O Come All Ye Faithful

I saw this quote earlier today and realised I have been thinking pretty much the same for quite some time now. Years in fact, especially when my elderly mother was dying slowly. Its not always going back to bed I crave as I wake early almost every day and can’t sleep again but I often wait all day for night to come when I can drink as I have been drinking almost every evening for some time now.  I often wake up in the night after more bad dreams and wish I would die. And no I dont want to come back again to confront my problems like some hideous nightmare as some people believe. This is how depression makes you feel and yet the self help sites are full of absolutely unbelievably shit motivational tips and quotes.  Get up early and do stuff! Yes more housework is going to make a lot of difference! See your friends! See my other 500 posts on social anxiety an lack of any friends.  My depression is not caused by chemical imbalance so cant be cured by pills. There never was a normal life to go back to.

I again look at the only meetup group in my city which I could attend which is for photography and imagine how to make small talk,having to explain being unemployed for YEARS and YEARS, not being in a relationship and never having had one even though I am over 40, having absolutely no family or friends and apart from photography having nothing to speak about at all. This is even without my awkwardness, social anxiety and depression for them to deal with so the idea of just meeting a bunch of strangers to make you feel better is complete bollocks and shows how bad the advice is.  If the advice is to avoid negative people then they would avoid me so what do you do if you are the negative one? Drink?  Such meets demand enthusiasm, friendliness and social skills to even start with and I have none. Why is there never any advice whatsoever to even get to the level of meeting people? Is it because there is none? When you are so far down mentally and physically and have no support then death is the only result, the inevitable conclusion? I have certainly seen no help for my problems by looking at CBT and therapy. Some even think exercise cures you of depression!

I think Christmas is making things worse again. Today has been awful with wave after wave of depression and misery and feelings of wanting to die. Taking a shower, going for a walk and dong some gardening or housework(the usual shit advice for depression) are about as effective as putting a small bandage on an freshly amputated leg. Little helps if you are this lonely, depressed and your life is a complete mess and has been for decades. Your personality has changed beyond recognition and as nobody wants you then you stay alone and never get better. I did not have a wife, partner, kids or family to begin with so can’t get help from them.I see the end of another year when nothing has changed in the slightest and I still see absolutely no way out or escape whatsoever other than death.  The prospect of applying for a job I could get, do and which I would not hate is as achievable as being told to chat up and marry a supermodel after being a lifelong dateless virgin.  I came close to self harming again earlier but must get past Christmas first.  All this negative shit and I have not even drunk anything yet. Better start now.

 

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Not quite normal

 

I was looking at an old post the other day as it came up on on my stats page which means someone else has looked at it. It was in relevance to the re-internment of King Richard III’s bones which were discovered under a car park in my city two years ago. I wrote this;

“A nice volunteer lady was chatting to people on the day of the re interment and asked me about my camera. I tried to answer her but that oh so familiar awkwardness awakened and I almost sighed and walked off. It’s the reaction on others faces that hurts so much when they realise that you are not quite normal but they still try and be polite although at the same time try to move away. Having no control of my voice, facial expressions and body language is so frustrating. Once my anxiety comes alive it’s unstoppable and the paranoia starts to eat away at my confidence in a relentless attack of self doubt. It might as well be one of those dreams where you imagine everyone pointing and laughing at you and you just want to run away.”

This is what no self help book seems to have any comprehension of. They assume under all conditions that if you have social anxiety all you do it keep finding people to talk to and you get better. Its once again convinced me that almost all therapists and doctors have no comprehension how to cure more severe social anxiety at all, just modest shyness which they assume vanishes as soon as you do anything and that all strangers are lovely.  I also remember when the Queen came to visit and some woman actually spoke to me first and her reaction to what I said was as if I had offended her, just by acting shy or nervous. This is the reaction anxiety creates in normal people. It confuses and repels them and of course makes us more paranoid and avoidant. So just doing anything does not help.

On the rare occasions I tried to speak to someone I actually liked or wanted to get to know when at work I also got this reaction, like I was not good enough or that I was strange and they then avoided me.  I only got better when I moved to an office job by working with friendlier chatty people and copying them and by of course changing my attitude to try to not care about what others think of me so much. Mind you I still wanted to kill some of them, I still do now. I find it hard to forget and impossible to forgive. Then of course I lost my job. Now I am alone all day ad every day after my redundancy and everything has gotten much worse again but then most people’s confidence would dip after years of near total isolation and having never had a relationship. Then they(self help sites. books, people on forums) wonder why they cant bully optimism into you and say its all your own fault.

