Author Topic: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition  (Read 21622 times)

Napoleon

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2015, 02:36:35 AM »
Very impressed. I hope you can feel feel that you can be so proud of yourself. The way you deal with your anxiety and depression. Wish you all the luck of the world. Hang on.

Are you talking to me?

RedefinedHappiness

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #51 on: October 23, 2015, 05:51:05 AM »
Napoleon - love the sipping water trick. I'm going to try this. Thanks for sharing.

Britan

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #52 on: October 23, 2015, 12:35:55 PM »
Wow thanks everyone for the responses and suggestions. I've tried a few things in the last couple of days that have been pretty helpful:

CBT
I st down last night and wrote the Manifesto on why I am the Worst Human Being Ever (a list of all my anxious thoughts). It was surprisingly short because as I started writing it was so glaringly obvious how irrational the thoughts were. But I plugged through, writing out some things that I felt and thought even though it was scary to put words to them. It did help that I currently have enough mental space that I could recognize them for how silly they were. Were I in worse shape, I think it would have been to emotional to get through.

Then I went through and labeled each sentence with the cognitive distortions present in it. My biggest offenses are jumping to conclusions (both mind reading and future fortune telling), personalization (blaming myself for things that are outside my control), should statements, and labeling (I call myself some mean things). I thing my most impressive sentence had 7 easily identified cognitive distortions in it.

Then I made counter arguments to as many as I could. The "should" statements were hardest, and I may need to report back to my therapist for ways to handle them. I think, where as most of my name calling and mind reading are easy to discount from a rational perspective, the "should" statements are constantly being confirmed and reinforced by people around me. Things like "you shouldn't buy that because it's not like you'll die without it" or "you should spend more (read:all) of my time training your puppy" and "my house should be spotless and perfectly clean all the time" and "you shouldn't complain so much(read: ever)".

Meditation

I tried meditating for 5 minutes! Most effective place is the lake by my work. I can't do silence; my mind tries to fill it. I can't do too chaotic either. But there is wind in the trees and occasional waves lapping. I'll have to try to keep it up.

Anyways, overall I feel much better. Still not totally gone and it's going to take persistence and outside help to make this go away entirely. Plus some of my triggers are lurking around (debt!) and need to be dealt with in a more organized way. But at least I feel like it's more plausible to do it.

norabird

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2015, 12:39:08 PM »
Writing it all out seems to have been so helpful for you, that's great! My therapist was just telling me not to use the shoulds either the other day, but, I still think I 'should' be calmer, even if it is better to accept that I am not yet. It's a process. Wonderful you're being so productive.

Britan

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #54 on: October 23, 2015, 12:51:45 PM »
Writing it all out seems to have been so helpful for you, that's great! My therapist was just telling me not to use the shoulds either the other day, but, I still think I 'should' be calmer, even if it is better to accept that I am not yet. It's a process. Wonderful you're being so productive.
Lol, "you shouldn't let the "should"s bother you!"

Oh the irony. ;) Good luck with the process. I'll check in if I have any magic revelations about breaking the logic loop of the first sentence. :)

Frankies Girl

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2015, 12:58:17 PM »
Not sure how I missed this... ;)


I suffer from anxiety, depression and am diagnosed OCD (and undiagnosed OCPD pretty sure). I knew about the OCD/depression, but I never realized I was having panic attacks for YEARS because they weren't typical freakouts - where I thought I was dying or having a heart attack or the like. My husband called it "going feral." I'd basically get myself so worried/worked up that I'd wander all over the house, messing with things, then out into the yard at 3am and pace and bitch at myself and the world (in my head mostly) and then have crying jags about how worthless and pointless my life is/was. I literally could not turn my brain off and it wanted to make sure that I understood that everything bad that ever happened to me was my fault and I probably deserved it.

Since I quit my (soul crushing/anxiety inducing) job, it's gotten a whole lot better, but I do need to get back into counseling because it is all still really messed up in my head. CBT helped tons with my OCD and some of my depression, but my counselor moved and I am really hating the idea of trying to find a new one that isn't absolute shit. :(

But I wanted to suggest for anyone with depression/anxiety to think about adding in yoga - it's been lovely as I've been working out and that IS good for releasing endorphins and getting in shape, but also my yoga teacher does breathing exercises, and ends our classes with the "relax all the body parts" and a light meditation about letting go and being one with the sky and it's very mentally quieting for me. (bonus mustachian points - class is offered for free through my local library!)

« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 04:42:49 PM by Frankies Girl »

MarcherLady

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2015, 01:12:51 PM »
Napoleon, thank you for posting that, I hope you continue to feel better.

Britan, I'm so glad you have found some helpful responses, keep up the good work. 

