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    Default Personal Woes and Advice 5

    It makes a difference to be able to turn to others on this forum for advice, compassion, and support when things are difficult. This is a unique community where friendship, kindness, and acceptance are the rule. Hurtful behavior is rare. When it does occur it is never tolerated, and the staff seek to prevent it from recurring, whether it was caused by a lapse in judgement or intentional cruelty.

    It is therefore with great pleasure that I share with you the new rules that will allow friends on this forum to continue to help each other out and to maintain the bonds that grow when friends share their troubles.

    I would like to emphasize that these rules are not mine, although I agree with them. The rules were the effort of the entire Giant in the Playground staff, who recognize the need for friends to share their troubles. It was hard work, and they deserve our thanks.

    Part of the definition of friendship is the sharing of troubles. That is the goal of this thread: to share our problems in a way that strengthens our community. The new rules are devised to make this possible.

    Please carefully read what follows:

    THE RULES FOR THE PERSONAL WOES AND ADVICE THREAD

    The Personal Woes and Advice thread is a place to discuss our daily troubles and seek advice on minor personal matters that get us down. For serious depression or mental health issues, please seek help from a professional.

    Like many other threads here on GitP, we've got a number of rules to help set the tone and head off issues likely to arise in this kind of thread. Please read them carefully and follow them.

    1. Of course, follow the Forum Rules. If you haven't read them recently (or ever - *gasp*), you should do so now. And giving them another read before you post something particularly emotionally charged or contentious might also be a good idea.

    2. This thread is not for the treatment of or the discussion of the treatment of serious depression or mental health issues. Someone posting about those issues or seeking what would seem to call for licensed professional mental health advice should be referred to seek such advice. When in doubt, limit your response to friendly support and a suggestion to seek real world professional help. Think before you offer advice about how to be friendly, supportive, and not offer advice better left to a licensed professional in a professional setting.

    3. Feel free to post here to share your feelings, vent, and request advice. It's perfectly fine if you just want to share or commiserate. If you want advice, ask; if you specifically don't want advice, just say so. If you want to be contacted via PM, say so; if not, say that.

    4. Romantic issues are probably better discussed in the Relationship Woes and Advice thread.

    5. No problem is too small or insignificant. If it's bothering you, feel free to share. People should refrain from weighing or comparing their problems to other people's problems. Minimizing someone's problems or comparing your problems to theirs isn't helpful or friendly. Please don't do that.

    6. This is advice that you are getting from friends over the internet. Take it with a grain of salt. This advice is not professional, nor is it always the best.

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    8. Prescribing medication is something that requires multiple licenses. Please don't do that here or expect others to do that here. If you are on medication and find them not working or not working properly, call your doctor immediately.

    9. Please, never suggest to someone that they harm themselves or others.

    10. Remember, it is not your job to "fix" anyone here and it is not a requirement for posting here that a person wants to be, or wants their problem to be, "fixed."

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    Past Threads
    Personal Woes and Advice
    Personal Woes and Advice 2
    Personal Woes and Advice 3
    Personal Woes and Advice 4

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    This is a really small problem, but how do I stop picking at my acne and my bug bites? It's weird, but I enjoy doing it. Some days, I'll even get a kind of satisfaction from picking off a scab and watching myself bleed. But I'm sick of giving myself scars. Anything that might help with breaking the habit?

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    This is a really small problem, but how do I stop picking at my acne and my bug bites? It's weird, but I enjoy doing it. Some days, I'll even get a kind of satisfaction from picking off a scab and watching myself bleed. But I'm sick of giving myself scars. Anything that might help with breaking the habit?
    Oh, hey, something I can help with for once! (Because I do this a lot myself)

    1) Keep your fingernails short. Really short. It might not keep you from skin picking, but it can reduce the damage somewhat.
    2) Keep your hands clean, and disinfect them a lot. That also doesn't top the picking itself, but it keeps the wounds from getting infected so they heal faster and cleaner.
    3) Give your hands something else to do - I often don't even notice I'm picking at my skin again, I just need something to do with my fingers. A necklace with an interesting texture works, or maybe one of these currently popular fidget cubes.
    4)Put something over the acne/bug bites. Normal bandaids work but are admittedly a bit awkward in the face. Hydrocolloid bandages are great - you can get some specifically made for acne or blisters, but it's much cheaper to get bigger ones and just cut of little pieces of them. They stop your fingers from getting to the acne, actively help with healing and are much less obvious than normal band aids (because they're translucent and you only need a piece slightly bigger than the spot you want to cover). Honestly, discovering I could use my leftover hydrocolloid bandages from when I skinned my hands was super helpful in getting my skin picking at least somewhat under control.
    5) Something I haven't tried myself but imagine could be useful is using nail polish - the extra layer makes the nails less sharp, and the stiff feeling you get in your fingers might make picking less fun.
    6) If all else fails, wear gloves.

