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Mental Health Central

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Wood Guy

Times are difficult. Mental health is stigmatized. Our brains are complex meat puzzles; we should feel as open talking about when they aren't working right as when we have a sore shoulder or broken toe. What are you dealing with? How are you dealing with it? Share here, or lend support. 

 
Jan 28, 21 3:49 pm

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Wood Guy

I'll start--I have ADD, diagnosed as an adult--school would have been much easier if I knew this when I was younger. I did well, but could have done a lot better, with less stress. I'm a week into taking an ADD drug similar to Ritalin and wow, what a difference. Being able to focus on the task at hand is something people take for granted. Even after 20 years of diagnosis and doing my best to learn non-drug coping mechanisms, I now feel about twice as productive as I do without the drug. 

Jan 28, 21 3:59 pm  · 
9  · 
SneakyPete

Can you describe how your ADD manifests? I don't like researching medical stuff on the internet, so it might help me understand what it is.

 · 
Wood Guy

I recently responded to a friend who asked that question: "I don't mean this to sound complainy, but by way of describing--ADD is like one of your kids is constantly vying for your attention quietly in the background, a dog is barking, and another kid is screaming for attention every ten minutes." It was tailored to his situation but I think it's accurate.

I'm actually not 100% convinced that what I have is really a disorder; my Myers-Briggs personality type is INTP which has a lot in common with ADD/ADHD and also the type of autism formerly called Asperger's Syndrome. Many people over the years have suggested I might have Aspergers' but I only have some of the characteristics.

Anyway... going off on tangents is an ADD trait. Mostly just having a hard time focusing on something without getting distracted, or feeling the need for distraction. There is always a song or two playing in my head, a conversation or two, about ten things I want to research... I currently have 60 tabs open in my browser and they are all open for a reason. Too many projects, too many interests.

Constant movement helps maintain focus--I'm not exactly hyper, but I almost always am tapping a rhythm with my hands, feet or toes. Sometimes just rubbing fingers together. I think most people find time in the shower to be good for thinking, but with ADD, things like showering, driving or even just walking help us focus.

On the negative side, we crave serotonin so substance abuse is common, and we don't fit well in modern office life so depression and anxiety are common as well. But because our brains are usually on overdrive, we can connect disparate ideas together and tend to be creative in an unusual way.

Auditory learning is almost impossible--anything you say to me I will understand but will not remember, including your name. Written words are slightly better but not much. I can read an entire book and enjoy it but immediately afterwards I could not tell you the main character's name or most of the plot.

I am convinced that at least 90% of people in the construction field--residential, anyway--have ADD/ADHD or personalities that trend that way, because once I started treating builders like they had ADD things got much easier for me! For a long time I had a sign over my desk that I made, "if it matters, draw it." Spoken instructions on a job site are nearly useless, I've learned hundreds of times over. I'll stop there but hopefully that gives you an idea.

9  · 
SneakyPete

I'm smelling a lot of crossover with my personality, but I don't know if that's because we see patterns when we want to or not.

3  · 
Wood Guy

Hard to say. It's definitely easy to convince yourself you have cancer when reading WebMD. I was diagnosed by both a MCLSW therapist and my primary care doc, and didn't (and don't) want to think I really have ADD, so it's not like I was looking for a diagnosis. Are there specific clues that you might have it? Not that you want an Archinect diagnosis.

 · 
SneakyPete

I'm always putting work aside to do little things during the day, I rarely focus on anything for more than an hour.

2  · 
atelier nobody

Sneaky,

I found this video in particular helpful (maybe just because the attractive young woman could hold my attention).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx13a2-unjE

 · 
tduds

I've been pretty sure for a while that I have some form of ADHD (see Politics Central for examples), but I've been resistant to official diagnosis or any prescriptions. I take a few supplements that help with executive dysfunction, and a one-two punch of Melatonon + THC to sleep through the night. Part of the resistance is that I feel like I get almost as much benefit from my bouts of hyperfocus as I do from my bouts of distraction (I joke that I can work twice as fast as most people, but only half the time ), and I also feel like a lot of my creativity and sense of personality comes out of my inherent restlessness. Even if it gave me a slight bump, productivity-wise, I have to imagine tempering the lows also tempers the highs, and I really don't want to take that away from myself.

5  · 
SneakyPete

So... maybe? Brains are hard.

4  · 
SneakyPete

I took meds decades ago, I didn't like how it cut off the highs as well as the lows. It's part of what has kept me from seeking them out as a tool since. Might be time, though, since I don't see therapy doing anything except giving me more information to fuel my depression brain.

 · 
Wood Guy

Tduds, I could have written your comment. I recently started Melatonin after years of getting maybe one full nights' sleep a week, and we make our own cannabis coconut oil that I often take before bed. I was worried about what methylphenidate ("meth light") would do but I really don't notice any reduction in creativity, though I'm mostly in production mode right now. What else do you do to help with executive function? Does vitamin D help? I've been meaning to start taking it. I don't drink fortified milk and don't get as much outside time as I'd like.

1  · 
Wood Guy

I drink several cups of coffee a day and I'd say the buzz from the meds is about like having two cups of coffee, but it lasts for 12 hours.

1  · 
tduds

I take Vitamin D and a GABA supplement in the morning. Melatonin + THC tincture (hooray legal cannabis!) in the evening.

 The gummies are supposed to be for stress but I find they help a lot with executive dysfunction. I've been weaning myself off the caffeine, down to 2 cups a day (sometimes a third on Saturday if I'm feeling frisky), and I drink a glass of water between coffees. 

Tangential: after the holidays I made a rule of drinking a glass of water in between anything that isn't water (coffee, beer, soda, liquor, etc.) and I have to say it's worked miracles. I sleep better, feel better, don't get hangovers. A+ highly recommend.

3  · 
curtkram

i don't think i have add, but a lot of what you say resonates. i don't do any thc. it's bad for me, which might suggest your chemical imbalance is different than mine. i do melatonin with whiskey to help me sleep. i also have a vitamin d supplement with morning coffee, but i got that to support my immune system because of the world now.

2  · 
bowling_ball

tduds, my bedtime routine is the same as yours, and I also take 5-htp with the GABA. Works well enough, I just have to remember to actually take it.

2  · 
atelier nobody

I'm also an adult-diagnosed ADHD. On top of that, I have a history with alcohol and substance abuse (thankfully far in the past now), so I was  very nervous about taking any stimulant medication for my ADHD. I've now been on Adderall for a couple months, and it has made a difference, but not as much as I would have liked.

I definitely suffered many consequences of a lifetime of "not living up to my potential" (including the aforementioned alcohol and drugs), but I've managed to arrive at a reasonably comfortable place in life.

Jan 28, 21 5:30 pm  · 
7  · 
Wood Guy

Have you considered trying a different type of ADHD med?

 · 
atelier nobody

When I was first diagnosed, I was already on Wellbutrin for depression and anxiety, and also tried some other non-stimulant meds before I "gave in" to trying the Adderall. So far, I've had no temptation to take "extra" Adderall, so I'm OK with it so far.

1  · 
SneakyPete

Adapted from another place, figured I'd put it here.

I haven't been formally diagnosed with anything, but I've been told I likely have dysthymia, which is long-term, low-grade depression. 

It might explain why I'm the person in the meeting pointing out the problems and issues as opposed to getting excited about the project. Why I don't want to put in the effort even though I know I should want to, since this is a field where, from time to time, I get really excited about the projects and when it happens it's like someone opened a window and I realize there's a sky and sun out there. Why I can explain, in very persuasive language, why young people definitely should become architects but then feel nothing but antipathy about the profession as it concerns me. Why I am endlessly proud of the projects that I have helped bring to completion but never tell anyone about them because I don't want to seem to be bragging. None of my friends, save one or two, even know what I have done.

I complain when I get pigeonholed, but don't take the initiative to show what I can do. It's partly because I don't want to spend my own time on work unpaid, but it's also the lack of joy in my work.

I look around and see that I'm -at minimum- as smart as my peers. What they know and I don't is generally stuff I can learn. In my free time I just sit. Play games. Watch movies. Clean up enough to not be totally buried in stuff.

Then I get depressed because my apartment isn't tidy, my sketching hand isn't good, my projects aren't finished.

My partner says I'm good at everything I try. That might be right, but I never put in the effort to be really good at anything. The only reason I'm good at architecture is because I'm basically forced to practice.

I don't want to be like that any more.

