Hello there! I notice that there’s a lot of people here who I don’t recognize so I guess I’ll just give a brief introduction to myself first. So my name is NightOwl35, or Night, or Nighty (you can honestly get away with calling me whatever honestly, I’m not picky and don’t get offended). I found out about this thread by randomly viewing the “Elliquiy Shoutout Thread” and noticed a post from Remiel in there linking to here (Thanks Remi!). From there I ended up taking a day (probably more around a few hours) and read through (mostly skimming because this thread is over 5 years old) this entire thread.
It’s something that really riled emotions in me and I figured I’d eventually try to post in here with some past experiences of mine with depression among other things that sort of work with it. It took me a while to come to write this though, mostly because of a few reasons. One being besides depression is just the anxiety I feel whenever it comes to posting things here. The other being that I was really unsure what I would post about. There is so much you can say about depression and at the same time so little. It’s really hard to even just talk about these types of things in private, let alone in a relatively public area.
I eventually figured out that I’d post something that I’ve been dealing with myself lately. Of late, I’m finding myself hesitant on all forms of “treatment” or “help” that involve things like a therapist. This is mainly plagued by past experiences and where I live not having many available options. I do relatively alright on my own, even though there are some days where it can be a heavy load to deal with. I’d say I’m borderline between hesitant and unwilling anymore at this point though until I can find the right place/person I suppose.
I’m writing this part after typing up the rest of this to just say that I’m putting this long story into a spoiler tag. I didn’t expect it to be so long, but I wanted to in a way give back to all of you who posted in here and give the full story for clarity and to show what it was like for me. For a short version of things in it, I mainly talk about my experiences with going to multiple different places to see therapy, what they had done, and my three separate experiences going to a hospital/institute. I believe I say it in the long wall of text, but if anyone wants me to talk more on a specific subject just let me know and I can easily go into more details.
A slight note before I go on. Reading back on this, I wish to make a note that a lot of the events happened two years ago (which feels like an eternity to me) and as such there might be some details I don’t entirely remember too well.
This also sort of goes down the path of “Good thing goes bad”. But I do wish to reiterate what I say at the end that just because I’m hesitant from my experiences doesn’t mean you should be! If you feel you need treatment, go seek it out! This is me just showing huge emphasis on how big trust is needed in these situations and what happened when it was broken for me, also going into some details of my time in hospitals/institutes!
Depression has something I’ve dealt with for...as far back as I can remember. I’m not going to go way back there for now though because it is all irrelevant to what the rest of this is about. Anyways, two years ago was when my depression was at an all time high for me for the first time in a long while. I was usually able to sort of just deal with it but at this point it become something worse. Around the middle of the year, my family had started to notice something was wrong and recommended me to a therapist near where I lived. I decided that it couldn’t hurt and gave it a shot. Back then I honestly had a lot of issues with just feeling emotions in general. I almost always felt numb back then. I was able to sort of hide it behind a mask when around others as I could understand when to feel things and what those feelings looked and sounded like, but I just couldn’t feel them myself. I know that for some people that won’t make sense, but that’s probably the best I could word it.
The therapist I was seeing eventually managed to get it out of me how I was back then, and she did well at sort of cracking that part open and helping with getting rid of feeling numb all the time. She was honestly very helpful in a lot of ways and I felt that therapy was going great at that place and that maybe I could hopefully lessen my depression to an amount where it wouldn’t be a constant. One day however, a few months into therapy, I sort of....slipped. Losing the numb feeling opened me up to the little demons on the inside that I kept back using the numbness. I honestly wasn’t able to take it at the time. It was new to feel anything for me, let alone those strong surges of self hate and loathing after so long of just making myself feel numb all the time.