Mental health difficulties are still so stigmatised, it's always so comforting to hear people share their challenges and to hear what has helped.  Thank you to everyone who has posted so honestly, respectfully and supportively.

snuggler

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #57 on: October 23, 2015, 01:13:13 PM »
After reading all of your lovely replies and checking out some library books on meditation, I found this one on Amazon that is free (for the Kindle version, anyway) and has pretty good reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/Buddha-Blue-Jeans-Extremely-Sitting-ebook/dp/B005ZZ2T2C/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1445627102&sr=8-1#customerReviews

Enjoy!

MustachioedPistachio

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #58 on: October 23, 2015, 02:45:15 PM »
What I have noticed is most people have some form of anxiety. At the gym pudgy me works out with some of the biggest muscular guys and they complain and stress out about missing a work out day or not eating enough protein that day, however there more fit than 99.9% of the people going to the gym. My father in-law has had his yard in a magazine and wins yard of the month almost every month, his yard is a paradise but he is always obsessing over it and changing it to make it better. It's the mental disorder/anxiety that helped these people get to where they're at now. When they hit a plateau that's when the anxiety becomes troublesome, the anxiety makes them feel like they need to try harder even though there at the top and there is no more headroom.

Wow, I've been grappling with how to describe this feeling and put it in context, and you hit the nail on the head!

dcozad999

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #59 on: October 23, 2015, 03:10:51 PM »
I think in a weird way, due to the selection bias of this site, it might actually make some of us feel worse off about our financial situations. Whenever you log on you here about mid-30s couples with 'only $1million' etc. and it sometimes starts to make you think that you are way behind. I have to remind myself that we are a select group.


This is how I feel sometimes. I am almost 40, my wife just got into the workforce (she's 34), and we are waaaay late to the party. Because of poor choices and planning I only have about $100k in investments and we have her undergrad student loan to pay for.

Seeing how well many people are doing that are much younger than me shows me how far behind I am and really kicks up my anxiety. Hearing some 30 year-old complain about how they "only" are up to 300k makes me want to slap the shit out of them. But I'm truly happy (as well as envious) for them.

I suffered through depression all through my twenties and had some dark times. Proud to say I've conquered it (though fully aware it could come back). Anxiety is a daily part of my life, but like many people on here, mindfulness of breathing and meditation are a big help. And I always have a bottle of klonopin or clonazepam as backup.

Dicey

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #60 on: October 23, 2015, 04:34:48 PM »
This is how I feel sometimes. I am almost 40, my wife just got into the workforce (she's 34), and we are waaaay late to the party. Because of poor choices and planning I only have about $100k in investments and we have her undergrad student loan to pay for.

Hey dcozad999, I'm chiming in to say that if you have 100K in actual investments, i.e. not counting home equity, you are not as behind as you think. I don't think I had a whole helluva lot more by then and I managed to get out by 54, which wasn't terribly early for this crowd, but to the world at large (and more importantly, to me) it's pretty fucking amazing. Don't lose hope, it can be done. As to the student loans, try So-Fi or the like to get the interest rate down as low as possible and then just make peace with them, assuming, of course, that they don't add up to 100k.

Healthandwealth

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #61 on: October 24, 2015, 12:54:29 AM »
@napoleon yes I was talking to you

Napoleon

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #62 on: October 24, 2015, 03:42:03 AM »
@napoleon yes I was talking to you

But... But... I have so much to NOT be proud of. How can I be proud of merely moderating the levels of my fucked-up-ness when I should just be normal??

One of my problems is that I am really ashamed of my mental health problems, like I am weak when everyone else is strong. The number of people who know about them who do not work in psychiatry is less than ten, and three of them only know because some fucking bureaucrat phoned my family at university after I expressly asked them not to. Gee whizz, it did not make me less depressed.

As I said, even when I am really depressed I can still work so I like to hide my problems so that I CAN still go to work and pretend everything is fine. It's like a break from thinking about myself.

But I would never think about anyone else the way I think about myself. Other people with depression are strong fighters who should be proud of everything they have done. I am a feeble excuse for a human being. I normally post on these forums under another account but created this one because I don't want things I am ashamed of to be associated with my main account. For some reason I don't deserve the praise I find it so easy to genuinely give other people.

I fessed to someone once after she fessed to me and she was shocked. She said she thought I was really together and had life sorted out. AS IF. So yeah, I wanted to check if you were talking to me because I guess I just couldn't believe that anyone could see my pathetic story of abject failure as in any way something to be proud of.

MVal

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #63 on: October 25, 2015, 06:15:50 PM »
Fellow anxiety-sufferer, and going through a bad spell myself... to the point that I officially took myself "off budget" and am having a fuck-it month of not recording cash transactions just to give myself a break.