    You could also look up resources for people with dermatillomina - I'm sure you'll be able to find many more helpful tips.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    I'm just sick. My throat's sore, I'm coughing, I have constant headaches, it feels like there's a pile of mucus in my throat, I'm gagging and choking, and I'm congested.

    And this has been going on since April. I've been to the doctor multiple times, I'm on every allergy medication they make. And so far the response is "I dunno, maybe you're just really stressed out?" I'd go to another doctor but I'm honestly not even sure what one to go to, and my primary care is not helping.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycunadari View Post
    Oh, hey, something I can help with for once! (Because I do this a lot myself)

    1) Keep your fingernails short. Really short. It might not keep you from skin picking, but it can reduce the damage somewhat.
    2) Keep your hands clean, and disinfect them a lot. That also doesn't top the picking itself, but it keeps the wounds from getting infected so they heal faster and cleaner.
    3) Give your hands something else to do - I often don't even notice I'm picking at my skin again, I just need something to do with my fingers. A necklace with an interesting texture works, or maybe one of these currently popular fidget cubes.
    4)Put something over the acne/bug bites. Normal bandaids work but are admittedly a bit awkward in the face. Hydrocolloid bandages are great - you can get some specifically made for acne or blisters, but it's much cheaper to get bigger ones and just cut of little pieces of them. They stop your fingers from getting to the acne, actively help with healing and are much less obvious than normal band aids (because they're translucent and you only need a piece slightly bigger than the spot you want to cover). Honestly, discovering I could use my leftover hydrocolloid bandages from when I skinned my hands was super helpful in getting my skin picking at least somewhat under control.
    5) Something I haven't tried myself but imagine could be useful is using nail polish - the extra layer makes the nails less sharp, and the stiff feeling you get in your fingers might make picking less fun.
    6) If all else fails, wear gloves.

    You could also look up resources for people with dermatillomina - I'm sure you'll be able to find many more helpful tips.
    Thank you so much! I already keep my fingernails quite short (and wear polish on occasion) but I'll be looking into your other suggestions.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Hello, I'm feeling kind of depressed again. I'm studying abroad in Mexico to hopefully improve my language skills. The other students with me are nice, and the family I'm with are kind. Its just, I don't quite know how to be social and involve myself, and thats a bigger problem here. I just don't know what to do with myself.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I'm just sick. My throat's sore, I'm coughing, I have constant headaches, it feels like there's a pile of mucus in my throat, I'm gagging and choking, and I'm congested.

    And this has been going on since April. I've been to the doctor multiple times, I'm on every allergy medication they make. And so far the response is "I dunno, maybe you're just really stressed out?" I'd go to another doctor but I'm honestly not even sure what one to go to, and my primary care is not helping.
    Can you get tested for specific allergies? It's a lot easier to handle them when you know what you're actually allergic to, or not as the case may be. Also, does it get better or worse in certain locations?

    Alternatively, if you're on every allergy medication but it's having no effect, stop taking them (maybe talk to your doctor about this) and see if things get worse.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Icewraith View Post
    Can you get tested for specific allergies? It's a lot easier to handle them when you know what you're actually allergic to, or not as the case may be. Also, does it get better or worse in certain locations?

    Alternatively, if you're on every allergy medication but it's having no effect, stop taking them (maybe talk to your doctor about this) and see if things get worse.
    Yes, you can. My mother and I both got tested for allergies via our blood. I'm allergic to penicillin, sulfa drugs and white ash, but she's apparently allergic to dogs and every type of grass on the face of the earth.

    Including one kind from sub-saharan Africa, a place no one in our family has ever been to AFAIK. =I
    Last edited by HalfTangible; 2017-07-31 at 06:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I'm just sick. My throat's sore, I'm coughing, I have constant headaches, it feels like there's a pile of mucus in my throat, I'm gagging and choking, and I'm congested.

