On the subject of mental disorders

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On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Endless Sea on Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:43 pm

So. Loaded topic, I know, but I've been considering the need to make this page since Saturday by now, and my therapist has been encouraging me to talk about it too, so, well, here it is. An off-topic topic about mental afflictions.

For a bit of context on what exactly happened last Saturday that prompted this, well, I got into a Twitter argument. A big one. I'll spare you the details, partially because I'm having trouble making sense of them and I'd probably be biased anyways, but suffice it to say I had no idea why everyone was mad at me, and when people tried to explain it I only got more confused. I dunno if this is due to one of my many preexisting mental disorders or because I was raised weirdly or I'm just that thick, but I came out of that conversation extremely frustrated and considerably less certain of my ability to converse properly with other people.

A couple people DMed me not long afterwards, and from those conversations I became aware of a couple other things that prompted me to make a place here to talk about it- in particular, that even people who I've made a point of talking about my mental health issues with in the past (not that I've ever tried to hide it, or found a reason to hide it, for that matter) seemed to dismiss those issues as irrelevant to how much of an ass I was unknowingly making of myself, not realizing that social cues and thought patterns that seemed natural and obvious to them were in fact next to impossible for me to grasp. Just a reminder- I am an Aspie. Being terrible at social stuff comes with the territory.

I also heard that other people may or may not have some of the same issues that I do, but apparently don't talk about it for reasons that elude me. Well, we've got a topic now, so feel free to do it here! If any of ya are better off than me, you might be able to help me out better than the more neurotypical Metaguards I've been talking to, and I'd really appreciate that. :)
So, apparently I'm the sanest madman this side of the international date line. Seems legit.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:25 pm

While i feel this is an important discussion to be had, i am not sure how comfortable I am discussing it in public. I will message you in private, however, if that's what you'd like. :)
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Victin on Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:26 am

I must be sincere: I don't know too much about Asperger's Syndrome, or maybe even mental disorders in general. I mean, I've read about them on the internet or in magazine articles, but other than depression, I don't feel as if I held enough knowledge about them. I mean, I just took a moment to quickly research about Asperger's, because I don't know anyone IRL with it (as far as I'm aware, at least), and it's something I've read about in the past, but again, I don't feel I have enough knowledge about it. Technical knowledge? Maybe, or maybenot. But IRL I just worry I could be extremely rude to you or someone else with Asperger's entirely by accident (it's the kind of thing I've always been anxious about), because I'm sure I know less than enough.

Now, if I were to talk about myself... I don't think I have any kind of mental disorder? Last year I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and I did therapy* for a few months because it can be aggravated psychossomatically (I know psychossomatic is the word used to describe it, but I don't think I'm using it correctly :P so please correct me if I'm wrong), but in the end the therapist* said I didn't need to continue going there if I didn't want to. And, well, that was it. I liked the experience, it was definitely helpful, and if time and money were to be had in the future, I'd do it again, to keep my own, hm, problems in check. My anxiety, stress and sadness didn't seem above normal or whatever (or I suppose my therapist* would've called me out on it), but other than them I have... other reasons I might want to repeat that experience in the future, but it's not something I'm confortable talking about in public. And, while I was well for almost an entire year, during the exam period this month I think I had a, uh, relapse? My recurring nightmares certainly returned, if they can be called "recurring". Heck, I had one today and I know my grades in all subjects already!

*I put this asterisk in multiple places because I'm not really sure I could call the professional I visited a therapist. It's mostly because while searching for one, I discovered at least two kinds of professionals with similar names but a certain distinction between them, and I'm not even sure if there's some kind of word that covers both types of professional. Furthermore, right now I'm talking in English, not Portuguese, so while understanding a language has nothing to do with directly translating it, I don't know how this medical distinction is supposed to work, so I can't convey it properly in any language :P

eli_gone_crazy wrote:While i feel this is an important discussion to be had, i am not sure how comfortable I am discussing it in public. I will message you in private, however, if that's what you'd like. :)

Hmm, is this in regards to you or would you rather this subject be discussed privately in general? I'm asking mostly because I feel I'd find this discussion more worthwhile watching other people talk about it so I can learn more about it than talking directly to someone about it, at least for the moment being.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Anura on Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:15 pm

I'm an Aspie for the record (wasn't hiding it, it's just something that never came up), but I'm not privy to what goes on on Twitter, nor am I entirely sure I want to get involved in touchy subjects.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Lordxana0 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:13 pm

And then Xana admitted to being on the spectrum as well. Its hell sometimes, dealing with the social anxiety, not really knowing how to interact with people in a normal way. Heck I probably spend more time trying to be 'normal' then just trying to be myself. Mainly because myself is...confusing. Its easier for me to try and act in such a way that it doesn't seem like I am impaired, but that just makes it harder.

