Love is all you need

Not a lot of things have particularly motivated or inspired me in recent times. In fact those sort of motivational “Life is GREAT! Seize the day! type of bloggers usually want to make me throw up. However occasionally some things really are beyond belief and simply amaze me.

I watched Everest on Netflix the other day about the 1996 disaster when several mountaineers died during some bad weather. One man, Beck Weathers from Texas was so bad he was left for dead.  He was so ill that nobody expected him to live more than a few hours so they left and went down to try and save their own lives as they  thought he was as good as gone. They even phoned his wife to tell her he was dead.  However after 15 hours lying in the snow and close to death he got up and walked alone to the nearest camp. This was with severe frostbite. Nobody had ever woken from a hypothermic coma before. Even then it was not over as they still could not get him down to a hospital and tried to make him comfortable in one of the tents still expecting him to die.  Yet due to the persistence of his wife and others at home a helicopter was sent and completed the highest rescue ever known. He’s still alive today.

What’s particularly interesting is that he suffered from near suicidal depression for many years BEFORE the incident which was bad enough that he was close to a breakup with his wife and had started doing climbing as a way to cope with the moods swings. When he got back the frostbite had caused so much damage they had to cut off and reconstruct his nose,growing a new one, upside down on his forehead! Then they amputated one of his arms below the elbow and the fingers of his other hand.  However, what’s astounding is that he says he has been far happier and more at peace in the years after the incident than before and would go through it all again in a heartbeat to gain what he has now. Inner peace. He is still married and now happily so. Some things are close to miracles.

“What I got back was my marriage, my relationship with my kids and a forced re-evaluation of how I wanted to live the rest of my life. I got so much more out of it than I gave up.”

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More Simple Things

I was going to post something meaningful earlier but as so often happens after a promising start I just run out of steam in the middle of a paragraph and then think…..balls and give up. Anyway I have probably said it before a million times on the blog as everything is just repeated over and over again.  Just like my thoughts going around and around in circles in my head and finding no solution. Anxiety, depression, madness. What the hell is any of it?

Yet some simple things are the still  the most pleasing of all. Like last Friday while sitting on the bus and looking out of the window at the trees. The beauty of sunlight shining through Autumn leaves never fails to inspire. I suppose this is what they mean by mindfulness. Concentrating on things like this instead of the traffic.

Dying of the Light

It went cloudy and dull despite the forecast of sun. Then quite unexpectedly on the way home I saw this amazing sunset. I couldn’t quite capture it in all its beauty as it was gone within a few minutes and I was in the wrong spot. Things happen unexpectedly sometimes. I had spoken to someone on my last 4 walks but left yesterday without saying a word to anyone but as the sunset appeared so did a dog walker behind me who said some brief words about how wonderful it was. Small talk is a non event for most normal people but for me who only talks to myself all day and no one else for months even this is still unusual.

I am having problems sleeping again. Although I fall asleep OK I wake early and cannot fall back to sleep. Then I feel absolutely awful all day. However I have found that some allergy tablets have much the same effect as sleeping tablets and make me drowsy.  Quite surprisingly they have made me feel happier and less negative in the day. Perhaps medication can help better than CBT although I wonder if they have any long term affects. I know its unlikely to last but any alternative to the way I was feeling previously is welcomed.

Do shy people make normal people feel uncomfortable?

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“I’m not sure shy people realise sometimes how inadvertently uncomfortable they can make non-shy people,”
This is an interesting quote form the social anxiety forum especially as I was VERY aware of how uncomfortable I made others feel especially females which is why I never ever tried to chat one up!  Its true though! In fact its f**king obvious! Very shy people make normals very uncomfortable so they dislike and avoid us making it much harder to fit in and ever be accepted into society. They guilt trip us for not doing enough and then ignore that people hate us for acting shy when we do try!
My reply was;
 Really, I thought this was the problem with shy people as we are too worried what others think of us all the time and how we make others feel. I felt very disliked at work for being shy and making other people uncomfortable which is why I could never even try and chat a girl up and partly why I have not been to any meets especially anxiety meets plus I am now a similar age to you and so too old. There was a new SA meetup group in my city a few weeks ago but despite 50 members it closed down already due to lack of interest!

By contrast all the self help books and sites I have looked at in the last year seem to imply that this is maladaptive thinking, most people dont even notice our behaviour and its not really important and that we should just keep trying. This is obviously lies as people are very judgmental in my experience did notice everything especially as when I was in my twenties I used to blush and stammer and sweat uncontrollably which made people very uncomfortable and so has taken away all confidence in CBT or that therapists have any idea what they are talking about.