    And this has been going on since April. I've been to the doctor multiple times, I'm on every allergy medication they make. And so far the response is "I dunno, maybe you're just really stressed out?" I'd go to another doctor but I'm honestly not even sure what one to go to, and my primary care is not helping.
    which allergy meds are you on if you don't mind me asking?
    stress can cause some symptoms; but there's also some things it can't cause; don't know which of yours are which.
    it's been a very bad year for allergies; though it'd be surprising to have such strong symptoms if you've been on the meds for a long while.
    would your primary care know anything about which docs to go to to try to get a better diagnosis?

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I'm just sick. My throat's sore, I'm coughing, I have constant headaches, it feels like there's a pile of mucus in my throat, I'm gagging and choking, and I'm congested.

    And this has been going on since April. I've been to the doctor multiple times, I'm on every allergy medication they make. And so far the response is "I dunno, maybe you're just really stressed out?" I'd go to another doctor but I'm honestly not even sure what one to go to, and my primary care is not helping.
    If it's allergies, you may have to make changes in your environment to really get feeling better. Many years ago, I lived in an apartment which we nicknamed "The Mold Pit" (among other issues, it had a leaking water heater that the management company knew about but did not bother to fix). My then-roommate and I both became so ill we eventually had to move out, but I'm still sensitized to mold about a decade later and get sick easily in moldy environments.

    If you're not sure if it's environmental, you can see if you get feeling better or worse when you're in certain places (home, work, etc), which may give you a clue. Try spending less of your spare time at home if possible and if you think it might be an environmental allergen at your home (I was in grad school at the time, so I tried studying in the school library rather than my apartment, for example).

    If your insurance will cover it, you could try seeing an allergist. I haven't been to one in many years since my allergies tend to be controlled through avoidance of triggers, but they could be helpful in figuring out what you are specifically allergic to and what kinds of treatments to try.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    How to deal with a loved one who is slowly losing her mind but had bad experiences with therapy before?

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    How to deal with a loved one who is slowly losing her mind but had bad experiences with therapy before?
    It depends on how close you are to this person, but in case you're close enough to feel responsible for them, this is your number one priority: don't you lose your mind. Estabilish healthy boundaries, don't make helping this person a duty or the goal of your life, accept the premise that you are just one of the many factors that will determine the outcome.

    That said, it depends on how exactly this person is "losing her mind", and how bad it is right now... you could try to make her talk with people who've had good experiences with therapy, especially if their problems were similar to the ones she's having. They're usually the best people at convincing others to give it a try.

    Whatever you choose, the very fact that you're making an effort will help her a bit, even if it might not seem like it. But always remember the number one priority.
    Last edited by Cozzer; 2017-08-01 at 02:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    I've seen an allergist, we did allergy testing, which shows I do have allergies, definitely. But the medications are still leaving me feeling pretty miserable. There's also the issue that I suspect the biggest environmental allergen is happening at work rather than at home. But I don't know what specifically would be causing it, so there's not really a whole lot I can do.

    The allergist really doesn't have a whole lot of suggestions other than that I can do allergy shots. Which is a nice idea, but that's the sort of thing that might work 2 years later.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    ...There's also the issue that I suspect the biggest environmental allergen is happening at work rather than at home....

    That's very frustrating. It seems that 9//10th of the time the solution to any ailments is to quit ones job, but then you lose health insurance.



    .....The allergist really doesn't have a whole lot of suggestions other than that I can do allergy shots. Which is a nice idea, but that's the sort of thing that might work 2 years later.

    My wife did them. They were effective, but it does take that long.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I've seen an allergist, we did allergy testing, which shows I do have allergies, definitely. But the medications are still leaving me feeling pretty miserable. There's also the issue that I suspect the biggest environmental allergen is happening at work rather than at home. But I don't know what specifically would be causing it, so there's not really a whole lot I can do.

    The allergist really doesn't have a whole lot of suggestions other than that I can do allergy shots. Which is a nice idea, but that's the sort of thing that might work 2 years later.
    you must be on some major stuff if it's leaving you feeling bad.
    do you have an air purifier at work? If the job is mostly at one place at a desk or something then an air purifier might help. Otherwise, I dunno, you could try wearing a breathing mask to help filter stuff out, though it's weird having one on for an extended period.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    I don't think an air purifier would be effective with the office we have. I have a desk but the floor plan is completely open, everything's in one giant warehouse-sized room. So I doubt running a little unit would really help. And I have to be able to answer the phone so a mask might be difficult.

