Tank Therapy

  1. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    Last night was rough at work. I don't think I've mentioned this to anyone yet, but I work in Mental Health now, at a residential situation for people who are not safe alone in the community. Most of the cottages are on a tight lock down, all the cupboards have locks, and the fridges are padlocked. Sometimes we have good days. Friday we took three staff and three clients to the fair, and it was amazing. Everyone was pretty good for the most part. Yesterday was not so good. I don't really want to go into details. But when I came home I was dog tired, and my whole body ached (still does). I felt like crying, it was just so emotionally taxing.

    I dragged a chair across the room, grabbed my comforter, and overrode the tank timer. I needed my fish. I watched them until I fell asleep. I still feel like crying, so I'm relocating closer to the water for a while. Just watching my living Kaleidoscope. I should be cleaning, or something. I'm just not ready yet. Does anyone else have to do this occasionally?
     
  2. hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    Bless you. Your work sounds extreme. I hope you manage to find some calm.

    This really helps me too. Without my fish, my brain would explode. I often feel like they know when I'm feeling down and understand why I'm sitting staring at them. It's great medicine!

    I have severe OCD and it is one of the only ways I know to soften my catastrophic thinking. I think it's the serenity, peace and wonder that captivates me. A corner of the ocean in our busy lives.

    I truly respect the work you do, keep your head high and your chin up. xxx
     

  3. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    Extreme is a good descriptor. One day I'm on the tilt-a-whirl, giggling with a client who enjoys the sensory stimulation, eating a funnel cake I didn't have to pay for, the next day I'm getting in the middle of a fist fight over the batteries in the x-box controller and someone is threatening to rape me, kicking my shin, and trying to eat a pizza cutter. The tank is stable, consistent. My fish don't call me hurtful names when all I'm doing is making lunch.
     
  4. 77Impala Well Known Member Member

    Sorry to hear about the stress, I have worked in the past with similar people. It can be a lot of fun yet with some stress in there. Please don't let their actions take a toll on you. Most times they are only in the moment and may not remember all the details of what was said and happened later.

    But to your question, yes I love to sit and watch my tanks when I am stressed out. My wife has noticed that the tanks help me a lot. And though we are simplifying down to two main tanks which in itself will help some on stress for me and my wife. We are keeping our 55 in the living room and now have a 20 long in our bedroom, my side of the be of course. I can even watch the ADF's while falling asleep for a nap or the night.
     

  5. hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    Wow, very extreme indeed. If I could I would reach through the monitor and give you a big hug, but for now, a virtual one will have to do :)

    You have to be an incredibly strong person to do a job like that. I honestly have the greatest respect for you. You must be an amazing human being to put up with your job and still go back. Yes, they maybe people don't mean, understand, remember things but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Take joy in those moments of pleasure. Lots of love to you.xx
     
  6. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    I can understand what you mean, I looked after my mother who had Alzheimer's until she passed a couple of years ago & my tanks helped me keep my sanity on the bad days, even doing the maintenance was calming
     
  7. endlercollector Fishlore VIP Member

    Oh, wow, that is a hard, hard job. The good days are actually part of the cycle of psychological abuse as in all painful relationships. And even though people don't think of employees at mental institutions as becoming victims of abuse, it often turns out that way. Take good care of yourself, and be willing to walk away if and when it feels like you need to.
     

  8. WolfaraRose Member Member

    I used to be in and out of the mental hospital every other couple of months, so I know what you are talking about, on the patient side of things. It is hard, especially being threatened for no reason, then people cuddling up to you being all nice. I'm bipolar schizo effective, OCD, insomniac. When I have a psychotic break, I used to black out and have a multi come out. I always felt so horrible after. I'm glad and thankful that someone like you is working at a place like the one I used to frequent. It is rough, and I'm glad you turn to your fish, instead of falling into it. Some days for me when I'm close to an episode, my fish tanks keep me sane, and I will watch them for hours on end, because it is peaceful. For me it calms the demons in my head, and keeps my hallucinations at bay. Dang...now I'm kinda crying. But it will be okay.
     
  9. DaniosRock Member Member

    Its ok to take care of the caregiver. Our fish really are that calming salve after a particularly hard day. We need to be cared for too. Take care of you, the cleaning can wait.
     
  10. emmynk Well Known Member Member

    Sorry about your stress at work.

    I agree though. I have had generalized anxiety disorder since I was 7 Years old, and depression since I was 13. I used to love watching my dwarf frogs when I was little. Calmed me down.
    When I turned 16, I begged my mom for an axolotl. The answer was no, but after some persuasion, I got him. Stanley the axolotl. Got him when he was about two inches long, and now he's almost 11. He always calms me down. Plus if you know axolotls you know they smile, so it makes it difficult to be sad. Sometimes my fish talk me down from wanting to be off this planet. I take a moment and think... to these fish I am their whole world. My family wouldn't know how to care for them, especially my axolotl. They depend on me, and I depend on them. When I'm having anxiety attacks, the 5 tanks in my room definitely help. Along with the noise of the water distracting my mind.

