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I'm experiencing a mental health breakdown and it's the worst I've ever been.

So I just want to premise this thread with the disclaimer that I'm not suicidal and that I'm not going through depression (although being sad is part of what is currently happening).

The long story short is that there is a certain form of bipolar disorder called Cyclothymia. (I think I got that spelling right). I'm currently in the process of getting a formal diagnosis for it.

Essentially instead of going to extreme states of being often, the manias can happen once every few weeks or months or years. For myself it's every few years, triggered by either a sudden feeling of emptiness of my chosen life path or some other life event.

When I get like this I will suddenly wake up one day with a total and intense desire to change everything about me. My life, my identity, my career, my studies, everything.

This time around for the last year I went down the religious path (as I have before), but never too this extreme.

To put this into the context, one day I was doing my PhD, building up my arts career, putting money into my property, everything. Then the next day I didn't want any of it. I found it all empty. With no meaning. If I hadn't had family trying to reign me in I was going to sell my property and quit my PhD right there and then.

Instead I decided I was going to move to Israel, rent my flat, have an religious match made marriage and THEN sell my flat. I took all my clothes, my identity, how I communicate myself to the outside world. My tour t shirts, jeans, everything, into bin liners and threw it all into the dump. I shaved my long hair that I had been growing for 2 years off and I deferred the PhD. I was like this for nearly 2 years.

A few days ago I crashed out of it and hard. I'm grieving over what I nearly lost. And I'm so angry at myself for purposely burning important bridges in academia and my arts career. Losing opportunites and who knows if I'll be able to regain them.

I have to rebuy all my clothes and grow back my hair. I feel like I threw away who I was and now I've also lost an identity I built up during my mania. It's fucking with my head. I don't know who is the real me anymore. I don't know what is the real me anymore.

Fortunely I'm being helped by a great mental health team and I'm determined to get back to my PhD, my arts career, my academic career and my rock n roll loving, nerd identity. Try and get back to stability. Try and have a system in place to help me not repeat it too this level. They might offer me Lithium. Fuck that. Even on low doses its bad news. But at the same time... It might be worth it on a low dose? I really don't know.

Anyway I don't know if I'm a big 'Gaffer' or not or whatever but I felt like this community has been great. EviLore EviLore has always been kind to me especially. So thanks guys.

Anyway the mental health team offered me a bed to stay and rest over night in their crisis centre. I'm going to be taking it.

Cheers for reading this long post.
 
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Sounds like you've already taken steps in the right direction.

I've found in life it's always best to not second guess yourself when the decisions come naturally (unless they're, you know, criminal ones).
 
Sounds like you've already taken steps in the right direction.

I've found in life it's always best to not second guess yourself when the decisions come naturally (unless they're, you know, criminal ones).
The problem is I don't even know what the fuck natural decisions are anymore. I don't even know who I am.
 

Mossybrew

Member
. I don't know who is the real me anymore. I don't know what is the real me anymore.
Well if it's any comfort, there isn't a "real you", just electrical shit firing off in your brain and your "sense of self" trying to post hoc make some sense of it and create some kind of identity from that chaos, and for some folks such as yourself, it's firing off in unpredictable ways which makes this process even more difficult. Even "normal" people are just who they are at that moment. No one can control this, but when it's as extreme as your situation, meh I'm sorry I have no answers. Just don't think you are too far off from baseline because even baseline has these issues, just not to that extreme.
 
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EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
Sounds like you're doing the right thing now, getting medical help and taking a hard evaluation of the constructive aspects of your life you've turned your back on for a while. Hang in there, you'll make it through this. You still have plenty of runway to get back on track, and life really is about the journey and misadventures along the way. Now you'll have some more interesting stories to tell about the time you shaved your head and reinvented.
 

haxan7

Volunteered as Tribute
You crashed out of it? Doesn’t saying you “crashed” mean something got worse? It sounds like you snapped out of the state you were in, and now you’re feeling better but trying to pick up the pieces of the life you destroyed.

