Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 10th Nov 18, 2:52 PM
    • 176Posts
    • 242Thanks
    SuperPikachu
    Why do our own brains attack us...?
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 18, 2:52 PM
    Why do our own brains attack us...? 10th Nov 18 at 2:52 PM
    Hello all,

    I know I write some silly stuff but this is a serious topic to me and it's regarding depression.

    I've struggled on and off with it since I was about 10 when my father died (I think that is when it started) and I ended up being an awkward loner of a teenager that didn't get involved in social stuff and spent all my free time playing computer games and losing myself in MMOs and pretend worlds.

    I then struggled to chat to girls when I finally bothered to start chasing them and continued to be shy and awkward and usually screw stuff up by being immature and over-sensitive.

    The last 10years or so I have grown up and have a 5 year long relationship with my current girlfriend who means the world to me and I hope to stay with forever.

    But depression still comes back to haunt me through out the year.

    I am a highly anxious individual nowadays, I don't know when it got so bad but if I am in social situations or try to speak to people I hate eye contact and it makes me feel very uncomfortable and I jump if you touch my shoulders.

    I am on anti depressants and I have read through a few self help books over the last few years. I tend to then feel optimistic afterwards for a while and have more energy and a better outlook on life but I always come back to the same slump eventually and its as if I never even read the book or felt that way.

    I was quite shocked when Comms69 wrote the other day that 84 men a week commit suicide in England.

    I don't quite know what sparked it but I just feel such a loser nowadays. Then your mind lays into you and you get ripping yourself apart and I decide; I don't have a house, I can't drive and never passed anyway. I am in huge debt. I don't do an important fulfilling job or earn a very good wage. I don't get to have any holidays due to said wage and debt anyway. I have no friends that I can just go hang out with. I feel like I am no longer attractive to females (other than my girlfriend it seems, although I suppose that shouldn't bother me but it does). I'm not fun or charismatic anymore and cannot remember when I last laughed.

    I have also been having some ridiculous thoughts the last few weeks. At first I thought about googling how many tablets it would take for an overdose. Then I was thinking I could just stab myself with a kitchen knife in the heart. And then (I get the train daily) I was thinking I could jump down on the track when the train is coming in and just put my neck on the rail and have it 'run me over' sort of thing.

    I've never in my life gone so far with thoughts like these before and the most worrying thing is that I wasn't even shocked to be thinking them, although they weren't welcome.

    We had a family member commit suicide last year too by hanging himself from a tree in a park. Another lad jumped infront of a train too this year (think he was 15).

    It is a strange thing though that our own brains/thoughts allow us to get into this situation though, almost alike to a pc virus attacking us.

    I don't know why but last night as I was lying in bed I decided to write down how I felt and was astonished how much I wrote. I could share it here I suppose if anybody wanted to see it.

    I just wondered how others cope to live with it? It is definitely becoming harder and harder as I get older. I do wonder sometimes if I will lose willpower one day and just do something silly.

    (is this allowed in this section? apologies if not)

    Sorry for the essay too, just felt like maybe it is time to chat about this crap instead of sit on it.
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
Page 1
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 10th Nov 18, 3:24 PM
    • 8,402 Posts
    • 29,526 Thanks
    Primrose
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:24 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:24 PM
    That is quite a confession, and a brave one too.
    But if you have shocked yourself by writing this down, strange as it may seem you are perhaps taking the first step on the road to recovery.

    You talk of having no social life, no friends, a low paying job which prevents you from having your own home, having huge debts. Itss not surprising that you feel overwhelmed with depression but just remember that nobody ever jumps from failure to success in one huge leap. Its a journey consisting of thousands of tiny baby steps,

    So I would encourage you to write. - not your possible thoughts of suicide, but get a (BIG) notebook and write down the hundreds of little steps you could take to start achievingnthe life you eventually want to have.

    Perhaps have several chapters where you write down your thoughts and suggestions for improving each section of your life. For example, your low paid job. You could perhaps study part time and acquire new skills. Write down what you enjoy doing. Could you change track and make a living out of it with extra training? Write down all your thoughts and suggestions to yourself, no matter how eccentric and see how you can positively address them

    Have a section on getting out of debt (and firstly visit the debt threads on this forum for help) but write down your own ideas. Could you perhaps stop smoking if you smoke? How much a day would that save you? Write it down and resolve to pay that amount off your debt every month.