Jan 28, 21 6:08 pm  · 
11  · 
x-jla

my mother and brother have schizophrenia.  My brother is non-functional, meaning without supervision he’d have to be institutionalized.  My sister and myself both have struggled with depression and anxiety.  I think I may have had a mild schizophrenic episode in my early 20s, when I was going through an enormous amount of life stress, legal trouble, substance abuse, and loss, but it subsided and never took hold like in my mother or brothers case.  I also had many head traumas from kickboxing/mma.  I started when I was 7 years old and probably had around 20 concussions through my life.  I’m not sure what it’s done to the brain, but I sometimes have a hard time remembering things.  

I feel have beaten back most of my depression and anxiety with exercise.  Exercise and diet keeps me feeling pretty good.  If I miss a couple days I start feeling down again...

Jan 28, 21 7:38 pm  · 
7  · 
Wood Guy

Wow, that's a lot to handle. Brains are amazing and fragile things.

1  · 

No embarrassment at all. Mental health is health, and I wouldn't be embarrassed to talk about broken leg or something.

I've been on Prozac for several years now. I started taking it roughly when menopause started, and I really felt mentally unhealthy. Like I went to 100% anxiety over any little problem: I was ten minutes late to a meeting? Well then I'm gonna lose my job and then lose my house and then live on the streets and then my teen son will never be able to go to college and he'll never forgive me and it's all because my entire life I've been a failure who can't follow through on anything and...this was a very typical inner monologue for me when I was stuck in traffic.  Prozac together with weekly therapy sessions has helped me stop getting overwrought over small things.

I still struggle all the time with imposter syndrome, and I have to work hard to control my temper when I get angry at myself (Prozac helps with that, too - I have a pretty bad history of throwing things against the wall when I'm angry) for failing or doing something dumb. But my therapist constantly reminds me to grant myself the same grace I grant others: when someone else screws up, I tend to be extremely forgiving and understanding (unless they're a *real* malicious asshole). So I'm getting better at being kind to myself when I eat too many cookies or let a deadline slip or feel too lazy to vacuum. Coincidentally, this morning I read this tweet and it's absolutely wonderful:

The part that especially got me was that phrase "when living was a struggle instead of a blessing". It should always be, at least predominantly, a blessing. It's worth it to change things to make it so.

Jan 28, 21 9:30 pm  · 
11  · 

Replying to myself to add: menopause is a fucking trip. If any upper middle aged women out there want to discuss how brutal menopause is feel free to message me privately!

1  · 

I saw that tweet too Donna and thought it was fantastic. "... freedom to make accomplishments again," was the part that hit home for me. Sometimes we just need to allow ourselves to take a W.

1  · 
tduds

I love that so much! Life gets a lot more livable once you realize most of it is made up, and you have the ability to make up what works best for you. 

I still struggle with all sorts of things, but that simple mindset has got me & my wife through so much - most importantly in our relationship. We invent our own roles & expectations for each other (to hell with gender roles!), and that simple trick has thwarted nearly every fight. It feels unfair how little we fight.

2  · 
midlander

i want to second on the imposter syndrome issue. it's been such a big drag on my own enjoyment of work for many years. i feel like it's something arch school culture really drives into people, the sense of never being good enough. i think it's more perniciously damaging then the visibly unhealthy culture of overwork, just because it's hidden often even to those suffering it.

3  · 
Wood Guy

I'm surprised to hear that imposter syndrome is common. I figured it was my cross, as a non-architect in an architects' world. Goes to show that many of our struggles are widely shared, just not discussed enough.

 · 
bowling_ball

I think if you actually asked people individually, you'd find nearly everybody has imposter syndrome. Myself included. Doesn't surprise me at all.

2  · 
curtkram

not my experience BB. i seem to be around a lot of people with dunning-kruger

2  · 
Non Sequitur

Fantastic idea for a discussion thread and whenever something like this comes up (outside of the forum, but sometimes within), I am reminded of this forum discussion from 2014: Tears of a Clown.

Now the news from that day still affect me, as I'm sure it does to most, but I am able to watch his movies and listen to his comedy.  Ditto for Chris Cornell even though I am genuinely still shocked.  I have however not watched/read a single second of Anthony Bourdain since his death... and I fucking loved everything he did. I just can't bring myself to it.  Not entirely sure what to make of that.

Moving on, I'm more interested in reading than delving into my own past & present as I can't relate to therapy sessions, or medication for example, but I do know that I am a stubborn mule with a stiff "if I can't figure this shit out by myself, then nothing else will help" moto.  Likely a ridiculous statement (see previous stubborn ass comment) and for some reason, I am fine with both but I've had that line of thought from very early on. I will say that one of my proudest achievement is to have survived past the age of 18 but it took until I was about 32 to finally break free from that anchor.  It took some significant but positive life events to change my pov.

I would say the source of all my current mental health struggles are entirely all linked to my 4y son.  As I've written before, he has significant learning delays (severe language & cognitive delays, not permanent issues (ie. autism), yet) and it's one thing to feel sadden when his peers leap-frog over him but it's just utterly frustrating to not be able to help him especially when we see how hard he works.  Last assessment from late 2020 put him in as equal to an 18-24month old and we have another assessment coming up in less than 2 weeks that will likely add more stress as he gets more diagnosis.  I do take comfort knowing that he has parents who have the time, energy, motivation, and financial capacity to do everything it takes, but still, I feel like I'm not doing shit.

I've mentioned before that my wife is in the early childhood education field and has worked in numerous no/low-income areas, kids in the "system", kids born from 14-year old girls (raped as they fled warzones),  refugees, etc... and knowing what they go through, compared to the effort we do for ours does affect me. But on lighter & happier note, my wife was notified that an older student (7-8y old) of hers unfortunately is living in a shelter with only the clothing on his and she immediately sprung into action collecting clothing and things from everyone she knew with boys of that age.  This was less than 4hrs ago and we're under strict stay-at-home orders. 

Hey look at that, I popped in to add the clown link but wrote for an hour.  

cheers.  

edit: I'm not editing this, beyond this one sentence (and a glaring spelling mistake in the first sentence).  Leaving it raw and as it came out in the first place.

Jan 28, 21 10:51 pm  · 
5  · 

Non, I too have so often been a stubborn mule who has to fix things myself - I'm terrible at asking for help, as I feel it's weak for me to not just do it on my own. But, I never think of anyone else as weak when *they* ask for help, I'm happy to and think they're logical to assess their situation and make it work better by enlisting help! It's that thing about extending grace to yourself, which I still often suck at. I think I've told the story here that I once drove four or five carloads of garbage in my little hatchback Festiva from the architecture studio to the dumpster rather than ask one of the many guys I knew with trucks to help me do it in one load. And also: your son is so loved, and that's the most important thing. I am certain you are doing a fantastic job with him.

3  · 
Wood Guy

Both Robin Williams' and Anthony Bourdains' suicides really got to me as well. I can't watch either of them, just get too sad. I watched Mork and Mindy as a kid and loved him ever since. I was also a fan of Chris Cornell, or his music anyway, but his suicide did not affect me the same way.

I hear you on the stubborn mule thing. It drives my wife crazy that I will not ask for help with most things. I do try to share things because as a healthy, educated, white American male I feel a responsibility to reduce the stigma attached to things like mental health or business failures, but it doesn't come naturally.

I'm sorry about your struggles with your son, Non. If it helps at all, I didn't speak until over 2yo, but apparently my first words were, "George Washington." Unfortunately some people just don't get brains wired the same as most people. I'm sure you are a supportive father and husband; there's only so much you can do.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

Thanks for the well whishes.

 · 
citizen

You're a man of your word, Wood Guy.  And so many posts and responses in a few hours?  I think you're onto something here.  Am going to bed and will read everyone's contributions tomorrow.   I'll sleep better knowing that I and my struggles have some good company.

