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True or False: I feel heard by others when I explain how chronic pain affects my mental health.

Living with a chronic illness of any kind can be — how shall we say this? — isolating as all get out. And when you add emotions into the mixing bowl of physical symptoms, that isolation only compounds.

When we asked our migraine community if they feel heard by others when they try to explain how migraine affects their mental health, only 10% said they feel heard and that the people around them genuinely try to understand what they’re going through. On the other end of the spectrum, 34% of Mighties who responded said they don’t feel heard and that no one really gets it.

In episode six of the Health and (un)Wellness podcast, Mighty staffers Kat and Skye explore why it’s so hard to explain the toll chronic pain can take on one’s mental health to folks who don’t live with it. Listen to the episode on Spotify:

#Migraine #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #MentalHealth #Isolation #Depression #Disability #CheckInWithMe #Fibromyalgia #EhlersDanlosSyndrome

8 reactions

The difficulty with anxiety and grief… #Grief #Anxiety #validation #Loneliness #Isolation

Don’t know many of you dealing with grief and anxiety feel similarly - you muster up energy, ability and motivation to socialise, seem normal, functional…but at the end of it, you are relieved. It feels enervating and drudging and there’s very rarely any meaning or comfort these interactions provide. So to the extent possible you avoid meeting people, remain reclusive for there’s more certainty there and less anxiety, indeed a comfort solitude provides. Then solitude and accompanying loneliness too intensifies your grief. You make efforts to reach out and fraternize. You try to decentre yourself and merely be in the moment & flow. Two things pan out - even those who know your grief don’t validate and worse sermonise to pull up, divert, engage etc. Second you rarely meet anyone interesting or worthy enough to make meaning or reassuring where given the hope, energy and efforts you rustle up for such encounters, disappointment hits big. Ultimately being in one’s shell seems to be the safest place to be. 😔

5 reactions

When depression and anxiety make me feel liking giving up.

Hi everyone! I often read posts on The Mighty and appreciate them all, but I don't often actively interact or post my own stories. Today I'm, for the first time feeling so hopeless and helpless that I'm thinking that not existing at all is a serious option. While I've denied having passive suicidal ideations, I'm pretty sure that is what I'm experiencing. I've dealt pretty effectively with all the things that get me down, but I contemplate my extreme financial strains, lack of an in-person support network, facing my rent going up, and wondering how in the world I'm going to take care of needed car repairs, having enough food (since my benefits were cut from $280 to $71 per month), and dealing with extreme feelings of isolation...I'm for the first time thinking ceasing to exist is an option. And I'm scared. I'm sixty-eight years old, barely living on SS income, and feeling completely isolated and alone...and I just don't know how to handle it.

I've been prescribed an antidepressant, which I will begin taking today...but that isn't helping my feelings of desperation and anger that our systems are so broken, or that there is little help for so many of us. Trying to deal with the red tape and confusing process to apply for subsidized housing...and then seeing just how long it may take to get anywhere with that...with extensive waitlist times and how overwhelmed the system is, is just adding to my current state of not knowing what to do, or how much longer I can keep up any semblance of a happy face or keep my anger and frustration from spilling over into every aspect of my life.

I've even been considering admitting myself into a hospital for help to get me through this...but that is a bit horrifying all by itself. What does one do when help seems so out of reach and so complicated to acquire? I'm seeing a psychiatrist...which is helpful, and my medication doctor (who I have to go through for medication help) seems coldly distant and often unhelpful...which doesn't deal with or help my daily feelings of hopelessness and helplessness when I'm by myself and alone with my thoughts and frustrations. Any advice from the community will be much appreciated.#Depression #Anxiety #hopelessness #helplessness #Sleep #Loss #Isolation #Pain

Thank you!


9 reactions 2 comments

I feel like a burden

Two days ago i had an hour long anxiety attack. I had my headphones blasting music on full volume, was wailing and crying. I wanted to scream so badly but i know my flatmates are there and they might get scared, every time i had this urge, i bit on my arm instead.
Last night my roommate came to me and told me how she felt seeing me in that state. She was scared and even know she knew i can handle my anxiety well it still affects others . The first thought that came to my head was - I'm moving out as soon as possible.
Today, we decided on a hair spa day, i have diy shitty bleached my hair and it later came to my knowledge that the hairdresser who did my hair told my friend to advice me not to bleach hair at home. I had this sudden anger bubble up and lashed out at my friend.
Now, i am crying in the room alone, locked the door and told my flatmates i won't be going for the trip we had planned this weekend. I am scared that my shit might pop up there and ik this trip is supposed to be a stress relief after our finals.

