Suicide Prevention

“Calm, the charity that works to prevent male suicide, has installed 84 sculptures of men with a hood pulled over their faces on top of the ITV Tower to raise awareness of the number of men who take their lives every week.”

I went out for a walk yesterday and the day before. I hated both walks and felt worse. I feel waves of depression which is almost like a physical pain for hours at a time.Today is sunny  and the choice between yet another boring walk to the same places as before or doing housework is so depressing it makes me wish I was not here again. Yes, i think about suicide almost every day. Worse is when i wake up in the middle of the night after yet another stress related dream
On ITV this morning they has three daughters who lost a father to suicide. They were devastated. Yet of course I have no family to leave behind so no motivation. I do have one good friend who I would not like to upset but as I have said before I will inevitably become homeless anyway so will still leave her at some point. And being homeless means suicide immediately becomes a quite logical idea. And yet some people will demand there is loads of help for the homeless just as they lie about ………I mean claim that there is loads of help for mental health In truth the homeless in the UK is going up every year and there are more people lying on the pavement every time I go into town. Some help is not loads of help or anywhere near adequate. There are no depression or anxiety groups in my entire county on meetup.
Men should talk more. Yes, it may helps some but not everyone as some have no one and there depression is due to valid reasons rather than a chemical imbalance. I should see my GP and yet many people claim to have been treated like shit or a nuisance when they did eventually go. Will speaking to the Samaritans get me a job after all these years of unemployment? Of course not. Are my problems temporary? No, I’ve  had anxiety since I was a child and had a family who have never been close or helped whatsoever. Yet despite social anxiety which has been so bad I am a virgin at over 45 and depression that makes me punch the walls till my hand bleeds people still advise going to meet ups like I am bound to make the best of friends. Then they will probably get angry that I act anxious or depressed and not friendly enough!  Have you seen how angry ad irritable I get over even little things? Its hypocrisy and lies all the way when taking about mental health help.
I watched a documentary last night about Hannibal(the man with the elephants) where when the Romans destroyed his home city of Carthage and were closing in on him he committed suicide to prevent any further shame and pain. To me its much the same reasons. Of course I dont want to die but the reality of getting a suitable job with my health problems and a life with any meaning is so far away its totally impossible. People who say its never too late are simply liars.When people claim there is a way out they still demand you are full of optimism and positivity and get angry when you are not like its a choice. I dont really want to go on like this much longer. Every day is starting to become too painful. I have hung around feeling much the same for over 10 years since I was made redundant although getting steadily worse and hoping for a miracle and all I see is that I was right from the beginning and there really is no way out.
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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 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!

 

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?

Social Anxiety AND Depression is MUCH WORSE!

I saw a sparrowhawk out of my bedroom window this morning. It made me feel better for a while. I will try and force myself out to some kind of festival in town later. To be honest being alone in the midst of many strangers often makes me feel worse but its better than staying at home.

I know I have spoken about this before but it still makes me FURIOUS! I still cant quite comprehend the advice and treatment plan which accompanies anxiety WITH depression despite them being so common together. This is quite often even from people who suffered from anxiety themselves. Despite some ignorance in the general population I think lots of people now can at least grasp some concept of depression and the hopelessness that entails, of becoming isolated and not wanting to get out of bed, of wanting it all to end in any way possible. People are encouraged to try to take exercise, do things they used to enjoy and try to integrate back into life again.

Yet when you accompany depression with social anxiety its a little different. As the anxiety is often the root cause of depression they think this has to be cured first.  SO they tell you to go out, to talk to strangers to socialise to improve your anxiety. “DO ANYTHING!” All CBT for social anxiety revolves around exposure which is to simply force yourself into a variety of ever more difficult social situations and to do this they demand you smile, make witty banter, approach and talk to everyone. WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY  F**KING IMPOSSIBLE IF YOU HAVE DEPRESSION!  If you try you come across as a miserable bastard and fail which makes you feel even worse! My depression is also accompanied by intense irritability, rage and paranoia. When things go bad I become very upset and either want to get drunk and self harm or attack. So I can’t just learn by my mistakes and carry on regardless. A therapist just telling me to just think differently once a week after all these years will not work.