Jan 29, 21 3:23 am  · 
3  · 
midlander

i keep starting and stopping, it's actually very hard to express a serious thing in this format.

afaik i am actually in good mental health. but my immediate family and about half my extended family are just disasters, all due to addictions.

i lost a parent directly due to alcoholism and have an older sister and younger brother who struggle with it. the older sister eventually pulled herself together and lives an ok life.

my brother has been in and out of rehab multiple times, lived homeless on the streets of a major city for a couple years, been jailed, attacked a man with a knife, wrecked all his cars, and yet somehow survives. my dad cut down his drinking when i was a child after he crashed his porsche into his other car parked in our garage and now lives alone in a hospital for dementia patients. he remembers me but not always my siblings.

my other sister dropped out of college after intentionally overdosing on medication. but she recognized her problems and cleaned up and lives a very quiet life in a small town in the mountains, doing odd jobs and raising animals.

what's hard to explain... is any of that. i don't think i'll ever understand it, and i'll always have a fear of the irrational behavior at the core of people.

i myself seem to have a poor tolerance for alcohol and managed to avoid any serious problems when i was younger just because i'd be the one sitting outside sick before anyone else was even drunk.

that and maybe an instinct to protect myself led me to focus on my career and probably take myself much too seriously for many years. the result though has been a life in my own world which is very happy and generally satisfying. i am grateful i escaped whatever curse afflicted the rest of my family but worry every day what if it skips a generation and shows up in my own children.

Jan 29, 21 10:50 am  · 
4  · 
SneakyPete

I don't believe any of that generational skipping tosh, myself. You provide a good example for your children and it'll teach them the proper mechanisms for dealing with temptation. Or it won't. Neither of those puts the fault on you OR genetics, really. I'm sorry to hear the story of your family, reminds me of my mother's side. I'm glad your experience has been positive even with all of that weight.

2  · 

I, probably like others, don't have much to share concerning my mental health. I've struggled at times in my life, but overall don't seem to have this as part of the life challenges I get to deal with. I have family that does, but being the family that we are, we don't usually talk about anything deeper than what the weather will be like next week. That might be slowly changing though.

I am, however, beginning to experience the benefits of group sharing and counseling for other reasons related to physical health, but tie into mental health, and I think there is power in that. I'm a reluctant participant in those discussions (see my comment about my family to get a clue as to why), but my wife has embraced it better and I've seen the benefits. 

Anyway, all that to say that while I may not have much to share or much to relate to directly ... I'll be reading and supporting. 

Jan 29, 21 12:02 pm  · 
4  · 
SneakyPete

Here's a good one. On a positive day, I decide to take initiative and design the façade since we're in a time crunch. Fast forward a day and I now have some sketches from the REAL designer showing me just how much my effort was worth. Take initiative, not good enough. Don't? Also not good enough. Stay in your box, worker bee.

Jan 29, 21 1:24 pm  · 
4  · 
Wood Guy

That's why I can't be an employee anymore. Not that self-employment is easy, but when I get undercut, at least it's my own doing. Sorry that happened ;-(

2  · 
bowling_ball

I'm typically a PM but I have a big exciting project starting up soon and I was doing some sketching a few weeks ago. The next morning, one of our designers picks it up and says directly to me "there's no FUCKING way you're designing that" and I agreed. Ha!

1  · 
SneakyPete

What a dick. This profession fucking sucks. We bitch, piss, moan, complain, and whine about not having talented people, then we take people and treat them like roughly human shaped tools, to be used up and discarded. Architecture as royal court, where the scullery workers should be happy to be working.

1  · 
tduds

I'd start polishing my resume...

1  · 
SneakyPete

I'm gonna see my doc about some meds first, then give them time to help. I don't want to start a new job in the same mindset I am currently buried under.

1  · 
tduds

Closest I ever came to a moment like this was a couple years back. I was noodling on a design that we hadn't quite been given the green light on, just kicking up some pre-SD concepts to present to a client at a moment's notice if the moment arose. Found out via some curious files in the same folder that a different principal had later given a coworker the exact same project without telling me, and that version had already been pushed to the client. It may have been unintentional but it came off as a complete dismissal, like the opportunity had just been stolen from me. 

I was livid for a moment, but after a walk and a beer I just shifted all my attention to other work. Chump don't want any help, chump don't get no help.

1  · 
thisisnotmyname

I've found it's always a roll of the dice as to how much any firm is going to allow you to be creative. A lot of firms claim they are a place where "good ideas can come from anyone", but that's rarely really true in my experience.

2  · 
SneakyPete

I don't need to be the fat pen person. I can thrive on details, renderings, modeling, whatever. Design is many parts of many things. What cheeses me off is when I put effort in and it's akin to shouting in space. Might as well not even waste the breath.

3  · 
citizen

Thanks everyone for posting thus far.  It's helpful to know I'm not the only one who struggles with focus, motivation, and self-esteem.  That sounds like a platitude, but it's not: learning how this sh!t shows up in others' daily experiences actually helps me.

Donna's mention of imposter syndrome sent me to Google.  So it's actually a thing!  Sometimes I feel like Dexter or some other tv character that goes for years just waiting, day in and day out, to be discovered-- as inadequate, not homicidal.  What's ironic is that, to read through folks' other, work-related posts, how very competent, talented, and diligent most people sound without even trying to.

++++ "Stop giving yourself rules."

Jan 29, 21 3:40 pm  · 
6  · 
Non Sequitur

but... "Stop giving yourself rules." is a rule. Should we instead say that we should only give ourselves one rule to rule all rules? But then we'd need 2 rules. That one and the no giving rules one, and then it's still just layers of turtles. There is a LotR pun to make here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

 · 
citizen

Consider the spirit rather than the letter....

2  · 
tduds

"Everything in moderation, including moderation."

3  · 
Living in Gin

Thanks for posting this... I've struggled with mental health issues throughout my life, and after nearly a year of being stuck at home due to the pandemic, I've really been feeling the dark shadows creeping back in lately. I've been formally diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I'm pretty certain I'm at least somewhat on the autism spectrum, and lately I've been wondering if I also have ADD and probably some degree of PTSD due to childhood trauma.

For the early part of my career I was generally happy to keep my head down, pump AutoCAD or Revit, and avoid meetings as much as possible. But now I'm a Project Architect and am expected to be much more of the public face of a project, and I find myself bumping up against my mental health issues more than I used to. I find it very hard to stay focused in meetings and retain information, and my general inability to read nonverbal cues has led to more than one misunderstanding with an important client. Like Donna, I also deal with massive Impostor Syndrome, ironically made worse because my lack of confidence in front of the client and contractor has been raised as an issue at my performance reviews.

My employer has been generally supportive, but I haven't yet directly brought up my mental health issues to management. When I've done that with previous employers, I've usually found myself unemployed a short time later, so I've learned to be very cautious.

I think in the short term I need to see a doctor about getting a formal diagnosis for ADD, and if appropriate, getting on some kind of medication for it. But in the longer term, I'm trying to figure out where I belong in the profession. The typical next step in my career track is to become a Project Manager, but I've been around enough PMs to know that I'd probably hate it and not be very good at it. (Nothing against PMs; the good ones are worth their weight in gold. I just don't see myself in that role.) I consider myself an above-average designer with a keen eye for detail and constructibility, so I'd like to capitalize on those strengths. I'm also a decent writer and have been published at various times. But the higher you climb in most firms, the more your job involves client relations and business development, and while I think I'm pretty easy to get along with, and I have a hard time seeing myself in those roles to a large degree.

In my perfect life a few years from now, I'd love to have my own practice, or at least have a leadership role in an established practice -- maybe in partnership with one or more people whose skill sets help fill in the gaps in my own skills -- maybe do some teaching, and hopefully continue writing. But then the Impostor Syndrome kicks in and I'm convinced that I don't have what it takes to run a firm. I've worked in some horribly dysfunctional offices in the past that were somehow successful, but I think a few of those offices were run by people who were independently wealthy and socially connected to a degree that they were able to practice architecture as a hobby. Unless I win the lottery or marry rich someday, I don't have those advantages.

Anybody else deal with these issues? Or more to the point, has anybody successfully overcome them?

Feb 1, 21 11:37 pm  · 
5  · 
Wood Guy

We sound very similar, across the board. I was design manager at a design/build firm and operations manager at a panelized construction company; my personality and talents were not a good match for those roles.

I am now reasonably happy working for myself designing homes and renovations, currently with help from a few architect consultants/subcontractors. I should really expand into a real firm with employees but I know from experience that the Peter Principle would kick in again and I'd be unhappy and probably unsuccessful.

Have you done personality testing? I have found learning about my Myers-Briggs type, INTP, to be helpful; I wouldn't be surprised if you found the same.

1  · 
SneakyPete

"I've worked in some horribly dysfunctional offices in the past that were somehow successful, but I think a few of those offices were run by people who were independently wealthy and socially connected to a degree that they were able to practice architecture as a hobby. Unless I win the lottery or marry rich someday, I don't have those advantages."