    I probably need to see an ENT, I wonder if I have another sinus infection. But I've already been on antibiotics twice this year.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    if the air purifier is only a few feet away from you there's still some benefit even if the overall room is too large for the purifier. at least it may be depending on how the airflow is. They can be rather noisy though, which would also probably interfere with phone calls. I can't think of anything else that might help.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I've seen an allergist, we did allergy testing, which shows I do have allergies, definitely. But the medications are still leaving me feeling pretty miserable. There's also the issue that I suspect the biggest environmental allergen is happening at work rather than at home. But I don't know what specifically would be causing it, so there's not really a whole lot I can do.

    The allergist really doesn't have a whole lot of suggestions other than that I can do allergy shots. Which is a nice idea, but that's the sort of thing that might work 2 years later.
    My mother's taking allergy shots. It started helping within a month or so, though AFAICT it's not a cure.
    Last edited by HalfTangible; 2017-08-01 at 11:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfTangible View Post
    My mother's taking allergy shots. It started helping within a month or so, though AFAICT it's not a cure.
    My brother took allergy shots for a few years, and his allergies are basically gone now. The most important thing is that you cannot slack off on taking the shots even once. It means they have to change the dosage, try and compensate, and that makes it less effective. The more you deviate from the schedule, the less effective it'll be in the end.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    My brother took allergy shots for a few years, and his allergies are basically gone now. The most important thing is that you cannot slack off on taking the shots even once. It means they have to change the dosage, try and compensate, and that makes it less effective. The more you deviate from the schedule, the less effective it'll be in the end.
    Part of my worry is when I'd take allergy shots. If I'm looking at jobs, and my allergist's office is only open during normal working hours, and with the kind of jobs I'm looking at being off for a little bit during work hours is just not reasonable.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Lunch time? Or skipping lunches/breaks and leaving a bit early now and then? Im sure some jobs are not terribly flexible, but there's usually at least some leeway.

    Course depending on how far from the place of work the doctor's office is, there could be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    Lunch time? Or skipping lunches/breaks and leaving a bit early now and then? Im sure some jobs are not terribly flexible, but there's usually at least some leeway.

    Course depending on how far from the place of work the doctor's office is, there could be a problem.
    Allergy shots typically require you to wait in the office 30min after getting a shot, to ensure there isn't a serious reaction. The trouble is I'm in call center type of work, where your entire job description is to be there to answer the phone. Schedule flexibility is hard because there's a good chance they don't need you at other times. It also means eating at your desk isn't typically allowed.
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    Is there a place/person/website I can go to that will give me a dietary regimen to follow, but also a shopping list?

    I belong to a gym that offers a suggested daily intake with recipes, but I also need something where I can go to the store and know what to buy and inm what quantities for the period of time (week or whatever)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    It depends on how close you are to this person, but in case you're close enough to feel responsible for them, this is your number one priority: don't you lose your mind. Estabilish healthy boundaries, don't make helping this person a duty or the goal of your life, accept the premise that you are just one of the many factors that will determine the outcome.

    That said, it depends on how exactly this person is "losing her mind", and how bad it is right now... you could try to make her talk with people who've had good experiences with therapy, especially if their problems were similar to the ones she's having. They're usually the best people at convincing others to give it a try.

    Whatever you choose, the very fact that you're making an effort will help her a bit, even if it might not seem like it. But always remember the number one priority.
    Ok, if I haven't doen that already?

    It's my mom, and she is just had psychotic breakdown today.

    I can't take this anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luz View Post
    Ok, if I haven't doen that already?

    It's my mom, and she is just had psychotic breakdown today.

    I can't take this anymore.
    Practical advice: Do you know, or can you find out, any medical professional that she's seeing, preferably a primary care doctor? If so, I would give them a call. Say that you're not asking that they disclose any information to you, but that you believe your mother is having problems because of X, and that you are unable to continue in the support role that you've been in. Ask them if there are any support services that you can contact. If you can't reach them, ask your own doctor. Medical professionals tend to know a lot of resources.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Practical advice: Do you know, or can you find out, any medical professional that she's seeing, preferably a primary care doctor? If so, I would give them a call. Say that you're not asking that they disclose any information to you, but that you believe your mother is having problems because of X, and that you are unable to continue in the support role that you've been in. Ask them if there are any support services that you can contact. If you can't reach them, ask your own doctor. Medical professionals tend to know a lot of resources.
    When she married my father she had her first... problem. She was institutionalized but never convinced that she is insane. For her it was a spiritual thing.