It was the middle of the night (around...2-3 AM roughly) and in my head I had the full plan on how to end my life. Suicidal thoughts were nothing new to me and neither was making a plan for how to do it. But something about this time felt different. I don’t know how to really describe what made it different other than just saying that it felt “real”. I had everything I needed to do it right there in my room, everyone else was sleeping and they wouldn’t bother me anyways so no one would know what I had done until possibly days from then. I even had a contingency plan laid out for if I ended up doing it and thinking “No! This is a mistake! I don’t want to do this!”. I made myself ready, and was going to do it. I came so close that day, but ended up just...I don’t really know anymore. Something came over me throughout all that darkness and just made me stop, put everything away and go to sleep. It’s strange to look back on that day and realize what could have happened.
A few days after that event, I went to see my therapist again and told her the whole ordeal, not even thinking about what she would say. She was insanely worried and told me that I needed to go to the hospital for serious help, to which I honestly just broke down at the thought of. I’m someone who has a phobia of hospitals and just the idea of being sent there over something I thought was so miniscule just was too much for me. She ended up helping me calm down somewhat before I was taken out of her office and to the hospital. Before I left she gave me a hug which was by far one of the most comforting things I could have received. I can honestly say that looking back on it, being sent there was something I really needed back then.
My time in the hospital for this first time was...an experience to say the least. I kept a journal the entire time there, and I can always try and find it and post it to like a google doc or something if anyone is really interested in what my first experience in there was like. I will say though that being in there really...brought to life something. I’m someone whose life is pretty much all online. Because of where I live, among other factors, I don’t really do much outside and don’t have friend in real life to do stuff with. So when I randomly disappeared for seven days without a trace to anyone online, everyone got insanely worried about me. It was a sort of thing where you listen to the demons for so long, where they say “All these people don’t care about you!” “You’re worthless and they hate you!” among other harmful things you start to believe it. But seeing the...amount of worry and such from people was just an insane thing to me that I could believe. It was also insanely difficult to admit to these people what I was going to do and just hearing their reactions. I should also mention that part of the suicidal plan came from where I was living (some people have seen that as I released pictures/a video on the whole thing) and was discharged to family in a different place. This will be something to remember later.
Anyways, I was in there for around a week and was discharged with meds. I will honestly say that the time in there was fine, but the whole ordeal with meds was a sort of...not great experience. It was my first time ever really being medicated for anything and the whole process of figuring out what to give me was kind of rough. I remember one they tried me on had me in bed because I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down. Anyways, the meds they put me on gave me a less severe but also pretty rough side effect. The meds I was on made me...really angry and violent for no reason at all. I’m someone who rarely gets angry or violent so when I started noticing these changes that I wasn’t really comfortable with, I stopped taking the meds. If losing depression meant being angry and violent all the time, I wasn’t going to do that.
This is where I would say that issues started to appear for me when it comes to wanting to seek help with my mental issues. After taking myself off of my meds, I went back to my therapist to tell her as such and she was less than pleased to say the least. It was also at this time that something had gone on behind my back. I had told my sister (who was my main contact in case of things going wrong) about my therapist, and she had asked if she could talk with her as well about an issue we both face in my mother. I won’t go into too much detail but put simply my mother is someone who is very unreasonable and doesn’t really listen to any sort of advice and it is gonna end up causing her problems down the line. It ends up being a little too much for my sister and I to handle so we planned to have a family session with my therapist to see if she could help us out some. It would be just me, my sister, and the therapist. My therapist thought it was a good idea and told my sister about it but when my appointment came up, it wasn’t my sister who was sitting in the lobby with me, it was my mother. I was confused, and asked why she was staying here, to which she told me she was here for the family session. This put me in an instant panic attack as I knew if I was in there with her, I’d either say a lot of things that I wouldn’t be able to take back (being blunt with my mom about her issues and how she needs help), or not be able to say a thing.
So I went back to talk to my therapist alone who had asked about my mom. I told her that I did not want her back here no matter what and that was it. Now when it comes to therapy, one BIG thing is trust. A patient has to trust the therapist to be able to tell them the truth and just be able to receive the correct help, and a therapist has to trust in their patient to confide in them. What she did at this point was something that made me no longer wish to go to this place and I haven’t been back since. She took me out to the lobby, and asked my mom to go back. I was stunned to say the least, and a little annoyed. So my mom goes back there and after some time we swap places again. My therapist didn’t tell me any of what she had said but simply said “I’m worried about you. You’re mom says you have these problems, and you’re not taking your meds. I think you need to go back to the hospital”.