Possibly apocryphal story about my first firm's early years:

One of my bosses was once told "You treat this profession like a hobby!" by his partner. The partner doing the yelling wasn't, as far as I know, wealthy, but the one being yelled at was.

If you have the skills you think you do, you can run a firm. success depends on your metrics combined with an unfortunate amount of good fortune. So many people who run things simply have false bravado ands that seems to keep them from being scrutinized to the degree that employees are.

1  · 

INTJ here, although I take Myers-Briggs with a grain of salt.

1  · 

I was on a project team that was going to take the personality test in order to help build team unity and understand each others' personality traits and how they could be better utilized, etc. Turns out they didn't think I was important enough (really they didn't want to pay for me) to have to take the test because I didn't normally work with everyone on the team, and wasn't involved on a daily basis ... so I have no idea what I am. I'm generally curious, but not enough that I really want to take it.

1  · 
SneakyPete

You can find it online if you wanna spend the time.

 · 
tduds

At a previous job our entire company took the Meyers-Briggs before a company retreat. The results were interesting but more than anything they functioned as an ice-breaker for people in the two offices meeting for the first time. I don't think any management decisions or team building ever came of it.

One funny anecdote is that one of the 16 archetypes in this test was "Architect" and only one person in the office got that result.

1  · 
Wood Guy

This is the most recent Myers-Briggs based test I took, and I have found the supporting information to be very helpful: https://www.16personalities.com/.

I have noticed over the years that INTP and INTJ people tend to like Myers-Briggs; it helps those of us who don't necessarily relate well to others or understand what makes them tick, as well as ourselves.

Those who test as Extravert or especially those who test as Feelers almost never like or put any stock in Myers-Briggs--they don't have to, because they tend to have a more intuitive understanding of people, and/or they don't consider it important. Gross generalizations, I know, but I have seen it repeatedly.

The most benefit comes from reading all of the descriptions, not just "getting labeled."

Another personality test is Enneagram; it's similar but different than Myers-Briggs, and again, it's the follow-up research that is most useful, at least in my experience. ADD/ADHD and ASD are often INTPs and tend to benefit from the self-directed personality research that Myers-Briggs provides.

2  · 
archi_dude

You are just shy. Understand that it's something you can work on. Take it slow, understand your limitations and dont be ashamed it will take you longer to be comfortable in a more social role. Your firm and society will say differently but being a trustworthy, reliable individual contributor I think is a much better asset than a loudmouthed inexperienced young PM.

1  ·  1
Wood Guy

Archi-dude, "you are just shy" is a dismissive and demeaning statement to someone who has listed multiple legitimate reasons why they struggle. Perhaps you meant it constructively, but as someone with similar traits and experiences as LIG it does not come across that way. I agree with the rest of what you wrote.

8  · 
x-jla

INTJ here too.

 · 
x-jla

Actually it was INTP.

 · 
Wood Guy

x-jla, I might have mentioned it before, but if you're on Facebook I think you'd like the INTP groups I'm in there--several posters share your interest in and approach to discussing politics.

 · 
archi_dude

Or its a normalizing statement that let's one know they aren't alone and get over their shortcomings so they don't self diagnose a list of traits making themselves feel even worse and hopeless.

1  · 
Wood Guy

Having grown up being told, "you're just shy, you'll outgrow it" and 20 years later realizing that no, I'm an introvert, have a speech disorder, anxiety and depression, and that there are ways to learn how to deal with all of those instead of just waiting to outgrow being "shy" and the resulting depression and disillusionment with life in general instead of being guided toward resources that would have helped me at a much younger age, from my perspective I would say no, it's not a "normalizing statement." But if you're an extraverted person well suited to today's society, I can see how you could think it would be, so I'm not judging you.

5  · 

Apparently I'm a unique personality type - INFJ,-A/-T

 · 
Non Sequitur

I need more letters after my name in my email signature and business card. How do I go about finding out which letters to add? I might need a wider business card.

 · 

Take some version of the Myers / Briggs test. You'll get a whole bunch of letters after your name.

1  · 

Alternately, take a bunch of LEED exams.

3  · 

Myers Briggs is way less expensive and about as useful.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

cool beans. I took the first one that did'nt require an email/account. ESTP-A is my result. Sounds more like horoscope stuff tho, I'm sure I could "see myself" in almost any of them on any given day.

"Entrepreneurs leap before they look, fixing their mistakes as they go, rather than sitting idle, preparing contingencies and escape clauses."

Fun.  I've always said that I'll dive straight in without bother to check if the water is deep enough... let alone, if there is any water, or even a pool.

1  · 

Exactly. The Myers / Briggs type test are a bunch of BS.

2  · 
x-jla

Being introverted is different than being shy. I was never shy. If I liked a girl or something I’d have no problem talking to her, just that after 5 mins of talking I was exhausted and wanted to be alone. I require alone time to recharge. I have a family and love their company, but once a week I need to wonder off for a long hike. As a kid-teenager my friends would hang out every single day. It would get so tiring to me. I sometimes would disappear, jump on a train, and wonder around the city alone all day and night to get away from everyone lol. My wife is very understanding and encourages me to take solo trips. Not sure if she’s in tune with my personality
or just trying to get rid of me for a day or two...

 · 

I got INFP-A. Reading the profile there was a lot that seemed to resonate, and other items that really didn't seem to describe me. It does seem to describe my inputs on the politics central thread though.

I always wonder if it took these types of test regularly if I'd get similar results. I usually rarely agree or disagree strongly to the statements they present you with. But given the mood I'm in on any particular day I could see myself answering with stronger opinions. Remind me in 6 months to take the test again and we'll see if I get the same result.

 · 
tduds

Taken the M-B multiple times and I always come out decisively ENTJ. I don't think that would surprise any of the regulars around here.

 · 
SneakyPete

ENFP / ENFJ (depends on the day) here.

 · 
Non Sequitur

I was really hoping I'd get NSFW.

3  · 
SneakyPete

The one I took at work came back GTFO.

2  · 

I may be a INFJ,-A/-T but I want to be a GFYA

 · 
tduds

Chad, what's the "-A/-T" add on? Never seen more than the big 4 letters.

 · 

according to the website it's -A for assertive types, and -T for turbulent types: https://www.16personalities.com/articles/assertive-advocate-infj-a-vs-turbulent-advocate-infj-t

Not sure how Chad gets both at the same time

1  · 

I'm special. Or so that website says. It's a personality type called the 'Advocate' and comprises only 1% of the population. Again so they say.


I'm a wizzard!


 · 
Wood Guy

As I noted, personality tests aren't effective for everyone, and on any given day you may find yourself in any of the descriptions. So in some ways it is like astrology. But for some of us, those who find categorizing traits and tendencies as a way to understand others and ourselves, it can be a useful tool. It's based on actual research so there are truths to discover if you want to take the time to look. The initial overview is light at best. A/T is assertive/turbulent. I'm a "T," more of a worry-wart and less decisive than an A.

 · 
proto

haha, i actually didn't expect it...(& I don't put much earnest faith in it either...)


 · 
SneakyPete

It's unfortunate that they chose a profession to represent a type. It sends a bad message to anyone in the profession who isn't the type and leads people outside the profession to assume those are shared traits for every architect.

2  · 
midlander

i did a personality test during therapy once and the first question literally was "would you rather be a therapist or an architect?" As if one person couldn't actually enjoy both. I asked her if she was trying to switch jobs with me :D fwiw i'd put therapist on my list of 5 alternative careers i'd love to try if i had 150 years to do everything again.

 · 
tintt

My Myers-Briggs is the Healer/Mediator/Empath/Therapist one. I flip to extrovert easily as the Campaigner/Champion (INFP + a couple of beers = ENFP).

 · 
tintt

I was diagnosed with mild OCD and chronic depression in my 20's. I was prescribed various anti-depressants but didn't like them so never took them. I was later misdiagnosed with bi-polar by a family doctor who I don't think had much of a clue and shouldn't have been diagnosing. I started on the medication for that but didn't last for more than a few days on it because it was numbing. I couldn't function. I decided I wasn't bi-polar and got another opinion (a few years later). Turns out it was just stress and relationship struggles with my family and not "mental illness" as every indicator was pointing too (everything is a nail when you have a hammer.) I had seen psychologists and medical doctors before but it wasn't until I worked weekly with a social worker where I worked on setting boundaries and being healthy, having mental hygiene, reducing stress. That social worker saved my life and I still think of her and thank her everyday quietly in my mind. I don't really have daily MH problems anymore but they can creep up on me if I'm not careful. I do have above-normal anxiety, but no longer suffer from depression or OCD. So I use the anxiety to fuel my day. I recently reduced my coffee consumption to 1-2 cups a day so even that's down. For me, mental health has gotten consistently better with age.

