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liamium

Glastonbury Mental Health

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Great idea for a thread. 

I've suffered from depression for years now, but I've recently moved on to some new meds and the doctor 'advised' against drinking whilst on them. I've had a few pints here and there in the past month since I started them and felt fine, but nothing like the quantities I was planning on drinking at Glastonbury. Does anyone have advice on how to manage this? The main side effects when mixed with alcohol are apparently dizziness and drowsiness. Is it manageable, or am I best just trying to stay as sober as possible (which is obviously rather not...!)?

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I have suffered from anxiety for around 10 years. I found it hard to leave the house in the beginning. I never would have thought I could have attended somewhere like Glastonbury. I ended up having CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and it was amazing. I'd say I'm 95%better!!! I've been to Glastonbury 2015, Coldplay at Wembley last year even been on an airplane! I have tickets for Glastonbury again this year. I always worry that I am going to have a panic attack but when at glasto I felt free such an amazing place and I can't wait to go again. Whilst you are wandering around it will be nice to know that you are not alone x

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I think most DR's would recommend against it as counteracts your serotonin levels. However I think its trial and error, preferably before you go, as to what you can handle, perhaps expect to have a lower tolerance and feel lower afterwards. 

I'm on a mix of meds, including antidepressants, that state avoid alcohol but I still partake - albeit a smaller amount. 

My first year was rather overwhelming at times because I was on my own for first few days. Think I put pressure on myself to enjoy it and go everywhere, if I could go back I would take more time to just sit and take it in. The campfire in the woods last year was a lovely place to go for me.

The most stressy part for me is getting everything packed and getting there, fine once I'm in.

Edited by slash's hat

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10 minutes ago, jparx said:

Great idea for a thread. 

I've suffered from depression for years now, but I've recently moved on to some new meds and the doctor 'advised' against drinking whilst on them. I've had a few pints here and there in the past month since I started them and felt fine, but nothing like the quantities I was planning on drinking at Glastonbury. Does anyone have advice on how to manage this? The main side effects when mixed with alcohol are apparently dizziness and drowsiness. Is it manageable, or am I best just trying to stay as sober as possible (which is obviously rather not...!)?

This is a hard one as I did try meds but really wanted to try to get better without them so stopped. I certainly wouldn't want to do Glastonbury without a few drinks but in your case you don't want to make yourself ill and not enjoy it at all. Keep drinking to a minimum you'll still have a great time x

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The comfort of Glastonbury is that unlike in real life, you're never more than a 25 minute brisk walk from a 'safe space' (your tent) if you need to have time out and you can do that at any time.  Plus the copious other quiet corners you find.  The Peace Garden up at the Stone Circle is a really good 'un.  Permaculture can be too when it's not busy - a wee elderflower cordial and a bench under the trees.  I've not used it for such yet but I'm betting The Wood will be a good escape at that side of site. 

I generally just head vaguely towards the Green Fields.  That area is like a Room of Requirements when my head's on squint.  Whether it's a seat on my own or a quiet cup of chai in a real mug or just hypnotically watching someone make something, a thing that will make me feel better always finds me up there. :)

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No specific experience to share, but totally supportive of those who do have issues and seek support at events like Glastonbury. 

On a practical level the samaritans have at least one stall and the festival and there's a couple of welfare tents if you need support, advice or just somewhere quiet to rest. Aside from that there's some very peaceful parts around the green fields if you need to take time out from the crowds. 

 

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Anxiety and depression checking in! The thing I find about Glastonbury is that it's not full tilt at all times. Plenty of spaces to relax with minimal crowds.

I have little ways of dealing with it day to day and a peculiar world view that seems to help. 

I had a panic attack in Heaven one year due to one particular dick head.  But the staff were amazing andso understanding and helpful. 

Considering not drinking this year, which could only help really.

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51 minutes ago, jparx said:

Great idea for a thread. 

I've suffered from depression for years now, but I've recently moved on to some new meds and the doctor 'advised' against drinking whilst on them. I've had a few pints here and there in the past month since I started them and felt fine, but nothing like the quantities I was planning on drinking at Glastonbury. Does anyone have advice on how to manage this? The main side effects when mixed with alcohol are apparently dizziness and drowsiness. Is it manageable, or am I best just trying to stay as sober as possible (which is obviously rather not...!)?

I've been on a low dosage of sertraline for 3 years and my alcohol consumption hasn't changed that much. Doctors will probably try to steer you clear of excessive drinking outside the max recommended units (but they'll do that anyway!)

I don't drink all that much now anyway, but i've seen no obviously adverse effects to heavier nights of drinking beyond my hangovers being that bit harder to pull out of, but shaking them off has never been much of a problem for me at Glastonbury.

Maybe test it out over the next few weekends? Have a couple of extra drinks, try going just past tipsy and edging into hammered? You'll get a sense of whether it's worth it.

Prior to the meds, I always took MDMA at Glastonbury. I loved the complete loss of self-consciousness, how it obliterated my fear of talking to people, of dancing and singing. I hated the come-downs, the feeling of not wanting to leave my tent. Not condoning or condemning. On SSRI anti-depressants like sertraline, citalopram though, MDMA has absolutely no effect on me. It does nothing. So this year I shall be relying purely on a few drinks and the strides in confidence I've made through CBT for my good times. And I'm very okay with that! :)

Edited by liamium

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I took medication for depression over a 12 month period after what I could only describe as a breakdown of sorts. There'd been a lot of uncomfortable change in my life for a long time and I'd just kept on going, chin up, stiff upper lip and all that whilst ripping myself apart internally. One day the mental exhaustion of it all hit me like a speeding truck and i was practically paralysed. The medication didn't sort my problems out but it did give me the respite of some sleep and my perspective changed which made the hole I was in not seem so deep. 