Because of the depression even leaving the house has become hard. As you may well already have a suicide plan in the back of your mind as you are already at the hopeless stage then there is absolutely no motivation.  There are other problems like trying to find work after long term unemployment when you know full well if you were 100% normal tomorrow it would still be an enormous struggle to get anyone to employ you after many years of doing nothing in a world that treats such people as simply lazy or wasters. I have no children or partner to motivate me to stay on and I am too old to have a family life now anyway so I have no rosy future but more like a desperate struggle for survival into old age.

To make things more complicated therapy for depression alone may not work as it cant re-engage me with a more productive life as I never went anywhere or did anything before I had depression due to my social anxiety.  I never had friends or family or socialised for years before depression hit. Many people cant grasp all these factors and then just get angry at you, say you are just making excuses and that some people just cant be helped. SO THEY GUILT TRIP YOU THINKING IT WILL MAKE YOU TAKE ACTION WHEN ALL IN FACT ITS DOING IS MAKING YOU MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT SUICIDE! Maybe I cant change now and there is no way out now so demanding that there is lots of help available and that your condition is highly treatable is a complete lie. Giving me false hope has angered me even more. Even simple exposure tasks are close to impossible as I cant think of appropriate words or sentences or smile or make jokes or ask questions or act like a normal human being. In fact I act awkward and so make other people feel awkward and want to leave. What a surprise! Then people dislike you and make you feel worse! Its never ending!

They also say you will think differently when you start therapy and yet the anxiety forums are full of people saying that CBT was absolutely useless and their therapist was not a nice or sympathetic person at all but abusive or a bully.

Weird and creepy- Join the club

I think shy men are often seen as weird and creepy. In fact even on the UK social anxiety forum a female once said she was put off going to a meet in case she was approached by weird and creepy men. It’s a shyness forum FFS! Half the men on there are afraid of coming across as weird and creepy! You see in the real world again, a very shy man will probably die a virgin  unless he makes the first move so he has to approach women even  if he comes across as creepy. Most women never ask men out or even chat men up. From my experience of 20 years of work they don’t usually even speak first even when working in the same office and then slag him off for being strange. This is almost certainly evolution at work as males and females behave quite differently in virtually every species of animal on earth. Yet once again on all the books and advice on social anxiety it’s barely ever mentioned that there is any kind of difference whatsoever. Well perhaps they don’t want to come across as sexist. However evolution does not give a F**k for human values and has always been very sexist.

So for the majority of men the only way to get a relationship is to make the first move. This means finding and then approaching and making witty conversation to gain a woman’s trust in order that she might like you and agree to go out if she is straight and single. But then you act shy. Oops, you immediately appear weird and creepy!  I used to blush so intensely I could feel my whole face go red, sweat would pour down my forehead and even making coherent sentences would be very difficult and random nonsensical words would appear to embarrass me further. So of course I become avoidant. To go through that and keep doing it I think you would have to be clinically insane or have no self consciousness in the first place.  Yet much of the advice for such men is just keep doing it which is shit advice as something this traumatic actually makes you get much worse.  And because there is no prolonged exposure you don’t get to the habituation stage or recovery. Yet often the advice you see is still the tough love approach to shyness and that you just need a good push or kick up the backside to force you into situations and you are bound to get better. It’s obvious that people have vastly different levels of anxiety and completely different triggers so assuming there is a one size fits all approach is completely wrong.

 

You are constantly told and even encouraged to smile at and talk to every single attractive woman you see as that’s the only way to get a relationship and perfectly normal behaviour and at the same time if you act very shy and nervous you will be labelled weird and creepy and often ridiculed. I am starting to think that there is actually still a lot and ignorance in therapy and treatment and the people who think themselves geniuses are anything but. They have absolutely no idea of the levels of humiliation created by such things and what you will contemplate doing to escape them, even death.  Then their excuse is that because you did not try they can always say it’s your fault for being a coward or not willing to take chances and face your fears and yet if the therapy is so difficult that it can’t even persuade you to start and 1 in 4 drop out of social anxiety CBT then it’s hardly fool proof. In fact after reading that two years later the majority of people taking CBT were no better than before they started it makes you wonder how much these experts know at all.