One of the most important things I learned on my MH journey is that your brain is your most social organ. It's the organ you share with other people almost constantly. Before you start to think there is a malfunction with your brain, consider that there might be some toxic things you are subjecting it to. MH gets a lot of play and so does toxic behavior. They are related.

Feb 2, 21 7:46 am  · 
9  · 
midlander

i find a very clear relationship between drinking coffee and my temper. it seems to build up over a few days if i drink 1-2 cups daily and then i'll start being really irritable. so i try to keep it to 4-5 per week.

1  · 
randomised

mental hygiene, love that term.

4  · 
archanonymous

Hope everyone is winning their battles with MH today. Just got done logging a month of very long hours and i find that it takes me a few weeks to mentally recover. Takes focus and determination to not spin our from here into depression, but at least I'm aware of it. 

Been struggling with anxiety and depression my whole life and the deadline-oriented nature of this business ups the manic aspects of the depression.

Feb 2, 21 11:03 am  · 
6  · 

Manic is such an excellent word for so much of what we do in architecture, it's really no wonder mental health issues are rampant. Get rest, y'all!

7  · 

I mentioned this elsewhere but if I didn’t have all the positive effects of the weight loss surgery going on right now, I’d be in trouble. I’ve dealt with depression all my life, and with a pandemic and the constant strive to stay productive during one, if I didn’t have the weight loss and feeling better/more confident that comes from it, I’d be in a serious funk.

Feb 2, 21 11:27 am  · 
11  · 
x-jla

has anyone tried micro dosing thc/cbd?   I have found that it works great for anxiety and depression.  Large doses do the opposite.  I have been cutting down on the big doses of pot and doing small 3mg doses instead...it doesn’t get you high...just gives a calming and focused feeling and makes me sleep like a baby.  

Feb 3, 21 11:30 am  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

I don't micro dose but I do have a prescription for use due to chronic pain. Even grow my own.

1  · 
randomised

“just gives a calming and focused feeling and makes me sleep like a baby”...and post online like there’s no tomorrow ;-)

4  · 
tduds

I mostly macrodose.

2  · 
Wood Guy

I guess I microdose. We grow our own--it's legal here--and on days I don't have to meet with anyone I'll have what is probably the equivalent of 1-3mgs every few hours. Not enough to feel much, just calm. I have meetings most days so I don't do it often, once or twice a week at most. Before bed most nights I'll have a larger amount, ±10mgs probably, of cannabis coconut oil which takes a few hours to kick in and then lasts a few hours, good for sleep. I don't like getting super high and I do like being productive, so I don't overdo it. I had a prescription at one point but it's easy enough to grow it ourselves.

I've heard about microdosing with shrooms, which sounds interesting. I've only done mushrooms once but it was a good experience.

 · 

I take CBD oil for inflammation in my shoulder. Works well for me once I take it for 3-4 weeks.

 · 
x-jla

Have you tried topical Chad? It works well.

 · 
tduds

Ask your doctor if Topical Chad is right for you.

2  · 

You should try Tropical Chad.




side effects include: eye irritation, blurred vision, sweaty palms, nausea, persistent arousal, and room clearing flatulence 

3  · 

I thought Tropical Chad was what gave Bush the win in Florida in 2000?

1  · 
tduds

Tropical Chad sure does love to hang.

1  · 

Perhaps even dangle from time to time? Just hope Chad is responsible and doesn't get into the Pregnant Chad territory unwillingly. Although ... a young little Dimpled Chad might be cute.

 · 

If I ever had a child he or she would be the hellspawn that brings about the end of the world . . .



 · 
citizen

It's funny that just reading through this thread is overwhelming me a little.  Learning that other folks struggle with identity and relationships and worth and work and worry and focus... comforts me that I'm not the freak I fear, just another soul doing their best in this world.  Thanks to everyone for that gift.

It's WORK (always in caps) that I've allowed to take over my psyche-- at least that's the nominal issue or focus.  That plus some need for adrenaline or other kind of rush pushes me to distractions, eating up every moment except those remaining ones necessary to do an actually decent job just as the timer runs out.  (Think every bomb-disarming scene you've ever seen in a movie.)  After that, I almost don't know what to do with myself until I sense the next deadline looming.  These patterns have been present for a while, but it's only since lockdown and a death in the family that all of it seems ratcheted up to 11 now.

I'm on the market for a therapist to dig into this stuff with.  That process helped me a lot some years ago.

Feb 3, 21 2:12 pm  · 
6  · 
randomised

“ That plus some need for adrenaline or other kind of rush pushes me to distractions, eating up every moment except those remaining ones necessary to do an actually decent job just as the timer runs out. (Think every bomb-disarming scene you've ever seen in a movie.) After that, I almost don't know what to do with myself until I sense the next deadline looming.”

I’m exactly like this, since high school...always delaying finalising things, there’s always more to research and discover, new concepts to try and test, while the clock is ticking and the anxiety starts building up in the back of your head. Until all panic takes over and late nights working to finish it all. And after the work is done and the deadline met you tell yourself that next time you’ll do things differently...But the pandemic and working from home has also forced me to really do change things, can’t “waste” time that’s simply not there anymore...

2  · 

I like talking with a therapist every other week because frankly she is a completely uninterested party to whom I can say anything without judgment. It’s wonderful! I don’t owe her any of my mental energy or empathy. It’s amazing.

4  · 
citizen

Exactly, Donna. Trained, paid listener.

2  · 

I read today the comment that “we don’t all have mental illness, but we all have mental health” and it struck me hard. If you’re fortunate enough to be reading this thread and feeling like you can’t identify with anything here that is fantastic! But please continue to be aware that you need to take care of yourself, and also to have empathy for others who aren’t as fortunate. Life can be hard, and wonderful, and hard again. And wonderful again.

Feb 3, 21 9:27 pm  · 
8  · 
mightyaa

I have been diagnosed as psychopathic. Not kidding, tons of testing, etc. with a licensed psychologist my parents made me see. I was on the backside of feeling suicidal about my third year in architecture school. So I stopped seeing the psychologist to avoid the label. That was 30 years ago; back when I wasn’t going to accept I’m remotely like that. I didn’t feel like a stabby stabby sort of psycho. At the time, my understanding of it was a ‘lack of emotion’ and empathy. Now I know it’s a spectrum.

I do however have a severe distrust of psychologist and councilors. A horror story for you parents. My daughter (partially deaf) we discovered was regularly locked in a padded closet at school for most the day; google that shit, it’s real. By junior high, she was suicidal and a cutter; so we had her in counseling, and she was committed once for a two week stay at a wellness center.  Anyway, this councilor deals with trauma a lot but it’s normally child abuse.  So instead of focusing on the trauma of locking a elementary school kid in the closet for years, she focused and led my daughter down a rabbit hole of identifying abuse at home. Once she convinced my daughter there was abuse, she called child services. My daughter tends to ‘embellish’ stories to gain approval; so slapping the dog’s butt for peeing on the floor becomes her being scared I was going to kill the dog. And guess what? because I told my daughter I too went to see a psychologist when I was young trying to warm her up to the idea it is ok, she knew I had been diagnosed as a psychopath and had told her councilor… Her councilor apparently, not ever having met me, decided that meant she wasn’t safe and maybe she should be scared of me. She called child services… so there were the police interviews during ‘wellness checks’ and discussions with attorneys and state child services calls and interviews with everyone individually in the household and regular visits for a few months.

The schools still use padded closets, my daughter continued being a cutter, and our lawsuit died; the school attorney latched onto our problems at home which poked serious holes as to why our daughter was cutting herself and suicidal. Extra sugar on top; the school psychologist (who knew of the lawsuit) pulled my eldest in to ‘talk about how he was doing with all this’, and got him to admit he has felt suicidal; instant 48 hour watch at a ‘wellness center’.  Blowing another hole in the litigation. Btw; see the money thread… this was part of the hell that played a large role in my firm failing as I dealt with this. Other traumas were happening as well; at least my psychopathy dulls and can shut off the emotional overloads... score 1 for being mentally unstable but still not stabby stabby unstable.

btw; I'll probably delete this within a week. Not good shit to have floating on the internet.