I won’t lie in saying that when I heard her say that, I was just so furious with her. I kept my calm though, and told her how I disagreed. It was then that she had presented me two choices, to sign myself in, or to have her do it. Now I have a bit of knowledge (not the best) on how these things work (at least in the US) and knew that presented with those choices, I knew that the best one for me was to sign myself in. I wasn’t happy to do it, and when I told her that she merely just kept this nasty scowl aimed at me, when she normally had a sort of calming comforting look on her face. I was taken to the hospital for the second time (same place as before).
I was stuck in there again and just had to wait until they said I was good to leave. One issue I had while in there was the question of “So why are you here?”. I never knew how to answer that question. “Because my therapist worried too much?” I honestly didn’t know. They would always follow it up with “But you signed yourself in?” because I didn’t have a choice.
My second run in there wasn’t as grand as my first. I didn’t keep a journal for this time in and because of that I mostly blocked it out of my mind. I will say that this time I didn’t do much in way of “participation” because I didn’t feel I needed to be there, and I was stubborn in that thought. They ended up keeping me there for I want to say eleven days? It’s been too long for me to care to remember the exacts. Anyways, they ended up discharging me with a new anti-depressant and a med for my anxieties.
This brings me into my second issue with seeking help anymore. I would later on (roughly a month later, possibly less) go see a psychiatrist who had seriously questioned the hospital’s decisions on what meds they had prescribed me. She looked at my anxiety meds and told me that it was highly addictive and they shouldn’t have prescribed me it. I will say looking back on it, that while taking it I could feel myself having an urge of “I want more of this…” and I knew that I shouldn’t be taking it from that alone. It didn’t help that in my first time there, a girl I had met tried to overdose on that very same drug. But what about the anti-depressant? Well let’s just say that when I described to this psychiatrist what I was feeling (which I didn’t feel at the hospital mind you), she told me that should I keep taking it (as prescribed) that I would end up overdosing. While I was in the hospital they started me on it at the minimum dosage, and then everyday I was asked “How do you feel?” to which I would always reply “I feel the same, just wanting to get out of here. The meds don’t feel like they’re doing anything”. Which is honestly how I felt. So what did they do? Every day they would increase the dosage a little.
When I got out of there, my family had noticed that I was talking like I was on speed (their words). As time went on, my talking kept getting faster, I kept shaking to the point where even walking was becoming an issue, my mind would not stop racing with thoughts and it kept me awake every night, I was constantly throwing up, among a slew of other issues. At one point, I felt so angry and upset over how I couldn’t get rid of these symptoms but I couldn’t show that I was angry. On the inside I was furious but on the outside I was smiling, laughing and crying almost like my body wouldn’t let me be anything but happy. It was such a horrible feeling what that was like and my description does not do it justice by any means.
Eventually the symptoms wore off as I stopped taking it. As I felt that I couldn’t trust my therapist anymore I stopped seeing her and tried to just deal with depression on my own again. This led to issues with my family as they don’t understand it at all and make no effort to try to understand it. It eventually led to me being “kicked out” if you will from staying with my family and having to go back to where I was before, back in the house where I nearly committed suicide. This was a few days before my birthday, and I was just...broken by it. Having just started feeling “normal” again, having my birthday (which I usually don’t care for really but still it didn’t help) coming up, and then having to go back to that horrid place was just...too much. I was completely broken by it and slumped back into my depression a bit.