I am so tired of scaring people with my trauma. I get that how i deal with my trauma can traumatize people around me. And i don't want my friends to be scared of me, be anxious around me. That's just crap. i can't have my demons hurt other people. I just can't, i have hurt enough people already. When does it start to get better? Because every time i learn how to deal with past trauma and new experience gives me new trauma and i have yet to learn how to go around it. If i can just go away and vanish maybe then I'll stop hurting people #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Anxiety #PTSD #Depression #Selfharm #Isolation

19 reactions 3 comments

Not doing great today

TW: sh, disordered eating

I had a job interview yesterday which went quite well. It was my first job interview since quitting my job in May and it was for a position that fits well with my knowledge, skills, and experience.

Within an hour of the interview being over, I started rethinking everything I had said and fixating on some details. As the day went, I felt my mood significantly shift downward. It is hard for me to admit this because I feel a lot of shame, but I ordered pizza with full knowledge that it would make me feel worse (food sensitivities) and binged on it.

I kept tearing up and crying last night, and feeling like I'll never be able to handle a normal working life. I've also just started reopening some difficult things in therapy so that doesn't help.

Today, I've stayed in bed all day. My solution to not bingeing on leftover pizza from the moment I woke up was to just not eat anything. This also meant deliberately skipping my morning meds because it should be taken with food. As I started feeling terrible by 2pm, I ate some healthy food and took my afternoon meds.

I have my final depression therapy group session on Monday (week 8) and all I can think about is how I've failed. I was doing pretty well but this weekend is just so much regression and I am so ashamed and upset that I just want to wallow in it instead of using my strategies and coping skills.

I knew my reprieve of several months from the depths of depression wouldn't last, but why did a positive job interview experience lead to this?

I'm posting here because I need to resist the urge to isolate and hibernate.

#CheckInWithMe #letstalkdepression #Work #jobinterview #DisorderedEating #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #Trauma #Isolation

40 reactions 26 comments

Becoming a grandmother

I thought becoming a grandmother would be the most exciting thing in the world. Instead it’s made me extremely depressed because I don’t get to see him. I don’t even get a FaceTime with him. My heart is broken by the way I was treated after he was born. It was during the pandemic. I found out later her Mother was able to hold him. I was not able to hold him until he was 8 weeks old and I had to wear a hazmat suit. Her mother did not. She was able to hold him from day one. My husband and I are a lot older than her parents and we are not as well off financially. My son aloud this to happen and did nothing to stop it. I do not feel anything anymore. I have a brain injury that has gotten worse due to the depression and hurt I suffer with everyday. I don’t feel like a grandmother nor am I treated as one. On my birthday this past October I got a call from both my sons thats it. I waited for a FaceTime from my grandson that never came. I was devastated. They live close by it’s not like it’s out of state. We are not aloud to babysit him. We have offered and they make an excuse. Christmas with Santa Claus not us. Easter bunny not us. Valentine’s Day came and I finally had to say I had a gift and it would not reach him in time. She told me they would plan sometime to come out. They stopped in for 90 minutes sat and looked at their phones. He got his gift and they left. Everytime they leave I am crying and depressed. I hurt my back lifting him to get the mail. I’m still trying to heal my back. That was the last time we have seen or heard from them. We don’t seem to matter to them. I wanted to do something with Santa last year. My son says make it happen!!! I don’t know what he means by that. Then I see they took the train ride with Santa and we were not asked to come along. So if they already did it then why tell us to make it happen. I really have nothing to live for anymore. It’s getting worse and my son is now a stranger to me. The only way to protect my heart from more damage is to pull away. I really don’t know what else to do. I’m not rich Lyme disease took all my money. These last 3 years have been a living hell. Lost my mother , my brother and 6 others to suicide. Plus 22 more. I can’t even work anymore on line.

6 reactions 3 comments

Hopeless , Isolated # anxiety #Isolation #chronic pain

Today I realised how lonely I have become over the years of my illnesses. First came the anxiety and depression from a trauma that left me too afraid to go out and mix with others. Then came the relentless pressure from so called experts about my PTSD and years of fighting for compensation, whilst being accused of lying and using the system, to the point of court. This made my anxiety worse and my depression. I constantly felt let down by those colleagues and friends who were ( I thought) there to help me but instead deserted me afloat on an island of despair. Now it’s the constant struggle with Fibromyalgia, which has impacted by cutting me off from society and friendships again. I sometimes wonder why I keep going as it seems that my life is continually in flux and my body is betraying me in so many ways? How many of you have felt this way? How do you cope? # PTSD #Depression # Chronic Pain# Alone

18 reactions 3 comments

Waking up in sadness #Bipolar depression #Isolation #chronic pain

Every time I wake up I feel like I am in deep darkness and so much more desperate and empty and depressed than before I fell matter if it is from sleeping at night or if I only fall asleep for 30 minutes during the day. I am already in a deep's just so much worse when I wake up. This makes it so hard to function or even go on. Does this happen to anyone else? I always hope "things will be better in the morning"....that cliche I have now come to hate because it I am tired of waiting for it to actually be true. #Bipolar depression #chronic pain #Isolation

11 reactions 8 comments