But I guess there are upsides. If I wasn't a shut in I wouldn't have joined this forum, wouldn't be half the writer I am now, and I guess I wouldn't have gotten to meet so many people that are like me. Its still a burden, trying to figure out basic social and emotional stuff that is a lot more clear to other people. Sarcasm is the hardest, I understand the idea behind it, but if I am not zonned in on it the only way I can tell is if the person is overacting their sarcasm.

But yeah, much as it sucks I do know that it isn't anything to be ashamed of. Or something. Sorry talking about this is weird. You spend so much time keeping something hidden that you don't really know what to say about it.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby The Wild West Pyro on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:58 am

My father, all of his relatives, his entire circle of friends and my late grandfather are all Aspies, and I have a bit of Asperger's as well, although it's not serious. ADHD, despite only have a little bit, remains a problem at times, although it was much worse when I was smaller.

My biggest problems are oversensitivity and, recently, severe levels of anger management, resulting in me having buy a punching bag to curb any frustrations. I'm worried and try to not lash out at people, and desperately try to keep it in check, but sometimes I throw chairs or slam my hands on the table.

My shyness and social anxiety are horrific, though. I can never go and ask strangers anything by myself or introduce myself first, because I'm so painfully shy and nervous about it. But even worse is the fact that I can't even look people in the eye anymore when walking down the street or corridors in public, unless I know them. The reason for that is a combination of oversensitivity and anxiety-I'm worried that they might think I'm weird, and as I can't tell what they're thinking about me, that makes me nervous, too.
Last edited by The Wild West Pyro on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby narrativedilettante on Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:06 am

I'm not on the spectrum, though I display some behavior characteristics typical of those who are. I just come by them a different way.

I've mentioned dealing with depression on Twitter, though I don't think I've ever brought it up here.

I also was diagnosed a few months ago with Schizoid Personality Disorder. That's something I haven't brought up online, though I've been open about it to people irl. Essentially, I don't feel a drive to form connections with other people. For a long time I believed that I had social anxiety, because I definitely felt anxiety about social situations... but it was pretty much focused on the fact that I would have to interact with other people, rather than anything that might happen as a result of that interaction. As it turns out, I didn't understand social anxiety as well as I thought I did. Which makes a lot of sense, because for some reason people with social anxiety wanted to connect with me in chat rooms and stuff and I didn't understand why they were comfortable doing those things when I felt just as much anxiety about them as about face to face interaction.

One reason I've largely kept quiet about this diagnosis is because people can easily assume that it's the same as Schizophrenia, or Schizoaffective disorder, when those are very different mental illnesses that have little in common with Schizoid Personality Disorder aside from a shared root word.

I'm also an adult child of an alcoholic. There are certain PTSD symptoms and other issues that arise in me as a result of my dysfunctional upbringing. It's probably a contributor to the depression and the SPD, but genetic predispositions probably play a role as well.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby AMimsyBorogove on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:29 pm

I haven't the foggiest clue whether or not I'm, technically speaking, mentally ill, but I can relate a lot to what you guys are saying. For quite some time, I've found it near impossible to either initiate conversation or make eye contact with anyone I'm not really familiar with. Whenever I look at somebody, I find myself experiencing an overwhelming impulse to look away before they notice, since I feel terribly anxious about being caught "staring." A lot of the time, I try to force myself to look at the person I'm talking to, but only make it halfway and thus find myself sort of staring blankly at a point right next to them. It's bizarre, though, because so long as somebody addresses me first, I have no problems talking to them. If anything, when somebody talks to me, I get really happy all of a sudden and start talking really enthusiastically, like I usually do with you guys. I guess I just don't want to risk bothering someone when I'm not sure they even want to talk to me. On the other hand, so long as they've demonstrated that they don't mind my company, I don't see a problem with staying around. You may have noticed that, End, to a certain extent, when we met up a few days back. I wasn't really certain how to start a conversation, and so kinda fumbled around awkwardly for a while. Sorry about wasting your time like that. :/

Physical contact is slightly less problematic, likely because I avoid it so often. If it's something I expect - a hug from a relative, a handshake from somebody I've just met - it isn't too bad, since I can anticipate it and I'm not taken off guard. On the other hand, if I unexpectedly brush against someone, I usually have an instinctive reaction to draw back and apologize immediately. Maybe I just have a really keen sense of personal space or something, but being touched unexpectedly oftentimes causes me to panic a little bit.