Right?
 
From afar and couch diagnosis I'd say just work on activating your in the moment thoughts more. You're aware of what you do and just need to build the mental fortitude to keep at what made/makes you happy and what actually provides some stability or progress to your life. It's very subjective what people are happy with, what they settle for and what goals they create for themselves. At least you're not lying to yourself and frozen by inaction. You're moving forward now, perhaps keep a journal and reflect on it when you feel changes are needed?
 

Star-Lord

Gold Member
You’re getting help, and that’s the critical first step on the road to recovery. Most people assume that looking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s not. It’s a sign of strength. It takes a lot of courage to step up and ask for support. You’ve already done that, so you’re well on your way. Don’t give up. Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
 

Tschumi

Member
Diagnosis and management drugs is risky shit. It's a game pharmaceutical companies encourage with incentives, look at what happened with oxy.

I don't know enough about you but i find it hard to believe your giant decisions were something you should now just disavow and get on drugs to make up for. Be proud of your kooks, accept your changing priorities, be more aware of what you want.

What happened to that arranged marriage? Did it not happen?

If you have another mood swing in which you want to upend your life and do something fresh (sounds pretty admirable to me, i did it when i moved to Japan) then you can try to get help if you really think it's called for. Do not get medication during an "off cycle", if that's what it is.

Who suggested your diagnosis? I live with people who have huge consequences to a shit childhood in a home that should have broken, but that manifests in myriad fissures - trust issues, confidence issues - that you can rebuild, and that you don't solve with drugs. When i was about 10 some idiot prescribed me ritalin when i really just needed someone to sit me down and explain things to me one time. Any time I was lucky enough to encounter something that i was naturally focused on during those years i was far and away the class leader.

All I'm saying is, i am a big believer in the danger of labelling yourself with exotic mental conditions, especially in receiving official diagnoses. Please be careful before you enter "treatment plans" for something you say happens every few years.

(This came out quick, sorry if i accidentally came across as insensitive, but yeah chronic mental issues that require hard drugs trigger me)

First and foremost, despite all that, i wish you luck.
 
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You crashed out of it? Doesn’t saying you “crashed” mean something got worse? It sounds like you snapped out of the state you were in, and now you’re feeling better but trying to pick up the pieces of the life you destroyed.

Right?
Crashing out of it doesn't feel good. I've landed down to earth sure. But it's been so sudden and so painful that instead of picking up any sense of stability I feel like I've fallen down into this sense of confusion, loss and its own instability.
 
Too long and didn’t read the opening. Does it involve a woman? NeoGAF has turned into Dr. Phil as of late with INC INC and poodaddy poodaddy expressing their vulnerability and pain. I’m all for the community supporting one another but it definitely lowers the mood and makes me a little miserable. Maybe I’m a selfish bastard for feeling this way?
 
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  • LOL
Reactions: INC
Too long and didn’t read the opening. Does it involve a woman? NeoGAF has turned into Dr. Phil as of late with INC INC and poodaddy poodaddy expressing their vulnerability and pain. I’m all for the community supporting one another but it definitely lightens the mood and makes me a little miserable. Maybe I’m a selfish bastard for feeling this way?
No man. It's OK. But if these threads make you feel this way maybe just don't go into them in the first place?

No woman. Just my current broken mind.
 
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Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
Keep on the path you're already on. You got this OP.

Too long and didn’t read the opening. Does it involve a woman? NeoGAF has turned into Dr. Phil as of late with INC INC and poodaddy poodaddy expressing their vulnerability and pain. I’m all for the community supporting one another but it definitely lightens the mood and makes me a little miserable. Maybe I’m a selfish bastard for feeling this way?

I don't even understand why you would post this at all. Someone posted a thread title that makes you uncomfortable? You can always put threads on ignore.

I have no issue for people coming here to express themselves. If anyone finds even the tiniest bit of hope or release from people's posts here, then it's worth it.
 
