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Hello. Please call me Gelid.


Gelid
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Hello. Please call me Gelid.

I suffer from anxiety, and depression. I am a 46 year old man with a wife and a 14-year-old son. My wife is diagnosed with O.C.D and Tourette's Syndrome. Mental health issues seem to run in my family, though none have been dealt with medically until the generation after mine.

My depression I still keep to myself. I think my wife knows, and our 14-year-old son maybe kind-of knows, but we don't talk about it. I don't want them to know I suffer.

My anxiety has been addressed by my doctor. Due to adverse effects from meds I was left to fend for myself, successfully for years, but the past two have been a slow slide into a gaping chasm of hopelessness due to the uncertain future of my job.

A prolonged period of my company being for sale, then the year of waiting for the deal to be finalized, followed by 7 months of contract negotiations preceeding a 6-week strike... a very recent layoff has put me in a different department on a different shift. Due to my changed work hours, I can no longer do the things that kept me "on the up".

I self-medicate with alcohol and a rosary every night. (I'm not religious, but faithful, and say the rosary as a form of meditation and relaxation)

I have the feeling of knowing I am losing my mind, but unable to stop it.

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I see my doctor next week for my anual physical, and plan to discuss this with him. I have considered FMLA, but I really think that un-paid time off wold only add to my stress. Still... Wouldn't be bad to have FMLA if only for the attendance issues that may arise, even if I never use it.

Thanks.

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Hello, Gelid, welcome :)

It's great that you've decided to to discuss your mental health with your doctor. I hope he's a good professional and will help you (probably refer you to a good specialist).

I don't know your family, but... in general, I'd say it's better not to hide the psychological problems from your close-ones, mainly because they, as you said, "kind of know" and their uncertainty can often be much worse than knowing the truth (or at least part of it / "your version") from you. Besides their often painful uncertainty, they are very probably worried about you but as they see you don't want them to know, they lack the possibility to offer you support. Moreover, you are sending your son the message that it's better not to talk about what worries you and about mental problems - and he'll very probably use this implicit advise himself, which is sad because then he won't be able to seek support and help when he'll need it and he might even see having mental problems and seeking help as a "sign of weakness", at least in men. I'm sorry if I sound like "preaching"; it's your own decision and it's surely complicated; I can imagine it has to be very hard to break the silence and talk about your problems. I'm just suggesting a different point of view: Sharing more about yourself might be difficult at the beginning, but then beneficial for both you and your family.

I'm sorry about the stress related to your job :(. It's sad that companies "do this to their employees"...

Good luck with your health as well as your job!

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