Being labeled crazy

Years of masterfully masking, suppressing, consuming myself with constantly being busy, and I finally couldn't control the anxiety and depression beneath the surface. I went to a therapist knowing my job was at stake because I could no longer control the panic attacks at work or socially interact well with anyone anymore. I couldn't afford more than a month of therapy (over $500) and eventually I lost my job. And then I lost my housing. Wanna know what happened when I told my "friends"? I was dismissed, told to "just stop" feeling that way, that I "didn't have it", because I had masked everything so well. I consumed myself with work and events and alcohol so as not to feel the hopelessness and nervousness that lingered beneath the surface but I finally broke. After losing my job, and after losing my housing, I can no longer control masking the anxiety and depression. It's heightened to a point that its chronic and apparent for everyone to see in the last three years, taking over my life everyday with panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. And now that I can't hide it, people notice it. I get it. I can no longer look you in the eye well, am jittery with interactions, close my door and can barely get out of bed to avoid everything that exacerbates these symptoms. But labeling me crazy and treating me like a leper only gives me more panic. Only disables me more. I have chronic fight or flight the second I hear any degrading comments whether they're really directed at me or not, and I either shutdown with the covers over my head or explode with slamming doors and outbursts. I can't control any of it anymore. I thought being transparent and vocal about my disorder with people would help, but apparently I can only do that with those who empathise because there's no compassion with those who can't. If it wasn't for the support of my partner's family, we would be homeless on the street or couch surfing. But I always hear them talking about me and calling me crazy. I feel like I can hear just about everyone calling me weird, or crazy because that's what's equated with being anti-social and anxious. The neighbors hear the fights and now know that I'm "crazy" and have instructed their kids not to come near my window. Yesterday I heard them daring each other to go take pics of the crazy lady for their social media and neighborhood gossip. This has taken things to a new level of something called agoraphobia. I can barely face anyone anymore. I am sick of the lack of empathy and compassion from society. Tired of the isolation. Feel like there's no future because there's no acceptance for something that's out of my control. And relentlessly worried that my daily survival is constantly at stake without a job or the funds to provide my own shelter. I'm so lost in seeing any future. Therapy on a sliding scale is still too expensive. I can't socially interact well with others anymore. All I can see and hear is their degrading behavior and commentary, their judgement, their rejection for my awkward social cues and symptoms that are involuntary. And this is a death sentence in society. Impossible to get and keep a job like this. Impossible to be left alone. Somebody please show me some light because I can't see it anymore. Thank you.

13 Replies

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  • The way you're being treated stinks and you know it. It doesn't have to be this way once you can normalize and move away from your present situation.

    Can you ask your partner's family for the funds to get counseling and psychiatric care? You can't keep going on like you are, you're miserable and need help. You CAN become functional again and recover from this current state with the right therapist and a psychiatrist for possible anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. It's in their best interest to get you well and functioning and able to work. I would be in your shoes if I didn't have good counseling and a good psychiatrist who prescribes the meds I need.

    Have you filed for disability? Or it's equivalent (PIP) if you're in the UK? You definitely qualify and having the 2 professionals I mentioned can help you to file for it effectively. This again would help both you and your partner's family out financially. Eventually you'll be able to move away from the crummy atmosphere you're in now. No one who hasn't been through this can truly understand, so come here for we who know what you're going through.

    You are worth the expense and the effort to feel much better and I think you know this. Congress is looking at a new way of providing medical insurance and it may be helpful to you. Do you have anyone who'll watch how this develops and let you know if there's a way to get you medical insurance? I wouldn't want you to miss out. Hang in there and get the help you need!

  • Thank you Suesz. Unfortunately my partner's family is under financial stress as well with their mortgage, and providing us shelter is the best they can do right now. Still grateful for that despite the tension and remarks. I have not filed for disability so thank you for suggesting that. I'll do some research and see what's available in the U.S. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I'll be following the political changes more closely to catch any opportunities. It seems like you're in a better place with counseling and psychiatry. Can I ask you how long it took until you got to a better place? A place where you could cope and control, and not have it take over your life or thoughts?

  • I was so out of it when I 1st became ill I can't be sure how long it took for me to normalize. I'm going to guess about 4-6 months. I started out with anti-anxiety meds only and it took some weeks for depression to start to show. Then I was treated for the depression with another drug. Time seemed to crawl and I know that we lost friends because my husband took me out places with friends while I was still dopey and getting used to the drugs and that made people wary of me. I could be wrong about the timing, I simply don't know.

  • Well that's reassuring. I thought maybe it would take years of counseling/medicine to normalize. Thank you for responding and all your detailed information and support. I hope I can continue to look to you for support while I battle these symptoms, and know that I'll show the same encouragement for you.

  • I'm here for you whenever you need me. And I appreciate your offer to be here for me. Together we can get through just about anything. I marked this post as "following" so I'll know if you write to me here. Best wishes!

  • Thank you again, Sue! Hang in there as well~

  • Hi just wanted to quickly comment when i seen this in my daily mail notifications. before i cook dinner am going through very much the same thing right now, it sucks, i cant go to work i have been avoind their calls since yesterday and i havent been to work since thursday im sick of feeling that way to. I am not homeless but fear i could be if i get kicked out if i was to ose my job, all i have to do is explain my situation to my manager but she is not there(on holidays) so i have decided to run away for the week to my mums til next week. stupid desition but i just cant go anywhere else. im 21 and i keep detstroying everything good. anyway just wanted to quicky reply and tell you youre not alone. hope things work out for you i really do, and youre not crazy just confused :)

  • Thank you for your compassion. With anxiety it's all feelings of fight or flight and I almost always chose flight, too, and run away to escape the environments that trigger. What's sad is that it almost seems like all environments trigger the response because I've just stopped being able to deal with any negativity. I don't know how other people do it. I guess I've just lost resilience. Hard to survive without it. I hope things work out for you, too. And know that one more person is on your side.

  • You need to get stabilized on medication and therapy. There are always places somewhere to find medical care at little to no cost, but u have to research and ask around. Go to the emergency room at your local hospital and ask for help.

    Good luck and hang in there 🙋

  • I'm having a hard time finding aide with little to no cost online, but I'll keep researching. Appreciate the feedback and good luck to you as well~

  • This is Paulette- I've read Suesz's reply to you and she is spot on. I just want to give you another piece of good news. When you do get well enough to get back into the job market.....it is against the law for your former employer to divulge what they think is you being "crazy". So if they know what's good for them, no future job prospects should have any clue as to your previous health issues. They might be mental issues- but those are health issues just the same and completely off limits to employer references. Please hang in there- keep that chin up and know there are people and resources out there to get you feeling better!!!! Thinking and praying for u, dear.

  • Hey Paulette, thanks for your encouragement. It's good to know that we have rights especially when it comes to this issue. It really does feel like your mind is disabled, but I also think it's hard to prove that employers are discriminating against you for disability. The letting go of workers is usually scapegoated with something that's not a legal issue. Hope that you are coping well with your anxiety/depression now. Sending thoughts your way as well.

  • I'm on disability and I believe you qualify. As soon as you have a doctor to back up your claim I would file. You may want a lawyer to help you with your claim. I found one that helps you for free by looking online. You may want to try that. Or pay a lawyer to help you if it doesn't cost much. One year I paid $125.00 to have one back my claim up when the gov't. tried to deny me. It was well worth the money to keep my disability checks coming.

    You can also find reduced cost counseling by asking at churches if they have counseling at sliding scale prices based on your income. It's not unusual. They don't require you to join the church or believe in God. My wonderful counselor of 17 years works at a church. Best of luck to you!

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