Feb 4, 21 12:25 pm  · 
10  · 

mightyaa was this in the US?

 · 
Wood Guy

Holy shit.

 · 

Damn dude, that's some shit to deal with. I hope the sharing helps but +1 on deleting it sooner rather than later before it gets logged into the internet archive. Bare minimum, maybe ask the mods to hide the post?

 · 
citizen

Wow. Thank you for sharing that, mighty.  Sounds like you've done well keeping it together in the face of all odds and idiots.

I agree with wariness and avoidance of social-services types out to avenge imaginary wrongs, potentially poisoning young minds. (When you're a self-righteous, poorly trained hammer, every kid's home life is a nail. My brother's family suffered at the hands a destructive 'are you sure you weren't abused?' counselor.)

 · 
citizen

And I second that you should probably pull this down. I still recall that person obsessed with a certain spreadsheet a few years ago getting offended, then launching into online research to ID their offenders here. Scary.

1  · 
mightyaa

Yes Donna... this is the US. Seriously, google the padded rooms in schools; I didn't know about them at all. Lots of Districts use them, not just here.

1  · 
SneakyPete

https://goldmedalsafetypadding.com/safety-padding-industries/school-safety-padding/

Reading that page made me throw up in my mouth.

1  · 
mightyaa

Btw; this isn’t the most traumatizing part of my life story. Plenty more to add to the shit show; I’ve skipped a lot… Part of me is thankful for my mental condition. Others used horrible coping mechanisms and escapism inflicting more trauma. Unfortunately, I doubt I’m deep in that spectrum… I still hurt, I still have to practice coping exercises and mental tricks refined over years, that is my ‘norm’. There are good mental health professionals and bad ones. The key is finding the good ones which at least in my experience tend to be somewhat rare. If you are seeking help, I know the better ones tend to give homework and focus on healing more than rehashing. They’ll also do tests. Drugs aren’t candy, aren’t a solution, and have side effects too… I’ve got some more stories on that and more scars.

1  · 

I've actually been involved on both ends of this (the padded/isolation room thing).

I was once punished in 6th grade with a day of "in-school suspension" where I was basically locked in an isolation room like this the entire time. It could have been padded, I actually don't fully recall, but it was something a kid should never have to deal with (full stop).

I've been involved in designing actual behavioral healthcare facilities in hospitals, and we didn't use padded isolation rooms like this. There is no reason a padded room needs to be the solution (full stop).

P.s. The school I attended in 6th grade has since been demolished ... the isolation room along with it.

2  · 
mightyaa

Hey, I was thinking that as architects, this is one area we can change; Refuse to design these cells into the schools we design. Kinda pisses me off knowing an architect out there designed this space into a elementary school.

9  · 
Non Sequitur

... I'm going to go give little NS a big hug after reading this. Most schools here have safe spaces but all it is a corner with a bean-bag chair and books, often inside a little tent, so the kids can distance themselves from their environment when they need to.

5  · 
x-jla

Geez man. My sister dealt with some bs from her sons school several years back. He was like 10 years old or something and the school officer handcuffed him for bumping past a teacher or something ridiculous. ( he’s half Black). My sister went nuts and was super mad of course. She yelled at everyone at the office, called them incompetent, racist, etc. My nephew was suspended, and then had to do some bs counseling. FOR BUMPING HIS WAY PAST TEACHER when she told him he couldn’t leave the class for the bathroom! He’s literally the calmest kid I know. Anyway, counselor said that he had probably has ADD and tried to make my sister get him treatment. They were totally full of shit. She told them that he’s fine, and it’s them that need counseling if they believe it’s acceptable to handcuff a kid. He’s now a straight A student in his senior year. Going into a pre med program. These schools often seem to cover up their failures by diagnosing kids with whatever.

1  · 
randomised

Wow mighty, I didn’t even know such spaces existed in schools, in prisons or mental hospitals yes I can get that. But if any school would ever lock my kid up in such a space because they can’t or refuse to engage with them I’d burn that place to the fucking ground (over the weekend obviously)...<br><br>My eldest (almost 4yo) will start elementary school in 6 weeks, am already anxious and nervous about that, reading this just freaks me out. <br><br>Also not helping that I just read an obit yesterday of a 14yo boy that died of a combination of a new 3-MMC designer drug, carbon monoxide and this fucking pandemic, he got depressed because of the whole lockdown situation, not being able to see his friends from school or do his sports, was forced to change schools because his grades dropped in the middle of a pandemic, etc. and changed from a happy outgoing and social kid into a recluse almost overnight unrecognisable to his parents, family and friends. <br><br>Am really afraid the mental health of an entire generation of kids will be seriously impacted for a very long time because of all this shit. 

Feb 4, 21 5:21 pm  · 
 · 
bowling_ball

I'm sure you're right. That's terrible. It's not all horrible though - there are the other 50% of kids who are shy or introverted or bullied, who are thriving. We ask them to put up with our outgoing culture for whatever reason, and I think this will help even the playing field. Let the extroverts feel like the introverts for a while. Maybe they'll even learn from it.

1  · 
randomised

Don’t know if “let the extroverts feel like the introverts for a while” is the way to go
It’s not like the introverts fee like extroverts normally, they still feel like introverts but forced to live in a society that apparently rewards extrovertism. As if extroverts have a choice needing the attention all the time, my god I would be exhausted if I always needed external confirmation.

 · 
Wood Guy

And the extraverts say, "my god I would be exhausted if I needed so much time to myself."

2  · 

rando - I've designed about a dozen school in my career ranging from grade school - high school. Only in one of these schools where there 'padded rooms' and that was in a school for students with severe emotional and mental trauma. These 5' x 5'' padded rooms (colored peptobismol pink) didn't have doors and were for students who where having a violent, uncontrolled outburst. 

 The room is intended to be used as a time our room for the child to tire themselves out by literally bouncing off the walls without hurting themselves or a teacher. The teachers stands at the doorway (no door) and doesn't have to try and restrain the student. For really bad cases where the student could hurt themselves or is having a mental health crisis the teachers would call EMS and the student would be taken to a hospital.

1  · 
randomised

I didn’t get that from mighty’s post above...it also didn’t seem necessary to be put in such a room in that case or EA’s for that matter. I’m afraid having such a room makes schools want to use them...

 · 
bowling_ball

I can remember exactly zero similar incidents during my time at school in the 80s. And no, kids haven't changed that much. This is a crutch being used by teachers and boards who see kids as less than human. Disgusting.

 · 

This might be a case of "how it started ... how it's going." Also roads being paved with good intentions, yada yada yada. I'm not disagreeing with what Chad says (I've been in on those discussions too). What I'm seeing is that while they might have initially been good about their use, I think people get lazy and take shortcuts and maybe they evolve over time to be used in a way that was never intended. It's a administration and people problem, not so much a design problem.

2  · 
mightyaa

And oddly enough, a budget problem. Before cuts, you had a team in the 'resource center'; like speech therapist, sign language interpreters, audiologist, physical therapy, etc. After cuts; just one person and rotating specialist shared across the District; like the speech therapist might be there just on Mondays. So if you have more than one kid in there, you put the others in the closet until you can deal with them individually. That one person also sitting on their rear; they're back to back appointments with a individual student that's scheduled to be in there. And the trouble my daughter would do is more like: she'll look you in the eye, reach up, and turn the hearing aids off letting you know she could care less what you are saying... as a father, I've gotten that treatment a lot throughout middle school and high school. oh.. and the HS sneaky; hearing aids are bluetooth now, so she'll sync to her phone and stream music like a headset. A lot of schools use these rooms as punitive; special needs kids don't get sent to the office, they go here. 

2  · 

In the case that I mentioned it's important to note that in my career time out rooms are a rare, and specialized occurrence. In the school I mentioned that uses such rooms the students all have severe emotional issues - this is not a typical school. Each classroom has three teachers, each with degrees in counseling. If a student has to be put in the time out room a teachers goes with them and remains with them until the student calms down. An on stall phycologist is also called to the time out room whenever it is used. Students are never left along with a single teacher, ever. Typically a student is in a time out room for 10-20 minutes. I have no idea if these time out rooms are a good idea or not, I'm just conveying my experience with designing a school that has two of them.

2  · 
Jaetten

We are not defined by our ailments, but how we deal with them... Or words to that effect.

I feel for anyone who is going through or has gone through mental health issues. They can be truly debilitating, even if others cannot see it. People make an assumption that if you look ok, then you are ok.

