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Any overcoming mental health illnesses success stories?

1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
I have severe social anxiety. I’m pretty sure it’s from years & years of bullying as a child- Everything from my hair to my body to the way I walked & talked. Teachers joined in & even my so-called “friends”. Going to places like Walmart or even the corner store is impossible because of my general fear of being laughed at or judged. Thank goodness for my family & loved ones for their support. I’m also grateful for reading- my favorite coping mechanism. Being able to escape has greatly improved my quality of life. I have a wonderful therapist who helps me & my medication keeps the most severe symptoms at bay.

I’m basically agoraphobic. I order everything from toothbrushes to shampoo online so I don’t have to go out in public. I hate even going outside to retrieve the mail or put garbage out. My home is my sanctuary. No one within these walls judges me. I don’t play my music in my car or put bumper stickers on my vehicle because I don’t want any kind of attention. If I could have a super power, it would be the ability to turn invisible at will. I have an evening job cleaning being that it’s impossible for me to have a customer service/public oriented position.

I sometimes look out my window & see people walking down the street & I wonder what it’s like to not be so afraid to be seen by people.

I try to live each day at a time & utilize my coping mechanisms. I also try to count my blessings & remember that there are people that have many more struggles than I.

I was wondering if anyone out there has struggled with mental illness such as depression or anxiety & is in recovery?
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Replies

  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    My "official" diagnosis is Adjustment Disorder. It just means I respond to stressful situations very poorly, to the point where my symptoms masquerade as depression or anxiety. I developed anxiety around the issue because I was so terrified of stressful situations, good or bad, that I didn't want to leave my comfort zone. This included how I ate, which wasn't good for my health. It was a safety blanket.

    Through therapy, I've been able to overcome a lot of it, and not fear the future as much as I had been. It's allowed me to continue on my weight loss journey without feeling like it's hopeless because I would eventually jump back into my comfort zone the moment something stressful happened. Now, I know I can focus on myself and that even if a very bad thing happens, like a job loss (which might come, yeeesh this job), I'll still be able to take care of myself.

    Thank you for sharing!! 💕 I can imagine that would be very challenging to cope with! Congratulations on overcoming it though & losing weight!! It gives me hope.
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 4,950Member, Premium Member Posts: 4,950Member, Premium Member
    WOW! That's an amazing weight loss. You should be very proud. 👍
  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    LyndaBSS wrote: »
    WOW! That's an amazing weight loss. You should be very proud. 👍

    Thank you!!! 🥰💖💕 I truly appreciate it!!
  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    Despite all of the crazy obstacles, I'm getting there. Heck I was there just 5 years ago so its possible. Unfortunately, five years ago I was on overload, always going 100mph, and working at an unhealthy rate, then I crashed and for the last five years I've been stuck in a pit of chaos and uncertainty. Now that I'm coming out I'm planning to take a more sustainable path. Now that I'm coming out of it I can see a future with happiness.

    I relate to much of what you say, I turn down my radio at stop signs and would never ever put a bumper sticker on for fear of being judges. Anxiety and depression are just 2 of the ways my disease presents itself. I am generally uncomfortable with my appearance though others tell me I'm pretty, at work I make myself walk with a confident stride though it is not my natural stride and speak deliberately. I've become a master of illusion. Acting and saying what I know I should. It takes practice to get past the awkward natural behavior. I go through periods where my depression and anxiety are so severe that I won't even go to work, let alone to the mall or Wal Mart.

    That all being said, I've been in treatment for years now and they have finally found a combination of therapy and medicines that let me live a normal(ish) productive life. (I hate taking medicine, but I am doing better). I learned that the "pretend" behaviors I used at work are really just things I have inside of me that I was afraid to own. I assumed I was awkward and unwanted so that is how I behaved. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

    Do I still say the wrong things at the wrong time? Yep, but not as often because I'm less anxious and take time to think before I speak. Oh yeah, and even the popular kids/grown ups say stupid $h!t.

    I'm still uncomfortable going to the gym, but not so uncomfortable that I won't go. Also very normal even for the fit folks. Heck, I started doing CrossFit with trim muscley bronze people who glisten rather than sweat.

    I still have the occasional panic attack in WalMart, but they are rare and I can usually feel it starting. Then I just leave my buggy and go to my car to freak out.

    The biggest problem I still suffer from is eating properly. I'm big time into self destruction in this area. I'm not stupid, I know what to do. So why don't I do it? Well truth be told, I don't think I deserve to happy. If I lose the weight and I'm still not happy, the problem wasn't the weight it was me. Yes, I just said that and I meant it, I know it, but I still do it. I will say that it is getting better. The more I exercise the better I feel and the healthier I want to eat. Go me!