For longer-term... I think it helps to decide (when you are in a good place, mentally) what is important to you, and budget for it. Things like therapy and other health care should fall in that "important to you" category. If you give yourself a generous budget category for therapy/health maintenance, then you might feel less anxious about paying for it - and if you come in under budget in that category sometimes, it's a double win because you have more money in the bank and it means you were feeling better than usual lately.

Lots of people on this forum have categories for vacations, restaurants, alcohol, entertainment, and so on - you can justify paying for therapy and still be a top-notch MMMer :-)

I am so glad some folks are talking about this. Being on these forums gives me the idea that either everyone doesn't have any mental problems, or that the Mustachian way takes precedence over getting therapy. Over the last year, I really haven't given a thought to my mental health as this is the first year I even got into Mustachianism and all my energies have been devoted to saving money. I've done well and will be on track to have saved over $20K of my $42K income this year, but the cracks are starting to show in my emotional health. It can be hard sometimes to acknowledge how much mental issues can hold you back in life and even harder to realize that paying for help is just as important as saving money, or more so.

I guess it is important to take stock of your life sometimes in other areas, not just financial, and see where you could be making better investments to help yourself succeed as a whole. I'm making more money than I've ever made in my life, but at $40K, I could probably get a much higher paying job if I weren't so depressed and could actually find the mental energy to engage with my work. I stay in my "just ok" job because it's easy and comfortable though it leaves me drained of motivation/stimulation daily. I'm realizing that all I am really doing is trying to survive, and I really want to find a way to thrive, especially since at my income/savings rate, I'm still a good 17 years away from FI. I don't want to throw 17 years of my life away on working a job I'm indifferent to when I could find a higher paying job and cut the years of indifference down if possible.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 06:20:37 PM by MVal »

SwordGuy

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #64 on: October 25, 2015, 06:49:56 PM »
Making mistakes is the price of being successful.

So, every time you make a mistake, embrace it and learn from it.

You only get to berate yourself if you make the same mistake twice.  For just that first day you realize it.  Then pay attention and really learn that lesson.

Now, if you make the same mistake 3 times, come back and ask for some serious face punches.  :)

Eric222

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #65 on: October 25, 2015, 06:51:32 PM »
I see so much of myself in this thread...and my psychiatrist is the one thing I'm not trying to shrink in my budget.

Emg03063

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #66 on: October 25, 2015, 07:32:44 PM »
I've had some severe anxiety issues in the past.  I used to be on SRI's, but I've weaned myself off of them.  Now, when I feel anxious, I pop a 5-HTP.  It helps a lot to make sure your brain has the chemicals it needs to function properly.  It's a naturally occurring amino acid that your body uses to produce serotonin, so taking it helps your brain maintain its correct serotonin levels.  I haven't noticed any side effects (unlike the SRI's).  It's sold over the counter and costs a lot less than a counseling session (not that counseling, CBT, and meditation don't all have their places). 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 08:01:25 PM by Emg03063 »

MinimalistMoustache

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #67 on: October 25, 2015, 07:46:52 PM »
I can definitely relate. I have to take time off this site because it furthers my anxiety about money. . .

Bam! Out of my own journal. I value the MMM site and forums. Yet, I have to step back when anxiety/depression comes calling. The currency it uses to value my estate is not monetary. It's as though I'm reading the forums in a language I don't speak.

Thanks to the OP for bringing this topic to discussion.

RetiredAt63

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #68 on: October 26, 2015, 08:44:12 AM »
I tend to overthink things and run all sorts of scenarios in my head, which is sometimes useful and sometimes just sets up a worry cycle.  So, random thoughts on anxiety:

"Normal" describes the bell curve, not individuals.  We are all unique in our own ways (without going into special snowflake territory).  When I was a teenager my doctor said I matched "normal" on so many parameters that I was unusual.  Interesting insight for me then.

"Should" should be banned.
"Why don't you/I" should be banned.

Banned especially when we are having an inner dialogue. But also banned with others - these were both sources of conflict with my parents and with my Ex.

Both set us up for disappointment and failure (unmet expectations), either in our own eyes or the eyes of whoever said that to us. 

And as an example, yes, maybe my house "should" be tidier, but I prefer to rephrase it as "I might enjoy my house more if it were tidier/less cluttered, how can I make it more welcoming?  What amount of clutter makes it cozy, and what is too much?"  If I make myself analyze what would make me feel best about my surroundings (or anything else, really) then the "should" pressure is gone, and I can be more realistic about what I want and what I am capable of.

