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Mental health / rant thread

Mark Karhan

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Hello, you may remember me as interfearance, that annoying bastard who could never finish a map.

I moved away from mapmaking about 3 years ago and have become a different person for better and worse. I have bad insomnia which causes extremely stressful existential thoughts that now extend into the day. I miss the days of being able to lie in bed and think about something like the next edit to a map before I feel asleep. I feel like La Rochefoucauld was wrong about not being able to stare into the sun and death at the same time. Since I am only 17 this either means I am fucked for life or lucky to get this out of the way early.

How is everyone else's mental health? I thought this pandemic mental health thing was overstated but a year in I wish I could be distracted by the pre-pandemic life and that I had never stopped living it.

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One thing that you can do is follow podcasts or read about specific things such as:

- Ego defense mechanisms
- Emotions from the point of view of neuroscientists

OCD, ADHD, Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia. If you go beyond the lists of symptoms and look for environmental causes you are likely to find one or more little details that may sound familiar to you.

Edited by 0kelvin
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Well, what have you done to replace mapmaking? Sounds like you dropped your only creative outlet and are now feeling restless because of it.

I know you don't want to hear this but if you're only 17, don't dwell too much on the existential dread, it's just teen angst more likely than not. It's normal and it will pass. Can't say much more than that without knowing more of your situation, but those are the odds. Last thing you ought to be doing is self-diagnosing yourself as a schizophrenic because someone on the internet told you to. @0kelvin

I'm sure you've been told before, but light very much does affect your ability to fall asleep, so try to ditch the screens well before you want to go to bed. If your thoughts are keeping you up . . well, I find that audiobooks can help. If your issues persist, talk to your GP about it. Melatonin can help pull your circadian rhythm back in place, but I wouldn't recommend self-medicating as a first choice.

Edited by ThunderKeil
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I wasn't suggesting self-diagnose. I was saying that reading about emotions and how they relate to mental health. The diseases are often missunderstood because ppl have missconceptions and understanding the missconception helps to have a better understanding of emotions in general.

Everyone can have obsessions, lack of focus, bad mood, bad days, etc. They are naturally occuring in most cases. Diseases happen when those are in extreme levels, both high or low.

Edited by 0kelvin
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If you're 17, you're still in your mid teens. Your brain doesn't stop developing until you're around 25.
Your body and brain chemistry is booming right now, and it's a complicated age for everyone, you're not a special flower struggling with life. We all go through that. Some people get heavy insomnia, others sleep for 18 hours in that age. It doesn't necessarily mean you're fucked for life... you're just turning into an adult. You'll be alright.

There's no reason you should listen to me, but what I would do is to revert back to stuff that a 17 year old should do and has been doing for millions of years. Go out and get sun in your skin, exercise and/or do sports, lift weights, eat natural foods and stay away from processed shit, drink water, socialize, find a community, stay away from the fucking news, get laid, be with friends, be a rebel, read books about stuff you like and finally.... Create! Whatever that is, just create something, even if it's just a few lines in your personal journal.

I sense every teenager nowadays keeps trying to find "happiness", and that's really weird to me. Nature has no concept of happiness, stop! Find something that gives you meaning instead. We're all so addicted to the "likes" we get on social media our brains are flooded by excess dopamine, a natural drug better saved for rewarding hard work and other achievements. Focus on what is within your power.

Be well!

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For me the pandemic was a major puch in the gut. I would have been in a very different place right now had it not been for COVID. Even before the pandemic, mapping had grown to seem like sort of an escapist thing so I had decided to take a break from it and make some major life changes to figure out why I am so inefficient at inter-humous relationships.

So here I am, all out of my comfort zone and walking through this swamp, fighting unseen creatures, stress levels through the roof, when all of a sudden the sky gets dark.



And then the COVID storm hits and trips me over. I manage to crawl my way underneath the roots of a tree, where I feel relatively safe. Problem is, now I can't go forward. The swamp is eating up my legs, mosquitoes laying eggs inside my ears while I sleep, and the eggs are hatching faster because of the moisture from the storm. Also the wind was brushing up swamp water onto my legs, which was catalyzing with my peasant clothes. I felt trapped and my condition was getting worse. I thought to myself, my legs are under-leveled, I cannot resist the entropy. Then I heard a voice from the sky and I looked up.



