Mental Health Thread

I’m 45 this year. I’ve already filtered down and lost touch with a lot of people. I’m still in constant contact with a lot of old friends too, so that’s all good, but rarely see them. I think the problem is that as we get older, there’s less and less skaters of the same age and so less people to hang out with who can relate to my situation (and equally less people who’s situations I can relate to). I still have a good couple of crews to skate with here and there are a lot of good people, but no one that I grew up skating with and lot of people with less responsibilities and more time than me.

Skateboarding hasn’t saved my life but it has certainly shaped it and I’m stoked on where I am right now.

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Someone mentoned CBD in here. I will come back to it
I’ve been getting super stressed out of late.
Mostly through the irritation of my 6yr old who doesn’t shut up, at all, ever, and talks utter shite. He is also going through a phase, and I hope it is only a phase, of not following instructions so they have to be repeated over and over. It is fucking tedious.
Similar to those who have moved around, we’ve ended up somewhere where we are not close to family and have few friends, certainly any older friends, the important ones.
It has been a feeling I’ve had for a couple of years now since I have taken time to think about it and I’m actually pretty down most of the time.
I’ve also been getting massive anxiety issues, particularly in places where there are lots of people and not a space I can stand out of the away in.
I left a work conference before it started last year because it was all too cosy and I felt incredibly uncomfortable.

To try and calm this, I’ve just bought some CBD buds.
I like to smoke weed but getting it is difficult plus I don’t always need to get mashed.
This stuff is easy to get and surprisingly similar in the whole experience to making and smoking a joint. The smell, the whole process of making it etc.
Had a joint of it earlier and it has made me feel much more relaxed, but without the stoned feel.
Hard to describe really.
Anyway, I’m going to see if there is any positive change in my stress levels and general mood over a period of days.

And to return back to what skateboarding has done for me, met loads of great people and it was always my go to thing to escape to and not have to think about stuff for a while.
That’s gone now and possibly there is a link between losing that and feeling generally down and annoyed most of the time.

Can relate to some of the stuff mentioned here. Been back in Carlisle for 3 and half years now after leaving the army which I was in for just over 6 years. If I’m honest I don’t really have any friends here even though I consider myself growing up down the road in penrith.

I know lots of people, but this doesn’t transpire into actual friends. My best friend from school lives in penrith but he doesn’t get the whole parenting thing because he doesn’t have kids. So that makes that friendship hard, when we meet up he expects us to be like 16 again just out skating all day etc. And I just can’t do that because I’ve got the Mrs to think about getting back to because she’s watching the kids, and I feel like I need to get back etc.

When I was in the army, we didn’t have children yet and the people you worked with all lived in the same building and you’d socialise out of work or go drinking etc. And here I don’t have that social aspect.

My Mrs says I need to make more “dad friends” how do you even do that? Do you connect on the same parenting style or hobbies you enjoy? I have one dad friend and only met him because my Mrs became friends with his and in turn became friends with him

I’m in the same boat. Know lots of people here in Estonia but most of my skate crew that I see on the regs are in London, and my best mate lives in Sao Paulo. My wife’s friends are cool but most don’t have kids so the dynamic is somewhat different. It would be great to make some new friends but it’s weird, there are no skaters my age around here (some early 30s). I’ve tried going to the odd expat socialising club for pool and bowling etc, but it seems a really mixed bag of weird and frankly kooky people from all walks of life.

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Big up Tom.

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I’ve never had a national board but this will be my first.

