MDAO Forum

Support for People with Mood Disorders => General Discussion => Topic started by: Daniel F on January 23, 2015, 02:55:44 pm

Title: Introductions
Post by: Daniel F on January 23, 2015, 02:55:44 pm
We got a great suggestion about having an introductions thread, so here it is! Feel free to introduce yourself/say a little bit about yourself in this thread.

I'm Daniel, administrator and sometimes moderator of this forum, and I'm also a peer support worker at the MDAO. I enjoy movies, good TV shows, listening to and making hip hop music, playing with my two cats (although I am still a dog person at heart!), and when I am feeling like doing something active I like biking, Ultimate Frisbee, skiing, and stuff like that.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on January 23, 2015, 09:50:01 pm
I go by the name of Dragonfly. I love spending time with my family. Going camping is a big one on my list. I like reading and doing crafts. Like Daniel I like playing with my two cats. Nature. Watching birds, animals, looking at plants. I like my computer. Researching, playing games, this forum. Gardening. Watch such shows as the Amazing Race, American Idol, Jeopardy. Movies.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on January 24, 2015, 02:44:19 am
Hello Everyone.  People like Dragonfly, Daniel and everyone else on this forum are pretty nice people. We've all had our fair share of problems (to say the least :) ) . Some of us(all perhaps) still have some sort of struggle with our lives, some are better (as in more well) than others and some are watching and trying to help loved ones. Some can work and some can't. Overall everybody is pretty understanding, which is why I'm still posting on a MDAO forum after 10yrs.

 Myself, I've had a lifelong struggle with bipolar, anxieties and other problems, both mental and physical. Some of my life has been bliss and some has been a living hell.  Sometimes I've been lucky as heck and other times I couldn't win a lottery if I was the only one entered.

 In the past, my illness, has caused me to create a lot of  heartache for a lot of people. I also rec'd a lot of help over the years from anonymous strangers who passed on tips on how to get better. So as I can no longer work, I do a lot of volunteering, partly because of the satisfaction helping others gives me and partly to help keep kicking a few skeletons to the  back of the closet :).

 I 've been married for 38 yrs (yes to only one woman!) and have 2 kids and a grandchild and my one son also has bipolar and some physical challenges.

 I've been a professional and at times my illness(es) have caused me to be almost a professional bum.  I enjoy the outdoors, reading, and so may different things that I haven't even turned on my TV in over a year. (except to watch the occasional DVD).

 Depending on who you ask,I'm reasonable stable these days. I'll never be well, but I really enjoy life and that wasn't always so.

 I'm definitely a dog person, but we currently also have a cat.  I tend to be a bit wordy, but I'm pretty friendly (these day  :) )

 I've been doing things with or for the MDAO for 20+ yrs now and I can tell you that they are a pretty good organization and if anyone reading this has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. We on the forum, do not have all of the answers, but we can listen, sympathize, sometimes point you in the right direction and above all, you'll know you are not alone. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: LuckyLou on January 24, 2015, 07:46:04 am
Hi I am. Lucky for a number of reasons but mostly because I'm still alive! I had a breakdown about 6 years ago when I was formally diagnosed as bipolar and having an anxiety disorder. This is when I first stumbled across this forum and boy have I come a long way since those early days! I have been with my partner for almost nineteen years and I am so lucky that he has stuck by me through all the craziness. I am still learning about this illness and this forum has saved me a number of times and I am grateful for the friends I have made here.i  too have a cat who has social anxiety too lol I have had periods where I have been unable to work and I am. Working now but barely hanging by a thread. I am an open book so feel free to ask questions or pm me anytime!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: DeterminedJay on January 25, 2015, 03:47:22 am
Hey MDAO, my name is Jason. I don't want to put a name on whatever I have because it has no power over my life except the power I give it... But in my past I have suffered from a depression with symptoms that correlate to ADHD. But moving on, I am a huge believer in science and the power of computers and I put a majority of my energy into designing and thinking about ways with which it can be used to further benefit our species.

I am either very goal oriented and driven to the point of absolute obsession, or a hermit who doesn't want to leave a room let alone the house. I aim to balance it out, but my diet is directly related to the way my mind functions...

I love video games, I love food, I can cook decently, and I love to love.

You may see me as a space case, a brilliant mind or a complete nut. But I have trained myself so that whenever anyone puts me down it just makes we work harder to be better than I was yesterday. Not for them, not for anyone except myself and my future.

Thank you for welcoming me to this community, I feel as though being here is essential to my well-being.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Soozan on January 25, 2015, 03:49:13 pm
Hi There! I am Soozan, I joined this board in 2011 and found it very helpful at one of the worst times in my life, and it helped me get through some very painful times, with the support of this very kind and thoughtful group!

I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 many years ago but was in denial until 2011 when I finally accepted my diagnosis and committed to taking a regular regimen of medication and seeing my psychiatrist regularly. Since then my life has taken some wonderful turns!

I met my husband Rich on this forum and then in person at a "laughing like crazy" event where we all set up a get together so we could meet (in public of course) in person for those who could attend the event! After many months Rich and I finally had our first date and those on the board got to experience our love story blooming .... it was quite mushy and all! but does go to show that anything can happen on this board and good things can happen when one commits to taking care of their mental health.

I admit that I got lucky as well, but I worked hard at my recovery and that took determination, not luck. Finding Rich was the best thing that ever happened to me! Don't get me wrong, life isn't perfect, but I am better prepared for what life throws at me because of the work I did for my mental health and for reaching out to others like I did on this board.

OH and a little more about me .. I am a graphic designer, get quite busy so I don't visit here as often as I would like, but when I do I try to catch up with all the posts.