I am not expecting a sensible reply or debate though. All my past experience of SAUK tells me that people love to argue, call you names, belittle you and generally think they are superior. Good God that’s the reason why so many people are shy in the first place as they had parents and other people treat them this way in their upbringing.  Then they just copy the behaviour and treat others this way!

 

Effective Treatment for depression and anxiety?

Is there really any effective treatment for depression and social anxiety or is it all mostly a load of old crap and just a scam to keep therapists in work? If you exclude medication I can find no advice or help whatsoever that has had any effect or given me any motivation or hope at all. Perhaps its pretty much incurable past a certain age with some people and in certain circumstances. After all most help for depression assumes you  have good family or friends and most help for social anxiety assumes you are brimming with enthusiasm and positivity.

It assumes so much and offers so little. All books and self help sites only make me more depressed as their advice is absolutely shit and bares no relation with my reality and life experiences at all. As mentioned in my previous post people are highly judgemental and many ridicule us so its not all maladaptive thinking.  For social anxiety they advise you start with easy situations but I cant find any, at all. None.  Certainly not that I a prepared to do for prolonged periods of time and every day for months even if it makes me extremely humiliated and ashamed and gets me ridiculed. You see that will almost certainly make me worse and suicidal as I wont get better as I wont make witty banter under stressful situations and people will mock me and dislike me.

Thats because if you act very shy people think you are weird,strange mental and never want to see you again. Fact.  I still cant get over the advice of a man my age(OVER 40!) going up to strangers on the street, in elevators and supermarkets and awkwardly speaking some shit about the weather and claiming that people especially woman will love me approaching them and making awkward small talk awkwardly like a shy awkward person with no confidence.  Did I mention I am awkward? Only a complete twat would advice this as a simple thing to cure for social anxiety. Its absolutely destined to fail and then reaffirms all negative beliefs making me EVEN MORE AVOIDANT!

Its not easy to hear but I think for many people with depression and anxiety there is no effective help whatsoever and you will never fully recover. You will either have to learn to live with it and get any shit job you can manage like I did for 20 years at minimum wage eve though I was in the top 10% of my school or even worse.  The NHS as far as I can tell is in complete collapse with mental health ignored and has many therapists who are useless. The advice simply doesn’t work and completely ignores the persons personal circumstances. For instance many social anxiety self help sites just assume you must have one good friend to go and do things with or a valued family member who you can rely on. Many dont. Just like I cant get any sleep or even try to meditate or relax because of NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! all day, every day. Sometimes at 2 AM and sometimes again at 7 AM and all day. So I would have to move house and first get £150,000 from nowhere.

Lifestyle changes to treat depression

1.Exercise. Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication.

Not really. It helps to sometime go for a walk but most walks in my city have little of no effect whatsoever, often making me feel worse. I cant afford a gym and being a 45+ year old male loner would not feel comfortable on my own in the gym anyway.

2.Social support. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression.

Well there’s your problem, having social anxiety and being a loner I only have one friend who I see only several times a year and never speak to anyone else for 47 weeks of the year.

3. Nutrition. Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health.

I have eaten more fruit and veg. Effect;none whatsoever, I regularly feel hopeless, insomnia has returned and I am desperate and often feel like committing suicide. F**K spinach. All it does is make me go for a crap at 1AM.

4. Sleep. Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you don’t get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse. Sleep deprivation exacerbates irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue.

Yes, this is very true. I woke early again today and feel terrible again. Unfortunately what they never tell you is if you live in a bad environment or have noisy neighbours there is absolutely no choice whatsoever. Ear plugs are useless for thudding noises. If we could all live in a quiet country mansion we would.

5.Stress reduction. Make changes in your life to help manage and reduce stress. Too much stress exacerbates depression and puts you at risk for future depression.

How? Being avoidant reduces stress and yet you are told to not be avoidant.I feel stressed all day even without a job. Imagine if I was being bullied by the job centre and threatened with homelessness as well for not looking for work hard enough. Social anxiety is the cause of everything but I cant get rid of that without getting rid of depression. How do I get rid of social anxiety when I have no motivation, suicidal tendencies, anger issues, fear of intimacy and paranoia?

