Managing Life-Long Mental Health as a Senior

Posted by georgette12 @georgette12, Jan 13, 2017

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

Hi tallygirl and everybody else! I havent been on the forum since my last post … Which i think was about not believing that doctors can tell you how long you are going to live. I was in the process of moving to an apartment. But i also have a problem staying connected because i am just not getting any better dealing with this depression. Tomorrow will be the 7th month anniversary of my son’s suicide. As i might have posted, i am not getting grief counseling for the PTSD stuff and the continuing nightmares. Small mountain town in colorado that offers no resources and friends and family and everyone else…do not accept the reality that people in this world actually do kill themselves…yep….this strange and totally unacceptable event actually exists! Oh…and that the folks who choose to opt out of life do leave behind people who are severely traumatized to the point where leaving the planet can often sound like a good idea.

I am definitely aware of the consequences of submerging the awfulest of feelings. And i am definitely aware that these feelings are starting to surface. I have discovered that the word suicide is forbidden in much of the society we live in…even though the suicide rate is steadily increasing. Reminds me of the folks who truly believe that if you utter a negative word…that makes it happen. When my one son was born a long time ago…i told him that he is not to be jealous because he has a new baby brother… cause i would always love him as much as always. I did not love the new baby more than him. But my husbands mother had a fit because she thought …and truly believed….that my sayiny that out loud “would give him that idea.” more later guys. Many hugs.

@georgette12

Hi tallygirl and everybody else! I havent been on the forum since my last post … Which i think was about not believing that doctors can tell you how long you are going to live. I was in the process of moving to an apartment. But i also have a problem staying connected because i am just not getting any better dealing with this depression. Tomorrow will be the 7th month anniversary of my son’s suicide. As i might have posted, i am not getting grief counseling for the PTSD stuff and the continuing nightmares. Small mountain town in colorado that offers no resources and friends and family and everyone else…do not accept the reality that people in this world actually do kill themselves…yep….this strange and totally unacceptable event actually exists! Oh…and that the folks who choose to opt out of life do leave behind people who are severely traumatized to the point where leaving the planet can often sound like a good idea.

I am definitely aware of the consequences of submerging the awfulest of feelings. And i am definitely aware that these feelings are starting to surface. I have discovered that the word suicide is forbidden in much of the society we live in…even though the suicide rate is steadily increasing. Reminds me of the folks who truly believe that if you utter a negative word…that makes it happen. When my one son was born a long time ago…i told him that he is not to be jealous because he has a new baby brother… cause i would always love him as much as always. I did not love the new baby more than him. But my husbands mother had a fit because she thought …and truly believed….that my sayiny that out loud “would give him that idea.” more later guys. Many hugs.

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Thanks for your post, @georgette12. I have been thinking about you and wondering how you are doing. You are certainly articulate in expressing your feelings and that counts for a lot in the healing process. Look forward to hearing from you again! Teresa

Georgette, coping with the memory of losing your son because of suicide must be almost unbearable at times. Anytime we’ve lost children, no matter the cause, leaves a sore open place in our hearts and memories. My son didn’t take his life, but I knew he wanted to at times. As far back in our family as I know of, there have been suicides. My mother’s father shot her mother and then himself. Life can be hard and some people just can’t cope. When I was deeply depressed and first diagnosed as Bi-Polar, I thought about it, but I’m too big a wimp. It takes a lot of nerve to end your life. I kept thinking it would get easier and it does at times. I actually love life even when it’s not going so good. Keep your chin up and remember to do something to help someone each day because you end up helping yourself.

@georgette12

Hi tallygirl and everybody else! I havent been on the forum since my last post … Which i think was about not believing that doctors can tell you how long you are going to live. I was in the process of moving to an apartment. But i also have a problem staying connected because i am just not getting any better dealing with this depression. Tomorrow will be the 7th month anniversary of my son’s suicide. As i might have posted, i am not getting grief counseling for the PTSD stuff and the continuing nightmares. Small mountain town in colorado that offers no resources and friends and family and everyone else…do not accept the reality that people in this world actually do kill themselves…yep….this strange and totally unacceptable event actually exists! Oh…and that the folks who choose to opt out of life do leave behind people who are severely traumatized to the point where leaving the planet can often sound like a good idea.