I am grateful for the helpful people that share their thoughts and feelings and struggles and celebrations on this board. Welcome to all those who visit here and I hope that all will feel as welcome and supported as I felt when I made my first post!

(others should know too that this is a new format forum and this forum has been going on for years but our old messages got wiped out so we don't have much of a history of posts here which is too bad... but we hope to make new memories here of helpful strategies for others who look back on earlier posts)

- Soozan
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Rich on January 25, 2015, 07:17:53 pm

I wish I wrote as well as Soozan (my wife!), but she has the unfair advantage of being artsy, whereas I am a hard-core computer nerd (i.e.  I "code" more than I "write"!).  I was diagnosed with Bipolar II illness in 2006, and that was the year that I joined the MDAO forum.  Up until I received the diagnosis, I was only considered by people to be "weird" or "eccentric" or "strange"...but after the diagnosis, people 'promoted' me (?!?) to crazy, insane, whacko, etc.  I still find it all very funny, since I was on meds and stable when the labels changed.

For many years after the diagnosis, my life became harder.  But then I met Soozan!  Maybe two 'crazies' don't make a 'sane' person, but my life has improved dramatically since first meeting her.  She is truly the love of my life!  And can you imagine how nice it is not to be judged for having a mental illness???  Or having to explain it???  This was such an added bonus!  Being together is paradise!

Well, like most people, we try to be the best people that we can, and to enjoy life to the fullest!  During the summer you can find us in the pool.  During the summer, spring and fall we like to take walks.  We like to see movies if there are any good ones playing (we just saw "The Wedding Ringer" - it was funny!).  Doing the "food ride" is one of our favourite things to do, but we try to show restraint.  ;-)  We like 'real' food, not that rich-people pretentious crap.  I don't care if we only spend $10 --- good food is good food!  :-)  During the winter months, we try to get away for a night here and there in a hotel...but it must have a hot tub!  We also like to get lattes at Second Cup on cheapie Tuesday's.  Yes, we are thrifty, but we still have fun!

Okay, we still have our challenges, such as elder-care, the expense of putting two kids thru their post-secondary education, and the odd stress-induced mood swing or bout of anxiety.  But I must tell you that Soozan has turned my life around to the point that I feel 'normal' or at least our version of it!  ;-)  The people at work have noticed it too!

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on January 26, 2015, 09:15:03 am
I guess I haven't told much about myself. Just what I like to do. So here goes.

I suffer from bipolar II. In hindsight I know I have suffered from this illness since I was 12 years old. I wasn't diagnosed until I had my third and final child at the age of 30. I have had some very severe depressions to the point of being suicidal. Have also had periods of mania. Some of my moods were not helped by hormones. Puberty, having babies and a complete hysterectomy.

I am now 64 years old. It has been a long struggle. I am for the most part stable right now. I know my mental illness will never be cured.

I had a very wonderful, caring, supportive, loving husband. We just had our 39th wedding anniversary when he died (died is such a hard word to say - he passed away seems better) from cancer. It has been 3 1/2 years. I was scared I would go into a very severe depression. That didn't happen. Things have not been easy. I grieve for him. I know that will never stop.

I have 3 children and a daughter in law. My kids, daughter 38, son 35 and another daughter 33. Two wonderful grandchildren, a girl who is  8 and a boy 5 yrs. old. I adore them. My family has been very supportive of me. I don't know what I would do without them.

Besides my mental illness I also have other health problems. I try not to dwell on them and complain about them.

I have many limitations due to my health. I try to accept these. It is not always easy.

When I first joined this forum I was apologizing a great deal for my actions, etc. I learnt I didn't have to do this. This forum has helped me greatly and there are many friends here.

I have a very good supportive system from health professionals for all my health problems. I am very grateful for this.

I try to stay positive. For the most part I am friendly and caring of people. Something I have to work on is not being so judgemental of people.

Right now my son and daughter-in-law are having a hard time with their marriage. My son comes and confides in me. I tell him I can't take sides. I can be supportive of him though. I told him they need counselling. My son and daugher-in-law would lose so much if they split up. My two daughters also have their problems. As a parent you always worry about your children. I have to let things go though or I will get sick.

One thing I have learned is that you can't totally plan your life. Life thows unexpected curves.

I must admit that I am very wordy.

Dragonfly  :-*

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Peace on January 26, 2015, 09:58:03 am
Hello everyone!  :)

My formal diagnosis are OCD, Agoraphobia, and Mixed-Mood Depression. I chose the name Peace because my OCD makes it so my mind never stops thinking and I crave peace. A good friend of mine recently said I remind her of watching t.v. with her brother because he channel surfs, and when I talk to people I change subjects constantly. It's very exhausting and very debilitating. To quote a song from the band Boston, all I want is to have my peace of mind.

I am married with two amazing children. I used to think of myself as mother of the year. I balanced a very stressful job with long hours, a long commute, and quality time with my family. I was very involved with my church, and with the Guiding system. Now I'm having a hard time coming to terms with my limitations, and my inability to be that person again.

My illness limits me greatly as to what I can do now. The obsessing and compulsions take up too much of my time, make it hard for me to think clearly, and leaving my home is extremely difficult. What I used to like to do is read, embroider, play in the snow (sledding, snowball fights, build snowmen), do sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles, volunteer at my church and volunteer for other causes that have meaning to me, and bake. I can still bake. I love nature and I love animals.

I am extremely thankful for this forum. There are a great group of people here who genuinely try to help each other and more importantly who understand. Thanks friends  :)
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: messee on February 05, 2015, 02:01:43 pm
hey all,

I'm going by Messee . . .  male, married, mid 40s, one kid, not working presently (LTD).  I have had depression and impulsivity issues for 20 yrs+

Like Jason noted above, my issues are not unlike ADD-- manifests with brain fog, inattention, poor memory, lack of focus; also includes serious ruminative / obsessive thinking  and  in my case has at times led to intense suicidal ideation.