    So the truth of the matter is it may never go away, but it can get better. It takes time and it takes work. You will never get comfortable leaving your house if you never do it. Plan short trips, 15 minutes at first, then increase as you get more comfortable. Work through it by yourself, with a therapist, with medication or a combination of all three. Just don't give up or believe that you cannot choose to have a better life.

    Sorry for the book

    No, *thank you* for the “book” & for sharing!! 🥰💕 I loveeeee to read stories like yours because it reminds me that it’s a journey, not a destination. I’m sooo proud of how far you’ve come!! Thank you, again!!
  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    I have lifelong generalized anxiety disorder (it was fairly noticeable from toddler years on) and am prone to depression. On one side of my family, all of the women have severe depression. I've been diagnosed with PTSD after finding a family member murdered in my teens, but I don't honestly feel like I have PTSD. Food and comfort eating has long been a struggle for me, which I continue to battle with at times of stress - even as I maintain the loss of 100+ which took me from morbidly obese to the top of a healthy weight range.

    Another issue for me is a phobia of all things medical related. I had some very bad experiences with my pediatrician when I was young, from physical mistreatment to berating me about my weight (at ages 7-11) and I believe it stems from that. When I was in my teens and twenties, I couldn't even stand to be near a person wearing scrubs. It would make me feel sick and dizzy and fearful even if I was next to a person in the grocery store who worked in a vet office...did not matter. Pretty bad phobia. At one point, I needed to have my wisdom teeth pulled and get a cleaning and checkup at the dentist and I developed some habits very similar to OCD in which I'd go to the bathroom 3-4 times per hour and examine or clean my teeth. This is something I've worked on and mostly managed. It's been many years since I've had a prolonged episode like that.

    I have fortunately been pretty healthy for most of my life, but I can't begin to count the number of times that I didn't go to a doctor when I was very ill just because of my fear. Many times. I've had the same illness as friends who were hospitalized but wouldn't see a doctor...I know that is stupid & stubborn, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it at the time. I didn't have a pelvic exam or routine bloodwork until I was in my late 30s. Only in the past couple of years (since turning 40) have I found a physician I trust and do not fear. I still battle severe anxiety for even routine doctor/dental appointments - to the point that I cannot sleep well the night before, have to hide how much I am shaking just checking in to the appointment, say strange things that embarrass me, etc... but I feel I have come a very long way as now I actually seek out regular preventative visits. I would still prefer to give a speech to 500 people or go on multiple stressful job interviews to just having 1 short doctor or dentist appointment.

    I've had years of counseling which has definitely helped. The right therapist makes a huge difference. I've had several different ones - 2 or 3 sessions with some of the best equal about 2 years of seeing someone who isn't a great fit, in my opinion.

    Recently, I read a book called "Tame Your Anxiety" by Loretta Breuning and it's kind of weird and "woo" including some stuff I don't agree with...but it helped me look at things in a different way which has also helped.

    Wow!! What a journey you’ve been through!!! My social anxiety makes going to the dentist and doctor challenging so I can relate to your struggles a bit. I am sooo proud of how far you’ve come!! It sounds like a lot of it was a true struggle. Congratulations on kicking so much butt!!! It’s people like you that give me so much hope for the future. Everyone that’s posted on here is a true warrior, in my opinion!!! 💪💪💪💪💖🌟✨💕
  • seltzermint555seltzermint555 Posts: 9,531Member Member Posts: 9,531Member Member
    Thank you so much! I truly am rooting for you, too...I failed to mention that!
  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    Thank you so much! I truly am rooting for you, too...I failed to mention that!

    Thank you sooo much!!! That means sooo much to me, truly!! Reading stories like yours & others helps me know I’m not alone & that there is hope 🌟💖🌟
  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    You are all so brave and strong! Thank you for sharing. I don't think you overcome mental health illness, you have to learn to manage it ? I don't know.

    Mental health issues on my mothers side (severe depression) and growing up with her while she did not manage it well at all + I was also bullied has a child and teen for my weight. I push myself trought adulthood and law school on the shear thought "I cannot be like my mother" (I had untreated panick attack in law school). Of couse now I see how unkind it was and how she did her best in her awful situation (unable to get help (paranoia of doctors) and raising 4 kids on low incomes)...

    My two kids have handicaps (partial paralysis of left arm for my older son (surgeries and physical therapies) and my 4yo daughter is autistic (moderate to severe). So when my husband got stomach cancer (only 30% of surviving the next 5 years) I completly shut down. I'm now on antidepressant, which has reduce my anxiety a lot. I can't believe I use to live without it now I know how much it has help me.

    I fight my very mild social anxiety, when it flares up, in a probably unhealthy way but it works for me: "If they judge me, they are the kind of people who would judge someone for their appearance (or whatever I am doing) instead of showing empathy, so they are automatically lesser then me for they awful values."