Loud noises - especially being unexpectedly shouted at - also bother me a lot. Recently, there have been a lot of parties and stuff to welcome new students - myself included in that category - to the college I'm now attending. I think I wierded out my roommate a bit, since when he saw me standing off to the side and called out to me to say hi, I jumped like I'd been shot.

In general, I guess I'm also pretty terrible when it comes to reading the flow of a conversation. Even when somebody's really sad, I don't really notice it unless it becomes totally obvious - like if they start crying, or the like. Even if I do realize that something's wrong, I usually have no idea how to deal with it, and end up just sitting around in silence wondering what the hell I'm supposed to say. It's really frustrating, since everybody around me keeps treating me like some sort of extroverted social expert, when that really isn't the case. I just feel obligated to repay people for wasting their time talking to me about pointless nonsense by making them laugh. That's all I really know how to do.

I also have a tendency to space out. It's where most of my story ideas come from. If I'm not saying anything to somebody, it's probably not because I'm mad at them. Rather, it's because I've just had an idea for some sort of elaborate fantasy, and I'm busy fleshing it out. If anything, that sort of meaningless development of stories I probably won't get the chance to tell anyone is almost more fun that putting them into words. I'm a dreamer first, and an author second. While I enjoy hearing people's opinions, and especially love knowing that people have had fun reading the things I've written, more often than not, it's just a way of amusing myself that I liked enough to share with other people.

Having read all this, you can probably think of at least a dozen potential mental disorders I might have. I certainly have considered it. But, I'm not really one to claim to be something just because I might be that thing, so until somebody manages to prove to my satisfaction that I've got some sort of wonky brain thingymajig, I'll just chalk it up to my own ineptitude at doing the Human-y and the Life-y things, and leave it at that. In any case, weird though it may sound for me of all people to assume "normality" in this case, you guys aren't alone. Furthermore, having at least a little bit of experience with what you all have to deal with, I get that it pretty much sucks beyond comparison. :/ As such, all I can really do is wish you all the best of luck, and hope that it helps out.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Endless Sea on Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:52 am

Oh, wow, this is a lot more traffic than I was expecting! :O Let's see if I can respond to everyone in order.

eli: Thanks again for the talk. :)

Victin: Honestly, you should be more worried about me being rude to you than the other way around. :P

Anura: Yeaaaaaah, it's kinda complicated. >_>

Xana: It's cool, man. Being on the spectrum is a weird experience; I've been suspecting for some time now that how comfortable I am with being an Aspie is the exception to the norm. As for acting normal as opposed to being myself, personally, I barely even know what "normal" actually is half the time, so I usually just settle for trying not to say anything that might be offensive or creepy, if even that.

Pyro: Yeah, I kinda figured. :P Apologies for being a jerk in the past- I've found I'm even worse at interacting with others on the spectrum than I am with relatively neurotypical people. I've got at least some of the problems you've mentioned to varying extents, so you're not alone there. :)

narra: Oh wow, I never imagined you had that much to deal with. D:

Mimsy: Dude. Dude dude dude. Dude.

...dude.

You're fine. :P And it kinda sounds like you've got a lot of the stuff I've got, which is actually kinda unsurprising when I think about it. Kinda explains how we got along so well, I guess?
So, apparently I'm the sanest madman this side of the international date line. Seems legit.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Lordxana0 on Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:23 am

Actually End you bring up a thing I have been thinking about due to this discussion. Is it fate that just decided that the longest ones of us to stick around are those with the offput minds, or is it just happenstance? I know for me its almost impossible to let things go. Grudges, joys, etc. And I think that this ARG might have given something that kind of draws people like us together. Well two things.