    You talk about our brains attacking us. Well this is how you could start to use your brain in a different more positive way.

    Perhaps a section in your notebook on improving your social skills? Should you write down practising looking people in the eye whenever you pass them and learn to smile and say hello to strangers on the bus? in the street? It,s training yourself to make the baby steps which give yiu cinfidence to move further and be braver. Could you join a walking group? Volunteers perhps for something ? Write all your passing thoughts down. Work on them. Tick your little suggestions off when you succeed and look for the next challenge.

    Go to your library and order What colour is my parachute? Its a handbook for people wanting ideas to change jobs, acquire new skills and is full of helpful suggestions on different ways of looking at your life. Joining a library is free and books are on free loan so this won,t cost you.

    How supportive is your girlfriend? Ask her to accompany you on this journey if you trust her. The more support you receive, the more likely you are to remain motivated.

    Please don,t write yourself off. You almost certainly have far more potential to improve your life than you imagine. It,s just a matter of courage in grasping the first few challenges and training yourself to have a more positive mindset. Every little step will then takeyou in the right direction. Don,t allow small discouragements along the way to deflect you. Everybody has these but each new day is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start again.
    Last edited by Primrose; 10-11-2018 at 8:44 PM.
    • BucksLady
    • By BucksLady 10th Nov 18, 3:36 PM
    • 443 Posts
    • 1,353 Thanks
    BucksLady
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:36 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:36 PM
    Hey SP, your post is so honest and my heart goes out to you. Losing your father at 10 years of age must have been so traumatic - did you receive help in dealing with your loss? I ask because you said that your mental health issues seem to have started from this point in time.
    • pinknsparkly
    • By pinknsparkly 10th Nov 18, 3:38 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 294 Thanks
    pinknsparkly
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:38 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:38 PM
    Hi SuperPikachu,

    I sometimes wonder why we are our own worst enemies - it can be tough enough to fight the outside world without also fighting the voices and thoughts in your own head!

    From my (non-medical) point of view, it sounds as if perhaps the antidepressants you're currently on are no longer the most appropriate. Did you have these thoughts and feelings BEFORE going on antidepressants? Essentially, I'm asking whether your antidepressants used to help with this type of thoughts and are no longer as effective, or if you've not had this issue before. Either way, I'd strongly recommend talking to your GP asap and see if there is a more appropriate antidepressant you could try.

    Have you tried any other form of help, aside from the antidepressants and the books? Have you tried any of the talking therapies, such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy? Some people find that meditation helps (you could try the HeadSpace app) and for me personally, making sure I get outside and have some daylight and get some steps in really helps stave off the unwanted thoughts!

    Have you been able to identify any particular triggers for you? I have discovered, for example, that I suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder - the "winter blues") and so make a real effort to get outside in the sunshine (or grey overcast daylight, more accurately!) each day on my lunchbreak. Be aware, that if you've been getting worse in the last few weeks then it may be that you also have SAD. Google it online - there are a large number of SAD lights that you can purchase and I have friends who absolutely swear by them! I've also found that I am VERY sensitive to the mental effects of distrupted sleep and so try (admittedly, I'm not the best at actually following through!) to have a strict sleep hygiene with fixed bed and wake times.

    If you possibly can, do try and maintain a detachment from your thoughts - by this I mean that I stopped trying to fight the suicidal thoughts as that didn't work. Instead I acknowledged them but also acknowledged how distraught my family and friends would be if I followed through. For some reason, that helped me to get through it. I am currently unmedicated (after 4 years on ADs) and only get those thoughts very rarely.

    And your final line is very important - do "talk about this crap". You'll be amazed how incredible people can be, and how much they want to support you. If you feel guilty about this, then flip it on it's head and ask how you'd feel if it was your girlfriend in your situation? Would you not want to do everything in your power to help and support her?