    It was a very traumatic thing for her so she won't be ok going on a doctor if it's for her mental help since she doesn't think she is crazy, but she thinks the doctors will say she is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luz View Post
    When she married my father she had her first... problem. She was institutionalized but never convinced that she is insane. For her it was a spiritual thing.

    It was a very traumatic thing for her so she won't be ok going on a doctor if it's for her mental help since she doesn't think she is crazy, but she thinks the doctors will say she is.
    While crazy is somewhat derogatory if she just had a psychotic breakdown she has a mental health problem and it needs to be dealt with by professionals. I presume she's not endangering herself or others, so I'd try to have some rational discussion with her to get SOME help (convince her medication or something else a doctor can provide will help or something). Worst case (or if she is becoming a danger) you may need to have her involuntarily committed so she can get help.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Luz View Post
    When she married my father she had her first... problem. She was institutionalized but never convinced that she is insane. For her it was a spiritual thing.

    It was a very traumatic thing for her so she won't be ok going on a doctor if it's for her mental help since she doesn't think she is crazy, but she thinks the doctors will say she is.
    There may be other options - for example, a professional aide that could visit.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Ok, if I haven't doen that already?

    It's my mom, and she is just had psychotic breakdown today.

    I can't take this anymore.
    Oh, crap. I'm really sorry for you. It's super-extra hard, when it's a parent.

    I'm going to be the voice of cynicism here, and repeat that your first, absolute priority is to save yourself, even if it means "abandoning" a person in need of help, even if it's a person you deeply care for. It's never a child's responsability to deal with their parent's issues. If you can do something to help without sacrificing yourself do it, obiviously, but it is not your duty.

    By which I mean, short term: your mother doesn't trust therapy but from the way you phrased that I'm going to assume you do, so get yourself to a therapist/counselor/whatever as soon as you can, if you can. Don't kid yourself with lines like "she's the one who needs help", the fact that one of your parents had a psychotic breakdown means that you need help too, and the fact that you used such a phrasing as "I can't take this anymore" means that you need help now.

    Long term, start looking for ways to put some physical distance between you and the whole situation, if it's physically/economically possible (are you underage? do you have a stable-ish income?). Even if you want to help your mother, it's way easier to help a person caught in a storm from the outside of the storm. The best way you have to help her is to take care of yourself.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    Oh, crap. I'm really sorry for you. It's super-extra hard, when it's a parent.

    I'm going to be the voice of cynicism here, and repeat that your first, absolute priority is to save yourself, even if it means "abandoning" a person in need of help, even if it's a person you deeply care for. It's never a child's responsability to deal with their parent's issues. If you can do something to help without sacrificing yourself do it, obiviously, but it is not your duty.

    By which I mean, short term: your mother doesn't trust therapy but from the way you phrased that I'm going to assume you do, so get yourself to a therapist/counselor/whatever as soon as you can, if you can. Don't kid yourself with lines like "she's the one who needs help", the fact that one of your parents had a psychotic breakdown means that you need help too, and the fact that you used such a phrasing as "I can't take this anymore" means that you need help now.

    Long term, start looking for ways to put some physical distance between you and the whole situation, if it's physically/economically possible (are you underage? do you have a stable-ish income?). Even if you want to help your mother, it's way easier to help a person caught in a storm from the outside of the storm. The best way you have to help her is to take care of yourself.
    Well, that's too late now I had to give up a new, better job oportunity yesterday to take care of her.

    I'm at the moment waiting for the doctor. It's 06:21 around here I had hopes she would be better by now.

    I work at a ****ty job, teaching at a small university, it's enougth to live by myself, I'm only still living with my parents because my father has a hystory of abusing her and even assaulting her, she won't leave him or the house.

    Leave that's your advice? I ca't leave now. I guess I'm doomed. Even worst those things are genetic rigth? That means I'll get crazy too one day.
    Last edited by Luz; 2017-08-03 at 04:28 AM.

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