I find that being socially isolated makes things a lot worse for me, which has been increasingly an issue since I went off work.  Happy to hear from anyone who would like to connect more, or has suggestions for volunteer opportunities.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on February 06, 2015, 12:09:45 am
Hi Messee and welcome,

This is a great forum. It has helped me so much. I am afraid that I am not long on words right now. Post as much as you want. We are here for you.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: LuckyLou on February 06, 2015, 07:06:17 am
Just wanted to say welcome messe!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Pleeb on February 08, 2015, 02:19:24 am
(Susan has 67 1/2 year old sisters? :-*)

Hi....Peter here..  I was very self conscious and anxious a lot of my life.  A lot of it faded away, thank goodness (I'm 68) in June.  I worked on my social phobia the last few years.  A lot of this runs in the family - I have 4 brothers, and my late mother was very anxious.

Years ago I was diagnosed with dysthymia, which means low-grade, long term depression.  My ex psychiatrist diagnosed me.  I had been seeing him for years, but two years or so, he "dropped" me, as I had only been seeing him twice a year lately.

Cognitive behaviour therapy, CBT helped me to try and combat/change negative thoughts.  I still carry the CBT forms with me sometimes....just in case.

I get depressed sometimes, but I often can't figure out what the trigger is.  Or "triggers?"

I take Wellbutrin XL, Cipralex and Clonazepam.

A previous Laughing like Crazy joke -
I've been taking meds a looong time!
I started on Gerbers Cipralex, then moved up to Flintstones Cipralex.
Now I take Cipralex Senior - it's an antidepressant and a laxative!


I'm talking a Laughing like Crazier course now that leads up to a show in April.

I used to collect old stuff like radios, bottles, tins.  Now I mainly have tiny and miniature things...interesting rocks.

I'm known for bringing props to the Crazier classes support groups.  I have stuff like a phone from 1980, odd knickknacks like plastic clapping hands, a small electric megaphone that changes my voice into alien voices....doesn't work that well.

Was trying to learn ukulele....may switch back to keyboard.


Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: mmarynuk on February 19, 2015, 06:11:46 pm
Well as I have noticed others introducing themselves here is a go for me. My name is Michelle, I am 33 years old and was finally diagnosed with Bipolar type 1 when I was 31. I have had symptoms since I was 4 years old but was misdiagnosed. I started experiencing MAJOR tantrums at the age of 4 to the extreme of ripping doors off hinges and destroying things. I was extremely hyperactive and would barely sleep as well and I was diagnosed in 1987 with ADHD and was prescribed Ritalin which at the age of 9 almost killed me. The meds made my life worse at that point, it did not help with my attention span and I was still very aggressive and extremely hyper.

At 8 years of age in 1990 I was diagnosed as having Panic disorder with Agoraphobia and mine was on the severe end as I would NOT leave the house for anything. Under the instruction of my child psychiatrist I was admitted for 1 year into the child psychiatric center where I underwent Cognitive behavioral therapy, which only helped for awhile. I was still terrified of life and had a hard time functioning. I was depressed alot of the time but my doctor said it was a coping mechanism, Which now my new doctor knows that it was not and other things were going on. Into my teenage years I was out of control, I got into many fights and took off for days on end without a care. My mother at that point took a step back as she could not deal with me and I moved out at age 14.

I went many years between crazy behavior & severe depression but I was overlooked many times by doctors saying I was just being a typical "teen". When I was 30 I went through a major depression lasting 8 months and finally had enough and went to my personal family doctor who referred me to a great Psychiatrist who knew something was very wrong. By the time I got into see him I was in full blown mania and hearing voices, He observed me for awhile and went through my medical records and immediately knew from my history that was documented that I had Bipolar disorder and diagnosed me with Type 1. He also said that based on my history he could pin point that it started around the age of 4. He also said my misdiagnoses could be the cause of why I developed panic disorder and agoraphobia. Sorry for the long post, but I am finally ready to share and trust me this is the condensed version.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: LuckyLou on February 20, 2015, 09:11:52 am
Hi Michelle and welcome to the forum!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Pleeb on February 20, 2015, 06:14:57 pm
Nice to see new people!

Dragonfly and Michelle:  you're not wordy, btw.

Peter :D

Some of us on here have met in person, especially at Laughing like Crazy shows.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on February 20, 2015, 08:45:10 pm
Welcome Michelle to the forum,

I am so sorry about what you went through. I am glad that you found a psychiatrist (we call them pdoc's to make it easier) that finally understood you. I know it can be a long process.
This forum has helped me so much. Please post as much as you want. We are very caring, friendly and non-judgemental here.
Your contribution helps us too. It gives more insight as to what people suffer who have a mental illness. Your post is valuable to us. We can learn from it. In the beginning when I joined the forum I was so scared to post. I thought I might write something wrong. I don't feel that way anymore. I have great friends here that listen to me and help me. You are not being too wordy.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on February 20, 2015, 08:47:59 pm
Thank you Peter for telling me that I am not too wordy. Like I said in an earlier post I would love to meet some of you.

Dragonfly :)
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Soozan on February 22, 2015, 09:15:54 pm
Hi Michelle!

Welcome to the Forum! it's great to meet you! I am bipolar 1 too! (thus the thing 1) I hope you will participate with the group! it would be great to get to know you more!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on February 22, 2015, 11:16:58 pm
Hello mmarynuk.  I understand and can sympathize. Unfortunately incorrect diagnosis for extended periods is still way to common. Good to see you paot again. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Lysta on March 04, 2015, 07:14:59 pm
Hi Everyone :) My name is Elizabeth and I'm so glad I stumbled across this forum. I am a 37 year old single mom of an almost 17 year old boy and a 12 year old girl. I am currently on disability for a combination of things. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, depression, bi polar disorder and IBS. As you can imagine, I find myself pretty exhausted. I am also battling anaemia and a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

Like some other people here have mentioned, it took a very long time to get my diagnoses. I was 15 when they started treating depression. At 32 when I got a new doctor, I was finally sent for proper care and only then started to receive treatment that worked (slowly but surely).