"You have some fine legs, son! You are on teh path to cerebro-fuego". "Thank you, Mufasa! You are truly as brilliant as they say!" This elevated my spirit and I decided to keep looking for whatever the hell he was hinting at. I would rest to gather up strength during the day and then leave at night to hunt for small swamp creatures. Then one night I hear footsteps, I look outside and I see the legendary meat-man. He was traversing the swamp with such elegance as if he was skating on ice. Enthralled by his magestic movements, I called him out and asked, "legendary meat-man, how come the swamp is not eating up your legs?". To this he replied, "It is because my legs are covered in meat, young padowan. You should try this too."



I thanked him and the next day I did what he'd suggested. (he also taught me martial arts) I covered my legs with meat and voalha! I could now walk through the swamp as if it wasn't there. This is great, I thought. At this rate I can make up the time I lost hiding from the COVID storm. So I kept walking until I reached the swamp cave. And in the swamp cave lay the swampnauceros.



It was sleeping and I was all pumped up, adrenaline drooling out of my mouth, my muscles all tensed up, so I pull out my knife and charge directly at it. Then out of nowhere comes legendary meat-man. He speaks to me, "Yo, amigo, stand back! This is not you amigo, you cannot defeat this beast at your level, even though you know karate! You have to visit mountain level and acquire the money printer from the traveling salesman so you can shoot the beast with money. "But, mr. meat-man! How can I find this traveling salesman?" "Oh, you'll eventually find him, the mountain level is walled-off. He can't run away." "Okay, mister meat-man. Thank you for your precious advice! Bye-bye!"

So here I am trekking through the forest, approaching the village at the root of the mountain-level. In the village I find a guide, named Fuejo. And naturally the first thing I ask him is, "Fuejo, man, why be the mountain so green and mushy?" "Oh, you don't know, amigo? The mountain is covered in swamp!" "This swamp...it's unlike other swamp. It's very thick and hostile, it won't let just anyone through." Stealthily, I looked around the bar to ensure no cats were around, then I spread my coat for Fuejo to see my meat armor. "Oh, I've seen this type of armor. It will protect you, but it is not enough. Here, take this..." He passed me a dirty jar with some white powder in it "What is this?" "It's called diezo-diazo. You snort it up your ass and it will inflate your armor." "Is this safe to use", I asked him. "Well, if you take too much, your armor will explode and cover you with blood, which will attract the swamp sharks."



So here I am crawling through a swamp once again, when suddenly I realize that I would need something to trade for the money printer. After all salesmen tradesmen aren't called tradesmen for nothing. So I dig into my pockets and pull out this half complete wooden house that I'd been chipping away at before I started my odyssey through the swamps. But I had not tool. I looked around and I saw this man who was carrying a wood-chewing tool. I had no choice. There was simply no other way. I stabbed him in the back of the head with my knife, then after the sharks devoured him, i came back to scrounge the remains. Freshly nutrified, I managed to complete the wooden house.



And lo and behold, I found the traveling salesman. "Here, take this house, travelling tradesman. All I want in return is the money printer." "Okay, here you go." "nice, I can defeat the swampnaucerous now. Thank you traveling salesman! In return, I shall build you a big house on top of the hill." "You already paid me with the wooden house model". "Oh, ok".

Edited by NikiOo
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HP hit it on the nail but I wanted to add some points as I've also gone through my phases of darkness @Mark Karhan :)  These moments are very natural, and actually a good sign, they probably show you that you know something is not right in your life, and that can lead to major changes for the better. I'm not sure if this is the same you are experiencing, but look up "dark night of the soul", it's something that most people go through at some point (or multiple) points in their lives and can be very transformative.

