Keenan

A serious post about mental illness

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Mental illness is a topic not many talk about. There’s a definite taboo surrounding it, on top of the general fact that most people don’t know how to handle it on either side of the equation. I’ve been on both sides of the equation, and I know it’s difficult. What do you say to someone who comes to you and admits they want to harm themselves? What do you do when you feel the need to talk to someone but are too afraid people will leave?

 

So I am deciding to share some of my story here. To encourage people to listen if asked to listen, and to seek help if they feel they need to. Asking for help is okay! Admitting that there’s a problem is the first and hardest step. Supporting your friends who have admitted that there’s a problem is key in helping them become better.

 

I’d like to start with an apology. Over the years, I have come off rather rude at times and I’ve even picked fights with members of this community. I fully accept responsibility for this, and one important thing for me is to never blame my actions on something else. They are mine.

 

I came to a point in life where I was depressed, and as such, I took it out on others. I sought help for the depression, but nothing seemed to work. Soon other symptoms piled up, including a crippling anxiety and even some mania. The depression made it hard for me to do anything, including keep up with my duties here. The anxiety stopped me from doing even the simplest things, such as grocery shopping. The mania ranged from being my most productive times, all the way to a hypomania state where I was a danger to myself and others.

 

I didn’t remember much about my hypomania moments. The rest made life difficult, leading me to feel some unpleasant things. I wouldn’t say I was close to “ending it all”, indeed I had been closer in my earlier life. I simply didn’t want to exist.

 

Thankfully that began to change in 2017. I finally made the call to seek help, and I was first diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. Well, the depression medication worked some, and the anxiety medication helped reduce the panic attacks. I decided to do something crazy though, and I went to a convention for the first time in my life. The entire weekend was amazing, even though I was shaking most of it. I put myself through the ringer, under medication and with my therapist on call, and I came out alive.

 

Unfortunately things only improved so much. In 2018 I ended up improving my living situation, but I still found myself crippled with depression. Worse, the mania and hypomania was increasing. I had no idea what this was, but I welcomed the mania. Who needs sleep when I was getting so much done! I ended up working over 100 hours a week at my previous job a few times. Great, I guess?

 

I finally made another call to admit that things weren’t going as good as I had been indicating. Yes, it was silly of me to lie to my therapist and psychiatrist, but I don’t like change. I started recounting how I only felt good when I was busy with work. I mentioned sleep was a problem, but I figured it was the caffeine I was drinking. Then a memory hit me of just a day ago when I “went crazy” in my car and tried to see if I could take a corner at a high rate of speed. I’m usually reserved and safe, but I remember feeling god-like. I could do anything. I was invincible.

 

Well, that lead into a string of memories that were all very similar and I started unraveling the hypomanic states where I not only did reckless things that could’ve hurt myself, but times when I nearly hurt others as well. I was re-diagnosed as bipolar and needless to say I was not well for a week or two. The guilt of what I had done in the past weighted heavily, and still does.

 

I’m doing a lot better now, though not perfect. I need to make that call yet again, and I will. I at least know what I’m up against now. I’m not saying I’ll be perfect. I may still have my moments, but I’ve been making an effort to remember and apologize when I do. I’m really not a mean or angry person at heart. While I can endure criticism and “hate”, under it all I love this game and what I do.

 

That about sums up my story. Remember that it is okay to ask for help, and it is okay to not know how to help one who asks. Be supportive and if you find yourself in that weird position of not knowing how to help your friend, recommend they seek help. We can’t always fix ourselves without help.

 

I hope this story helps some, either with their own troubles or in understanding “what the hell is wrong with Keenan”. I’m not asking forgiveness of those I’ve offended, but I do hope this explains things a bit.

 

I wish you all well.

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Sorry to hear that mate. It's a genuine challenge to overcome mental health issues.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you will pull trough and steadily improve over time until you one day just suddenly realise "Damn, it's gone"

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That takes tremendous courage to post especially in this environment.  I revere that level of character in a person, and you've gained a bit more respect from me for it.  One shouldn't ever be ashamed of a mental illness as much as one wouldn't be for breaking a leg or having pancreatitis.  Your struggles are not unique to those wrestling with mental illness often not understanding first why or even seeing there is a problem, to then making the quantum leap to treatment and the often hit more miss trial of diagnosing and medicating correctly to feel your authentic self again.  I'm proud of you.  This is something i have wondered about or thought to myself of you privately when dealing with you on and off staff but i must say also you always had the compassion and character to later come to me of your own free will to say sorry and in some way admit wrong.  That's more than most do.  There are many more people in this game suffering mental illness of a many variety and across varying spectrums of that.  You will find understanding and acceptance and this will only serve to help you further and encourage you even more.  My support is here for you.  Truly courageous!  Keep fighting the good fight, and reserve the angst to turn it on that.  Thank you for giving of yourself here, as well as in work.