I joined this forum because I'm tired of being alone. The few people I do have around me try to understand but unless you have experienced any or all of these things, I don't believe you can truly understand.

At times I feel as though I am never going to get better. I was off work for 3 years and then returned to school for retraining. This semester, my second to last, I had to withdraw as I wasn't in a state to continue. Seems like a step back but 5 years ago, I couldn't drive my car. I had to be dragged to my doctors appointments and didn't leave the house otherwise. I cried for hours at a time, was in so much pain my children couldn't give me hugs. My doctor says that anyone else who had endured what I have the last 5 years would not be standing right now. I am all my children have and they are my biggest motivation to keep going, to stay upright, to get better.

Hope I didn't bore you guys too much :)
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on March 04, 2015, 10:44:35 pm
Hi Elizabeth and welcome,

I am sorry that you have been having such a hard time. I find that this forum has helped me a great deal. We are a friendly, caring, supportive, non-judgemental group.

What you have to say is not boring to us. In fact what you have to say gives us insight into problems that we also may be experiencing.

Post as much as you want. We are here for you.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: LuckyLou on March 05, 2015, 07:16:27 am
Welcome Elizabeth! You are not boring at all! I have been there and no it's no fun! Feel free to post often we don't judge here!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Soozan on March 13, 2015, 07:07:44 am
Hi Elizabeth, it's been a pleasure getting to know you on this board! I am glad you joined us and you definitely are not boring. You are very brave for having to deal with all you have dealt with .. sorry I am so late in welcoming you .. Introductions are usually the last place I notice on the board. Welcome!

- Soozan
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Rebecca on May 06, 2015, 03:59:32 pm
Hello everyone,

how are you all doing ?   I hope everyone is trying to enjoy the sunshine.

My name is Becky.  Today is my first day on this forum.  I am a 31 yr old single mom to a 6 year old boy.  I have been suffering with depression on and off for the last 10 or so years.  I was episode free from the time i was pregnant until approximately last summer. 
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Soozan on May 10, 2015, 10:33:17 pm
Hi Becky!

Welcome to the Forum! Sorry no one has responded recently, we have all been pretty quiet lately! but usually we have more to say! Please make yourself at home and feel free to post whatever is on your mind. We would love to hear from you! and Happy Mother's day!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on May 12, 2015, 12:49:23 am
Hello Becky and sorry about the belated welcome. If you are still out there, please feel free to ask questions, answer other people's questions or just use the forum to vent out some of life's frustrations. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: rollingl on June 13, 2015, 10:52:55 pm

I used to be on this forum as, I think, wheelchairdemon. I lost the link and over time, lost the ability to log in (once I found the link).

I now live in Toronto. I used to live in Kingston.

I was in the "system" for 22 years. The diagnoses I was given included anything from schizophrenia to bipolar to personality disorder to no mental illness at all.

Whatever the case I have years of lived experience inside the system and out. I have learned that the best way to cope is get away from negative attitudes and put-downs, find new things to get myself involved in that has me integrated in society, and make sure I choose things I enjoy doing.

I have no idea if I'm mentally ill or not. I'm well now and I have not seen a psychiatrist, been given counselling, or taken a medication for years. What I know is, by controlling lifestyles that fit my personality I'm no longer going up and down the depression/manic rollercoaster. I'm pretty level.

With this kind of lived experience (of revolving door experiences and admissions to the psychiatric hospitals) I have learned some good coping skills. I've also learned the importance of networking with others who understand "people who are different."

By joining this group it is my hope to share both lived experiences and "what works" strategies. Every once in awhile I need a boost too. Hopefully a network like this will work as a two-way street.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on June 14, 2015, 10:49:22 pm
Welcome Louise,

I don't have much to say right now. I have been away for the weekend and didn't notice your post until late tonight.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Iambluetoo on June 20, 2015, 03:22:55 pm
Hi Everyone,

I joined earlier in the week and has been slowly looking around at older posts to get a feel for the site.
Like a few others here, I've not had a Clinical Diagnosis. However, it's not difficult for those who have known me for years to see a pattern of Depression.
I actually went to my Doctor last week to discuss getting help and she dismissed me, saying that my job wasn't stressful? (Because I work retail). What could I possibly have to be stressed about? Well, there's my husband's Chronic Illness and My Fear of the Commute to work. And who is to say that I don't have stress on the job? Is the Doctor there at work with me??

So I went looking for support meetings online and came across this forum. Thanks Sooo much for being here. I've already found some peace by reading through the posts.

Have a Great Weekend. Happy Father's Day to those who are fathers or have fathers to celebrate with.

I'm looking forward to reading more and getting to know you better.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on June 21, 2015, 11:24:20 pm
Hello Iambluetoo and welcome to the forum. It can be frustrating trying to get help. I don't know why the doc said what she did, but I do know the following.

 Depression does not care what sort of job that we have or how well off we are and it can strike anyone. It is listed as a major illness by WHO (World Health Organization). One of the key items that depression does to us is that it causes a negative outlook towards the world. By that I mean, I might not find my job in the least stressing, but if depression comes along then all of a sudden I may be unable to face work the next day(actually happened to me, I had a job I loved and suddenly I couldn't go to work anymore).

 Depression may also make a lousy job worse and cause anxieties to worsen. Anxieties can also cause depression to worsen so I can understand you being upset.