BeanCounter

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #69 on: October 26, 2015, 08:57:14 AM »
And as an example, yes, maybe my house "should" be tidier, but I prefer to rephrase it as "I might enjoy my house more if it were tidier/less cluttered, how can I make it more welcoming?  What amount of clutter makes it cozy, and what is too much?"  If I make myself analyze what would make me feel best about my surroundings (or anything else, really) then the "should" pressure is gone, and I can be more realistic about what I want and what I am capable of.
I think this is great. Very helpful. Thank you.

dcozad999

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #70 on: October 26, 2015, 09:11:13 AM »

Hey dcozad999, I'm chiming in to say that if you have 100K in actual investments, i.e. not counting home equity, you are not as behind as you think. I don't think I had a whole helluva lot more by then and I managed to get out by 54, which wasn't terribly early for this crowd, but to the world at large (and more importantly, to me) it's pretty fucking amazing. Don't lose hope, it can be done. As to the student loans, try So-Fi or the like to get the interest rate down as low as possible and then just make peace with them, assuming, of course, that they don't add up to 100k.


Thanks Dianne C. I realize I am not far behind by national average, but way behind on where I want to be and waaaaay behind the exceptional people on this site. I realize you can't compare yourself to others, you just have to do the best you can. I come to this site for inspiration, but sometimes jealousy can set in when you see how well others are doing. I won't lose hope.

Also, we just finished doing the Sofi refi last week. The loan is for $35k so we should be able to knock that out in the next year or so.

RetiredAt63

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #71 on: October 26, 2015, 09:47:07 AM »
I want to offer a quote (bold is mine):

I've had many subordinates over the years who've turned in impeccable careers.  Perfection takes no risks with itself, you see.  Miles was many things, but never perfect.  It was a privilege and a terror to command him, and I'm thankful we both got out alive.

So forget perfect, be daring, be bold, be whatever - be yourself.  But not perfect.  Trying to be perfect, or have things be perfect, is putting yourself in chains.

Healthandwealth

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2015, 01:06:34 AM »
@napoleon yes I was talking to you

But... But... I have so much to NOT be proud of. How can I be proud of merely moderating the levels of my fucked-up-ness when I should just be normal??

One of my problems is that I am really ashamed of my mental health problems, like I am weak when everyone else is strong. The number of people who know about them who do not work in psychiatry is less than ten, and three of them only know because some fucking bureaucrat phoned my family at university after I expressly asked them not to. Gee whizz, it did not make me less depressed.

As I said, even when I am really depressed I can still work so I like to hide my problems so that I CAN still go to work and pretend everything is fine. It's like a break from thinking about myself.

But I would never think about anyone else the way I think about myself. Other people with depression are strong fighters who should be proud of everything they have done. I am a feeble excuse for a human being. I normally post on these forums under another account but created this one because I don't want things I am ashamed of to be associated with my main account. For some reason I don't deserve the praise I find it so easy to genuinely give other people.

I fessed to someone once after she fessed to me and she was shocked. She said she thought I was really together and had life sorted out. AS IF. So yeah, I wanted to check if you were talking to me because I guess I just couldn't believe that anyone could see my pathetic story of abject failure as in any way something to be proud of.

@Napeleon may be people are shocked because they didn't expect what you told them, what you call your confessions. You seem to 'keep up appearances' very well :). You'll probably feel very lonely in the mean time.

I really think you can be so proud of yourself. It's amazing how you deal with your illness (i think it's an illness, one with a lot of impact 24 hours a day).

In my experience sometimes it helps to think: what would i say to a friend of mine, in this situation?
It helps to be more kind to yourself.

spokey doke

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2015, 07:44:19 AM »

Meditation

I tried meditating for 5 minutes! Most effective place is the lake by my work. I can't do silence; my mind tries to fill it. I can't do too chaotic either. But there is wind in the trees and occasional waves lapping. I'll have to try to keep it up.

Anyways, overall I feel much better. Still not totally gone and it's going to take persistence and outside help to make this go away entirely. Plus some of my triggers are lurking around (debt!) and need to be dealt with in a more organized way. But at least I feel like it's more plausible to do it.

The 'I can't do silence' is very typical starting out...the mind is a pretty chaotic thing if you sit down and just watch it - and that freaks most people out.  So do whatever works and is enjoyable - consider meditation time a treat.  Eventually, you might find yourself interested in taking on the silence, but there is no rush.

A good manual: "Mindfulness in Plain English"
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 07:47:16 AM by spokey doke »

Kaspian

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #74 on: November 04, 2015, 11:27:41 AM »

Meditation

I tried meditating for 5 minutes! Most effective place is the lake by my work. I can't do silence; my mind tries to fill it. I can't do too chaotic either. But there is wind in the trees and occasional waves lapping. I'll have to try to keep it up.