It gave us purpose, and it gave us achievement. The purpose was clear, use our pop culture knowledge and ability to use facts and tropes that others would call useless to reach a goal. I know as a shut in when it comes to actual things I am fairly useless, but just try and ask me the complicated backstory to Code Lyoko and I will floor you. It allowed us to use our abnormal talents and facts in the same way a sportsball player would...I don't know run the basketball into the endzone for a goal? Then par would be up by 5 and they would just need a strike. Or something. Anyway beyond that the victory given to us was absolute by the end. The bad guys were beaten, the beast was slain, and all was right with the world. I don't know about you guys, but in terms of things winning this ARG with you guys was probably the most awesome thing that I ever did with a group of people. That experienced formed bonds that as the kind of people that we are don't normally exist. And because those bonds formed we didn't want to lose them, maybe we were even scared of losing them.

Don't know, maybe thats just me, but you guys were pretty much my best friends in the world for a long time, and even through we have drifted apart I still consider you guys like an extended family. But its just a hypothesis at best.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Endless Sea on Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:46 am

Does this mean we're an actual demographic now? xD
So, apparently I'm the sanest madman this side of the international date line. Seems legit.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby JRPictures on Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:58 am

Endless Sea wrote:Does this mean we're an actual demographic now? xD

I don't see why not. :P
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Genndy Oda C.O.G. on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:11 am

Huh. Neat.
Apparently, slightly less weird than most of you.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Anura on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:23 am

I've been suspecting for some time now that how comfortable I am with being an Aspie is the exception to the norm.


You're certainly not unique in that regard. I don't even consider it a disorder so much as a different method of perception, and find it rather patronizing when people consider me mentally ill (or at least, when the Aspergers is the reason for that judgement). I'll admit it's a disability only on a technical level; I don't feel like it's wrong to be what I am. Of course that doesn't stop me from taking advantage of what additional support my "disability" allows me because the world is a hard place and one should use every advantage possible.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Pixelmage on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:52 am

Endless Sea wrote:Does this mean we're an actual demographic now? xD

... Have we ever not been? :)

We're all mad here. We should just sit around and have tea or something. Personally, I don't wear any labels, so saying I have this disorder or that disorder is meaningless to me... But I'm pretty sure most of you have witnessed some of my strange traits here and there.

I haven't posted before because, honestly, I wouldn't know what to talk about. But if anyone feels curious, I'm a walking AMA by default, so just poke me here or somewhere else. ^_^
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby The Wild West Pyro on Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:04 pm

Even if I don't see you all around that often, I'm still proud to call you my friends.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby RotavatoR on Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:28 am

Fellow Aspie over here. I really don't know if I can turn this into something cohesive but here I go.

I recognize a lot of what you all say (obviously)
  • Problems talking to people, knowing what to say, how to react to things. I feel tense all the time in social situations
  • The "trying to be normal instead of yourself" aspect that Xana mentioned. (see: tense)
  • Not recognizing subtle sarcasm (while being enormously sarcastic myself, strangely enough)
  • Not being able to tell what people think of you (or less well than others at least)
  • Trouble maintaining eye contact. Am I staring too long? Should I glance back every once in a sentence?
  • Problems with trying to help other people. I want to help, so badly, but I don't know how. And then I see other people who seem to know better and I just feel so useless.
  • Spacing out. I commonly miss parts of a conversation because my mind has trailed off due to what the other person said. My train of thought is usually nonsensical, boring and nonproductive.

I also sometimes say things that I know upset people, and I say them at the wrong time. Why, I don't know. Anyone recognize this? Has anyone been able to stop doing this?

I want to encourage people struggling with questions about their psychology to consult a professional. I now live in a student residence where I can ask help to guidance counselors during weekdays, and it has helped me a great deal so far. You also deserve help with your mental issues.

Lastly, I want to say to people with other mental problems:

I may not know what they feel like, but I try to acknowledge them and take them seriously.

Feel free to pm me if you don't want to reply to all this here.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby narrativedilettante on Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:41 am

RotavatoR wrote:I also sometimes say things that I know upset people, and I say them at the wrong time. Why, I don't know. Anyone recognize this? Has anyone been able to stop doing this?


That sounds a little bit like an impulse control issue. I don't know much about ways to manage that kind of thing, unfortunately.
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby RotavatoR on Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:53 am

I don't think that's what it is... It mostly happens online (whatsapp or twitter) instead of offline, so it's not as quick an impulse... Not sure if I'm explaining this right :/
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Re: On the subject of mental disorders

Postby Endless Sea on Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:34 pm

I get that too. I think it's still an aspie thing.
So, apparently I'm the sanest madman this side of the international date line. Seems legit.
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