    Big hugs, take care of yourself. You're doing the best you can, take life one step at a time and never ever be afraid to ask for help if you need it!
    Plan: buy a house in summer 2018 | spring 2019 | winter 2018

    Realistic savings goal: 10% house deposit. DONE
    Super ambitious savings goal: 15% house deposit. DONE
    Currently on 13.2% (2nd Apr '18) | 14.1% (2nd Jul '18) | 15.6% (31st Jul '18) | 16.9% (1st Sep '18) | 18.0% (6th Oct '18) | 18.4% (31st Oct '18) 23.9% (2nd Nov '18)
    • pinknsparkly
    • By pinknsparkly 10th Nov 18, 3:41 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 294 Thanks
    pinknsparkly
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:41 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:41 PM
    I missed your sentence about the debts and no holidays. Are you facing up to these / do you have a plan to sort them out? I think just having a plan for how you're going to deal with those will take a huge weight off your shoulders. There's a debt free wannabe forum that you can post in for advice on that front
    Plan: buy a house in summer 2018 | spring 2019 | winter 2018

    Realistic savings goal: 10% house deposit. DONE
    Super ambitious savings goal: 15% house deposit. DONE
    Currently on 13.2% (2nd Apr '18) | 14.1% (2nd Jul '18) | 15.6% (31st Jul '18) | 16.9% (1st Sep '18) | 18.0% (6th Oct '18) | 18.4% (31st Oct '18) 23.9% (2nd Nov '18)
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 10th Nov 18, 3:57 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 3,041 Thanks
    comeandgo
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:57 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 3:57 PM
    I would suggest going back to your doctor. I totally agree about brains ability to turn in on us. I used to lie in bed at night and could not sleep due to thinking of all the "bad" things I had done in my life. I used to be really amazed that things I had totally forgot about would surface.
    I got medication that worked for me and it was such a life saver.
    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 10th Nov 18, 4:10 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 242 Thanks
    SuperPikachu
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 4:10 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 4:10 PM
    @Primrose thankyou I love your advice, I am going to try your list ideas as I have a weird geeky thing for lists. And also I will check that book out so thank you for that.

    @Buckslady I have thought this myself over the years - apparently we had some sort of child grief counselling at the time although I have no memories of it. Maybe I do need to revisit that, I have been thinking about my dad a lot lately. I'm not sure why, his 20th death anniversary was back in Feb this year. He was an alcoholic who used to call me a gay mummys boy and hit me round the back of the head - I seem to be past the stage of hating him nowadays and I miss him somehow now, so I don't know if that is an age thing.

    @pinknsparkly Yes my friend at work who I tend to talk about my problems with has mentioned SAD before. I did not really look into it further or try anything out on that route, but I'm definitely happier in the brighter sunnier months so could well look into that too. I also had my dosage of antidepressants increased this year so maybe I need to ask for a stronger dosage still to help, I have been taking them though for atleast 11years though now.

    RE- my debt, I have done a few bits with it - I used Martins spreadsheet last year to see exactly what I was spending money on and got myself some cheaper broadband/energy/phone bills and got rid of the gym and other pointless things. Unfortunately it still works out that I pretty much earn as much as I spend with my debt repayments/rent/utilities/food and other stuff so i'm at a loss what else I can do moneywise other than earn more money somehow.

    I do try to get a bit more active and positive thinking when you realise just how bogged down you have become, it is all such a slow process each time and does take a lot of energy. I can definitely share more with my girlfriend but I'm one of those types who likes to pretend that everything is OK.I think she would be a bit upset that I find it easier to come and write it down online then just speak to her about it as I know she would want to help. She has noticed I am down at the moment, I came home yesterday to a note and a box of mince pies so I am very lucky to have her in my life.

    Would be nice to feel a sort of "normal" again.
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 10th Nov 18, 6:33 PM
    • 307 Posts
    • 1,041 Thanks
    Working Mum
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 6:33 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 6:33 PM
    I think you are very brave fir opening up to how you're feeling.

    I am dashing but want ti mention two things - firstly read the book the chimp paradox and listen to the podcast griefcast by carriad lloyd

    There is a book called the 52 list project if you like a good lift

    Well done on taking the first steps out of where you are and making the decision to take that first step
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Nov 18, 8:34 PM
    • 5,452 Posts
    • 5,542 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 8:34 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 8:34 PM
    Sorry if I brought up anything negative which affected you.
    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 10th Nov 18, 8:40 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 242 Thanks
    SuperPikachu
    Sorry if I brought up anything negative which affected you.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    No don't be silly.

    It got me intrigued and I had a look at the Samaritans website today.
    • In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
    • 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
    • In the UK men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely.