Anyways, overall I feel much better. Still not totally gone and it's going to take persistence and outside help to make this go away entirely. Plus some of my triggers are lurking around (debt!) and need to be dealt with in a more organized way. But at least I feel like it's more plausible to do it.

The 'I can't do silence' is very typical starting out...the mind is a pretty chaotic thing if you sit down and just watch it - and that freaks most people out.  So do whatever works and is enjoyable - consider meditation time a treat.  Eventually, you might find yourself interested in taking on the silence, but there is no rush.

A good manual: "Mindfulness in Plain English"

It took years and years of practice to get my mind to shut the fuck up.  I don't think it's a matter of just trying meditation or yoga. (Though it certainly won't hurt!) I saw how my dad was always in a bit of a rage, frustrated and (literally) cried over spilt milk.  I didn't want to become like that but could feel myself sliding.  "The Tao of Pooh," was the single biggest help in getting me started.  Taoist mindset was the most peaceful cure to get the silly string out of my head.  ...Now my noggin's mostly blank and enjoying the moment.  And it's happy that way.

FLBiker

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #75 on: November 04, 2015, 07:23:49 PM »

Meditation

I tried meditating for 5 minutes! Most effective place is the lake by my work. I can't do silence; my mind tries to fill it. I can't do too chaotic either. But there is wind in the trees and occasional waves lapping. I'll have to try to keep it up.

Anyways, overall I feel much better. Still not totally gone and it's going to take persistence and outside help to make this go away entirely. Plus some of my triggers are lurking around (debt!) and need to be dealt with in a more organized way. But at least I feel like it's more plausible to do it.

The 'I can't do silence' is very typical starting out...the mind is a pretty chaotic thing if you sit down and just watch it - and that freaks most people out.  So do whatever works and is enjoyable - consider meditation time a treat.  Eventually, you might find yourself interested in taking on the silence, but there is no rush.

A good manual: "Mindfulness in Plain English"

+1  And I also recommend finding a group to meditate with.  For me, that really helped.

mbk

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #76 on: November 04, 2015, 09:35:23 PM »
Thanks to the OP for starting this thread. I too am getting depressed a lot lately.

The trigger was knowing that my mother went into lot of debt again. At present, I am 35 and my NW is $150k, with $84k in retirement accnts. I can't wait to hit the $100k in the retirement accounts. However after knowing about my mother's loans which have high APR and she having no means to clear them, I recently paid-off $7k of her debts. She still owes the banks another $5k. Also my wife doesn't share my dream of early retirement, and doesn't help in growing our NW.

Lately I feel the the situation is hopeless. Until I hit the $100k, I will be restless and it can happen only by the end of 2016. I am trying yoga and consciously try not to think about it, but not much progress there. I will read the books suggested and hoping they will help. Thanks guys!

Mrs. Healthywealth

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #77 on: November 05, 2015, 07:42:51 AM »
Quote
Like I said, I do see a therapist occasionally. Problem is, he is costly. So inevitably whenever I need it most, I am most likely to berate myself for being a soft complainy pants for not being 100% perfect 100% of the time. I mean, I could just do the frugal thing and just "get over it", despite the proof in my own life that that's not how anxiety disorders work.

It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge you need help.  It's the stigma of our society that makes us think that our mental health is not as valid as our physical health. However, the brain is the most powerful organ and its great that you are taking care of it. When we were pulling ourselves out of shit ton amount of debt, I was seeing a therapist.  It wasn't cheap and we barely made any $$. The need to be perfect, is definitely something I worked on, and I still work on 10yrs later.  However, it doesn't have the same power over me as it did before.  Therapy was the best thing that happened to me.  I've changed and grown so much b/c of it, and i'm forever grateful for my therapist/mentor/spirit guide. 

Therapy is a massage for the brain :)  Take care of yourself now, your body will thank you later.  I see some people mentioned CBT--we tend to have negative thoughts that automatically pop up, as we develop more realistic thinking (vs our cognitive distortions) we actually rewire our brain, and strengthen the wiring leading towards those realistic thoughts which helps the anxiety.  I'm a huge fan of CBT, I use it to this day with my clients and myself.

orcas50

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2015, 08:57:52 AM »
Others have said similar, but I will chime in that 4-6 days a week of yoga (Baptiste power style, you will not only sweat but find glimpses of the Divine), plus daily meditation has quelled my decades long anxiety. And insomnia. Seriously, it works. Namaste.

therethere

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2015, 09:05:05 AM »
Others have said similar, but I will chime in that 4-6 days a week of yoga (Baptiste power style, you will not only sweat but find glimpses of the Divine), plus daily meditation has quelled my decades long anxiety. And insomnia. Seriously, it works. Namaste.