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Amiga

Member
(1)This time around for the last year I went down the religious path (as I have before).

(2) If I hadn't had family trying to reign me in I was going to sell my property and quit my PhD right there and then.

(3) I don't know what is the real me anymore.

(1) keep going. trust in God and he will help you find a way out. for this life and the next.

(2) stay close to them. Man isn't equipped to go through life alone.

(3) conflicting thought/emotion is normal. maybe you have a broader affinity and that is actually a positive thing. could give a bigger understanding of different types of people. find solid foundations based on the most clear truths on the things that don't conflict you then develop from there.

(4) stay away from negative things. the internet/life is full of chaos and could pull you apart bit by bit.
 
No man. It's OK. But if these threads make you feel this way maybe just don't go into them in the first place?

No woman. Just my current broken mind.
Keep on the path you're already on. You got this OP.



I don't even understand why you would post this at all. Someone posted a thread title that makes you uncomfortable? You can always put threads on ignore.

I have no issue for people coming here to express themselves. If anyone finds even the tiniest bit of hope or release from people's posts here, then it's worth it.
Well that was my conflicting mindset coming into this thread. Usually I would offer words of support and encouragement to the OP and hope they can find some solace or wisdom within them, but it’s happening a more than I care to remember.

Not to mention the overriding sense of curiosity is another driving force behind opening. Maybe I was wrong to bring my own feelings into this thread, but that’s just my opinion.
 

Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
Well that was my conflicting mindset coming into this thread. Usually I would offer words of support and encouragement to the OP and hope they can find some solace or wisdom within them, but it’s happening a more than I care to remember.

Not to mention the overriding sense of curiosity is another driving force behind opening. Maybe I was wrong to bring my own feelings into this thread, but that’s just my opinion.
Well with a global pandemic, rising political tensions, and worsening economic indicators, it’s no coincidence in my mind. Increased online presence means more people are willing to divulge their inner thoughts under anonymous, or close to, identities.
I can also empathize with these posters as I, like many others, have had periods of poor mental health. The best thing we can for one another is listen and treat each other with respect and compassion. Even if we disagree with them.
 
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22•22

Doesnt need recognition
Wish you all the strength and love in the world brother. I know it can get tiresome but where there's hope, there is a way..

I know that sounds cliche and abstract but whatever..

And kudos for you and others that recently decided to share their pain and struggles. Real talk.

Much love 💗⚡🙌
 
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22•22

Doesnt need recognition
Well with a global pandemic, rising political tensions, and worsening economic indicators, it’s no coincidence in my mind. Increased online presence means more people are willing to divulge their inner thoughts under anonymous, or close to, identities.
I can also empathize with these posters as I, like many others, have had periods of poor mental health. The best thing we can for one another is listen and treat each other with respect and compassion. Even if we disagree with them.

Well said.

And even though it's anonymous I still wouldn't have the balls to post my own struggles on here.

To ashamed and scared for what people will say in response. People can be ice cold and quick to judge.

So again; kudos for opening up in search for understanding, compassion, advice or just plain reading what you're going through.
 
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O-N-E

Member
You will never stop being a Jew. That hollow feeling you felt, it likely came from a place of truth, but only because you live in extremes (from what I can tell). Judaism is not about floating in spirit land up in the clouds. It's a balance of your physical deeds matching your corporeal and spiritual needs. Is pursuing your PhD really blocking you from living a healthy orthodox lifestyle? Or do you feel like you have to conform rather than live life in a healthy way, be Jewish and have a career in your field of interest? Is that not possible? If you said you wanted to be a stripper or something, then yeah, that's not happening, but the arts?

You need a balanced approach achi. I've known that I wanted to live a religious life for a long time now and I've been slowly changing my lifestyle over time. Now I keep Sabbaths, the holidays, pray often. I'll keep going bit by bit. Always room for improvement. You don't have to go the quick burnout route.