I am definitely aware of the consequences of submerging the awfulest of feelings. And i am definitely aware that these feelings are starting to surface. I have discovered that the word suicide is forbidden in much of the society we live in…even though the suicide rate is steadily increasing. Reminds me of the folks who truly believe that if you utter a negative word…that makes it happen. When my one son was born a long time ago…i told him that he is not to be jealous because he has a new baby brother… cause i would always love him as much as always. I did not love the new baby more than him. But my husbands mother had a fit because she thought …and truly believed….that my sayiny that out loud “would give him that idea.” more later guys. Many hugs.

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@georgette12

I’ve learned that saying the word, “suicide”, in a conversation is a quick way to squelch the conversation. I know that it’s difficult for my wife to cope with the knowledge that I’ve attempted a number of times, even though it’s been several years ago. I live with a lot of guilt for having put my wife through so much trauma over the past dozen years. I don’t know why I think about it as much as I do. I’m fairly sure that for me, it’s connected with depression. I’ve gone way past doing it for attention. I know that I’m still alive today because of my wife. I don’t want to cause the grief that my suicide would result in. I’ll certainly be talking about it with my new therapist.

Jim

@hopeful33250

Hello @georgette12 and welcome to Mayo Connect. You have joined a wonderful online community of folks who are interested in health topics and sharing information about what has helped and encouraged them. Please feel free to share with us as to what brought you to Mayo Connect. Is there a specific health issue you or a family member/freind is dealing with? All of us came to Mayo Connect as a result of some health-related issue and we have found support and help along the journey. We look forward to getting to know you! Best wishes. Teresa

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I am an alcoholic in recovery and I have had major depression which is mostly controlled by medication. It look forward to being able to connect with others who have these problems or a dual diagnosis

Liked by brit

That is correct.

Dispite having PTSD and Bipolar Disorder I too love life. I know it’s difficult to say that when suffering from depression but I always try to be as positive as possible.

@lesbatts

Dispite having PTSD and Bipolar Disorder I too love life. I know it’s difficult to say that when suffering from depression but I always try to be as positive as possible.

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what a special person you are. When I am depressed I feel helpless. My husband is my insperation and really helps with my daily exercise and doing things around the house. I love life too, but every 3-4 years this depression come about me that just comes from nowhere. My sister and mother too had it so I guess its just a gene that we have in the family. I work on it on a daily basis and have been in one of those “funks” now for about 2 months. I am on medication and it does help but I also know that the main thing is I push myself and that also helps. My husband said pills won’t do it all you have to participate.
God Bless you dear and my prayers are with you. You can do it!!!!!!
Patti

I believe mental illness is like other diseases, we just have to keep trying. I stay on a rollercoaster ….. not only daily, but off and on during the day. Sometimes it would be wonderful to just stay on the couch and give up. It takes a lot of energy to cope. This is why I try to get outside at some point during the day. Being among people helps me to put my best self forward because I know this is what they want to see. The feelings we have when down are hard to explain. Sometimes when out, I simply walk through a department store, feeling totally alone and still not caring. Do you find yourself wanting to try to explain your feelings? I pull out all the things that have deeply hurt and poke at them to see if they still bleed. I don’t blame anyone for things that have happened, I just can’t totally trust. I sometimes need someone who could love me unconditionally, but maybe more than this, someone who could find what they need in me. Does this make sense?

@lesbatts

Dispite having PTSD and Bipolar Disorder I too love life. I know it’s difficult to say that when suffering from depression but I always try to be as positive as possible.