Do you practice at home by yourself or go to classes? I'm trying to start doing yoga because I want to slow my mind down. But practicing at home with videos I always get distracted and over it before 10 minutes. My mind has too many thoughts running through it and I have absolutely zero self discipline. For years I've thought yoga would help but I can't seem to get into it. I cannot bring myself to pay $10-$20 for a class multiple times a week.

Kaspian

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #80 on: November 05, 2015, 11:47:19 AM »
Others have said similar, but I will chime in that 4-6 days a week of yoga (Baptiste power style, you will not only sweat but find glimpses of the Divine), plus daily meditation has quelled my decades long anxiety. And insomnia. Seriously, it works. Namaste.

Do you practice at home by yourself or go to classes? I'm trying to start doing yoga because I want to slow my mind down. But practicing at home with videos I always get distracted and over it before 10 minutes. My mind has too many thoughts running through it and I have absolutely zero self discipline. For years I've thought yoga would help but I can't seem to get into it. I cannot bring myself to pay $10-$20 for a class multiple times a week.

Have you looked into Tai Chi instead?  Lots of cities have groups which get together and do it free in public parks.

spokey doke

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #81 on: November 06, 2015, 07:48:15 AM »
Others have said similar, but I will chime in that 4-6 days a week of yoga (Baptiste power style, you will not only sweat but find glimpses of the Divine), plus daily meditation has quelled my decades long anxiety. And insomnia. Seriously, it works. Namaste.

Do you practice at home by yourself or go to classes? I'm trying to start doing yoga because I want to slow my mind down. But practicing at home with videos I always get distracted and over it before 10 minutes. My mind has too many thoughts running through it and I have absolutely zero self discipline. For years I've thought yoga would help but I can't seem to get into it. I cannot bring myself to pay $10-$20 for a class multiple times a week.

I can't justify the expense for classes either (and don't want to get in the car to go to class), and so (when I'm good) I practice alone at home.  The key for me as been having very modest goals (as with meditation)...just doing something regularly and viewing it as a treat rather than a burden/obligation.  Even working through sets of sun salutations, followed by a brief sitting meditation is a pretty fine way to start the day.

Cookie78

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #82 on: November 06, 2015, 09:09:47 AM »
I've been enjoying this thread and reading it multiple times to absorb more great suggestions. I can't figure out what my problem is lately, depression, anxiety, lack of focus, impatience, and/or lack of energy, but something's going on. It might be because of my brother's suicide in February, or maybe it's something more long term. A week or two ago I realized it's time to start putting in the effort to get back on my feet.

I went to talk to a therapist twice after I got home from the funeral, but it never really seems to help much. I've seen her before and she always just wants to focus on making sure I'm not going to kill myself, even though I've assured her that's not going to happen. Maybe I need someone different. The last time I went she started on about my suicide again and I told her very firmly that we were not going to have this discussion again. (For the record: I am not suicidal. And even if I was there's no fucking way I'd put my mother through that again.)

Lately I've just felt tired. I make plans to go to events and parties to be around people but then I get home from work and just want to snuggle on the couch with my dog. I just don't have the energy. I haven't been exercising as much. I stopped biking to work a month ago because it's cold and dark. When I do go out to low key relaxed events I quickly run out of steam and leave to go home early.

Looking for solutions lately:
I need to start exercising again. Even just starting with a few minutes a day. I still walk a lot with the dog, but it's not enough. I tried to do a single push-up a couple days ago and it was hard just to do ONE. Embarrassing. I don't have the energy to exercise, but I know that exercise is the best way to get more energy.

I need to make an effort to be social. Even in small doses. I went for a walk with a friend a couple days ago at lunch and we had a good chat. After catching up with each other's lives he asked me if I thought I might be depressed. I've been wondering the same myself, but I still get super excited about the future and FIRE and even minor events going on in my life right now. Being around people more often should help with energy, as long as it's balanced properly with some alone time.

I need to keep reading all the helpful books and applying the principles. Stoicism, CBT, Meditation, etc. I keep reading them and the only thing that has really stuck with me during the hard moments are the stoicism principles.


I didn't start typing this response with the intent of spilling everything out, but there it is. As for balancing mental health with saving money, so far it hasn't felt like a problem (my therapist is free through work). I don't feel like I'm sacrificing anything by not spending money to go out to events with friends because I would genuinely rather stay home. What worries me is that I might be going too far to one extreme and I should make making the effort to go out more, so that I can get more energy (even though I don't feel like I want to because I have low energy).