Some friends found out about the whole ordeal and did something incredible that I still find so amazing but I regret doing what I did. So two separate people, got some of their friends and family together separately to send me sort of “care-packages” is what I’d describe them as. They ended up showing people videos and pictures I had posted back then of what my situation was to help exemplify why they wanted to help. These boxes contained things that were very useful (a year later and I still use them) and just things that were like...I don’t know how to describe it. It was such an overwhelming feeling for me, being someone filled with such self loathing and hate to be sent these things sort of out of nowhere (I knew they were sending stuff but I wasn’t told what). I’m someone who doesn’t really celebrate holidays as my family is sort of...not the greatest around those times, so I try to avoid the whole thing just viewing it as just another day. As such, getting gifts after so many years of avoiding it and not ever getting anything was so foreign to me. I remember when I opened it, and I was told “You sound ungrateful” and looking back on it, I did sound and look it even if it wasn’t what I was feeling. I think it was just something so...unbelievable to me that I was sort of in shock. “People care this much?” was something that the demons tried to constantly hide from me, and still do unfortunately at times. My biggest regret though, was when I asked the one friend “Why?”. I was so dumbfounded and felt that I didn’t deserve the packages at all. This friend ended up yelling at me and I will admit it was quite deserved and what they said did help. I still end up finding myself wanting to ask that question whenever someone gifts me something but I always end up biting my tongue thinking back to that day. (I will say reading through this again that I don’t describe this part well enough. It’s honestly still hard to comprehend everything that happened and word it well).
The year ended up moving forward though, and me and the other person I was living with would eventually end up being evicted from that horrible place. It sort of forced me back to where I was with family where they told me that I would have little time to find a place. It took me a few months, and well a few bad choices which would lead me to moving far away with a person I met online. Not the smartest idea it would turn out as the person I lived with ended up being...not the best roommate. I try and not talk about that time much as well...it just invokes lots of not too great memories.
Eventually family would call me to come back as they realized they need my help more than they thought and I ended up coming back at the end of last year. For a few months, I kept up the fight on my own until it was becoming a bit too much for myself to fight. My sister ended up noticing it and said I should give this other place a try that she had been to before. I was hesitant but I figured I had nothing to lose. It would turn out I had good reason to be hesitant.
So I would eventually go to this new place and schedule an intake (the first appointment where they assess if you need help and what kinds of help you need). This appointment is one where I would immediately lose all trust for this place. At one point they asked me who my primary care physician is, to which I told them I don’t have one and haven’t seen one in a couple of years. They mentioned having one at the building I could see if I would like and I thought “Sure that sounds like a great idea!” since it would be good to finally see one. It would later turn out that the person they were talking about was not a physician but rather a psychiatrist. Quite a big difference there. Anyways, the whole thing went well from there and they said I could receive services and they would contact me about who I would see. At the end however, they asked me if I would like the contact information for crisis to which I replied “Sure, it would be good to have it if I would need it” and they gave me a card with the contact information for crisis.
So about a week or so goes by, and I get a call from my sister saying that someone from crisis was there to talk to me. I was quite honestly confused. I didn’t ask for someone from crisis to come talk with me, and the people at the therapist’s didn’t tell me they would send someone out. I met with the person, who I knew previously as a case manager from two years ago. He apparently left that job and started working with crisis. As a case manager, he didn’t do his job at all and I dropped him quickly. So upon seeing him here, I was filled with feelings of “Oh no...I know where this is going to go”.
He and I got to talking, with my sister next to me as I didn’t trust this whole thing, and he asked how I had been over the past two years after explaining that he was referred to talk to me by the place I had just been to. I told him essentially what had happened and how things were. He eventually asked me some questions for his paper work or something, I honestly don’t remember but the topic of my weight came up. I’m someone who has ALWAYS been really underweight. Right now, I should weigh at around 125 lbs minimum but at the time was around...105, roughly. I had even told him that when he and I first met I weighed less than that probably to which he didn’t believe me at all. He said I must have weighed a healthy weight back then, and would not let that go. He asked if I had an eating disorder or anything like that to which I replied that I did not. We kept going for a little bit until he came to me with the dreaded words: “I’m worried about you”. That is the LAST thing I wanted to hear.