  I wouldn't give up  on trying to get more help from your doc, but you may want to take the "Check up from the neck up" quiz provided by the MDAO     

  It was developed by the MDAO and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Department of Psychiatry (Dr. Anthony Levitt, Psychiatrist-in-Chief) The Ontario Psychological Association The Ontario College of Family Physicians, Collaborative Mental Health Care Network and you can print this part off as well.    .

 Sometimes docs listen a little better when you give them answers that speak their language (I know that's not fair, but that's how it is sometimes).  Taking the quiz and printed everything out may allow you to persuade your doc that you have a very real illness.

 In the meantime please do not hesitate to ask questions, answer other people's questions and/or use the forum to vent out a few of life's frustrations. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on June 23, 2015, 08:33:49 pm
Hey everyone!

I've recently signed up for the organizational membership and the forums here. I've been in therapy and meds for a couple years now (dealt with anxiety/panic issues for almost 20 yrs and cycles of depression for last 10 yrs). I wish I got help earlier but denial is a powerful thing...

My treatments have been quite helpful (I wasn't expecting any miracle fixes) but I feel like connecting with other people experiencing similar issues and feelings will be helpful. Since I was diagnosed, I've felt the need to advocate whenever I can for mental health awareness and help peers however I can. I'm finishing up my phd right now in medical ethics, and have recently narrowed a lot of my research on mental health issues (present at the Canadian Bioethics Society regularly on the relationship of theories and my personal experiences). My aspirations are to become a clinical bioethicist, hopefully specializing in mental health.

If anyone is ever interested in talking about that stuff or anything really for that matter let me know!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on June 23, 2015, 10:51:40 pm
Hello GrizzlyMantooth and welcome.  Most of us on here have had problems much like yours and we certainly welcome hearing what worked for you.  Please feel free to ask questions, respond to other people's questions and/or use the forum to vent.  Take Care. paul m

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on June 24, 2015, 12:19:36 am
Thanks Paul, I look forward to being part of the community  :)

also, forgot to mention my name is Marco
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Iambluetoo on June 24, 2015, 07:29:48 pm
Thanks Paul for the Welcome and the suggestions.

And welcome to Marco.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on June 24, 2015, 10:43:57 pm
thanks and welcome to you as well Wendy
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Iambluetoo on August 12, 2015, 08:40:03 am
I know I've been quiet for a while. I have visited and looked in on the forum, but I've been trying to decide my path. I went back to the Doctor and talked things out. Starting Cipralex this morning, first meds in over 20 years. On one hand I'm looking forward to feeling better about myself and life. On the other hand, I'm terrified of the potential side effects. The pharmacist assured me that these newer SSRI's are much easier on the system. I sure hope so! And I've also a referral for counselling.  Thanks for talking to me about this and helping me find the nerve to pursue help.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on August 12, 2015, 11:54:43 am
that's great news. it took me over a decade to take the step towards even considering meds, so you're not alone there.

I have been taking cipralex for a few years now and even though I'm on the max dose 40mg, I noticed results within the first few weeks on the introductory dose of 10mg in regards to my anxiety. I've had to increase over time to help me with major depressive episodes but it's still working. So things that it took away within a month for me were a lot of bodily symptoms like IBS and tremors but it also helped with delusions and minor hallucinations from panic attacks.

The only new negative side effect I have had since starting it has been weight gain, I've gained 25lbs over the years. When I workout hard I'm able to lose around 10lbs of it. It really bothered me at first, but I've slowly learned that it's totally worth the little bit of weight, now that I can function as a normal human being and do simple things like pick up take out and make a phone call to a stranger.

I just started going to the mdao support groups as well and that has been a positive experience for sure. something else to consider, that also took me a couple years to build up the courage to sit my butt down though.

anyways the new ssri's are much easier on the system and they work in a superior way than the older drugs that just band aided the issue. If you ever have any worries or concerns and want to talk to somebody feel free to pm me.

all the best!
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on August 13, 2015, 03:07:44 am
Hello Iambluetoo. Each medication affects everyone a bit differently. Cipralex is known for being difficult to start with headaches and increased anxiety and/or stomach upset for about a mth. It's then known for having very few side affects there after. So hopefully you will have few to start with and less as time goes on. I hope that it works for you.

 Congrats on picking a path, that is always a hard thing to do. I know that just deciding to try and get better was a major life decision for me and it scared me to death. Not that I didn't want to get better, I did, just the potential problems scared me. Let us know how you make out. Good Luck and Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Iambluetoo on August 14, 2015, 08:08:57 am
Thanks Grizzly and Paul for your words of encouragement and feedback on  Cipralex. Day 3 and I've experienced very little in the way of side effects. I was honestly terrified of this stuff after reading comments online (elsewhere) about it. But of course people react differently. I have also read some good reviews.

Does anyone here practice Meditation?  I try to include it in my life every day. Sometimes just for a few minutes, but it does help. The following article shows a positive spin on the combination of SSRI's and a Mindfulness Practice.


Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on August 14, 2015, 11:50:02 am
yeah any drug is different for anyone as our brains are complicated things but for myself and others I know cipralex has had minimal side effects. I had one friend switch because her legs twitched a lot at night and she couldn't sleep but that was it. I hope it's a positive experience for you too!

