Mental Health issues can be overwhelming

Discussion in 'Gardening For People With Disabilities' started by cindy, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. cindy

    cindy Gardener

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    I suffer with severe generalised anxiety, depression, PTSD and am borderline Bipolar. I am totally alienated from society and go for weeks on end without speaking to another human being. Makes me sound completely bonkers right? I struggle with leaving my home and only manage to do so a couple times a month. I tend to get obsessive about things but have found solace and calm in my garden. The last couple of days it has overwhelmed me with panic that I am doing everything wrong and everything is going to die.
    Yesterday I went to an ex Wyevale GC that has been taken over by Blackstone/ Blackbrook???? cant remember. It was the furthest I have been from home for over 3 years. It was a major step for me. I cant begin to describe what I encountered. 80% of their stock was half dead and oh my, the prices. Some prices were literally 2 or 3 times the level of other places. Examples. Delphinium (half dead) 9.99 Hilliers 4.99 (healthy) Geranium Rosanne 11.99 (poor condition) Local garden centre 6.99. Hydrangea 25.00!!! BQ 10.00. Don't think I'll be going back there again EVER. I wish Id been brave enough to have asked for the manager as I would have asked for my petrol money back.
    It really made me feel bad and somewhat defeated. Im going to spend today deadheading and admiring the flowers that are blooming lovely (pun intended) in my garden and hope beyond hope that it picks me back up as it usually does. Im glad that the powers that be (whoever they are) are starting to acknowledge the benefits of gardening for MH.
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Morning Cindy :)

      You may be surprised how many of us suffer from depression or from any of the many mental and emotional conditions out there. You are not alone; dealing with life’s problems can be difficult. “Bonkers” ? Not at all. If so we are all bonkers too!:noidea:

      I spent a few years as a Samaritan and know a little about the various issues affecting folk.
      You don’t say if you are on your own !

      Gardening, yes, is now accepted as a wonderful form of therapy and feeling of well being. For me, it is something I look forward to after a busy or stressful morning, day etc. Don’t “panic” about your garden not doing well or that you are “doing it all wrong”. There is no right or wrong way really and the garden will never be perfect...you can ring the changes anyway. Plus, your garden won’t “die”:)

      Trying to associate with folks is good Cindy. Talking is excellent. Posting on the forum too. Maybe get a pet.....I have Nico here, a white mischievous golden retriever and I can’t really get down when he’s around.

      Anyway, enjoy your garden and relax with it.
      Good luck and look forward to your posts Cindy :)
       
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      • alana

        alana Super Gardener

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        Oh dear @cindy how disheartening for you.:) How can they call themselves a garden centre if they don't look after their plants. I know that many of the diy stores with a garden centre are hit and miss on looking after their stock (and they know how to charge).

        Take heart, they are not all like the one described. I usually stick to small nurseries where you can be assured that the plants on sale are grown locally and the owners are knowledgeable and know how to care for their plants.

        Gardening is so therapeutic - finding a connection with plants and the environment can help people on a natural route to wellbeing, improving their quality of life, sense of achievement and I find it raises the spirit.
        These benefits have been recognised by the RHS who are encouraging people to garden for wellbeing.
         
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        • ricky101

          ricky101 Super Gardener

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          Also, do not worry about the garden center you went to yesterday, this time of year many places tend to neglect stock that has not sold, probably its not worth paying staff to water them for the few plants they may still sell.

          Much better if you visit some different garden centers, am sure you will find some well run ones who sell good plants rather than loads of clothes,decorations,foods that many of the bigger places do.

          Google search your area for garden centers / plant nurseries, you might be surprised at the new places you find.:smile:
           
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          • cindy

            cindy Gardener

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            @Verdun yes I am on my own. Divorced. (abusive relationship) and estranged from my children (partly my fault but only partly) I have my cat who is called Dave and Ive had him for about 13 yrs since he left his Mum. So I guess Im also crazy cat lady. He is a homebody and never leaves home. Just follows me into the garden never leaving my sight. he is often the only reason I have to bother carrying on. (Im pathetic I know)
            Sometimes I go for so long without speaking to another human being Im scared my voice wont work. TBH I prefer it that way nowadays. Safer. I admire and thank you for your service to the Samaritans. They have been a lifeline more than once. My plants are my little friends now.
            Today I hoped to lift my spirits only to discover my climbing rose has what looks like mildew on all the new shoots. Im gutted. Its the variety Compassion and I bought it when I was doing Compassion Based Therapy so it has special sentimental value to me. I so nearly cut it off at the roots in frustration that Ive come back indoors to regroup. What a sh***y start to the day. Hey Ho!
             
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            • Clare G

              Clare G Super Gardener

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              I sympathise. I have Residual Asperger's myself, though I didn't discover it until last year; while it's in many ways more of a gift than a disability, I too am a solitary kind of person who has struggled with the outside world at times, and found great solace in my garden. Ken the greyhound (see below) is also a big help!