TheBuddha

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #83 on: November 06, 2015, 11:54:21 AM »
Looking for solutions lately:
I need to start exercising again. Even just starting with a few minutes a day. I still walk a lot with the dog, but it's not enough. I tried to do a single push-up a couple days ago and it was hard just to do ONE. Embarrassing. I don't have the energy to exercise, but I know that exercise is the best way to get more energy.

I've been in a similar place. What I used to do is drink one or two energy drinks to force myself to start exercising (after two energy drinks it feels like your heart will explode if you don't start moving around). I admit that's probably an unhealthy amount of caffeine but the idea is to use it to help start exercising (for me, once I started I could continue, it was just starting that was difficult).

A couple of supplement suggestions: Vitamin D and SAM-e. SAM-e is actually a prescription drug in Europe used to treat depression, but in the U.S. it can be purchased over the counter as a supplement. SAM-e worked very well for me but it's expensive.

Kaspian

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #84 on: November 10, 2015, 12:26:24 PM »

purplepear

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #85 on: November 10, 2015, 01:34:06 PM »
I've had undiagnosed anxiety for years and started having panic attacks last year. Running/exercising has helped tremendously, as well as seeing a good therapist.

Investing in your mental health is worth the time and money. But for me, running has really been the best medicine. It has given me confidence in my body that I didn't have previously. Bonus points for it being free and usually performed in nature. Being outdoors is calming for me, especially since my job/hobbies revolve around a computer.

DeltaBond

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #86 on: November 15, 2015, 06:53:02 AM »
I could just easily pass this thread by, as you already have a lot of wonderful compassionate responses, but when dealing with depression and anxiety, more love is better - so here is my story...

I have bipolar type 2, and I have learned that anxiety is a symptom of depression (treated with the same meds, same area of the brain, etc).  I think that seeing a therapist that you like is worth every penny, so please don't view that as a waste, and don't stop going, especially when you feel better, especially when you feel the worst.

There is also something else you can do, which I have done, that can greatly help with depression and anxiety (and the OCD that might be paired with it, which I feel is common among folks on MMM whether they want to accept it or not) and its Neurofeedback.  If you want to know more about this, I can explain it pretty well, it helped me so much I can't really say enough about it, but it does not completely solve the issues, it just gives you some traction that can make it easier to use all those good tools your therapist is giving you to handle the tough times in life.

Also, just know that the anxiety does decrease with every debt paid off, with every dollar in savings.  It really is hard to get a pleasant balance between saving and spending when you don't have a solid savings in place and feel like you're getting somewhere.  That's when its a good time to get to know all the free activities around you that you can try to do, whether they are your favorites or not.

Many hugs and comfort to you, you are not alone, not by far! 

Eric222

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #87 on: November 15, 2015, 07:02:44 AM »
...
There is also something else you can do, which I have done, that can greatly help with depression and anxiety (and the OCD that might be paired with it...

Hey now!  I resemble that remark! ;)

DeltaBond

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #88 on: November 15, 2015, 07:12:48 AM »
...
There is also something else you can do, which I have done, that can greatly help with depression and anxiety (and the OCD that might be paired with it...

Hey now!  I resemble that remark! ;)

:)  I resemble it, too!  One thing I didn't mention in my post to the OP, meditation - I am a Buddhist in the Zen tradition who follows the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh... countless hours of meditation under my belt, and I would not suggest you continue to try much meditation right now.  Sounds odd maybe coming from a Buddhist, but until you find a steady pace of comfort in your mindstream, if that makes sense, I would only recommend the three breath break - 3 deep breaths, if you can focus on just those three (harder than you may think during times of depression) it will trigger the parts of your brain to stop releasing stress/anxiety chemicals and hormones and instead treat your body as if its in a place of relaxation. 

If you care to read more about that, "Buddhas Brain" by Rick Hanson has become a very well known and popular book.

Another book you may like, gives actual methods for dealing with negative emotions of all types, "Working with Anger" by Thubten Chodron.  Anger is in the title, but she covers just about every negative emotion you can think of.

Anatidae V

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #89 on: November 15, 2015, 07:14:12 AM »
...
There is also something else you can do, which I have done, that can greatly help with depression and anxiety (and the OCD that might be paired with it...

Hey now!  I resemble that remark! ;)
Resemble or resent..?

Eric222

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #90 on: November 15, 2015, 07:54:11 AM »
...
There is also something else you can do, which I have done, that can greatly help with depression and anxiety (and the OCD that might be paired with it...

Hey now!  I resemble that remark! ;)
Resemble or resent..?

I said exactly what I meant. :P

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #91 on: November 15, 2015, 09:33:00 AM »
There is certainly a place for medication with both anxiety and depression, but there are things I would optimize concurrently. Many of my suggestions have been already commented on so there will be some redundancy.