He eventually would come out with how he felt I needed to go to the hospital and how he felt it would help me. Me, knowing who I am and remembering my previous experiences, told him that sending me would do more harm than good. He said that if I’d be unwilling to sign myself in, then he would go to my sister and ask her to. If she would say no, he would do it himself. I kept arguing with him to the point where he told me “Look, let me talk to my supervisor and see what he says”. He then went into his car, windows rolled up, and called his supervisor. It was at this point I knew I was going and didn’t have a choice anymore. It took him about an hour to get off the phone and explain to me that his supervisor agreed that I had to go and I had to go right then and there.
He ended up giving me a choice of the hospital I had been to the previous two times (honestly I’d go insane being back in there) or go to an actual institute about 2 hours away from where I lived (there was another place closer but they didn’t have any empty beds). Since I had no real choice (either me doing it, or him) I chose the institute in hopes that it would be better than my time in the hospital. He got it all set up, and told me that I would have to wait a few hours before a person would get me to take me there. I think this was a sort of good and bad thing. Because I had time to get stuff together, and tell people so no one would be worried about my sudden disappearance while I was gone. An issue came up to how to address it in certain places. At the time, I was in the middle of a game of Werewolf here on E in the “Lie, Cheat, Steal” board. It wasn’t going to be an easy thing to say “Look, I’m being sent against my will to a mental institute and won’t be able to participate for awhile”. It’s not easy to tell people something like that. The stigma attached to it, and just even telling people about it is such a hard thing. I ended up opting to just telling the GM a bit more and saying that I was headed to the hospital, while in the public OOC saying that I was being forced away against my will. Both of which were technically not lies and I’m so glad at how understanding people were over the whole situation from what I had told them (even though I’m now giving them the full story here technically).
Some friends I went into detail about the whole ordeal with as they are people I felt more comfortable around to tell the stuff to. Eventually my ride would be there to pick me up and asked if I was who he was there to pick up and asked if I was ready to go. I ended up telling him “Well I don’t have much of a choice do I?” and he replied “You always have a choice on whether or not you go”. I was tired at the time and frustrated and just generally upset and when he told me that, I wanted to just yell at him about how he was wrong and how I truly had no choice in the matter. It was one of those things where I was just thinking “If I had the choice, I would be choosing NOT to go to this place”.
He would end up taking me there and I would stay at this institute for...roughly 16 days. And the reason I was there so long was not because of anything I would do while there. In fact, it was solely because of how...unorganized and unprofessional the place is. Looking back at it, I’m rather astounded how bad it was run there. Regardless, the staff were all nice and accommodating and actually listened which I will say is something that was a great surprise over how it was in the hospital. While I was in there, I got a reputation of being called a vampire. It was because I never really left my room unless I had to. I had so much anxieties from just being in there (more on this in a minute) to where they ended up letting me eat in my room. Most of the time I would just lay on my bed and sleep. I didn’t care to be there and I didn’t need to be there. When asked this time “Why are you here?” I had to simply answer “Because some guy from crisis wouldn’t believe me when I told him I’ve always been underweight and don’t have an eating disorder”.
My time in there I started to sink into a really bad depression. The reason for it was because I couldn’t really do anything. I was trapped in there. In order to be discharged, the hospital/institute needs to confirm that you are going home to a safe place. This is where a bunch of shady things happened which was sort of a nail in the coffin for me when it comes to seeking help. The would tell me one day that “We had tried contacting your sister and she said you can’t go back there”. I was a bit stunned at what they had said. I immediately ended up calling my sister in order to see what was going on only to get no response. I would later find out she was in an area for that whole day where she couldn’t receive calls. Eventually I would get ahold of her to hear her say “Look, you need to get out of there right now, there is so much going on down here”. And I was confused by this. I had told her what the institute had said for her to tell me that they had not contacted her at all. This continued the entire time in there until I did some careful word manipulation to get them to have a conference call between the therapist there, myself, and my sister. If I had not done that, they would have kept me there even longer since they honestly didn’t actively try and get you discharged. Had I not done what I did I would have been there for longer, and with what I was hearing was going on at home, I knew that I didn’t want to be there any longer.