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not sure why i’m posting on here about it, i guess the quasi anonymity of it all helps but i really need some sort of advice, clarification or guidance regarding mental health and the support for it.

i’ve had some form of social anxiety since i was around 13/14ish, being 23 now i definitely spent more time on the internet than going outside growing up and that probably hasn’t helped me in the long run. never really fit in much, got a bit of shit in school nothing too severe and when i found skating it was nice to have a positive, creative outlet to put my time and effort into. these days i find it hard to socialize or hold a real conversation with people who don’t have the same interests as me, i’m not good at the whole chit chat generic conversation shit. a subject im interested in i could talk about until you fall asleep.

i remember being maybe 15/16 at school, had some maths exam. obligatory pre exam rules turn your phone off etc so i did but to my downfall my phone decided to turn itself back on and ring loud as shit middle of the exam, combine that with the fact it was the middle of winter and i had about 3 fucking coats on so it took forever to actually find it. it sounds so trivial but it wasn’t really the embarrassment of it all, it was more so the feeling of having that entire massive group of people all staring at me and it’s something that still affects me to this day; if i’m waiting for the bus, it pulls up and it’s too full i’ll wait for the next one. if i’m out and i have to go through say a shopping centre and it’s busy i’ll walk around it. i’ve never particularly been on a night out or went to the pub or anything like that. if i’m going skating and making the journey on my own i’ll walk through town instead of pushing.

2013, 17/18 and my grandad dies. being an only child in a single parent family he was definitely the closest thing i’ve had to a father figure but at the time his death didn’t really effect me and i didn’t really process it at the time. everyone was crying etc whereas i didnt and i think everyone assumed i was just trying to stay strong and keep it together whereas really i didnt know how to process, accept or deal with it. being younger at the time i feel like i subconsciously blocked it and instead just started drinking alot, smoking weed, skating and not really being in the house much to the point i’d leave for college at 8 with my board, go straight out after and not come home until the early hours which eventually progressed into not really going into college at all. still scraped through with some shitty grades but it wasn’t ideal. the whole thing didn’t really hit me until the day after we buried him and i went down to look at the plot and i just broke down in tears. looking back at it i know i definitely went about it the wrong way and i wish i’d done it different but shits in the past now and ive somewhat came to terms with it.

i dont know if it necessarily factors into mental health but i tend to become hyper fixated on anything im interested; skating on and off since i was about 12, still play the same games and post on the same communities i did when i was 10, shit like that. my mums somewhat jokingly said i probably have autism a few times but i wouldnt be shocked if i did.

i’ve never really been a confident person looks wise and while i dont think i look that bad i definitely dont think i look great. i’ve been with a girl for coming up on 6 months and while everything is going fucking great with it i find i have alot of self doubt and wonder why she’s even with me. alot of it probably stems from the fact that in my younger days i didn’t have alot of self care, would just sit and play games while consuming multiple energy drinks which essentially rotted my teeth to fucking bits and the worse it got the more i put off going to the dentist. definitely one of my bigger regrets in life, i’d tend to not really talk much in close situations, cover my mouth when i laughed dumb shit like that. i eventually got a fuck off huge abscess which in alot of ways im thankful for because it made me think that nothing they could do to me at the dentist would be as bad as the pain from the abscess. full treatment plan and roughly two months later and i walked out of there with a set of partial dentures on the top. when i got home i looked in the mirror, smiled and fucking cried. i swear i was walking around beaming ear to ear for a fucking week. used to be terrified of the dentist whereas now i dont mind it and almost enjoy going. was kinda embarrassed as to what people would think if they knew being that i was 23 with falsies but i told a couple people and nobody really gives a shit which was nice. for the most part its just great to be able to smile again, go out and talk and not have to worry about looking horrible and it definitely improved my self confidence considerably.

i think my situation at the moment probably doesn’t help me out much, been unemployed for 3 near to 4 months and am struggling to find something else. had to sign on too which isn’t great but i have received some genuine help from it and the only reason im posting this now is based on the fact i was on some confidence for life course thing where i opened up a bit and everyone was super supportive and it’s nice to know you wont be judged and people will feel the same way you do. one of my issues and reasoning for not seeking help at an earlier date is that ill think about my problems, sum them up against other peoples and think to myself that my problems arent as bad as others even though i know thats a super irrational way to think.

im bad at summing up my problems and i can go out, have a good day with my friends and be a relatively normal functioning human being but when im at home and have nothing to distract myself thats usually the point where the negative thoughts creep in. i tend to overthink things and create multiple different scenarios over literally nothing and ill overthink myself into a bad mood. im not exactly sure what it is but i know theres something not right with me and i definitely need to sort it.

thanks to anyone who read through that tirade of my bullshit and thanks in advance to any advice or support that can be offered.