 

 

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Mental health is a very important issue, and needs all the attention it can get.

 

I dont suffer from any mental health issue, as i know of. But i am glad whenever someone with experience on the topic sheds some light on it. Its kind of hard for someone who is «ok» with everyday life to know the symptoms and clues to look for, and its even worse to find the right things to say when someone approaches with difficulties.

 

Thanks, and congrats, for bringing this up. I imagine it takes more courage than i would have.

 

Keep wurming, keep smiling, keep talking. :) 

Edited by Nordlys

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Thanks for sharing Keenan, you never offended me personally and if you did this would be where I would say "Don't sweat it bro, we're all human." 

 

I wish you all the best in your journey ahead in dealing with this I believe you have a family in some of the wurm community. 

 

Stay strong, or don't if you don't we're here if you wanna chat :) 

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I accept your apology, and I hope everything is alright.

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God dammit what the hell is wrong with keenan he forgot the cupcakes again

All jokes aside get the help you need and want i know myself it can do wonders

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A ton of respect. Wishing you well Keenan.

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It is only when we speak openly and honestly that the stigma surrounding mental health issues will finally stop. I have two adult sons.During their entire life I had stressed over and over, there is absolutely no shame in asking for help. In fact, it takes a real man to speak up and say "I need help". I stressed over and over that mental health is as important, if not more important than, your physical health. Sadly, because of the stigma society places on mental health issues my son did not seek help. Just over a year ago one of my sons hit his breaking point before getting the help he needed and he attempted to take his own life.  Despite talking to him frequently, and having what I think is a good relationship I failed to see the warning signs. I am happy to say after a day in the hospital,  ten days in an inpatient treatment center , two different psychologists and three different therapists (you have to find one that feels "right" for you, that's uber important!) he's doing VERY well. 

 

I am so proud of you for speaking out and letting people know that mental health issues are not something taboo. Mental illness is just that; an illness. It is something that needs to be treated just as if you had any other chronic illness. That they happen to people every day. And that help is available, although not always as easy to get as it needs to be (my opinion, and another rant).

 

 

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Damn man. been there, done that, got the t-shirt, hat and pennant. im so sorry that you are going through this. best wishes and we all hope you to see you ingame.

 

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I wish you well also, and remember, here in Wurm we are many that have issues, you are never alone! ❤️

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Good on you for baring your soul. Takes gorram courage, some say more than stripping off in front of an aggressively judgemental mob of hens night sisters on the hunt. I hope you keep fighting to get better.

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1 hour ago, Mataleao said:

Good on you for baring your soul. Takes gorram courage, some say more than stripping off in front of an aggressively judgemental mob of hens night sisters on the hunt. I hope you keep fighting to get better.

 

I'm just waiting for a companion in a shuttle right now.

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Thank you all for reading and for those who have responded as well. It means a lot to me to see so much positivity.

 

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It takes real guts to 'bare the soul' like that.

 

Physical illnesses are often easy to see, however, mental illness is often hidden. What you have also done is to help other people see that they are not alone with their problems and things that life shoves at them.

 

If only one unhappy person reading your story goes for or asks for help then you have done a wonderful thing that you should be very proud of- even more than all the wonderful things that you have done for the players of Wurm.

 

All the very best to you and anyone else 'in the same boat'- hope its a Knarr that can carry you as fast as possible to the happy side.

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5 hours ago, Keenan said:

 

I'm just waiting for a companion in a shuttle right now.

 

Be a leaf on the wind Cap! Soar!

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It took me years to seek help.  Many of my alliance call me Dorkian because I can be very silly when online, and I come off in forums and in Wurm as a good soul that 'grins from ear to ear', but in real life I had anxiety issues that made me a total a$$. Two years ago I got so bad in RL I finally went for professional help . My doctor recommended medication to help, I hated the idea of it, and he suggested something 'low key'...Benadryl. ..Yup, the stuff we give to dogs on planes to keep them calm, or we take ourselves to stop sniffles during the pollen seasons.  Silly as it was, it totally changed my life.  I've gone from a total a$$ to being a bit Snarky in a funny way or as the Kids In The Hall would say 'Evil, impolite and eeeevil!'.  

My doctor said, (after a few hours or me rambling about my virtual lives) 'It is human nature to do things that make you happy. It doesn't matter if it is in a real world or a virtual one, it will affect you more than you may think,  and those things can help to make you a happier you, which is the real you that you want to be.'    Be strong.  Be positive.  Keep being a better you! 

Edited by Dorian

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Nothing but my respect and best wishes for you Keenan. Thank you for sharing.

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