              I agree @ricky101 about garden centres often not being at their best at this time of the year - and you should see the plants outside my local supermarkets! There are loads of them right now, all arriving in beautiful condition from the suppliers, but with no one to look after them properly they go downhill shockingly fast.

              Would you consider buying online? That's not so much something for this time of the year, but really widens your choices and often reduces the cost too. There are bulbs and bare-root shrubs and trees in the autumn, seeds for the spring, herbaceous perennials a bit later - I often get those off ebay, because when they've just been divided they can be sent out cheaply in jiffy bags. Never had a duff plant off ebay yet! I also buy from specialist nurseries in places I'd never get to, finding plants that again aren't available locally. The online browsing is fun, and then you can look forward to the parcels turning up too.

              Here in London I have a couple of good local nurseries, the plants are well cared but the range isn't huge and the prices are £££s! I will visit them and sometimes buy stuff but also just browse, gathering ideas - one in particular is really clever in its displays of plant combinations.

              Oh and do you have anything like this near you? Home - Thrive I know a couple of people who volunteer with them - they do such good work!
               
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              • Nikolaos

                Nikolaos Gardener

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                @cindy Dear Crazy Cat Lady, just let it all go for the day and relax when it's stressing you out that much, gardening is supposed to be FUN. :) My own anxiety is frankly, pretty bloody awful (a little better in recent years with medication) and I also have depression, agoraphobia, OCD so I can empathise to a degree. I just try to allow myself to temporarily but completely disengage from the source of the stress. If I can do that for 5 mins, then I can eventually do it for 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks etc. That's what I repeatedly tell myself and you know what, it often works!

                You sound far from pathetic. You're doing something constructive and creative with your life. It can be so easy to just fixate on the negative things and lose perspective on life, especially with mental health issues. But you've understood that today, which also means you're intelligent, perceptive and know what the 'remedy' is: "I'm going to spend today deadheading and admiring the flowers that are blooming lovely (pun intended) in my garden and hope beyond hope that it picks me back up as it usually does." Perfect! You have a friendly forum here which has some very knowledgeable and experienced gardeners, but like me, you can't learn it all in one go. The learning process itself can be fun too, you know! Some of your plants will thrive, some will struggle, some will die, but the important thing is the knowledge you'll gradually gain. :)

                Nick
                 
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                • andrews

                  andrews Super Gardener

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                  @cindy I was ignorant to the amount of mental illness there is until a few years ago.

                  Having a family member who has recently left an abusive relationship, I have seen the mental scars that this leaves and the damage it causes with family relationships.

                  Ive tried to write stuff and deleted it so all I'll say is keep doing the positive and keep talking on the forum.
                   
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                  • Verdun

                    Verdun Passionate gardener

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                    Can’t add much to the friendly advice and support above Cindy.:)
                    Don’t beat yourself up, don’t overthink and let your cat take the strain ! :)
                    Look forward to your posts on the forum :)
                     
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                    • Sienna's Blossom

                      Sienna's Blossom Super Gardener

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                      Gardening is definitely good for the soul, it's so sad that so many of us have suffered pain that has left us with mental health problems, I've been there too, terrible grief and emotional roller coasters, and spending time in my garden, listening to the birds and watching the wildlife has been the best medicine.

                      :grphg:
                       
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                      • roders

                        roders Total Gardener

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                        Hi Cindy xx
                        Just a small bunch of flowers to help your day go well.

                        63917785-899F-4F77-AB83-7EED1FF8EE5B.jpeg

                         
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                        • cindy

                          cindy Gardener

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                          • Verdun

                            Verdun Passionate gardener

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                            I would have sent you chocolates Cindy but someone must have eaten them. My favourites too:rasp:
                             
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                            • Aquanaut

                              Aquanaut Apprentice Gardener

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                              Hi @cindy, It is horrible being stuck in your own world. It's something i have started to get used to now but I am lucky and have a great wife and a beautiful daughter (Anxiety, Depression suffer)

                              At least you are reaching out and "Talking" to people now.

                              Sorry I'm not the most literate person, so may not have come across correctly

                              Just keep "Talking" we will listen

                              Chris
                               
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                              • kindredspirit

                                kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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                                Hi Cindy.

                                Actually, if you think about it, there's a lovely world inside yourself. It's actually lovely there and you must try and share that with at least one other person, who you think may possibly be receptive, the local shopkeeper, librarian or whoever.

                                Two things I would say.

                                1) Promise yourself to never, ever, ever, ever, say to yourself "Hey Ho!" (Don't ask me how I know that.) Respond differently, either positively or negatively, it doesn't matter but "Hey! Ho" has to go out of the window. :)

                                2) When your cat eventually goes to Cat Heaven, get a dog instead. Trust me.

                                Wishing you all the best and sending very strong vibes through the ether.
                                 
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