Help for social anxiety is even worse because as mentioned previously most CBT for social anxiety assumes you are already highly  motivated, enthusiastic, have no depression, have no paranoia and that you always burst into  witty banter in a great voice with no blushing, stammering or sweating and no awkwardness at all and people love anything you say, never ridicule you or avoid you. Oh and that you are under 30 as nobody still has social anxiety past 30 and of course they assume you are attractive too or looks dont matter. Funny so many shy and nerdy people look like Mr Bean then.

 

 

Maladaptive thinking, my arse.

A silly walk by John Cleese

I felt terrible and restless on  Saturday after waking early and so took  a sleeping tablet and felt pretty miserable and exhausted for the rest of the day. Its strange how chemical imbalances can effect your mood uncontrollably and makes me wonder how much self control or even choice people really have if they are feeling a bit doolally. The next day due to exhaustion I slept great, the best in weeks in fact and and felt wonderful all day. Even watching TV felt different as I was able to concentrate and I was not restless and irritable.(Restless and Irritable, another new name for this blog?) I went out and took some pictures in the autumn sunshine and actually felt good and even slightly happy when I got home. Did it carry on? of course not. This is me after all. Today i woke early at about 6 AM again after only a few hours sleep and felt absolutely awful all day again. Even the noisy neighbours were quiet and yet I still could not sleep, I can only post this now as I am drunk yet again and earlier I had to delete it all in a fit of melancholy and rage.

Anyway, I was looking at a comment on an old post about maladaptive thinking and that someone said that I must realise that what I had just written was mostly untrue. Really? If some social exposures by therapists are supposed to prove to us that when we go out dressed strangely or even act strangely because the vast majority of normal people dont notice us or care at all then why is it that there are so many people both kids and adults on TV and online  who have been viciously and repeatedly bullied by others due to looking or acting different? Surely this proves that lots of people not only notice but attack or belittle us on a regular basis. Of course not only did I get punched in the face for walking strangely due to my  bad hip but on several other occasions I saw people mocking me not just smirking which could have been for any reason but actually mimicking my walk like it was hilarious and open to ridicule. This made me so paranoid that I thought anyone who was laughing or smirking near me was mocking me for ages. So one of my safety behaviours now is to always take  a back pack that I can link my hand into so I dont swing my arms and look like a sasquatch.  Yes, and I am going to keep using it as it stops me thinking I am going to get punched so F**k you therapists when you tell people to stop using safely behaviours.

Lots and lots of people who have social anxiety and are loners do have physical problems and deformities. Obviously much worse than mine so they are not maladaptive in their thinking at all. I read about a bald woman having chemotherapy for cancer who was punched in the face simply for having no hair. When she said why the thug apologised! He thought it was OK to punch a women for having no hair through choice but suddenly had regrets if it was for cancer! Thugs and lowlife are everywhere. Human history proves it. If you are different you stand out and are the subject for abuse, that’s where the very concept of racism comes from in the first place, just being different.   It again makes me believe that many therapists are f**king clueless.  At work I was a quiet miserable loner who did not speak to anyone and a nervous wreck so I was unpopular and disliked. Fact!

If I had said when i was 18 that I would never even go on date in my whole life and die a virgin they would have said this was just maladaptive thinking or maybe catastrophizing and  yet  here I am over well past 40 now and its all come true!  Its the Reality!  Then they will blame me for not doing the HARD WORK required but of course normal people dont do any of this hard work as its just normal life.

 

 

Just say anything!

It still annoys me that when I was trying to make small talk and be more sociable at work I was still criticised as someone told me I only spoke to people about a particularly subject which I associated that person with. For instance I might speak about a TV show I knew someone liked or ask about someone’s kids. The thing is isn’t that what most people do, ask or talk about, something they know that person likes or does or some aspect of their life.  Anyway as this embarrassed me further I stopped talking to these people for a while so I become more avoidant, not less. You see, that is what happens with failure and humiliation. You dont learn from mistakes and get better, you get embarrassed and get worse.

Yet the advice on all self help sites and books is to talk to everyone all the time on any subject whatsoever and it all gets better. Utter crap. Saying and acting in an inappropriate manner only leads to failure and ridicule which often made me worse. At work I had no subjects to talk about other than work and the odd snippet of information I knew of other peoples lives as I never went out anywhere or did anything and had no friends. In many regards its even harder now as people are all strangers and I have no job or family life and still never do much plus I am often very depressed and anxious. I can sometimes talk to people on the country park about deer, wildlife and even photography but in other regards making small talk to strangers on the street or in every day life is as hard if not harder then it ever was and is not on my “easy things to cure social anxiety” hierarchy list so saying that social anxiety is very treatable is absolutely balls.