I was diagnosed with depression at 8 years old, after my parents went through a messy divorce and I struggled with it until I was in my early 20's. Roughly 15 years, mostly in silence, without letting anyone know. I went through high school being the 'odd one out' who was never picked or involved in group things. I had just one friend. During school, I got shot in the head with an air pistol (too low power to cause damage), assaulted with scissors and had an improvised knife held to my neck and pinned against a window by a crowd of people. 

Through all of that, I never made a sound, nor showed emotion. Neither did I talk about it. I got no help from others, not even teaching staff.

They say that if you don't react to bullies they stop. That's a lie, it brasses them off and makes them more determined, and they will keep going until they get a reaction.

Even when on holiday, I faced aggression from other children and even into adulthood in employment.

I grew up thinking that I was the problem.

Once I reached my 20's, after a period on medication I buried everything. It wasn't until my 30's that I finally managed to deal with it with the help of counselling.

Sometimes, when thinking about it I feel the sting. Sometimes I regret not being able to deal with those issues earlier, but I'm glad that I eventually did.

I've never written about this before, so I'm not sure if it reads that well, but nonetheless it describes what happened.


If you or anyone you know is going through mental health issues, you're not alone. 

Feb 5, 21 5:25 pm  · 
3  · 
Wood Guy

You've done well to make it through all of that! Bullies are the worst, though they are often dealing with their own struggles as well, they have no right to take it out on others. Kudos for getting counseling to help deal with it.

1  · 

It makes me so sad to think about kids feeling unsafe at school. I’m sorry you had to deal with that Jaetten. And especially that no adult would step in to help.

1  · 
Jaetten

Thank you, I hold no grudge to those involved. I know that some of them has serious issues at home. Thing is, kids don’t talk and if they did (myself included) situations like that could be avoided. Not always, but I suspect a good amount could.

1  · 

If nothing else comes out of these posts, it's good to know you're not alone.

It helps that I'm not an architect and am retired to boot, but my solace has been architecture the past year. I've been building models and thinking about them. The models, of course, are rough, but they encourage me to study a building thoroughly, with engagement. There's something therapeutic in just stacking one thing on top of another. Construction is both a practice and metaphor for putting things together and keeping them together, something we all need to do. And architecture can give perspective.

For example, last September, while doubly confined by Covid and the horrific smoke from the the Oregon fires (I'm in Portland), I made a model of Mies van der Rohe's Lemke House:

https://returningcenter.wordpr...

Which got me outside myself for several days. Among many other things, I wondered what life was like for Mies has last years in Germany. We're not the only ones going through a storm. Or two.

I do have other things to do and am not doing them.

A year out, though, I'm running out of steam. . . .

Feb 5, 21 7:37 pm  · 
5  · 

"his last years in Germany"

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Here's a paradox - I think - when I get on 12% beer, I feel invincible, whnen  I dont, I think abpuit how long I've wanted to be dead....

Feb 7, 21 6:50 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

I'm guessing you're on the 12% now?

1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

I know, right? The armor of invincibiloty!

2  · 
Wood Guy

As I told a friend who really enjoys their wine and weed--no matter how many depressants I take, I just don't feel any better.

2  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

It's fleeting.

 · 
SneakyPete

Miracle Alien Cookies is my mood enhancer of choice

1  · 
design4mind

It was not until I spent almost a year going in and out of mental health facilities that I found the value of design in everyday life. Left with only dark, miserable thoughts of my own life I constantly observed what was going on around me, which lead me to see the failures within the design world. More specifically, the brutal lack of systematic sympathy for patients within the walls at every design turn. 

I decided to steer away from my undergraduate policy focus to concentrate on how I may better the world of mental health with improved, and thoughtful design practices. While that was only several years ago, and I'm now in architecture school after being diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder I am just grateful to be able to observe the world around me and see the unbelievable potential so many have to produce change (no matter how many iterations it takes). 

As a patient of the mental health system, and as an up and coming designer with lots to learn, I just want to say thank you to anyone deciding to use their creativity for good. For all I know I could end up back in a mental health facility, but I'm confident there are people out there working to help; even when they're not directed effected. 

Feb 8, 21 4:31 pm  · 
3  · 
bowling_ball

I have a very close family member with bipolar. He's a design director who's worked for the biggest and best product companies in the world (Nike, Apple, etc). I can't tell you where he is now because it'll give away his identity, but he's currently helping his employer (billion dollar company) go net zero with their entire product line. Keep it up!

1  · 

I think the Architecture profession is full of people and situations that can cause trauma/PTSD.  Losing your job, emotional abuse from colleagues, clients, consultants, or contractors are too common in the profession. Over work with some bosses not knowing or respecting boundaries and the culture of working 60+ hours at the expense of sleep, heath and social engagement outside of work take their tool. With Covid forcing so many of us working from home the small moments of social engagement we get at work from our colleagues is now missing.  We as a profession are sacrificing too much and maybe we need to hold the line at 40-45 hours a week and not tolerate crummy job situations such as late pay, excessive hours, abuse or harassment. The mentality of firm management (mostly small firms in my experience) that the client comes above all other things is insane and needs to be stopped. 

We don't do our best work when we are physically and emotionally exhausted.

Just my thoughts

Over and OUT

Peter N

Feb 8, 21 10:32 pm  · 
2  · 
bowling_ball

I'll admit to bending over for my clients all too often, but I don't work overtime and I specifically ask my staff to do the same. I tell them - very clearly - that if they're working overtime, it's because management has screwed up. If there's an emergency that requires it, then staff bank the hours and I ask them to take that time off within two weeks, ideally, because they probably need a break. Then again, I'm not chasing magazine covers.

7  · 
Almosthip

I recently divorced my toxic addict husband.  Been 2 years free from a 20 year bad marriage.  He is currently living on the other side of the country. Whoop!!   The stress of a bad marriage was huge, effected my health, body and mind.  I was loosing my hair and was super skinny with weight loss.  My 3 children are all adults now, I only have 1 left at home and I can say I have never been happier in my life. And my hair grew back thicker!

Work is work, always been able to manage a good work / life balance, even with the extra work of the Syllabus program.   

Feb 9, 21 1:50 pm  · 
9  · 

I'm sorry you had to go through all of that. I'm glad you're doing better.

 · 
atelier nobody

Good on you for getting out of a bad situation. Especially good on you for doing something as hard as the Syllabus program to make the second half of your life better.

 · 
Almosthip

Thanks :) Remember the show Night Court and Harry's father would say "but I feel much better now" with a huge smile. That's how I feel..lol

1  · 
atelier nobody

I'm never married myself, but I watched both of my parents' lives improve dramatically once they realized they didn't belong together - I wish they'd done it at least 5 years sooner, if not 10, since it was kind of a stressful household for my sister and me growing up.

1  · 

I met with a residential client recently, who I had done work for previously when she and her husband were still married and living in a big ass house. We got to talking about age and I said “yeah but you’re much younger than I am” But it turns out she’s actually four years older than me. I was agog and said how is it that you look so great?! And she laughed and replied “Divorce!!” Good for you Almosthip!

2  · 


Mood today. We’re humans, not tardigrades.  It’s ok to have emotions.

Feb 11, 21 6:57 am  · 
1  · 
citizen

Is fear okay? Because that image freaks me out.

1  · 

Have you seen Ant Man and The Wasp? Tardigrades!

1  · 
citizen

.Image result for cringe gif

 · 
archi_dude

job descriptions like these make me just stay at my current overworked role.


"timelines are often tight, if not impossible, given the regulatory mandates. Construction managers in this industry as well as our project managers need to be aggressive and at the same time great people managers that are creative and never say never as they develop the construction timelines and budgets for projects"



Feb 13, 21 9:51 am  · 
 · 
thisisnotmyname

It sounds like very typical idiot CM-PM language. Because of the effects extreme weather events and COVID on members of the building teams, basically no projects I'm involved with are getting done on schedule. Obsessing about schedules in this moment is foolish and will only make you and your staff crazy.

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

This Helps, a lot.


https://youtu.be/2ocykBzWDiM

Feb 18, 21 9:30 am  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

^^thumbs-down as a joke. Sort of...

 ·  1
tintt

Those jeans are back in style!

1  · 

I'm not clicking on those links. Nope. Not gonna do it.

2  · 
Wood Guy

Chad, don't be afraid. B3 is never going to let you down.

3  · 

Oh damn, now I'm glad I didn't click on the links.