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There are a shit ton of skateboarders exactly like you, having difficulties with social situations. I’m just about to go to sleep as I got an early start tomorrow and I’m travelling most of the day, I’ll see if I can cobble together a more compete response later on. Hang in there.

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I can defiantly relate to a lot of that, especially the social anxiety and avoidance habits.

The thing that really helped me to cope better was to build up to things slowly until your at a level you feel comfortable with.

Have you thought about getting a coffee or something and finding somewhere to sit in the shopping centre for 5 minutes, admittedly this was a big fear of mine (eating/drinking alone in public) but now I wouldn’t think twice about sitting in say a McDonald’s and eating alone.

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You have to avoid avoidance if you want to get better.
Every time you avoid something, your fear of it grows. You avoid it and feel safe or at least less anxious but you shoot yourself in the foot in the long term by doing that.

Having problems is not a competition. We all have problems and we all need to take care of ourselves. You, me, everybody.

Do you have a panic attack if you walk through say a shopping centre alone?
Anxiety can be gnarly but it’s treatable. It seems like a cognitive behavioural therapy could help you. Have you thought about that?

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Thanks for sharing. I say that because I guess it maybe wasn’t easy to do, and also because I know it helped me to hear from someone else who has had some of the same feelings as me, and I know I won’t be the only person on here. Nothing ever got better by not talking about it.
Social anxiety - I’m 40 now and have spotted good friends in town walking towards me and felt I couldn’t face talking to them and turned round and gone another way. These are people who I’d otherwise spend the night in the pub with, or whatever, but at that particular point in time I just couldn’t face it.
The brain is a beautiful and complex thing, we’re all learning about this mega computer sat on our shoulders everyday, but it’s not that straightforward.
Keep going bud!

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I’ve had this feeling. Also where I don’t feel like socialising because I feel inadequate to others or as if they could never relate to me. I end up spending a lot of time alone and that just stirs up the negativity.
I’ve tried a new approach where when the negative thoughts and self doubt start to creep in, I see them coming and acknowledge them but deny them positively. Sort of like saying “I know you’re there, thanks for trying to protect me from mingling with strangers but I think I’ll be alright”. Weird exercise but it kind of works.
Also take babysteps and observe others. A bit like watching air stewards during turbulence…

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Social anxiety is a very human thing, and we should not forget that we are animals and quit overthinking everything.

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This is me 100%

You’re not alone

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Women and camp men excel in this area. Straight men suck at it and prefer to just launch into boring monologues. I have tried to learn it but it must be genetic.

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I can relate to a degree here, my grandparents on my father’s side looked after me for a short while after my mother passed away when I was 4, they simply kept me healthily happy and my grandad was my best friend at that time; taking me out to the beach, making paper planes in the garden. His passing was devastating to me. It was almost like I felt we’d get the chance to do all that best friends stuff again some day and his death had killed that dream.

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firstly, thankyou for all the responses and support - it’s good to know you’re not alone in some of the shit you feel/face on a day to day basis and it really means alot. i’ll try and respond to each one separately.

@Garlicnaan it honestly really depends on the situation, the amount of people there and how i perceive it. yesterday at about 6pm i walked through the shopping place fine but had it been three hours prior i would’ve took the long way around. another thing that plagues me and has done for a while is paruresis or i guess in laymans terms a shy bladder. i dont know how or why that came around but it’s fucking annoying not being able to perform a basic bodily function in public places, it comes and goes but when it comes it sucks. i’ll definitely think about trying to build myself up to more social situations, the town i live in is pretty small but the shopping place does get somewhat busy so i could easily grab something from greggs and sit on a bench, cheers.