As for the meditation, I do various forms of it and it's never really structured to any particular tradition. Spiritually I'm a mystic so the various forms of meditation are paramount over any other form of worship. I just feel like it connects me with something outside myself and often times you are able to step outside your self and be one with the universe. I agree that it can be quite psychologically liberating and it helps me with anxiety for sure. Sometimes I do regular sitting and lying down meditations, yoga, muslim salat, etc. The only thing I will say is, from my own experience, I had to be patient in learning how to do it. I found that certain methods just didn't work for me, but others did. You just have to find what feels good. :)
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on August 15, 2015, 01:17:28 am
hello Iambluetoo. I know a lot of people that meditation works for, but it doesn't work for me. I don't know why, it just doesn't.  However it is a proven fact that any type of good mindfulness practice is better than just straight meds. While I don't do well at meditation, I do a lot better when I practice what I've learned in various cognitive behavioral courses.

 I have no idea why various health plans , both private and provincial don't provide more in the way of alternative treatments or supplementary treatments. It's been proven over and over again that people do better when they do more than just take medication. Take Care. paul m p.s. in case anyone is wondering, I take my meds everyday, but since started living a different life style and practicing what I have learned in various course I don't have to take nearly as many meds as I used to and the doses of those that I do take are lower. 
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Iambluetoo on August 15, 2015, 04:19:39 pm
PaulM, Thanks for the feedback on how alternative treatments work together for you. That's Wonderful to hear.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Carly on November 10, 2015, 10:17:40 pm
Hey Everyone.
I'm Carly and I'm just in the midst of a terrible anxiety and depression phase. I'm not working and had to stop going to school. I'm staying with my parents cause I feel so lonely at my place. I find most of the day unbearable and I feel very alone and scared. One good thing is that my cousin has very bad anxiety and we have been talking on the phone every Sunday and supporting eachother. I really hope I can come through this.  I just got a transitional case worker through the hospital and we're meeting on Thursday.

I'm scared the meds they gave me won't work. I'm on Cymbalta, and it's been about 3 weeks. They say I need to be patient. I'm also on Buspar and Trazodone for sleeping and I feel so bad about myself when I take my handful of pills. I hope everybody is doing well and is doing the best they can. I honestly have never needed other people so badly before. I'm so glad you people exist and seem so nice. Does anyone attend that mood disorder support group in London on Wednesdays? I want to go but I'm anxious about it.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on November 10, 2015, 11:34:27 pm
Hello Carly and welcome. Fighting depression and anxiety can be tough and I can understand how alone that you feel. In regards to taking meds , they do tend to take a while to work and the amount that we have to take can seem like too much. However many physical illnesses can make us take too many meds too. When it's a physical illness no one seems to care too much about taking the medications(me included) , but for some reason most of us feel upset about having to take them for a mental illness (me included).

 Over time, as your illness comes more under control you may or may not be able to cut back on some of the meds. Maybe not too, but that's still no shame or weakness. I've taken arthritis medication for longer than I've taken psych meds and nobody ever sez that taking arthritis medication is a weakness.

 In regards to the London group, I know of it and I know one of the facilitators and it seems like a pretty good group. Most groups are pretty friendly and non judgmental.  You can attend and if you don't like it, you don't have to go back, you don't even have to stay for the whole meeting. 

 Please feel free to ask questions on here, answer other people's questions an/or use the forum to vent out some of life's frustrations. We may not be able to cure you, but we are friendly. Good luck with you medications. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on November 11, 2015, 04:54:21 pm
Hey Carly, sorry to hear of your troubles, but always remember you're not alone in them! It's good you have family there to support you, support from loved ones is something i cherish on my path of recovery I hope you find they do the same.

I've been attending the mdao groups in Toronto for a few months now and they have changed my life. I encourage you to give it a shot, it took me 6 months of saying this is going to be the week I'll go and have too much anxiety to get out the door, it takes a lot of courage to go to a group and put yourself out there...I get that. but now I look forward to going every week and feel amiss when I can't go.

As for the drugs it also took me a long time to get on board with them as I was under the misconception they would change who I was, and I've been taking them for a couple years now and found that they help but that they are really just a stepping stone to recovery. I know of others that have to try a few different kinds before they find the right fit for them. Try to hang in there! and feel free to pm me if you want to talk one on one. :)

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Carly on November 11, 2015, 10:37:23 pm
Thanks Grizzlymantooth. I think I will go to the support group next week, cause why not? And thanks Paulm for the kind words. I look forward to chatting with everyone more.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Jackie on March 09, 2016, 04:43:43 pm
Hi .  I have Social Anxiety( since a young child ) , General Anxiety and Panic Disorder- (diagnosed in my 20s) .

   I've been on a low dosage of 1.5mg upto 2mg of Clonazepam a day 15 + years.  I did work full time at same job for over 20 years .  My only sibling was killed in 2003 and I lost both my parents to Alzheimer's . I have no children because my grandfather was bi-polar and so was my sister and both had shock treatments when they were alive .  I have suffered all my life with Anxiety .. I did not want to pass it on to a child ..  So I have no family ..not even a niece or a cousin and it is really hard on me. 

 I  recently went through a home invasion that was horrible . I tried to explain to my Dr. that I'm having a hard time being in my home alone since the invasion.   and she told me to "get over it"  . she made me feel invalidated and I already feel somewhat invisible  . I must have PTSD since that happened, as I can't function alone in the house,.every sound outside/ knock on the door and instant fear /terror..

 I am so desperate for help .. I can't sleep and when I do fall asleep I wake up within a couple of hours with horrible panic attacks . I do not want to go back to my Dr.  as she made me feel so bad and I told her I could not sleep and not coping, but  she just seemed agitated and so dismissive of me !  I am also worried that I may not be able to find another GP  that will prescribe my Clonazepam.. as many Dr.s do not . I cannot just go off a med that I have been on  15 years due to withdrawl.  plus I cant get referral to a shrink as I can't go back to my Dr. and have her make me feel even more invalidated . I have asked around about Dr.s and so far no luck ?     Anyone know of a kind Dr that will understand that I have been on Clonazepam for years and can't just stop taking it ???

