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georgette12
@georgette12

Posts: 147
Joined: Jan 10, 2017

Managing Life-Long Mental Health as a Senior

Posted by @georgette12, Jan 13, 2017

I have just started using this site so this is my first message.

REPLY

@jimhd

I’m sorry for the loss of your sons. I have attempted suicide, and I know the terrible pain it would cause for my wife and children. Knowing that keeps me from further attempts.

I don’t know how long depression has been affecting me, but in 2003, my doctor prescribed my first antidepressant, and in 2005, I crashed. I was overdosing, wanting to die, and was deeply depressed.

I don’t think I’d be able to handle all that you are. You have a source of strength. Maybe you could tell us what keeps you going. We all have our own coping resources, and it helps to find new ways to cope.

I have a support team, and each member helps me in different ways. God is at the top of the list, my wife, my service dog, church, and a few friends. I hope to start seeing a therapist again in February. The last one moved more than a year ago. They don’t stay here very long, because they can make so much more money in bigger cities. The town I live in is just under 10,000. The challenge has been finding a therapist who takes Medicare.

Well, I have to get a shower and get to bed so I can get up early for my appointment with the pain specialist tomorrow. Blessings to you.

Jim

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I very much like the pain specialist. He’s worked hard to find a way to get relief for me. My service dog is still in training. I had to find a new one after my previous dog died suddenly and unexpectedly in February of last year. He had been my partner his last 5 years. A mental health worker recommended a service dog, and I trained the dog I rescued as a puppy. I found resources online to learn what services he could provide to be a legitimate service dog. He helped me through panic attacks and with depression, and PTSD. Sadie, my two year old McNabb, is taking his place and is learning to know me, to know when I need her. She’s a psychiatric service dog. We’re very much attached. I felt the connection when I first knelt and held her at the shelter. It was a time when I needed her, just 3 weeks after Barnabas died. Barnabas had a stroke or some other brain event, and I had to put him down. I mourned for a long time, and still feel the loss a year later. If anyone wants to know more about service dogs, it just takes a Google search. No certification is required, though there are lots of people online offering certificates. It’s a scam. And too many people believe that they can call their pet a service dog, but it’s only a companion dog. The animal has to be trained to provide a recognized service, and a list of possible services can be found at http://www.servicedog.com. There are several requirements as to behavior, basic commands and dog etiquette. Whenever I go to a restaurant or doctor’s office, I hear from people who work there that they can tell when it’s a true service dog. I’ve heard horror stories.

@colleenyoung

Great topic to start, Georgette.
You wrote:
“discussing managing mental health issues as a senior, after a lifelong challenge with this disease. This issue can be further complicated as we age because many people do have memory loss and other symptoms of aging, and it is very difficult to tell the difference between life-long anxiety or depression and other mental health issues…….and age-related symptoms or conditions. Am i feeling depressed because i cannot do the things i used to do, or am i depressed because i do not have chronic depression under control?”

I’m tagging @overwhelmed @johnjames @jimhd @amberpep and @lesbatts on this discussion as I believe they will value insights or reflections to offer.

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Thanks, @johnjames I agree! I find it very helpful to be able to put my thoughts, feelings and fears into written form. It is very cathartic, isn’t it? Teresa

Liked by safetyshield

@jimhd That is wonderful that you have found both companionship and assistance! Thanks for sharing the service dog webiste. I have heard from others that it is a great help for those who have PTSD. Best wishes for the new year! Teresa

@jimhd

I’m sorry for the loss of your sons. I have attempted suicide, and I know the terrible pain it would cause for my wife and children. Knowing that keeps me from further attempts.

I don’t know how long depression has been affecting me, but in 2003, my doctor prescribed my first antidepressant, and in 2005, I crashed. I was overdosing, wanting to die, and was deeply depressed.

I don’t think I’d be able to handle all that you are. You have a source of strength. Maybe you could tell us what keeps you going. We all have our own coping resources, and it helps to find new ways to cope.

I have a support team, and each member helps me in different ways. God is at the top of the list, my wife, my service dog, church, and a few friends. I hope to start seeing a therapist again in February. The last one moved more than a year ago. They don’t stay here very long, because they can make so much more money in bigger cities. The town I live in is just under 10,000. The challenge has been finding a therapist who takes Medicare.

Well, I have to get a shower and get to bed so I can get up early for my appointment with the pain specialist tomorrow. Blessings to you.

Jim

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Thank you for telling us more about Sadie and Barnabas. You may enjoy reading about Craig (@v1crew) and Saoirse, who are in training with one another since late last year. http://mayocl.in/2jNt67n

Johnjames, thanks so much for telling us about the pain specialist . i am praying that you will have more and more strength each day. I did not know that there are service dogs specifically for psych issues. I am going to look that up. My english bulldog serves the purpose for now. I lost my bassette hound last year at the age of 14. Long life for a bassette. My chow mix had also passed 6 months earlier. I got my puppy before gracie died because i knew i wouldn’t do well when she passed. I stayed with my chow, louie, and of course with gracie as i had to make the decision to let each of them go. I still can’t look at their pictures because it is still too traumatic. But louie did live 11 years which is long for his breed.