@franc it’s not that i see it as a competition per say, more so that in the grand scheme of things i see my problems as minute compared to others and i find it hard to ask for/receive help which is probably whats put me off seeking help for so long.

again, panic attacks and feelings of anxiety really depend on the situation. last one i had was a week ago, getting the train to see my lass and as they run hourly i couldn’t really skip it and wait for the next one when i seen it was pretty packed so i just had to bite the bullet and get on. got a seat to myself but the train was absolutely packed with party goers and it felt like a cross between a pub and a daycare centre. felt uncomfortable, fidgety/nervous and generally sick the whole journey until they got off to the point the ticket inspector asked if i was alright and said i didnt look too great. cbt is something ive vaguely read about and i think it could be helpful, but at the same time i dont really have any idea where to start with any of this - is it a gp referral thing?

@ParmoViolet thanks bud, it’s probably the first time i’ve been super open about shit like that. i relate to the good friends bit and avoiding them, seeing people i grew up with, went to school/college with etc and used to spend all day talking shit with them whereas now i’d prefer to just avoid it all. thanks for the words.

@madmax the inadequacy thing is a big part of it for me and probably why i tend to avoid catching up with people i havent seen in a while, family events etc. spending alot of time alone is a big one too given the fact im unemployed and alot if not all of my friends are working or at uni etc. to try and combat that i’ve started trying to get myself into a routine where ill get out of bed at 9, try and have something for breakfast as i’d often skip it, have a shower, make an effort with my appearance when getting ready etc. if i can do all that by 10, and then after that do other trivial household tasks like tidying, hoovering, washing up, making the bed and taking the dogs out etc by 11 even if i dont manage to do anything else that day i’ll still feel like i’ve atleast managed to do something.

@ihatethegeneralpublic yeah it’s not a great feeling or thing to go through at all. as i mentioned earlier being an only child single parent household i’d spend alot of time at my grandparents as they lived directly opposite us. my grandad did the same shit, taking me to the beach, paper planes, football all those things. the last sentiment of being able to do those things again is something that also resonates with me and is also one of my biggest regrets; i remember seeing him on the weekend before he died when we had him in a care home and he asked me to come see him during the week. i was busy with college shit at the time and not to say i put it off or anything but everytime he’d been sick or in hospital he’d always returned home. planned to go down and see him on the thursday and he died on the wednesday. one of my bigger regrets for sure.

thanks to everyone who left comments, advice and support - it really means alot.

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I know you do not see it as a competition, my point was that it’s never too early (and too late) to take care of yourself. You only live your life so make sure everything goes well, if you don’t feel good, don’t wait until you feel worse.

I think your anxiety and panic attacks depend on the situation because you know you’re gonna freak out in certain situations and you (unconsciously, of course) make it happen. Which is why you have to avoid avoiding those situations. Get used to coping with them. Or it will get worse. Cognitive behavioural therapies are perfect for that. Your therapist will help you work on that, and you’ll see good results in a few months. It’s not like going to a psychotherapist, lying on a couch and trying to find problems that started when you were 4 years old. CBT really focus on how you can improve your feelings on the daily.

I’m not super on point when it comes to the NHS and how those things work as I haven’t lived in the UK in 15 years but I’m sure your GP can point you in the right direction.

Take care mate.

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That’ll take some getting over but just make sure that you don’t make that same mistake again with anyone else in your life, I got the chance to spend a lot of time with mine during the final months; it’s hard to put into words but it was almost as if I knew it was my last chance (even if I couldn’t have known). I shook his hand every time I saw him each day, got more stories out of him, took him for drives and it’s something I’ll treasure forever.

Glad you’ve enjoyed everyone’s feedback, I’m sure we all slate the idea of spending too much time on the internet to commuicate over real life meetings but there’s certainly a lot of value in the posts on this thread. Great to hear it means a lot.

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