Do shy people make normal people feel uncomfortable?

 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BuNPTxOIIAIvzf_.jpg
“I’m not sure shy people realise sometimes how inadvertently uncomfortable they can make non-shy people,”
This is an interesting quote from 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.

 

 

There aint no easy way out

In the dark of the sun
Will you save me a place
Give me hope, Give me comfort
Get me to a better place

In The Dark Of The Sun, Tom Petty

 

From: About Social Anxiety

“Does it ever strike you as odd that social anxiety disorder (or SAD, as I will refer to it sometimes on this blog) is among the top three most common mental health conditions (yes, up there with depression and alcoholism), there are science-backed treatments for it that we know work, and yet around a third of people with social anxiety experience symptoms for 10 years or more before seeking help. 10 years? Surely you can do better than that.” 

Arlin Cuncic- Author of the self-help books Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder and 7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety

 

First things first Arlin, 10 YEARS! If only!  I have had anxiety for over 30 years now without ever seeing a GP.  My mum did though and the help was poor, my sister did and the help was poor and my best friend did and the help was poor, often awful. British NHS, I know.Its failing to pieces. If only we could all afford to go private. Perhaps therapists should not charge £40-120 an hour then when normal working class people here are on less than £10 an hour.  Although I  actually read somewhere else that 9 out of 10 people never seek help for social anxiety and most that do only go because of their depression getting worse. In fact that’s the reason I was thinking of going BUT…..

……………….. whenever I actually look at help for Social anxiety  online all therapy basically says is do lots of social exposure stuff on your own and demands you just keep doing it until you get better. Humiliating stuff, embarrassing stuff. Stuff you have avoided your whole life and now you have added depression, paranoia and probably other issues like anger too.  Its hardly surprising life long avoidants are not lining up to be non avoidant and face all their worst fears just because a therapist tells them to.  Doing lots of humiliating stuff on my own isn’t exactly my idea of help. if just me doing everything on my own as I always have and that never before worked did it? Even the so called easiest tasks like smiling at strangers on the street or making small talk with cashiers makes me cringe with the near certainty of being humiliated yet again.

Being told that doing this is the only way to get better and that you are basically a coward for not trying only makes me think actually there is no real help at all.  Therefore its not effective therapy is you cant even convince someone to try it without having to guilt trip or shame them. It looks like it only works for people who are already highly motivated enough to start with  and willing to do anything.  I mean who the F**k would would walk backwards slowly or lay down on the street unless they were brain washed, mentally insane or hypnotised?

Into the Great Wide Open

Thinking about your problems can make you even more stressed so I think its good to completely zone out and do other things for a while rather than obsess about mental health. or is doing other things merely avoidance? For instance every time I look at self help for anxiety and depression it makes me much more depressed and more anxious!  Yes sometimes avoidance is good, isn’t that what most relaxation techniques really are? So walking in nature is one escape and so is photography, even indoors. On Friday I spent some time just trying to get pictures of the numerous apples which have fallen off the tree I planted over 20 years ago in the back garden.

Macro photography is harder than it looks. You need a good clear background, preferably dark. You then need to have the right lens so you can get close enough and since it only focuses on one spot of the subject you need to take several photos and merge them together. I dont have a macro lens so this is the best I could get and you can see that its already beginning to lose focus and detail as I get closer. Pro photographers often take hundreds of shots in every possible setting and use only the best or merge them together with software.

I also went back over the thousands of pictures I have taken over the last 12 years or so. Sometimes they make me feel happy and bring back good memories and other times I feel sad as they remind me of the turmoil of the time or that I may not go back to many of these places again. This stag from two years ago was completely ruined before as there were other deer in the background but using software I have managed to remove most traces of them if you dont look too close.

In other news I previous mentioned my dizzy spells which had completely gone for the last few weeks. This morning I actually felt dizzy again and passed out when I got up to go to the toilet and hurt my arm. I still wonder if its something to do with my allergy tablets which I have to take almost daily. A normal person would probably go to the doctors but I am I normal? The ForK I am.