Oh…i used to work in rehab/hospice/alzeiheimers (wrong spelling there) facilities and we brought in petting zoos for our patients. We actually brought into the building and even up the elevator a llama, goat, pigs and rabbits and all sorts of unusual animals. They sat on the beds (well, not the llama and goat)! And everyone came out of their yukky mental and physical stuff they were dealing with. Even me! I carried a baby pig around all day but, unfortunately, the zoo wouldn’t let me take him home. They found me hiding in a closet with him but they heard his squeeks through the door and found us.

It sounds like you have a loving wife and your comment about not wanting to leave her alone to suffer if you were “not here” is extremely compassionate and sensitive. Those who take their own lives have no idea of the life-long trauma they leave for their loved ones. It sounds like, even though you live with such mental and physical pain, you put your family first, and friends. Please keep us informed as to what is happening with you. You are definitely a role model and i feel encouraged when you share. Blessings.

@jimhd

I’m sorry for the loss of your sons. I have attempted suicide, and I know the terrible pain it would cause for my wife and children. Knowing that keeps me from further attempts.

I don’t know how long depression has been affecting me, but in 2003, my doctor prescribed my first antidepressant, and in 2005, I crashed. I was overdosing, wanting to die, and was deeply depressed.

I don’t think I’d be able to handle all that you are. You have a source of strength. Maybe you could tell us what keeps you going. We all have our own coping resources, and it helps to find new ways to cope.

I have a support team, and each member helps me in different ways. God is at the top of the list, my wife, my service dog, church, and a few friends. I hope to start seeing a therapist again in February. The last one moved more than a year ago. They don’t stay here very long, because they can make so much more money in bigger cities. The town I live in is just under 10,000. The challenge has been finding a therapist who takes Medicare.

Well, I have to get a shower and get to bed so I can get up early for my appointment with the pain specialist tomorrow. Blessings to you.

Jim

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jimhd when I lived with my parents as a child growing up I always had a dog. Though we never heard of or refured to the dogs as service dogs they were a companion to me. When I moved out of my parents home I got a cat which is called a companion. Where I live companion animals are allowed when pets are not allowed. My cat is very entertaining because to him he is the master of his domain. When is the whole house. I would like to had a dog but it would of been to much for me with the up keep. But I know how you feel about your dog as I do about my cat. They are very much your family

@colleenyoung

Great topic to start, Georgette.
You wrote:
“discussing managing mental health issues as a senior, after a lifelong challenge with this disease. This issue can be further complicated as we age because many people do have memory loss and other symptoms of aging, and it is very difficult to tell the difference between life-long anxiety or depression and other mental health issues…….and age-related symptoms or conditions. Am i feeling depressed because i cannot do the things i used to do, or am i depressed because i do not have chronic depression under control?”

I’m tagging @overwhelmed @johnjames @jimhd @amberpep and @lesbatts on this discussion as I believe they will value insights or reflections to offer.

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hopeful33250 I too like to write but sometimes especially on FB I will write something and get an unexpected response and wondering are my writings get across the way I want it too? Sometimes yes sometimes no. It is a gamble. But as you say it is just helpful to put some thoughts into words and get that relief without the fear of how others will interpret what you wrote

@hopeful33250

@jimhd That is wonderful that you have found both companionship and assistance! Thanks for sharing the service dog webiste. I have heard from others that it is a great help for those who have PTSD. Best wishes for the new year! Teresa

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and for many other reasons as well

Hello everyone…have not been able to connect again. But wanted to say i am still here and will be back tomorrow. Blessings

Hello to all my comforting friends. I have to go back and figure out how to find the other posts regarding this topic. I will figure that out soon. Still cannot find the draft i wrote under the MAC forum. I am not sure you keep drafts. I am going to look for the other posts on this topic. Blessings

@georgette12

Hello to all my comforting friends. I have to go back and figure out how to find the other posts regarding this topic. I will figure that out soon. Still cannot find the draft i wrote under the MAC forum. I am not sure you keep drafts. I am going to look for the other posts on this topic. Blessings

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Hi Georgette,
You unfortunately cannot save drafts of messages yet. We are continually making improvements. I’ll add this to the wishlist. Let me know if I can help you find topics or messages.

Thanks so much. I was on the MAC forum discussing my own diagosis and wanted to mention Lady Windemere syndrome which applies. So i just went to google and lost it! Will rewrite it.

Anybody have trouble going to church because the way you are treated there with mental illness? Once people get to know me, I find they talk down to me. I find it hard to keeping attending.

These people are supposed to be Christians? I’d try another church if I were you and don’t tell anyone about your background.
I do not go to church but I had plenty of it when I was a child, enough to make me not want to ever go to church again.
My family and close friends know that I am Bipolar and I never tell anyone else. I thought the bias was lifting against people with mental illnesses but I guess not.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.

My service dog is with me every Sunday at church, and many people know she’s a psychiatric service dog. I’ve never felt any hostility or negativity. The church I used to go to were very accepting, and were really sad when we changed to another church. The only reason we left was that the pastor didn’t believe in psychology or psychiatry, and made me feel wrongly judged. I think the church is growing up in its misperceptions of mental illness. I am a retired minister, and have felt the stigma firsthand. It’s unfortunate, because that’s certainly not what Jesus modeled.

I just changed my profile picture to a colored pencil drawing made of my previous service dog, Barnabas, who died a year ago.

Jim

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