  I have been trying to find help on my own and did manage to make it to mdao support group about a week or so ago . but because I have Social Anxiety Disorder too ...  I only made it half way through the group and then had to leave ( the rooms are small and the door was closed i felt very claustrophobic and anxious).

 I am trying to build a support system in my life but so far nothing .   
 Sorry for rambling .. I am just a big mess with no Dr.  to talk to or anyone that understands .
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on March 11, 2016, 01:16:59 am
Hello Jackie. No problem with rambling, sometimes it's good to vent out some of life's problems. I'm afraid that I don't have any good suggestions that will work quickly for you.

 Unfortunately trying to find a new doctor these days can be very difficult. To go through health connect or other gov't agency you have to resign your old doctor first. Sometimes you may see a sign that sez "taking new patients" , but that is probably rare in T.O. , another way is to phone your local hospital and ask about their family medicine resident’s practice, where you are treated by a resident under the supervision of a doctor. Examples of this are  (scroll down near the bottom) and    although they too may ask that you resign your current doctor first.

 In regard the mdao support meeting ,  I only made it part way through my first peer support meeting too, but nobody cared and I was always welcome back.

 Depending on your financial well being, you may want to look at a psychologist to help you with your anxiety problems. They use talk sessions and therapy rather than medication to help people with their anxiety problems but they tend to be expensive and are not covered by OHIP. Good Luck and Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Jackie on March 11, 2016, 09:27:36 am
Thank you Paulm,   You really did send me some helpful information .  I live close to North York General Hospital and clicked on the link you sent me ..   I have another refill on the Clonazepam and cannot afford to lose that refill , but will definitely contact them after i pick up my next refill end of April .. 

Thanks or letting me know that you had trouble also getting through your first MDAO meeting ..  sometimes it just helps to know someone else felt the same way I did .. 

I currently cannot afford a therapist  ..  That is why I need a new Dr  to get me a referral to see an Ohip covered pys doctor .     

Thank you for replying  and you really were helpful :)
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Amanda on March 15, 2016, 03:16:45 pm
Hello:)  My name is Amanda.  I am a teacher and the divorced mother of three young adult daughters. I have bipolar disorder type 2 and OCD.  I go back and forth between doing just fine and really not doing fine (although I have not been in the true disaster zone for a few years since my medication was increased). I am glad to be on the group - I think it's a wonderful idea for people with mood disorders to support and encourage one another.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on March 15, 2016, 08:00:41 pm
Hello Amanda and welcome. Please do not hesitate to ask questions, answer other people's questions and/or use the forum to vent out some of life's frustrations. We don't have all of the answers here, but we are friendly. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on March 16, 2016, 09:48:17 pm
Hi Amanda, As I have said in my other posts. Welcome.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Sadkitty on August 02, 2016, 12:02:11 pm
Hi my name is Kayla and I just turned 26 not too long ago.  Sadkitty is a nickname I got in high school from my group of friends (it was one of many since there were multiple Kayla in my group of friends) I started having problems from a young age because of bullying.  No matter how many times I moved they seemed to just get worse and worse.  In high school things got really bad and I wanted so badly to reach out for help but the problem is I would have had to tell my family and I didn't want that added stress.  I wasn't until I was almost 23 that I decided to talk to my family doctor.  I've been on many different medications (thank goodness for health insurance) and after a while I started doing counselling.  I got to a point where I stopped taking my medication and just did the counselling for a while.  I stopped that after she decided to stop her private practice.  I went a few months with nothing and thought that I was okay.  Then unfortunately a few very negative events happened and I feel like I'm worse off then I was before which put me back into counselling last December.  When I first started all this I lost almost all my friends and was afraid of the medication.  Over the past few months I've slowly been getting better but I still feel like any small thing can set me off.  With everything with my doctor she labelled me as just having a general mood disorder but I feel like there is more to it.  I asked to be referred to a psychiatrist to be able to get a better diagnosis but that was several months ago and I've heard nothing. I'm almost at the point where I just want her to put me back on the last medication she had me on to see if that will help again.  I find that because of everything I find myself reverting and keeping to myself a lot more then I used to.  I was always kind of a introvert but I'm barely social anymore.

On a happier note though these are some things I enjoy music, photography, art, cooking, baking (I went to school for it), video games , pokemon go when I can get myself to leave my house and spending time with my littlest sister.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on August 04, 2016, 03:21:10 am
Hello SadKitt and welcome. Please feel free to ask questions, answer other people`s questions and/or use the forum to vent off a few of life's frustrations.

 You are right a psychiatrist is who you need to see. You might ask our docs medical secretary when you might expect an appt. (sometimes referrals get lost or not even sent )

 I can't say whether or not getting another refill on your prescription will help, but it probably won't hurt either. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: piano321 on August 05, 2016, 04:17:43 pm
Hello, I go by the name Piano321 - I'm 53 years old and married for 29 years to a wonderful husband. 

Unfortunately, my dream of having a family of my own did not pan out, I lost 2 babies in my thirties, I was not able to conceive afterwards, had about 11 medical surgeries, too many physical problems.  However, I was always resilient, not one to complain about myself or start a pity party but the past 3 years have been very challenging mentally and physically.

I think I always had a problem with depression and anxiety all my life but managed to work through it.  I was a graphic artist, pianist, choir director, I worked as a mediation assistant but now I am mostly numb and very apathetic about everything.

I see a lot of people here posting about their interests and I feel sad to mention I no longer have any, total apathy.  I "used" to enjoy gardening, flower arrangements, decoration, discussions about life in general/history/world news, the arts, theatre, nature, furniture refurbishing, letter writing, etc.  I still garden but all my inner joy has gone so I'm trying to practice mindfulness and live in the present moment.