As someone who's been there before and changed for much better, I can tell you that if you can get the basics right (the things that HP mentioned), you will feel much better overtime (it won't happen overnight). Make an effort to keep a routine and do the basics for a while. Diet is a very specific thing, and I'd recommend to get informed on all the available information now, but in general you want to avoid (or reduce) all the processed shit, and favor whole foods (whole grains, vegetables, legumes, meats, eggs, etc...). You also have to work out (or have some regular exercise) if you don't already. Walking around the block is good, but preferably you want to do something that will exert your body and challenge you. That will release testosterone in your system, and get you rise up and work for the things you love. Working out is great if you can find a cool gym nearby, it will also help you to socialize.

Doing those things for a while will improve your sleep immensely. And when we eat, sleep and exercise well, everything else gets much much easier. 

If you are feeling in the dumps mentally, avoid social media like the devil. It's a tool for hypernormalization, where any opinions or looks that are not accepted by the current ideology, will be ostracized, ridiculed, or downright attacked. You don't want to be exposed to that when you are still forming your personality. Be yourself, that's much more important than falling in line just to be accepted. Social media has also been linked to severe depression and radicalization (ever seen a friend join Twitter and all of a sudden he's an angry activist?). Stay away from pr0n too, that will completely wreck your dopamine receptors.

The kinds of thoughts you have also have a huge impact on the kind of experience/existence you lead. As an example, if you believe you are fucked up, you will behave in a way that will make that a reality. If however, you twist that belief into "I'm going through a hard moment now and I will get out of it stronger on the other side, no matter what", that's much more productive and will lead you to better results. Write that on the wall to remind you several times a day if you need to. Meditation helps a ton to keep the mind clear.

@Mark Karhan You are a great guy, very smart and you have a sharp mind. Use this opportunity to find yourself, and become someone you will love :) Know that you are not alone and let us know here how you feel!

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One of the most crucial aspects of mental health is vocabulary. I learned that by watching some videos about neurosciences and some experts in borderline personality. The first thing that often comes is: what do you feel? how do you describe it?

Speaking of borderline. After watching some experts talk about it I changed my view on crimes. The press is very quick at labelling criminals psychopaths, borderline, cruel and the like. But you can't blame the disorder for it. In some cases yes, but more often not. I've seen a case where schizophrenia was given as an excuse for racism. Hmm.. no, really no.

Edited by 0kelvin
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I would say: see a doctor and/or therapist ASAP. They should help you understand why this is happening and offer you the safest solutions.

Apart from that, stuff that you can easily and safely do yourself is:

eat well

limit screens in the evening I started leaving my phone to charge in the living room or studio so I don’t check it first/last thing

try reading

get off social media - not completely, I know you can stay in touch with some friends only this way nowadays, but if you know you’re spending lots of time on it, I recommend using your phone’s features to limit app use. Before they were available I disabled notifications (badges comprised) so I had already reduced my access and now I have a 20-30 min limit that reminds me.

If you try listening to music/talks (as I’ve seen suggested) I would suggest you don’t use headphone/earbuds. I used to do it a lot and I’d get pain in my ears or neck because of the positions you end up, or you wake up tangled in the cable… just put on a speaker and put an auto power off timer (spotify has it for example) so your brain is not bombarded all night (again I’ve done it and woke up with headaches), after all sleep is its time to process what you absorbed in the day, not to keep absorbing.

Edited by blackdog
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  • 2 months later...

Turns out I do have pretty bad adhd but all the advice is still as, if not more applicable and my health is improving (thank you). This is why I always made so many new maps without finishing any. Maybe I will use the knowledge of my predicament to push past the graybox

Side note, I can get Czech citizenship through descent so I may explore Europe as a place to live to change the scenery. Has anyone had a really good experience with a particular EU country? Tefl is on the table and studies later on as well.

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23 hours ago, Mark Karhan said:

Has anyone had a really good experience with a particular EU country?

I like my country. Recommended, Finland’s fucking weird, you’ll love it. I don’t travel much anyways. Makes me just miss home.

Good luck with getting better. Mental health is no joke. I was denying my depression long enough without seeking help when I should have. I hit rock bottom. Times were different back then, never saw a doctor or took a pill. Took me long time to recover back to my normal self.

Edited by WD
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