1. Meditation: This can be incredibly powerful for anxiety and has many other positive side effects as well. For a handful this will be too painful so stop if it brings you distress. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a heavily researched technique which draws heavily from Buddhist teachings but is a secular version. You will likely be astounded as how a daily practice of 5-10 minutes can change your life. Check out this site for free instruction. There are many other forms of meditation, do what works for you.
http://palousemindfulness.com/selfguidedMBSR.html

2. Exercise: One of the greatest treatments for anxiety and depression.

3. Diet: Eating like crap will make you feel like crap. Eat more vegetables and healthy fats. Eat less simple sugars and processed foods.

4. Simplify: Get rid of everything in your life that causes anxiety. Excess clutter. Dysfunctional relationships. News. Social media.

5. Nature: Being in nature is calming. Walk frequently in nature if you can. In many cases you can 'cure' ADHD by simply taking kids out of school and putting then in nature - go figure.

6. Mindset: Stop worrying about things that are outside of your control, they are not your responsibility. This subtle shift in mindset can be life changing.

7. Medication and therapy: Some people really need this stuff, but I feel most people can manage without. We are an over medicated society. Sometimes a person needs to get to a place where they can start to work on themselves though and some of these meds are pretty amazing. Note that if you are on medications please consult with your physician before stopping, some of the anxiolytics and antidepressants have nasty withdrawal symptoms.

DeltaBond

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #92 on: November 15, 2015, 10:00:22 AM »
My experience with simplifying one's possessions is summed up more in my recent thread about MMM and minimalism.  Clutter and extra stuff can cause some anxiety and trigger depression, but if you are going to take on this task, be patient with yourself as it is takes time and does involve emotional attachment at times.  One box at a time, donated or sold, if that suits you.  Get rid of items when you're ready or it may cause more anxiety.  Yard sales are great if that's your thing, ebay is good if you don't mind continuing to look at the stuff until its sold.  Goodwill is a great option, as well.  I am 6 months into this particular project, and I'm surprised at how long its taken, and how much more I have to go, but I do enjoy it with every box that goes to Goodwill.

Glenstache

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #93 on: November 15, 2015, 10:29:51 AM »
Depression and all the related mental health issues are much more prevalent than recognized in polite society. The stigma associated with it is decreasing and I've found that the times I have been direct about it have been positively received, or treated similarly to revealing that I have a bum knee. I am also fortunate in having a progressive, secular, highly intelligent group of friends and workmates.

In my personal life, the biggest inflection point was the recognition that I have depression and what the specific symptoms of it are/were. Having that diagnosis facilitated a process of self awareness that helped me identify and filter out what responses were due to depression/anxiety and just the ups and downs of regular life. I figured that out at about age 30 after misunderstanding of depression left a trail of broken relationships, avoided opportunities, social isolation, and just plain unnecessarily difficult times through my teens and twenties.

As others have said above, meditation, exercise, etc are all useful. But, don't discount the value of having the diagnosis and awareness. That gives you a huge leg up on addressing it. Therapy helps, but how much depends a lot on the provider. It is difficult, but be proactive about changing to a different provider. My first therapist helped, but was ultimately a terrible fit. I transitioned to a psychiatrist who ended up being a better fit, not because of different access to medication, but the clinical mindset and approach was a much, much better fit for my personality. It was night and day in terms of how much more helpful the right medical professional was.

On a less serious note, I highly recommend reading Jenny Lawson's blog and reading her new book Furiously Happy. She is hilarious and also writes quite frankly about her own struggles with anxiety and depression. I saw her speak at a book signing on Friday night for Furiously Happy, and am looking forward to finishing the book. It may or may not be available at your library in the near future.

http://thebloggess.com/


purplepear

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Re: MMM and mental health: Anxiety edition
« Reply #94 on: November 15, 2015, 11:53:29 AM »
On a less serious note, I highly recommend reading Jenny Lawson's blog and reading her new book Furiously Happy. She is hilarious and also writes quite frankly about her own struggles with anxiety and depression. I saw her speak at a book signing on Friday night for Furiously Happy, and am looking forward to finishing the book. It may or may not be available at your library in the near future.

http://thebloggess.com/

Jenny Lawson is wonderful! I read "Let's Pretend this Never Happened" last year and just put a hold on Furiously Happy at the library. :) She does a great job of balancing humor with the reality of anxiety/depression.

I also recommend the Hyperbole and a Half book for the same reason. She uses comics to describe her experience with debilitating depression.

http://www.amazon.com/Hyperbole-Half-Unfortunate-Situations-Mechanisms/dp/1451666179