A million to one he said

I actually got to the stage where I was about to visit my GP for the first time ever about my anxiety. This  apparently often happens  because of something else which in my case is depression which has meant that I have become so avoidant I am only leaving the house to shop at Tesco and have given up doing everything else. However I made the mistake of looking online at all the types of treatment available.  Sounds reasonable? However realistically many GP’s dont even offer therapy for older people with anxiety and depression and just hand you a leaflet. Great, that will cure me!  Then there is about a year, yes one year sometimes even 18 months to wait to get therapy on the NHS. And finally……….. I have read the UK anxiety forum and lots and lots of people who took therapy for social anxiety said their therapist was a complete moron and it actually made them worse or no different at best. Yes, there is loads of help for social anxiety! Online advice anyway, in real life its almost non existent.

Getting help for anxiety or depression in the UK reminds me of the Drake’s equation for the chances of finding intelligent life on another planet. Several million to one or more.There are just so many factors to be taken into account before anything gets done. The next problem is that I have read countless CBT manuals for anxiety online and self help books and they all pretty much say go out and EXPOSE yourself!  No not in a naked kind of way but expose yourself to fear inducing social situations so you get used to them and get better. Then do more harder ones for ever and ever and ever!

I cant even think of easy ones I feel I could try to start of with.

The Cure for Social Anxiety?

I have downloaded absolutely loads of stuff on shyness and social anxiety the last month and some of it consisted of entire manuals of 700+ pages.  The thing is and its quite hard for me to say so but, but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CURE WHATSOEVER!

All of the manuals and self help sites say only one thing. Go out and do stuff and hope you get better and then do more stuff until cured. Strange really as rather than scientific knowledge this is basically what i was told to cure shyness when i was a small child. Oh they may have breathing and relaxation techniques and also make you challenge your over the top irrational “Woe is me! Everybody hates me!” type of thinking but there is absolutely nothing else whatsoever on any website I have ever come across that helps in the slightest.

The problem is that depression fucks all that up.  No motivation whatsoever, already suicidal thinking so being told to go and smile at strangers on the street and make banter with shop assistants about the weather or Donald Trumps snazzy hair are about as useful as being told to Just do it! or my favourite as a youth “Just Go Talk to her!”

In reality acting nervous got ridicule or contempt which increased my anxiety which increased avoidance. If in doubt I go straight onto YouTube where hot girls say how much they hate shy men as they act creepy and make them feel awkward. Women love confidence , its officially one of the biggest turns ons. The advice also ignores your age. Contrary to belief not everyone with social anxiety is 23. A man my age smiling at women considerably younger than me on the street will be thought of as a creepy weirdo after sex so why not say that when advising smiling at 6 strangers per day as exposure therapy as if its normal. Virtually no strangers smile at people on the street unless well they do fancy each other.

Social etiquette still matters or do you assume that very shy people will understand who to and who not to smile at? Just like advising you to ask attractive females out as what have you got to lose?  Well there are lots of attractive twenty and thirty something years olds but as someone in my forties(Shock! Horror!)I would have about as much chance as bagging one as I would attracting Cameron Diaz(although at 44 she’s way closer to my age range!) Oh you mean only ask people your own age but once again just assumes you know that.(even though at my age everyone is much uglier including me!) Do I tell them how long I have been unemployed as well, that will impress them. Fact, long term unemployed men are avoided as much as ex cons so something else to destroy confidence.

I prepare myself on a daily basis for the inevitable end now. I almost long for it after all these years of pain and loneliness. Today was absolutely awful and I struggled not to self harm. The reason I feel worse is because I looked for help and found there wasn’t any.  People just like to pretend there is to make themselves feel better. They like to pretend that the majority of them are nice and kind too.