I've been diagnosed with a complex depression and anxiety disorder I'm still going through the medical system, going around in circles.  I never did well on medication, in fact, personally speaking, I'm extremely sensitive to anti-depressants.  I was on Paxil for 21 years and it really damaged me on many levels.  I was finally able to taper off this med and have now been Paxil free for 17 months.  I'm suffering from the results of coming off this medication and dealing with uncontrollable tremors. 

I was always one who thought about others, always wanting to help and one who cares deeply about people in general, I may be a little too empathetic.  I'm a person who is spiritual, in many ways it has helped me throughout my struggles.  I miss not working and have been off work for the past 3 years and on LTD.  I find it very difficult not being part of society and being able to contribute in some little ways.  I don't really have friends, I was sick so often that the ones I had seemed to have vanished.  I always dreamed of having a large family and true friends I could just call up or spend time with.  No, I don't feel sorry for myself, maybe it's just me who can't seem to "fit in" but I know I'm a very lovable and kind person.

The Mood Disorder Association is a wonderful place where one feels accepted and I'm grateful to have found this place.  In the meantime, I'm just trying to live day by day and hope to eventually find inner peace. 
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on August 05, 2016, 11:10:58 pm
Hello piano321 and welcome. Please feel free to ask questions, answer other people's questions , post articles or comments and/or use the forum to vent out some of life's frustrations.

 We certainly don't have all the answers here, but I have learned a lot from others over the years and we are friendly. So welcome and Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Strength on September 07, 2016, 08:37:26 pm
Hello, everyone!

I am joining this online group, as I was diagnosed a number of years ago with a mood-related disorder, and was referred to the MDAO by a friend.

Looking forward to giving and receiving support!

- Strength
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on September 14, 2016, 02:30:50 am
Hello Strength and welcome to the forums. I'm sorry for my belated  welcome, but please feel free to post and I'll try and be more prompt in my replies. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Fathergeorge on December 10, 2016, 10:41:31 am
Hello everyone. Anybody who's been on here a while will know me. For those of you who don't know me I'm Fathergeorge. It's a pleasure to be back after a lenghty absence. I look forward to reacquainting myself with any older member and to meeting new ones. Cheers
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Dragonfly on December 10, 2016, 08:17:33 pm
Welcome back Fathergeorge,

 Hope you are doing well.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Fathergeorge on December 16, 2016, 02:41:56 pm
Thanks Dragonfly. I'm feeling quite a bit better which is why I decided to come back. Where is everybody? The forum used to be so active now there's no posts. What happened?
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on December 17, 2016, 08:22:02 am
Hello FatherGeorge and welcome back. What happened to all of the posts. To be honest several things. The site went down suddenly for about 2 mths and we had to go with a different company when we brought back it. However two mths is a long time and we lost a lot of people.

 Several long term contributors have either moved on or haven't had the strength to be as involved as they like. But with you back and hopefully we can get a fw others, it will be more interesting again. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Pleeb on August 27, 2017, 01:28:34 am
Hi, Father George.. :D ;)....I can give you updates of some of the people you used to know.  And maybe we'll have increased traffic. - maybe those people could return to this forum.

Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: MARK HEITHORN on January 29, 2018, 12:14:36 pm
Hi. My name is Mark. I have suffered from depression for 30 plus years. Struggled with
Alcohol for 17 years. Unemployed and open to any ideas as to what kind of work would
be good for someone who suffers from depression.

Hope everyone has a good day.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: sarahruth on February 14, 2019, 07:01:55 pm
Hi I am Sarahruth. My spouse has major depression/pain attacks and anxiety for  most of our marriage. The past 2 years have been the worst. He is unable to work for the past 4 years. We have older kids. I work full time as a professional and carry all the home tasks. I am struggling big time as he isn't getting better and it is sooooooooooooo hard living with someone with mental illness. You have to be mature and accepting, have empathy, be kind, etc. All of this and you have to find joy in life too.  I have major stress in my family life and work life. I am struggling with most things at home and work and think that I can only do this for one more year. Looking for somewhere to vent and get support that works with my busy life.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: Rnr8011 on February 14, 2019, 09:17:14 pm
Aww man that is rough . You mentioned that your kids are older . Can they help out a bit more with the home chores? What kind of network do you have? Brothers sisters mom dad? Friends? Can the kids manage the laundry? My mom used to give me and my sister to do the laundry when I was 9 and she was 11 years old. So I know kids that age can help. Can your husband do anything at home at all even if it’s just vacuuming? Friday’s I used to make that clean out the fridge night so I would take out all the leftovers and put it on the kitchen counter and then we would have pot luck for dinner. Afterwards the leftover leftovers would go into the garbage and the fridge would get a wipe down. Ready for Saturday shopping. I used to have everything on a schedule. Saturday clean and shopping Sunday church and cooking. Then Monday to Friday just tidying. The gardening never gets done but that’s okay. I hope that everything gets better for you. I’m here if you need
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: sarahruth on February 14, 2019, 10:34:40 pm
Thanks. Yep he only does what he wants and can do that day. Motivation is a huge factor and lately he says he is getting into another funk. A new set of meds he is on too. He does some chores I asked him to do but his doctor and therapist say he can only do a few things a day and I should be happy with this. I like your response and thanks. I am letting more and more things go, its not worth it and I can only do so much. Its just frustrating working all day with a long drive and coming home to a mess and then I have to make dinner. And he can be verbally mean, tells me I am a whiner, should not make him mad,etc. Im looking at a timeline to see if he will ever improve. If not I may separate or give myself a break somewhere else for awhile. off to bed, need my rest.
Title: Re: Introductions
Post by: paulm on February 14, 2019, 11:01:44 pm
Hello and welcome Rnr8011. You have some pretty good suggestions. Take Care. paul m