Mike O said:
Sigh. I’ve had TWO WEEKS of vacation. Lots of people would die for that. I’ve TRIED to fight against my depression and OCD, but it’s so hard. I’ve gone out with friends twice, with family once (going to be twice, and hopefully three times), but I can barely enjoy ANYTHING. I have to go back to work on Monday, and can barely stand the the thought, but it’s not like I’m deriving any pleasure from my time off. I had a huge compulsion binge today. I’m beginning to think that I’m going to have to live with the fact that my faith is cracked, and just can’t deal with it, but that’s still no reason for this obsessive behavior and thoughts.
I completed a psychoanalytic evaluation. I’m depressed and obsessive, which I could’ve told them, but apparently I’m a therapist’s dream because I’m self-aware and full of potential. But I couldn’t even DO the ERP my last therapist assigned me. I didn’t listen, then I complain that I don’t feel better. I kind of wish I could apologize to him. I just…feel stuck. If I’m not willing to put in the effort, I waste a therapist’s time. They’ll be submitting my analysis data to my psychiatrist, and hopefully he’ll recommend someone. I see him again in a week or two. But my mysterious compulsion to do things multiple times isn’t getting better in the meantime even after I indulge the compulsions. I’m tired of this. I just want to sit down and watch some TV or read and relax. I want my brain back. What’s happening to me? Why is this happening to me? I was fine a year or so ago, and had REAL problems. This is so fucking stupid.
You aren’t wasting the time of the therapist. They are trained to expect certain behaviours from unwell people. Hopefully they will be taking a note of what you tell them and this will inform the future course of your therapy. Why it’s happening to you is an easy question to answer but the solution to it is the difficult part. This is happening to you because you are unwell. People get unwell in lots of different ways for lots of different reasons and mental illness and mental poor health are no different from any other kind of illness or poor health. From a general perspective there are activities that will raise your mental health.
- You are doing right now. It’s talking (or writing) about your feelings. Getting those feelings out of your head onto a page or out into the wider world is of undeniable benefit so keep tapping those keys.
2.Eat well and eat healthy food. Maintain three meals a day, drink plenty of water and limit your caffeine, salt and sugar. It has a very strong effect on the mind what you put in your body.
Drink Sensibly. Booze is a depressant it is a powerful medication and can bugger up other medications so use sparingly if at all during this time.
Keep in Touch. At the moment you don’t feel enthusiastic about anything but as an exercise contacting people who you have any kind of friendly relations or past with can have a genuinely positive effect.
Keep active. Physical activity of any kind releases chemicals into your body that raise your mood. Doing something physical has an effect on self esteem it also makes you more likely to get a healthy amount of sleep. It could be as simple as taking the stairs rather than the elevator or doing a bit of gardening or walking somewhere.
You are already doing but I put this here for anyone else. Ask for help. It’s good you got connected to a medical team but find out what your local helplines are and should you find your situation particularly desperate there is always your ER (or A&E if you are on the other side of the splashy salt watery thing).
You are having a bit of a problem with right now is take a break. That break doesn’t need to be a weekend with an itinerary of places to be, people to see etc. It can be any change of scene or routine. As Dale Cooper would say https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjkVgc6gIqk
Do something you know or at least you are told you are good at. Can you remember someone saying you did something well or made something good or when someone thanked you for a job well done? If you can do it something similar.
Accept who you are. At the moment you are someone with an illness and this may reduce the impact of some of the suggested activities on this list but if you rotate through them one or more will eventually have an effect. I can’t tell you which one so keep trying them all if you can. Despite the illness you are a complex personality you may not be good at somethings but you are certainly good at others. Be kind to yourself.
Care for others. Helping others has a measurable effect on mental health. It boosts your self esteem. It makes you feel connected to the world and able to effect it positively albeit in limited ways.
This is like telling someone with a broken leg to prepare for a marathon. I know that.
But you will eventually regain some of previous capacity to feel happiness and contentment you may even surpass your previous levels over time. Impatience while you are in discomfort is also reasonable. Expect it but work with it. Getting unwell people well is the thing that therapists and doctors are paid for so you aren’t wasting their time. Be honest with them and yourself and you will make steps to recovery which will aggregate towards forward momentum. No matter how many steps back you may take getting there.