Whatever made you tired of your previous life is going to make you tired again. I've seen people ping-pong like this before. Stop that cycle and face the truth. You want change. Approach it in a healthy, deliberate way. Brick by brick.

And this too...


Remember who you are.
 
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poodaddy

Member
Too long and didn’t read the opening. Does it involve a woman? NeoGAF has turned into Dr. Phil as of late with INC INC and poodaddy poodaddy expressing their vulnerability and pain. I’m all for the community supporting one another but it definitely lowers the mood and makes me a little miserable. Maybe I’m a selfish bastard for feeling this way?
Sorry man :/. Not my intention. I was in a real bad place, still kind of am but getting better. In large part that's due to this community.

For what it's worth, I don't think there's anything wrong with a community helping each other when they need it. That's what makes a group a community and not just a mass of people.
 
Sorry man :/. Not my intention. I was in a real bad place, still kind of am but getting better. In large part that's due to this community.

For what it's worth, I don't think there's anything wrong with a community helping each other when they need it. That's what makes a group a community and not just a mass of people.
I wasn't even shitting on the people mentioned, all I was doing was highlighting how common these situations have become and Maiden Voyage Maiden Voyage highlighted multiple reasons for that. It can kill the mood somewhat but we'll get over it.
 
You will never stop being a Jew. That hollow feeling you felt, it likely came from a place of truth, but only because you live in extremes (from what I can tell). Judaism is not about floating in spirit land up in the clouds. It's a balance of your physical deeds matching your corporeal and spiritual needs. Is pursuing your PhD really blocking you from living a healthy orthodox lifestyle? Or do you feel like you have to conform rather than live life in a healthy way, be Jewish and have a career in your field of interest? Is that not possible? If you said you wanted to be a stripper or something, then yeah, that's not happening, but the arts?

You need a balanced approach achi. I've known that I wanted to live a religious life for a long time now and I've been slowly changing my lifestyle over time. Now I keep Sabbaths, the holidays, pray often. I'll keep going bit by bit. Always room for improvement. You don't have to go the quick burnout route.

Whatever made you tired of your previous life is going to make you tired again. I've seen people ping-pong like this before. Stop that cycle and face the truth. You want change. Approach it in a healthy, deliberate way. Brick by brick.

And this too...



Remember who you are.
BH I've been on this path for years. And there is a constant tension between the physical and spiritual. Obviously The way of emes is the integration and elevation of the physical within the spiritual, but because of my mental health I tend to go from 0 to a billion and before I know it I'm in a mania of my own making.

Mental health and spirituality is always going to be a hard path to navigate. As my friend said I can be Modern, do the arts etc and Orthadox, of course. But I can't really live that MO life. If I'm doing it, I'm doing it all hard-core.

However things become mentally unstable when you are prepared to throw your life away in the space of a few weeks for Ahavas Hashem. Its not what The Torah advises either. We learn this from how the sons of Aaron died. They bought an 'alien' fire to Hashem. Have a look at what that means and you'll understand what I'm saying here.

I appreciate your words and I wish you hatzlocha with your journey. Let myself be a warning for you to jump too fast and too far. Madness can lie within that path.

Have a great Shabbos Achi.
 

Croatoan

They/Them A-10 Warthog
I feel ya op. The last two years have been horrible for me mentally. Covid and Health anxiety disorder has really done my head in and I am a shell of my former self. My once perfect marriage is rocky, I feel completely isolated, and I am rarely happy. All because I am afraid of dying of whatever illness I have convinced myself I have. Add Covid fear on top of that and I just don't know how I keep going. There are days where I just cry, wondering what the point of living is if I am going to die soon.

My wife is 8 months pregnant, this should be a happy time in my life, but all I feel is doom. I've been to doctors, had tests run, all have come back perfectly fine...they say I am perfectly fine, but I always find some way to doubt the results "Ohh they screwed up the CT scan, or missed something when reading it...", or when I can't do that I pick something else to worry about. What sucks is the pain, and symptoms I feel, are real...at least to me. So its hard to dismiss even when I try.

