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Howdy,

I have read stories about multiple authors who struggle with mental illness and wonder if you have struggled too. I think it is important to know that one isn't alone if they are struggling. I personally struggle with episodic mood disorder NOS and am on two medications for it. It definitely impacts my life a lot and if I am not very routine oriented then I spiral into a depression or a weird half depression half hypomanic state.

What about you?
 

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I don't have a mental disorder myself. But I have two immediate family members that do. They weren't diagnosed until much later in life. So, I've had to really wrap my brain around it all.

My sister is Bipolar and my dad has paranoid anxiety. My sister takes her meds, and my dad doesn't. So, it's a catch twenty-two when dealing with them both. I really relate to people that are trying to get their family members help, and if they say no, there is nothing that can be done.

I'm glad to see you are dealing with your mental disorder and taking meds. It's like the US has this problem dealing and acknowledging what to do when people have a mental disorder. Really, so many problems would be solved if people had the preventative care for what they are going through. Bravo that you are acknowledging and taking care of yourself.  8)
 

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Bipolar here. I'm still looking for the right combination of meds after 9 years of different pills. I'm almost always depressed, but with the sunlight of the coming spring I have been feeling slightly better. I'm worried about when I'm going to crash suddenly, though, and even more worried still that I'll go manic. I hear stuff and can't sleep when I'm manic, and it scares the crap out of me.
 

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Some sort of anxiety thing, aggravated by past trauma. We're not entirely sure yet. Regardless of what it exactly is, it makes writing so much more difficult. :/
 

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A month ago yesterday, he succeeded in everything. Managed to get himself prescribed sleeping pills for insomnia and took most of the bottle before wandering into the woods and dying of exposure. A man walking his dog found his body near where he used to live with the family he'd distanced himself from due to guilt, and where he used to walk with his daughter that he still had a fine relationship with.
An old friend of mine did the same kind of thing last week. Went missing on the Wednesday evening, and was found the Thursday morning. It's so upsetting. I suffer from bipolar, so have some idea of how he must have been feeling to do something so final, but it still seems so senseless. I haven't been able to get it off my mind. He was such a lovely person, and we had some really good times together.

Getting help is so important.
 

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Depression. Been that since I was a kid. I wouldn't classify it as a mental illness but at certain times of the month when it gets really bad sometimes I think I might really be mental.
 

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I won't specify on the topic, but what I can say is what some of you have said - it's a catch-22 when dealing with it, directly or indirectly. I've seen many instances of families fractured from members that struggle with mental illnesses, whether it's intended or otherwise, including mines. It's been a burden, and I'm willing to bet that many if not all of the affected have no wishes to let the negatives happen, but they do.

What can be done to rectify this? There isn't a clear answer to this. But what I do know is that it can never be swept under the rug - like many of my family members have done, and it seriously displeases me to no end (them ignoring the issue, that is).

It's a major issue that needs to have more attention than it is getting now, really.
 

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I always thought all writers had a touch of something. If you think about it we see and hear people in our heads. We solely made them up. They have entire conversations in our heads. I don't know if it's a genuine disorder, but at the very least we are wired differently.
 

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28 years of anxiety and depression. I'm a whole lot better than I used to be, but it's a significant part of my life still. I'm not entirely comfortable mentioning it on a public forum, but acting like it's something to be ashamed of just makes the whole mess more difficult for all of us. Thank you, those of you willing to share a bit of what you go through. It helps. I feel less like I'm the weird broken guy who should be able to pull himself together and snap out of it.
 

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I have suffered from high levels of anxiety since a child, and it peaked around 2008-2012. I just wanted to let everyone know it IS possible to reach the other side. I'm now going on 18 months chronic anxiety and depression free. Of course it does still strike but not nearly at the same levels it used to, and it severely paralyzed me to the point I was unable to hold a job. I know how it is, and it's not something to be ashamed of. Talking openly about it can help, the cloud does lift and the sun can shine again.
 

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I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder almost 20 years ago. Once the diagnosis came through, I realized I'd had an anxiety disorder for as long as I could remember. I'd seen multiple psychiatrists/counselors/therapists over my life trying to figure out what was wrong, and was misdiagnosed every time, which led me to mistrust the metal health field and to believe I was broken and could not be fixed. The anxiety finally got so bad I couldn't leave my house unless someone came with me, and my boyfriend at the time did a bunch of digging and finally found me a good psychologist who not only got the diagnosis right, but started therapy that actually helped. I've been free from anxiety for over fifteen years now. I have often wondered if artists are sort of damaged or different somehow -- just watched a TED talk about how synasthesia occurs waaaaay more often in artists than non-artists. We are definitely wired differently for sure.
 

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Within the last ten years, I have been diagnosed with panic disorder then anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. I was sexually abused at a very young age, so I have always retreated to my mind for security. I created people and relationships in my head as a coping mechanism. So when I began to transfer what's in my head onto paper, it became a therapeutic process for me. But, I acknowledge that when I'm dealing with writer's block, it's more likely that I'm too afraid to share my "imaginary" friends.
 

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I have had depression on and off since I was about 15. The stress of publishing and marketing doesn't help, but the actual writing--being in this world I can control--brings me great satisfaction. When I'm down, it's one of the only things I look forward to, and that counts for a lot.

I have been on a few different medications, but I always hated the side effects, so now I ride out the lows. I'm in therapy after quite a few years out of it and that is helping me deal with my feelings and the people in my life who cause negative feelings more easily.

Comparing yourself to others is killer for depression, so I have to avoid boards like this one a lot of the time. Your brain is always telling you that you're not good enough, lazy, a failure, worthless, all that fun stuff, so reading reviews during a depressed phase is an awful idea.
 

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I think they rob a writer of his/her creativity too.
Not if you're on the right meds, they don't. I'm on a high dose of Mirtazepine, which has really stabilised my bipolar episodes, and I've never been so productive. When I'm in a manic or depressive phase, I get no writing done at all, usually.

I quite agree that, if you're on unsuitable meds, you probably won't be feeling very creative. It can take time to find the right ones. I was off work for ten months, two years ago, while they tried to find the correct meds and dosage. I also had therapy, which was amazingly helpful.
 

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It's a major issue that needs to have more attention than it is getting now, really.
Yes, I agree. Conditions that can't be seen are hard to understand. I have a close family member with depression, and it took a long time to get the right medication. The meds make him drowsy, but it's better than the alternative.
 
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