    Hope you feel better dear.
    [​IMG]
     

  11. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    omg! Too cute!
     
  12. kevymd Well Known Member Member

    Thanks y'all... it really helps, just coming in here and venting, knowing you all have my back emotionally. In the category of de-stressing, does any one else recharge their mental batteries by being alone? This is something about me that my mother can't understand. I backed out of a family function yesterday just so I could sit home and veg, take a bubble bath, watch some netflix, and read. She thinks I would feel better being out with people, and I get that some people do, but that isn't me. Does anyone else separate themselves to feel better?
     
  13. Machine11 Well Known Member Member

    Kevymd I'm a nurse unit manager of 3 community mental health teams overseeing 30 staff looking after 500 clients in the community. It's always hard at times not to bring the emotional stress home from work. But yeah completely understand that some people (myself included) find it easier to unwind on our own.
    Everyone has different ways of relaxing and distressing and people need to fining what works for them.
    I find that spending time with the fish, checking the water parameters, landscaping, water changes, just staring at the fish from the lounge, thinking of the next tank I want to buy and how I want it set up relaxes me more than going out and being around others.


    Sent from my iPad using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  14. Viriam Karo Well Known Member Member

    Absolutely yes. My mom doesn't understand it either. When I was in college she would keep asking me if I was eating out at all, and when I said no (honestly, who doesn't want a daughter that doesn't spend extravagantly on eating out all the time??) she would tell me that I should go out more, relax, and eat something nice, and hang out with friends, etc. etc. I told her I just bought the nice ingredients from the grocery store and cooked them for myself and ate at home and it was great.

    I have a couple of friends I can hang out with and recharge, because I'm really comfortable with them and it doesn't drain me to hang out. That, or I like being alone (I really like watching my shrimp). I can feel my eyes literally unfocusing after a couple of hours at a pub. Followed shortly by my ears being drawn to whoever is loudest, not to whoever I'm talking to, and then by dry eyes and wanting to sleep :p
     
  15. endlercollector Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes, and it is actually very necessary for some of us. Selective mutism runs in my husband's and my families, and we both have it. Our daughter has it to an extreme degree, and there were some years when we literally could not leave the house because she would freak out if she saw people, especially his family :p

    Yet, we are very empathetic, enjoy being with some people, and as adults can handle larger groups in certain controlled situations. In many ways, it is the opposite of autism, but the stress on a biochemical level is similar to some friends of ours who have children with Asperger's. It is not surprising to me that I have seen some people given the wrong diagnosis if their children were examined before they were verbal.

    The out-going relatives of people with selective mutism do not understand the kind of stress they endure when going through an intense day of dealing with too many human beings. I always laugh when I tell people that my husband got a PhD and tenure even though he has watched six hours of television every day from high school on.

    Hmm, I think this needs to be a different thread. But yes, it is good for you to be alone with your fish for a while as long as you manage not to project your stress on them and can avoid worrying about their health (I am speaking from personal experience).
     
  16. lollipopkiller Well Known Member Member

    ya i know how hard it could be to deal with things like mental disorder people. my aunt has schizophrenia and i feel bad because she used to take care of me when i was younger. my tanks help me forget about the stress i even bought her a tank and a betta :) she loved him and he is like a sense of reality for her. it gets better after a while. all i can tell you if if you share your passion with them it could help them as much as you. tell them as calmly as you felt when you were watching them. and goodluck
     
  17. m50 Member Member

    I have read this through and for some reason I keep thinking of the song 'tainted love'.

    You try your best to help some people and some days you feel like you win and all is good, other days you try your best and feel like you've lost. The main thing is that you have tried your best.

    Ive was on anti depressants for 4ish years, then moved on to antipsychotic meds for psychosis for 9 years and now I can say ive been off them all since november 2013. Speaking from a patient side of the glass (i was never sectioned or admitted to anywhere) I can say that some days you can do all you can but just not bring someone out of their down mood.

    Now I have a 3 year old son and a partner that has stuck with me through all the prescribed meds and I can say im truly happy. Just yesterday we found out our next child will be another boy.

    Everybody has bad days, everybody.

    I couldnt do what you do so a big pat on the back to you and remember, your fish will be there when you need them.

    Sorry if that was all a load of garbage but may of helped.
     
  18. hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    m50 CONGRATULATIONS!!!xxxx
     
  19. lollipopkiller Well Known Member Member

    congrats :)