Earlier, I said I had a lot of anxieties at this place, which I would say might be an understatement. So I guess this is going to generally talk about something that happens with hospitals/institutes (in my experience). When you are sent to one of these places, you are stuck in a section with people who don’t suffer the same things as you. For example, there was one person during my one stay who had bipolar and schizophrenia (two things I don’t deal with, this could be bad cause you don’t know how a person may act). And not everyone in these places is the nicest person ever...or the safest for that matter. When I was in the hospital, I would feel “safe”. By that, I mean that I didn’t feel in danger around any of the other patients unless they were just getting in there. It wasn’t uncommon to see someone come in violently but calm down later. At the institute, I didn’t feel safe at all. So a bit more detail is that the place was separated into different wards. Each one held a certain amount of people and had different staff working in each area. At times some drama or fighting would go down and they would call people to rush over to the ward I was in and help get rid of the problem. I say “at times”, but in reality at this institute it was an everyday occurrence. And it was usually over petty things as well. Just one person saying something to another, them taking it a certain way and firing back with insults only to have everyone else join in to the point it was near a fist fight daily, sometimes more than one in a day. There was one time even where someone tried to commit suicide in the room next to mine. It was truly a crazy place. One thing I remember hearing that I’ll add on to the end here is they always would say “It may feel like a while, but you won’t be here forever”. It was a phrase I heard so many times in there. Well, you won’t be there forever if they can find/confirm you going to a safe place upon discharge. One person I met was there for 5 months. I honestly don’t know how a person could manage that.
And I guess that was me going on for longer than I really wanted to (apologies, but this is something that I thought may help or be of interest to people). Depression is something I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember, and this stuff only really scratched the surface of what I can talk about. I guess I am mainly writing this whole thing as a way of saying that possibly the biggest thing when it comes to treatment is trust. For me early on, I felt I could trust my therapist and her decisions. She would eventually do things that made me lose that trust and as such not want to see her. After trying another place, only to do the same, I’m finding myself hesitant to even search for treatment again. I’m sick of feeling like I can’t be honest when it comes to treatment because I can’t trust that the person I’m talking to won’t do something behind my back. Maybe it’s the area I’m in, not being a big populated area so there’s less people who can offer that help.
Regardless of my hesitations, I will ALWAYS suggest for someone else to seek treatment. Everyone experiences things differently and just because I am hesitant and lacking trust for this stuff doesn’t mean that someone should look at it and instantly not want to do it. I will still admit that before the lack of trust, I honestly felt like I was making progress forwards in getting out of a rut. I always get approached by friends and acquaintances about my experiences if they are dealing with similar things or know someone who is, and will always offer the suggestion of therapy first. I also always make the distinction for people who are suicidal about one thing as told to me by a previous therapist. There is a difference between thoughts and plans. If you have thoughts, go seek help like a therapist. If you have plans then go seek help like a hospital and sign yourself in to prevent you from doing something that MANY people will see as a mistake.
Anyways, I think I’m done writing this and now get to stare at it for the next hour or so before I post it (stupid anxieties). I’m sorry for writing so much for this, but I felt that my experiences may give insight to others as I know not many people like to talk about this stuff. I’m someone who’s always open to talk, either for advice or just in general, about anything. Being a comforting soul, or just someone to give calm advice is nothing new to me. Even though I rarely post here on E and am generally a lurker who doesn’t really expand too far out from where I’m comfortable, my PM box is always open if anyone wants to talk about anything. When it comes to stuff like this, if you have any sort of questions I’ll gladly answer them (to the best of my ability) as well. I just wish to note that my anxieties do tend to go high when I see something like “New personal message” on my phone so if anyone does message me, it may take a bit for me to reply because of that.
I say it a bunch in the spoiler but, sorry again for the huge wall of text (9 pages on my google docs) but I hope that I can offer help, understanding, and support for anyone who needs it!
Anyways, it took me roughly 4 hours to write that all up, read over it and force myself to "overcome" anxieties over posting this. I'm also going to apologize for any spelling or grammar errors as I am rather tired and now have a headache after going through all of this. Anyways, time for this NightOwl to get some "sleep" and hope these anxieties pass until I see there is replies to this.