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Any overcoming mental health illnesses success stories?

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  • CourierSixxCourierSixx Posts: 29Member, Premium Member Posts: 29Member, Premium Member
    try2again wrote: »
    I like seeing posts like this where mental health needs are acknowledged and their role in our overall health and fitness are addressed. :)

    A close family member has recently been diagnosed with anxiety and social issues. I wonder if any of you would be willing to share how, specifically, therapy benefited you and what, if any, impact age had on your ability to address your issues? (Do you have to have a certain level of maturity to benefit from therapy?) Thank you in advance if any are willing to share. :)

    I just wrote a novel about this, it is above.
  • CourierSixxCourierSixx Posts: 29Member, Premium Member Posts: 29Member, Premium Member
    huddleup wrote: »
    Reading all of these posts touched me. I do realize I'm not alone in this, but mental health issues still have such a stigma attached to them. I was diagnosed with bi-polar about 23 years ago. It started in my teens and went undiagnosed until I was 30, even after seeing many therapists. I agree with others, finding the right therapist is essential.

    Life was hard for me and everyone around me before I was diagnosed. I went from suicidal depression to fits of rage to bouncing off the walls in happiness. After seeing a doctor that recognized what was going on, I was able to get on medication. It has made a world of difference. I'm at a even keel now. The only downfall is I don't have a range of emotions. I don't feel happy or sad in any extreme. I miss the happy times. Now when I should be really happy I just feel a sense of Joy, but it beats dealing with uncontrollable emotions. My creativity and spontaneity is also gone. It is something I have to work on with focus. But again it is worth it.

    I don't do therapy now. I rely a lot on my faith and those around me that understand and encourage me. If I didn't have Jesus Christ in my life, even with the medication, I would be a lost cause. He's my strength.

    I pray that someone is as encouraged by my words and I have been by others.

    I bipolar as well. I hate the meds. I take them but I hate them. All the ones for bipolar have the worse side effects, don't they? Ugh!!!!
  • steveko89steveko89 Posts: 1,325Member Member Posts: 1,325Member Member
    Never been officially diagnosed with anything but struggle with some degree of depression, anxiety, and imposter syndrome. When it comes to health/fitness/weight, imposter syndrome is probably the biggest hurdle. Growing up I was always the slightly overweight, nerdy kid. I always felt like I just wasn't destined to be good at sports, be considered very attractive/charismatic, etc.

    I didn't get down to a healthy weight until age 17, which was at least partially eye-opening; it wasn't that I didn't deserve to be thin/normal it was that I ate too much. I really could be the same size as in-shape friends. Though improved, I still carried some of this self-doubt; in all areas. I conservatively chose to attend a less prestigious University because I didn't feel like I was really smart/good enough to go to the other, better school to which I'd been accepted (largely on the basis of "what happens if I fail there"?). Socially, I've always struggled when included in plans because I feel like I'm boring and not fun to be around. I'd turn down invites to go workout with friends because "I'm not a weightlifting kind of guy", not because I didn't enjoy it or want desperately to get stronger/look better; I didn't ever feel like I belonged with them (far more athletic backgrounds) in that setting. The campus gym was open til 1am most nights, so I'd basically sneak in at 11pm with 1-2 other people there, and do mostly cardio, a few machines, and very occasionally do a few bench press sets, lest I be discovered; an interloper in the iron temple.

    Fast forward to after college (late 2011). I gain some weight in the first few months in my "grown-up" job and opt to try P90x and eventually find MFP a few months later. Again, both eye-opening to the degree with which I could control my weight and appearance, and my general capabilities. I actually got a some semblance of stronger (didn't take much from my starting point) and it was the first step in actually looking somewhat how I wanted; strong, lean, powerful... like the countless superheroes I've always idolized, still that nerdy, chubby kid with glasses at heart.

    Fast forward another few years (early 2015), still at a perfectly healthy weight but ultimately unhappy if I looked in the mirror. I'd been lighter and didn't like that much more either... if I was truly going to look better it was going to take a shift in my plan. Between two resources (NerdFitness and BuiltLean) I discovered two content creators who were basically like me; one a nerd who wanted to become a superhero, and the other a guy who gained weight in his first job, but went beyond losing the weight and built an impressive physique after doing so. It sounds dumb to type out now but seeing their trajectories laid out made a huge difference in getting me to allow myself to pursue a loftier physique goal than "not fat" and believe that I had some capability to do so. In short order, I started barbell training, and to keep a long story from getting longer, I've gotten considerably stronger, leaner, muscular, and happier in my own skin since then.

    One of the biggest factors which allowed me to overcome that feeling of being an outsider was building a home gym in my basement. It's just me down there, most every morning. No judgement from others, no comparison, no self-consciousness. It's freeing, comforting, safe, and mine. There's no debate of whether or not I belong there. I also found that music is pretty much a no-go for me working out though. Being in that environment, alone with my thoughts, and certain music that trigger certain thoughts and memories is counter-productive. Instead I listen to sports pod casts, mostly ESPN radio and a few that are fantasy football-related. They let me focus on the task at hand rather than having my thoughts scamper off to places I'd rather them not go.
  • 1234Yuki1234Yuki Posts: 18Member Member Posts: 18Member Member
    I am so inspired by how brave everyone is who is coping with their mental illnesses. Each and everyone that has posted is a warrior!!! So proud of all of you!!! 💪💪💪💝💝💝 thank you everyone who has shared!!!
    edited September 18
  • NewLIFEstyle4MENewLIFEstyle4ME Posts: 4,010Member Member Posts: 4,010Member Member
    1234Yuki wrote: »
    I am so inspired by how brave everyone is who is coping with their mental illnesses. Each and everyone that has posted is a warrior!!! So proud of all of you!!! 💪💪💪💝💝💝 thank you everyone who has shared!!!

    I agree 100%!
  • imaginemaryimaginemary Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    I have anxiety too. It’s controlling of my life, overwhelming despite medication. Someone told me today to accept it as a feeling, so I am trying that. It’s a feeling. Okay. I can’t move. This feeling has me pinned to my bed. I am going to get up with it and keep breathing. It’s like carrying a monster in my arms. I’m going to take this shadowy monster and go do yoga with it. I can do this.
  • Visage9999Visage9999 Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    I have anxiety too. It’s controlling of my life, overwhelming despite medication. Someone told me today to accept it as a feeling, so I am trying that. It’s a feeling. Okay. I can’t move. This feeling has me pinned to my bed. I am going to get up with it and keep breathing. It’s like carrying a monster in my arms. I’m going to take this shadowy monster and go do yoga with it. I can do this.

    I can completely understand that. I’m so truly sorry for your struggle. I am so proud of you though for pushing through! You’ve got this!
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