    Hope they wouldn't mind me knicking that - those are incredible numbers. That is not including the ones that there was not enough evidence to say whether or not it was suicide.
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Nov 18, 8:49 PM
    • 5,452 Posts
    • 5,542 Thanks
    Comms69
    Indeed. It’s shocking.

    It is the biggest killer of young men. And I don’t understand how this is allowed to continue happening. Even when you exclude extreme cases ( and you shouldn’t; but for arguments sake ) theses young people are being driven to the brink with no intervention.

    I’ve suffered before; contemplated once or twice ( and not to make this about me; but my ex told me once to do everyone a favour...) but I would never leave my kids without a dad. That’s not a judgment on anyone, I expect that these men ( and women ) are in such difficult circumstances.

    Fwiw I suggest talking to someone. But if that’s uncomfortable; try to rediscover a hobby. I recently restarted my games workshop hobby, it gets me out once a week and gives me some focus. Failing that I’ve made some good friends online, it does help to be disassociated from reality sometimes.
    • Alias_Omega
    • By Alias_Omega 10th Nov 18, 9:00 PM
    • 7,243 Posts
    • 3,939 Thanks
    Alias_Omega
    Hi,


    I think you may find this thread helpful, we are here and we do post...

    Link - https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5432313&page=533

    You are not alone in what you have posted. Maybe this is how things are...but one talks about it...
    Last edited by Alias_Omega; 10-11-2018 at 9:12 PM.

    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 12th Nov 18, 10:32 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 242 Thanks
    SuperPikachu
    I think you are very brave fir opening up to how you're feeling.

    I am dashing but want ti mention two things - firstly read the book the chimp paradox and listen to the podcast griefcast by carriad lloyd

    There is a book called the 52 list project if you like a good lift

    Well done on taking the first steps out of where you are and making the decision to take that first step
    Originally posted by Working Mum
    Chimp Paradox is interesting so far although I can't tell if it is encouraging me to become a schizophrenic or not
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
    • caprikid1
    • By caprikid1 12th Nov 18, 1:33 PM
    • 677 Posts
    • 650 Thanks
    caprikid1
    I really liked your title as it struck a real chord with me. I came to conclusion recently that it is just that a chemical reaction.


    I was cycling to work one day and feeling really down and all of a sudden it just lifted like a wave, the cloud clearing. It was at that point I realised that what every my circumstance (Quite different to yours) I was still vulnerable in the same way as anyone else. What takes someone to take their life who is in the same position as me and someone else to be permanently bouncing of the walls with Joy, quite simply it is just chemicals.


    Whilst I know it does not help much on the whole scheme of things it has helped me to stop and ponder when I feel down that nothing has in fact changed and it is just as your say my brain attacking me.
    • Sunshinesally
    • By Sunshinesally 12th Nov 18, 2:18 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Sunshinesally
    Hi SuperPikachu,

    The first thing that struck me is how incredibly open and expresive you are. That is a real skill right there.

    You can always talk about your feelings by calling Samaritans. I'm sorry to hear about your father, not just his death but that he was an alcoholic and abusive towards you, that must be difficult, it was NEVER acceptable for him to speak to you like that. Your father had a problem.

    You deserved to be treated better as a child and you 100% deserve happiness now. Some counselling could be useful to you, then you might begin to see how things you have learnt in you childhood have developed the way you think now. I was verbally abused as a child and abandoned as a child and my self esteem was awful, things like learning to drive or anything that required confidence were challenging, it took me years, and I drive an auto which makes things easier. Sometimes I just wanted to talk about my experience to someone anonymously but because I kept it secret it never felt acknowledged.

    You have a lot to be proud of. You have survived a difficult childhood, you are strong (to open up), you are sensitive (yes that's a positive) and you are thoughtful and caring (a valuable trait nowadays).

    I suffer from obsessional depressional/anxious/intrusive thoughts (i.e. Catastrophic thinking, overthinking etc). I would suggest one-to-one CBT referred via your GP. Be honest about the type of thoughts you are having with your therapist, they have heard them all. I have learnt that you acknowledge the thought or worry, like a training pulling into a station, but you don't get on the train. You let the train (thought) pull away. Or I just tell my brain, it's OCD, and move on.

    Try and find time to do something with your girlfriend or activities that help to lift your mood. It might help to break the pattern.

    Thank you for posting, lots of people have responded with books that I hadn't heard of and might be of interest to me. You post has also helped me to realise I'm not alone. The fact that people have cared enough to respond to you restores my faith in people.