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@brit Thanks for your encouraging words, Patti. I especially like the phrase, “pills won’t do it all you have to participate” even though participation (movement, exercise, socialization) can be difficult when you are feeling down, it is still a good antidote. Best wishes to you for a good day. Teresa

@liz223

I believe mental illness is like other diseases, we just have to keep trying. I stay on a rollercoaster ….. not only daily, but off and on during the day. Sometimes it would be wonderful to just stay on the couch and give up. It takes a lot of energy to cope. This is why I try to get outside at some point during the day. Being among people helps me to put my best self forward because I know this is what they want to see. The feelings we have when down are hard to explain. Sometimes when out, I simply walk through a department store, feeling totally alone and still not caring. Do you find yourself wanting to try to explain your feelings? I pull out all the things that have deeply hurt and poke at them to see if they still bleed. I don’t blame anyone for things that have happened, I just can’t totally trust. I sometimes need someone who could love me unconditionally, but maybe more than this, someone who could find what they need in me. Does this make sense?

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@liz223 Well stated, thanks! Teresa

Well guys, i made it a point to check the forum before days end. Oh…i did want to say something that seems silly but isnt…for me anyway. My tablet does not automatically spell check or insert punctuation. So i am hereby proclaiming that i am not fixing typos! Okay okay i know thats really wierd to even th7nk ab8ut. However i am a professi8nal writer and my job does not n8t n8t not allow errors!!!!!!!! However every time i write a post with th7s tiny little keyboard i flinch when i see all my errors. If i were a carpenter or a cop or an indian chief i wouldnt give it a th8ught. But writing is what i do…and i am really going against my grain here. I know this sounds corny…(yes, pun intended). I am currently suffering from painful arthritis in my hands and its hard to type on this particular device. I am currently as we virtually speak…wearing a hand brace on my write (mispelling intended here!) hand and one of thos3 wierd Copper Comfort gloves on my left hand. Anyway, being the perfect obsessive compulsive personality that i am…i am hereby not worrying about text. Well that is actually not true…i will no longer choose to believe the impossible. I will just ignore it. Also because this is really a boring post..ill stop here and start another since i realky do have someth7 g to say! More in a sec.

Here i am again. As i was going to say in my silly post about grammar….but didnt…today is the 7th month of my sons death. He hanged himself before i got a chance to fly to chicago to save him. I did call the mobile crisis team there…they sent five cops but they didnt take him and hospitalize him. Thats because he did not actually have the rope around his neck. I am not joking. When i worked in a crisis center …i found out that the law just will not allow cops and mental health pros to take someone from their home unless they are in IMMEDIATE IN THE MOMENT RIGHT THEN AND THERE READY TO KILL THEMSELVES…OR KILL SOMEONE ELSE….RIGHT WHEN THE COPS BANG ON THEIR DOOR!!!!.
So my son called me in colorado and screamed at me for sending them. And the next day he made good on his plan. He had been researching for a year…the most effective and painless way to kill himself…and he sent me dozens and dozens of texts during that entire time….which i have printed out and have saved…..detailing his findings. But ….in this case….words didnt matter. In this case…the cops needed more….and they certainly got it…as they say…”a picture is worth a thousand words.” unfortunately they didnt get to see “the picture”. Only the firemen did…when they found him three days later when they broke his door down. And only then…they found him because neighbors complained. Sorry…TRIGGER ALERT!!! I will stop right there. I am hoping very sincerely that my story did not trigger anyone.
Anyway my point is that i did get to chicago and did get to his apartment but, unbeknownst to me and his brother, the landlord had not arranged for the “crime scene” to be cleaned. It was originally a possible murder… As there were reasons to consider this…so they did the whole yellow crime scene tape. I have no idea who cleans apartments after such dastardly deeds…and i guess this poor landlord didnt know either. Anyway i will spare you all and not tell you what i saw and experienced when i opened the door. There are enough cop shows on TV…and i am here to tell you that we need to be eternally grateful for the law and medical and other professionals who work under such extreme circumstances…they are special special people who allow us…the ordinary joe and jane…to not have to deal with such horrific things.
Well…i again have been really wordy here…so i think i will sign off for the moment and watch the latest situation comedy on TV…THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. Sending hugs to all…love g.