1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Go on, do it! 60fps!

 · 
tintt

I just now realized where several family members got their dance moves.

1  · 
proto

4k, 60fps REALLY enhances it...

 · 

Actually, I totally dance like that. The hand motions and everything. Hack into my home security system kitchen camera some evening while I'm making dinner and listening to Bob Marley and you'll totally see me doing it.

2  · 
tduds

The Northwest got walloped last week by a snow / ice storm. Mostly ice in my area. My house lost power for ~3 days, but luckily we were at my in-laws, who did not lose power. Some people in my area are still without power, almost 10 days later.

As for us, well the electricity came back on but the internet is *still* out. A limb took out the cable from the pole to our house and the maintenance crews are so backed up the earliest they could get a truck out to us is this Wednesday (it went out *last* Saturday). So, my entire home-office is dormant. Got a laptop and decamped to my in-laws' ADU, where at least there's wi-fi. But now I'm spread between 4 devices that aren't syncing correctly and I'm back to the good old days of moving files with a USB Stick. As if things weren't already complicated enough.

I'd say the lack of internet has been a huge boon for my personal mental health (I've read like 2.5 books! I started sketching more! I went for a run!) but it's making my workday unbearably disheveled. 

Feb 22, 21 1:20 pm  · 
3  · 
Non Sequitur

how much snow/ice are you guys getting?

 · 
proto

[I'm also in pdx] We had 3 days of storm & unseasonable cold producing ice/snow, then a warmup. Trees were failing under the snow/ice; and then, when it melted, they were failing as the loads reduced. Neighbor across the street from me had a tree down on his house with a branch speared thru his attic into his dining room. We had ice damming on our house. PDX metro is melted at this point. Our power/data are above ground here & areas with trees really saw a bunch of damage & outages. We were out at my place for 3 days, but am just hearing that my tax guy is now 8 days without power. Places south like Salem had mostly ice/sleet.

1  · 
tduds

Before the melt started we had 2-3" of solid ice on everything. We were just south of the snow line, so we only got freezing rain and high winds. Most of the damage in the region w as done by falling trees + limbs.

2  · 
proto

yeah, the winds too...forgot about that

 · 
Non Sequitur

Got it, thanks. We typically get one 25-30mm ice storm per year here and a few 30cm (or one 40+) snow days so most of the weak trees get culled naturally thus there is, fortunately, few sudden mass felling of trees. One tree did fall on my buddy's car during a 50mm ice storm last year and left live power cables all over the yard. I'm looking out my office window right now and laughing at the "weather advisory" notice. Ooooo, 4" of snow. time to panic.

 · 
randomised

We had 2 days of snow, max 10cm and a week below 0 Celsius temperatures, people loved it, ice skating on the canals or on the lakes, so much nostalgia...the cracking of the ice while skating when you’re the first one on it, must be one of my favourite sounds.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

"cue heavy french-canadian accent" 

 Amateurs.

sorry.

 · 
proto

The Willamette Valley, here in the PNW, is def not used to cold winter weather. Snow on the valley floor is typically an oddity. Many native OR friends here don't have winter tires unless they are skiers. We are a zone that does the stereotypical milk/bread/TP panic when the ground gets white.

 · 
tduds

I grew up outside Boston so I definitely understand winter weather. but the Portland area has some, to say the least, unique characteristics that make snow / ice events here a nightmare. Here's a good thread about it from last week https://twitter.com/PDXJenni/status/1359909598715547650

7  · 
Non Sequitur

well, that was a well spent 10mins... what a trip and I did not even need to show a negative corona test result to go. In that time, I'd estimate about 10mm of snow fell here.

1  · 
citizen

My brother's family outside of Salem finally got power back last night, after 9 days without. A couple of nights at a motel with heat and hot water got them through the final stretch.

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

tduds, you know what's weird? it's that Minnesotans can handle snow fine, but they suck at rain, in spring/summer/fall.

1  · 
citizen

I like to think we have something to make up for all our hack politicians and idiot celebrities.

Personally, I'd prefer honest officials and some occasional snow.

3  · 
tduds

The past few days have been sunny and near 60. The ice is long gone but the downed trees are still being cleaned up. My mental state is so tied to sunlight, I'm realizing as I age. It's starting to get light around 6-6:15 and I wake up naturally by 6:45 every day. In the darkest days of December I was struggling to pry myself out of bed before 8. Also drinking less alcohol on the weekdays seems to help ;)

1  · 
citizen

.

Feb 22, 21 5:09 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

I'm really tired of the eggheads who make the software upon which we rely to make our profession function constantly changing things to a degree which one cannot arrive at a consistent workflow that will survive unadulterated longer than one project. It's bleeding me dry financially and psychologically. STOP CHANGING SHIT THAT WORKS FINE JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK IT'S BETTER SOME OTHER FUCKING WAY.

Feb 22, 21 6:12 pm  · 
9  · 
citizen

planned ob·so·les·cence /noun/

a policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of nondurable materials.

Unfortunately, a longstanding economic and business practice.  Pairs well with 190-proof grain alcohol.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

Something something grabbed you by the balls something.

 · 
bowling_ball

I overheard some staff talking about door schedules in AutoCAD vs Revit today... I had a giggle as I was about to throw my laptop out the window because of MS Word - it's still useless after all these years and probably even more frustrating than ever. The fact that we still have to use Word templates to submit proposals for some projects is just ridiculous.

 · 

Pencils, vellum, and erasers are unchanged and still available, but board covers are getting scarce.

 · 

Sunshine in Indianapolis today. Sunshine seriously helps so much.

Mar 3, 21 9:39 am  · 
3  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

We got that, plus 40's!

 · 

It's going to be 65 F here!

1  · 

I've found that my mental health improves dramatically when I eliminate all 'news' media. 

Mar 3, 21 9:22 pm  · 
9  · 
citizen

If you mean eliminating all the various personnel, Miles, I'll drive the getaway car for you. If you mean just eliminating contact and exposure, that's good too.

 · 
citizen

btw, nice to have you back.

1  · 
randomised

Be prepared for a decline if you stick around here.

2  · 
Work360

I'm like a young "Alzheimer" girl. My brain become weaker and make me easily forget about what i'm going to do and say. I'm talking with friend and then, just in a moment, I forget what I'm gonna say or even said. It has been happening for 2 years. 

Mar 4, 21 3:51 am  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Have you seen a neurologist? That seems like a potential medical problem.

2  · 
x-jla

It can be anxiety or depression related, but definitely go see a doctor. Have you had concussions in the past?

 · 
Work360

I haven't met neurologist yet, and met any concussions in the past either. My symptoms is like the woman after giving birth. Just easily forget something.

 · 
tduds

I had a major realization this week. I'm not sure if this resonates with anybody but it's really helped me frame my days...

I've started noticing my energy / focus is more task-dependent than time-dependent. Meaning, if I can dive into a single task with few or no interruptions, I can happily plod away at that for 8, 10, or more hours and feel energized by it. But if I have a big list of 20 minute tasks (or if my focus is constantly shaken by interruptions), I feel completely drained after just a few hours. 

It's like the effort to switch gears is what actually saps my energy. It's not that I can't work for a full 8 hours, but I can't switch gears more than 4-5 times without a solid break.

I don't have a great solution for this yet, especially since I'm spread across multiple small projects at the moment. But recognizing it has at least helped me cope with my seemingly random, previously inexplicable bouts of exhaustion.

Mar 5, 21 4:23 pm  · 
6  · 
bowling_ball

Interesting. I'm the opposite. Switching isn't easy but I get energized by working on a million little things. But at 5 o'clock, I'm wiped out. I don't have the option of working on just one project any more, so I've got to make it work for me. On a side note, I started back at therapy this week and while I know it's going to help in the long run, I know I'm going to have to start facing my challenges in a healthier way rather than pushing everything down inside and ignoring my emotions. That said, it's beer o'clock. Cheers


2  · 
x-jla

I can completely relate to that. I think it’s called “flow state”.

 · 
curtkram

a lot of times when i switch from one thing to the next i take a walk down and up the stairwell or pace the corridor for a minute. also look outside at something far away for a minute.

1  · 
Wood Guy

Interesting observation. Rings true for me. I usually pride myself for being able to switch gears quickly, and often. But for the last few years it seems to be getting more difficult. By mid-afternoon I need a break to clear my brain before my evening shift. And now that you mention it, I can definitely only focus on one project when I work an evening shift.

 · 

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