    Finally, I would ask you to be kinder to yourself given everything you have experienced and ask you doctor for help, perhaps counselling or one to one CBT.
    Last edited by Sunshinesally; 12-11-2018 at 2:20 PM.
    • SSDD23
    • By SSDD23 12th Nov 18, 2:58 PM
    • 397 Posts
    • 878 Thanks
    SSDD23
    I completely get where you're coming from with your own mind laying into you, it's the worst.
    Money made in November: 17.67/100.00 // October NSDs: 1/15 SPC #029
    Total Debt: 4,852.52 Total Repaid: 1963.88 Total Savings: 0.00 (Physical Savings) 73.32 (XMAS19 Savings)
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 12th Nov 18, 3:45 PM
    • 13,266 Posts
    • 19,092 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    I'm going to caveat this by pointing out that I am not a doctor or any other kind of medical professional.

    I think that people have too much time on their hands these days. On one hand technology helps us and on the other hand some people seem to be glued to a screen all the time. There was an interesting documentary on BBC Scotland about a 23 year old woman living in Edinburgh who was suffering from anxiety and depression. She made the move to North Ronaldsay (a remote island in the Orkneys with a population of less than 50 people). Due to the nature of island life she has 9 different jobs and knows everyone on the island whereas in Edinburgh despite being surrounded by people she felt lonely.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2018/29/the-island-that-saved-my-life

    I realise this is a bit simplistic and might not be the answer for everyone but I do think there is something in keeping busy and interacting with other human beings.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 12th Nov 18, 4:00 PM
    • 8,402 Posts
    • 29,526 Thanks
    Primrose
    I do think, even if you are of a shy nature, being in the regular comoany of other human beings is a generally positive thing. Too much time spent alone, if of a shy, depressive or anxious nature only serves to increase the pressure to reflect on self rather than other people.
    • littlegreenparrot
    • By littlegreenparrot 12th Nov 18, 6:14 PM
    • 259 Posts
    • 1,681 Thanks
    littlegreenparrot
    You have had a lot of good advice so far, please do seek support with the GP and counselling. It may be they need to change your medication.

    My suggestions, try not to compare yourself with anyone else. Social media is not helpful, as it makes it look like everyone is having an amazing time, but they aren't really. Look at what progress you have made.

    Come up with goals for the day/week/month. They need to be small and realistic. When I was having a tough time years ago, I had a rule that I had to cook proper dinner every night. I knew I could achieve it, it didn't cost much, and only eating toast and biscuits wasn't helping.
    Anything new that you are interested in, it's motivating, you achieve something and keeps the mind busy.

    Try and get outside when you can, ideally green spaces. A walk in the park at the weekend, take a thermos and a snack. There's growing evidence it helps depression.

    Hold on to the fact that you are not alone, there is a way through.
    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 13th Nov 18, 9:03 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 242 Thanks
    SuperPikachu
    Try and get outside when you can, ideally green spaces. A walk in the park at the weekend, take a thermos and a snack. There's growing evidence it helps depression.
    Originally posted by littlegreenparrot
    Thanks, yes I will try this too.

    The intensity of this attack has passed for now, so that is good. We never know how long it will be until the next though (if it comes) so I want to put into action some of the above and I appreciate all of the feedback.

    I think seeing the GP, taking more walks/getting some more sun/vitamin D/SAD sort of thing, trying some of the list/goal ideas, and I'm reading the Chimp Paradox already, I'll try the job book after hopefully.

    It is nice to hear other peoples experiences though, so would be cool if people still add those unless this thread just goes down the page otherwise but that's OK. I did see there are other threads about people not coping/liking support, but I wanted this to be more about what to do to try and fix things, not just to vent/talk about my problems. I'm quite emotionally cold and more of a "get on with it" sort of person.
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

155Posts Today

1,626Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • I've just heard about the 8 month pregnant woman shot through the stomach by a crossbow. Its both evil and medie? https://t.co/hQTOxWiXhj

  • Major new guide... Brexit, what it means for you and your finances: M mortgages, savings, flights, consumer rights? https://t.co/SXCMG2qXwX

  • Have you haggled on the high street in the last year? If so who with and did you succeed? Please vote in this week? https://t.co/fdzmmFfA4u

  • Follow Martin