@georgette12

Hi tallygirl and everybody else! I havent been on the forum since my last post … Which i think was about not believing that doctors can tell you how long you are going to live. I was in the process of moving to an apartment. But i also have a problem staying connected because i am just not getting any better dealing with this depression. Tomorrow will be the 7th month anniversary of my son’s suicide. As i might have posted, i am not getting grief counseling for the PTSD stuff and the continuing nightmares. Small mountain town in colorado that offers no resources and friends and family and everyone else…do not accept the reality that people in this world actually do kill themselves…yep….this strange and totally unacceptable event actually exists! Oh…and that the folks who choose to opt out of life do leave behind people who are severely traumatized to the point where leaving the planet can often sound like a good idea.

I am definitely aware of the consequences of submerging the awfulest of feelings. And i am definitely aware that these feelings are starting to surface. I have discovered that the word suicide is forbidden in much of the society we live in…even though the suicide rate is steadily increasing. Reminds me of the folks who truly believe that if you utter a negative word…that makes it happen. When my one son was born a long time ago…i told him that he is not to be jealous because he has a new baby brother… cause i would always love him as much as always. I did not love the new baby more than him. But my husbands mother had a fit because she thought …and truly believed….that my sayiny that out loud “would give him that idea.” more later guys. Many hugs.

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jimhd: yes your right- the word suicide for many people seems to be some kind of profanity( which is not -in anyway ” true”) I believe -after working with many Soldiers and Marines- as well as Police Officers who have been on the edge of suicide and the many who completed suicide. The word should mean- thoughts of compassion, how can I help, what I can do for the person, non- Judgemental thoughts, What would God have me say? As a chaplain and soldier in Viet Nam -I have worked with and been with over hundreds of folks who have talked about if, but not really serious, some who just think what it would like( which I believe everyone on the planet has had a thought like that. Those who call for help, those who call me because they are ready – but still hoping for a life line, for hope ” real hope” in our culture there is – without question a real lack of ” innocent” lack of really caring for others, how many people do you know that even say thank you- for holding the door for them- I took a day and did my own research on this ( I would say to be conservative – over 50 people, only three said thank you.) Please don’t be so hard on you- the times you were going through a crisis( whatever that may be to you- is your Buss:- but( and I not comparing your spouse in this) I believe you needed a helping hand, someone that doesn’t ask hundreds of questions, but just listens to your pain and than together try and find a solution that you feel at peace with. The folks I have talked to who survived suicide- told me they felt lost, hopeless, worthless,left our of the community and friends and even family. Glad you are talking with a Therpist- as he or she , needs to help you get rid of the guilt you feel- I don’t believe and the Medical stats proves that guilt should not play a role in the recovery of attempted suicide or just thinking about. Yes, help would be the first thing I would do and call someone. If you ask you Therapist if suicide hurts- I would hope they would say Yes, it’s a mental pain that’s real- just as much as a cut on your arm and yes; depression plays a major role in suicide and many other physical and mental condition .- One key One is ” PTSD” I can confess I have PTSD from war for many years and 45 years of the Military.

My wife is enjoying her brand new baby. I really wish I could be there to hold her. I love newborns. I talked with the therapist this morning, and I know that with some time and effort, I’ll be able to work on some issues. Right now, I’m at the lowest point I’ve been for several years, and I don’t want to lose the ground that I’ve made. Major Depressive Disorder is quite different from a funk, or the blues, or a down day. It’s something that just doesn’t let up. It took me years to step up from a 5 to a 6. Ten would be the greatest day of my life. 5 means that I think about suicide, but mostly as a concept, rather than a compulsion. 6 means that I’m not so focused on death, and I feel up to doing something useful, like yard work or house painting or home improvement projects. When I sit down, the feelings of sadness and guilt and so on, return. I find it hard to feel enjoyment when I finish a job. It’s just one more thing to cross off my list. I used to really feel happy when I did that.

I have to get up early to get some new tires put on my pickup, so I need to stop writing and get some sleep. Thanks for listening. Before I leave, though, I need to say that words that are intended to be helpful are often just irritants. Things like be happy, stay active, keep your chin up, keep your eyes on Jesus, think positive thoughts…

Those words tend to make me feel worse, guilty, unsupportive, hopeless. If those things actually helped, I’d be a jolly old man. But they don’t. They have the opposite effect of what is intended.

Jim just saying.

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