.
Mum may have her meds weekly, but it doesn’t mean she is not stashing them away, not taking them again, saving them up.
It doesn’t stop mum going to a different shop to buy a pack of paracetamol and taking them all, regardless that walking wise it would be hard work.
I hope my mum is taking those meds as promised and not binning them. Do I ask her this, or does it cause damage to ask her this? But at the end of the day, she had stopped taking them and saving them before taking them, when I found her overdosed. Mum has promised she won’t do this again, because of the damage and upset she seen caused by her actions. But my mum has a history of overdosing. So yes, after seeing how she was yesterday, I can’t help but worry.

Mum did tell the person who came to see her yesterday and that person who came to see her yesterday is there today. There’s a nurse who is coming today too. This was mentioned before he knew about these negative type voices she heard and so they will both talk to her about the voices today. As tempting as I want to turn up, I won’t, so they can both have time with her themselves and me to do my own thing.

I see my mum next on Tuesday at the hospital. My mum has an audiology appointment. But only because I pushed her to make this appointment now, because she had not got round to doing it as promised. Whether mum will get a hearing test that day, I don’t know. I doubt it, as usually you wait longer than that. So I hope that one isn’t done that day, she can have an appointment made, because mum has had no hearing test since she has had those hearing aids and I think one is due, in case her hearing aids need to be adjusted. She talks if difficulties with her hearing aids, but yet again, doesn’t do anything about it and it takes me or a medical person to push her, to do something about it.

How has stigma around mental health affected you?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is how stigma affected my mum. This affected me because of the awareness mainly from my childhood, but still parts as an adult.
My mum has paranoid schizophrenia and having the title schizophrenia is enough, because of the stigma I remember around it. The stigma may not be as bad now as in my childhood, but I believe it’s still there, like any mental illness.
I remember as a teenager that schizophrenia would get bad press in the newspapers. It gave those with this condition a bad name, making it look like they were all dangerous, or violent if you had this condition, when it isn’t true. This condition would always be mentioned in the bold part of the newspaper when someone with this condition killed someone. I remember seeing this making the front page at times. This was newspapers in that time trying to give a sensational story line that sold their papers, not realising just what damage you were causing. I remember feeling really angry how the newspapers did this.
Thankfully now, newspapers have to watch how they word things, but I feel the damage from those days is still there. Do you?

People with schizophrenia are not violent people, but they can be a danger to themselves. But there are some people who will be quiet by withdrawing into themselves, as in my mum’s case.

I don’t like the word schizophrenia. But when I came to not liking this word, I don’t know. I don’t know if I hated this word when understanding my mum’s condition at a young age, or if it was the bad press if the newspapers.

But as I say, I think there is still stigma around mental health and because of this, it’s not something I will bring mum’s mental health particular condition into a face-to-face conversation with someone and mum is wary to do the same.

As you know I suffer with depression and anxiety. Depression has been good but anxiety shown itself since last year, as I blogged about. The past month or two, anxiety has not been too bad.
I have experienced stigma with my own mental health, things like people saying “chin up,” is not exactly helpful. Also, when you start talking about how you feel to some people, you realise from their responses they don’t get it after all as you first thought and that I am expected to snap out of it. Snapping out of it is not easy as you think.

It’s bad enough when people have to deal with their own mental health day in and day out, but when you receive unhelpful comments, cruel remarks, or just plain ignorance, that can create as much damage as the illness itself.

We have come a long way since when I was a child, but there is still more to be done. The royals are doing good with their Heads Together campaign I think.

How has stigma around mental health affected you?

I hope my mum thinks of her words…

I am looking forward to going home, but looking forward more to when I live with my daughter. – As said by my mum.

The above words, as said by mum when the people involved in her care asked her how she was feeling about going home, or similar question of that nature.

I hope my mum holds onto this, when ever she may have hard times, as it is some months to go before I can bid on a ground floor council flat, with me being tied into a private contract until October.

Until that day happens, where we live together, I hope my mum does reach out more at her difficult times she may have. Also, to have a night, or a weekend break at mine every so often, just to break things up a little for her.

A distraction for mum

When I went to see mum yesterday and mum was filling me what happened day before, I as getting ready to go up to the mental health unit to see what they were playing at. But before I did, I asked a nurse, to make sure my mum wasn’t confused by it all.
It turned out she had been told that originally, but since, not long back yesterday when I was chatting a different discussion was given. So I had gone from highly stressed person getting ready to fight, because mum had no care plan in place and going to be sent home, which was total opposite to what a manager on the mental health unit told me, to stress reducing because there was now going to be some care plan in place on Sunday. But Sunday still being unknown, until it happens.

When mum is discharged from ward where she was looked after for her chest infection from flu she had, they will send her back to the mental health ward she originally came from. But this does not mean there is a bed there, or at any other mental health unit. She could be sent home still. But a care plan would be in place for that, as this was mentioned in discussion when someone came to see her yesterday, about maybe two visits a week at her home to see that she is ok.
If it turns out there is no bed there, but a bed is available at one of the other mental health units, mum has said she is not going, because of knowing how I would only be able to get once a week at one and not at all at the other.
But if there is a bed where she was before, she would stay there.
So this is the unknown and me and mum discussed options if she ends up going home. Especially if she is discharged before I get there, on Sunday and that is that day, mum is to stop at mine. We would then go back to hers the following morning, where I would have day with her, before going to work.

I observed how this was playing on my mum’s mind after I found I was repeating myself a fourth time and my throat feeling tired and sore, so I distracted mum onto something else. Mum admitted it was going round in her head as I suggested something else to chat about.
Mum has a notebook for her poems she writes out in rough, before copying neat into another book. I already had written my address earlier at the back of the book, just in case she was making her way back to mine in a taxi on Sunday, before I got there.
I got the notebook out again and wrote her a plan of action that she would be doing later when home, in preparation for moving out prior.
This plan of action was basically just a to do list, of what we talked about before. But I put it in writing, so she could focus on that, but also so that if she forgot, she could see it there, then let that play on her mind.
This list has three things at this point. Two which mum is doing and the third is what I am doing in May, but only what mum needs to plan for and just know about, which is me painting her bedroom walls. Her bedroom walls will need re-painting from observation and not something that can be left, because the council would likely say something. So by getting the walls in that room painted, mum won’t face any issues.
Just by writing that action plan in the back of her book, helped her to re-focus and think about something else, than let her mind wander on someone we can’t control.

I took mum’s mobile phone in yesterday, because of not knowing where mum would be originally, so she could contact me and keep me updated. Making sure I knew what was happening. It helps for mum to keep in touch with other family members too.