    When I run outside, while being obese, and I come across other people I feel this ball of stress squeeze in my chest, and I calm it down by repeating in my head "most people don't care" "most people are nice and want you to succeed on your path to health" or "if they judge or insult me they are *kitten* person and nobody should care about their opinions".

    Thank you sooo much for sharing your story!!! It sounds like you’ve had to overcome a lot. You sound so incredibly brave & strong!! I really like your perspective on other people. I am sooo sorry for all the struggles you’ve had to deal with but am sooo incredibly proud and amazed by your strength!!! Thank you again for sharing!!! 💖💖💖💖
  • neugebauer52neugebauer52 Posts: 837Member Member Posts: 837Member Member
    Just wanted to let everyone who posted here that though I don't know you all personally I want to thank you for daring to share and no matter how much it may "feel" like you are alone, you are not--many many people are experiencing mental health issues everyday and for you all to take the time and care to share your personal issues is the stuff wonderful winners are made of.
    Sending you ALL
    {{{{ <3 LOVE <3 and <3 HUGS <3 and o:) PEACE and WELLNESS o:) to/for you ALL }}}}


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    Thank you. Love your pictures, made me feel all warm inside.
  • NewLIFEstyle4MENewLIFEstyle4ME Posts: 3,999Member Member Posts: 3,999Member Member
    Just wanted to let everyone who posted here that though I don't know you all personally I want to thank you for daring to share and no matter how much it may "feel" like you are alone, you are not--many many people are experiencing mental health issues everyday and for you all to take the time and care to share your personal issues is the stuff wonderful winners are made of.
    Sending you ALL
    {{{{ <3 LOVE <3 and <3 HUGS <3 and o:) PEACE and WELLNESS o:) to/for you ALL }}}}


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    Thank you. Love your pictures, made me feel all warm inside.

    My absolute PLEASURE and YAY and {{{{ <3 Hugs again <3 }}}}}
  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    Just wanted to let everyone who posted here that though I don't know you all personally I want to thank you for daring to share and no matter how much it may "feel" like you are alone, you are not--many many people are experiencing mental health issues everyday and for you all to take the time and care to share your personal issues is the stuff wonderful winners are made of.
    Sending you ALL
    {{{{ <3 LOVE <3 and <3 HUGS <3 and o:) PEACE and WELLNESS o:) to/for you ALL }}}}


    tumblr_pv2ravqMv41qc4uvwo1_540.png

    tumblr_pu1x92IUPB1qc4uvwo1_540.png

    tumblr_oq2gmweFxE1qc4uvwo1_500.png

    60178691_2351160188464767_4477317366809732703_n.jpg?_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.cdninstagram.com

    tumblr_n2wr8oncPQ1qc4uvwo1_500.jpg

    Loveeeee these pictures!!! Thank you sooo much for sharing!! That artist (Jacqueline Chen) is one of my favorites. I adore her book “Loading Penguin Hugs”!!! Thank you sooo much for your support!! Your optimism & light in the world gives hope to me (& I’m sure to many others as well)!! 💖🌟✨💕
    edited September 6
  • NewLIFEstyle4MENewLIFEstyle4ME Posts: 3,999Member Member Posts: 3,999Member Member
    1234Yuki wrote: »
    Just wanted to let everyone who posted here that though I don't know you all personally I want to thank you for daring to share and no matter how much it may "feel" like you are alone, you are not--many many people are experiencing mental health issues everyday and for you all to take the time and care to share your personal issues is the stuff wonderful winners are made of.
    Sending you ALL
    {{{{ <3 LOVE <3 and <3 HUGS <3 and o:) PEACE and WELLNESS o:) to/for you ALL }}}}


    tumblr_pv2ravqMv41qc4uvwo1_540.png

    tumblr_pu1x92IUPB1qc4uvwo1_540.png

    tumblr_oq2gmweFxE1qc4uvwo1_500.png

    60178691_2351160188464767_4477317366809732703_n.jpg?_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.cdninstagram.com

    tumblr_n2wr8oncPQ1qc4uvwo1_500.jpg

    Loveeeee these pictures!!! Thank you sooo much for sharing!! That artist (Jacqueline Chen) is one of my favorites. I adore her book “Loading Penguin Hugs”!!! Thank you sooo much for your support!! Your optimism & light in the world gives hope to me (& I’m sure to many others as well)!! 💖🌟✨💕

    I too love me some "Chibird" (Jacqueline Chen), her love for people and drawings have blessed my life tremendously...plus her adorable yet powerful artwork is soooo ULTRA CUTE too. Let me tell you, your daring to post this important and helpful thread is going to help and encourage MANY people than you will ever know in this lifetime, people that you will not hear from ( terrific peeps that read but don't post). So you are MORE than welcomed and thank you again for being you...you ROCK, period and
    {{{ <3 Hugs again <3 }}} to/for you!
    edited September 6
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