I am on anti-anxiety medication and it helps some but also brought on side effects. AKA new "Symptoms" for me to worry about. I've tried talking to shrinks, and it doesn't really help. I do their CBT stuff and it just doesn't help. My wife wont listen to me anymore and just wants her husband back. Its just a never ending nightmare and I don't know how to wake up.
 
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O-N-E

Member
But I can't really live that MO life. If I'm doing it, I'm doing it all hard-core.

Oh I definitely wouldn't suggest the MO life. Just the authentic thing at a pace that doesn't send you down a spiral. I guess it just makes me curious as to what about your arts pursuit is incompatible with the orthodox life. Is it something strictly forbidden or is it more in the "not-recommended" category?

However things become mentally unstable when you are prepared to throw your life away in the space of a few weeks for Ahavas Hashem. Its not what The Torah advises either. We learn this from how the sons of Aaron died. They bought an 'alien' fire to Hashem. Have a look at what that means and you'll understand what I'm saying here.

Yes, the foreign fire is a nice example to bring up in this situation.

Hope you find peace and walk the straight path with a renewed energy and confidence very soon.
 
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INC

Member
Too long and didn’t read the opening. Does it involve a woman? NeoGAF has turned into Dr. Phil as of late with INC INC and poodaddy poodaddy expressing their vulnerability and pain. I’m all for the community supporting one another but it definitely lowers the mood and makes me a little miserable. Maybe I’m a selfish bastard for feeling this way?

dont be jealous, im a trend setter for fucking your life up.
 

Artoris

Member
I have found that over thinking can be a problem rather than trying to work out your place in the universe take it easy for a while and do simple things like cooking and reading story books.
 
Oh I definitely wouldn't suggest the MO life. Just the authentic thing at a pace that doesn't send you down a spiral. I guess it just makes me curious as to what about your arts pursuit is incompatible with the orthodox life. Is it something strictly forbidden or is it more in the "not-recommended" category?



Yes, the foreign fire is a nice example to bring up in this situation.

Hope you find peace and walk the straight path with a renewed energy and confidence very soon.
There isn't anything inherently incompatible with the Arts and Orthadoxy. As long as the obvious Halacha is followed from the situations that working in the arts might bring up. It's important to use one's talents that Hashem gave us within a Torah framework. Depending on which hashgofa one lives within, that framework can become very individual. My arts career is in installation art. Which is completely compatible.

Thank you. I don't think there is any one 'straight path'. The derech of Hashem is infinite. But I appreciate the kind words.
 
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Amiga

Member
There isn't anything inherently incompatible with the Arts and Orthadoxy. As long as the obvious Halacha is followed from the situations that working in the arts might bring up. It's important to use one's talents that Hashem gave us within a Torah framework. Depending on which hashgofa one lives within, that framework can become very individual. My arts career is in installation art. Which is completely compatible.

Thank you. I don't think there is any one 'straight path'. The derech of Hashem is infinite. But I appreciate the kind words.

throughout your contemplations. remember the body will perish but the spirit goes on. resist the temptation to take more than what is made fairly available.

pardon me, if I may pass on this advice I learned. though it may come from a different religion but I think it's one of the common parts.
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
It's the 4th time I move to nowhere and started back from scratch again. Need to make new friends, new work contacts etc. Life is so short that I have Fear Of Missing Out constant anxiety. My recent move was to ground myself with normal rural folks. I find it difficult so far but it's a definitive shock in my personal values. I always had massive nervous issues that I tried to hide but can't anymore cause it's too much.
 
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I go through addiction phases. At one point I was addicted to sex/strip clubs, drugs, and spending in strategy game all at once. I lost a ton of money. I got out of that by dumping my partner I was miserable with because my coping skills were trash. Crazy times. When I’m drowning in a relationship I go through that phase where I can’t resist urges/impulses and have an unhealthy run.
 
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