Getting help was the best thing I did. Glastonbury is one of the few places I'm genuinely happy and carefree. I do have to be careful though. Anxiety attacks for me are most likely to happen the day after heavy drinking so I have to go in moderation. 

Also, after 17 years being a daily toker I can no longer smoke weed. It brings on instant anxiety and I'm a nicer person without it. 

I also have to be careful about the large crowds on the move and usually stay a while longer in a spot after a band has finished to let the crowds clear a bit. 

I also seem to breath a huge sigh of relief whenever I enter the calm and fun atmosphere of the T&C and Avalon fields. They are never heavily crowded and I regularly chill out there between acts or if I'm just up for killing a bit of time. 

Be sure to eat well, enjoy a drink but be mindful that if you're anxious the next day it is probably down to the hangover rather than you losing it, try to soak up the booze regularly, and make some time to chill in the quieter areas of the festival. 

 

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11 minutes ago, scaryclaireyfairy said:

I generally just head vaguely towards the Green Fields.  That area is like a Room of Requirements when my head's on squint.  Whether it's a seat on my own or a quiet cup of chai in a real mug or just hypnotically watching someone make something, a thing that will make me feel better always finds me up there. :)

Yep, I was going to recommend tea in a real mug in the Green Fields. In my case it's 2-3 mugs of camomile (the mugs are never big enough!). There's something about drinking out of ceramic that is very soothing.

I do like to go for a hide in my tent now and again too.

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Thanks for the booze related advice @liamium and @rachelhop. I'll test the water a bit beforehand and see how it goes.

This thread is further proof this forum is the best on the web by a fucking mile. 

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9 minutes ago, admscott said:

Anxiety and depression checking in! The thing I find about Glastonbury is that it's not full tilt at all times. Plenty of spaces to relax with minimal crowds.

I have little ways of dealing with it day to day and a peculiar world view that seems to help. 

I had a panic attack in Heaven one year due to one particular dick head.  But the staff were amazing andso understanding and helpful. 

Considering not drinking this year, which could only help really.

the SEC is the tricky one for me too. Lack of space and quick exits, the most visually stimulating part of the site and a tendency for a small portion of its clientele to be a little hostile can make me a bit uncomfortable down there sometimes

Hoping that the more varied programme down in Shangri-La and moving Lovebullets frees up a little space and relieves some of it this year :)

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6 minutes ago, Trout Mask Replica said:

Also, after 17 years being a daily toker I can no longer smoke weed. It brings on instant anxiety and I'm a nicer person without it. 

This. I don't even entertain the idea of smoking around people anymore. Renders me completely unable to contribute to conversations or relax around folk.

Agree with the Theatre & Circus tip. Such a good place to have in my head at more anxious moments, to know I can retreat to the dark of the cabaret tent and just collect myself, distract with a few laughs. Tiny Tea Tent also a great little refuge. 

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If you asked me to go to town on a saturday with the same amount of people on saturday at glastonbury then i wud run a mile! But cant wait till to back to glastonbury the minute i leave! I dont know why maybe its the open space, the chance to breath, the oppurtunitu to explore and wander without pressure, people stop and talk and give you a smile, its the the small things that can make the biggest difference to someone else's life! Mental health is out there its part of everyone the way we think the way we feel the way we are! 

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I suffer from depression and fortunately I'm in a good place right now.  I hit rock bottom 7 years ago although you wouldn't have known it as I suffered in silence and only now realise I've suffered with depression all my life.  Constantly over analysing, worrying what people thought about me and always in astate of anxiety.  It was music that made me realise how bad I had got and its music that helped saved me!!!

Music is one of the biggest parts of my life and it’s my main source of entertainment daily and it was one day when feeling really low that I realised I hadn't listened to music for weeks...I couldn't actually remember when it was!!!   It was this moment that I knew something was wrong and I needed help.  The biggest thing that started me in the right direction was talking to people who would listen and most people (even some of my closest friends) still don't get it to this day.  They look at me and on the face of it I have a decent job, good car, nice family, decent house...how can I be depressed...just snap out it! 

But some people did get it and there are many people suffering in silence and realising you are not alone is a big help.  Work helped me too by referring me to CBT sessions which was a great help in helping me understand my mind a little bit better and how to process things.  The recovery started there and I slowly started to get better and today I’m in a good place.  I don’t want to go back to that low point but I do know I prone to it but what CBT and talking did for me is help me to recognise when I’m slipping and I have techniques to help halt it in its tracks.  I do this by drinking lots of water, exercising regularly, eating healthier and breathing!!! Don’t underestimate the power of breathing part as when I’m slipping I don’t breathe properly usually quick short breaths and you  need the deep ones (5 seconds in / 3 seconds out) to help focus and make sense of the world but more than anything you need to talk to people as this is the catalyst to recovery!!!

As I started on my road to recovery and started to listen to music again one of my mates recommended a band to me called The National.  I started to listen to High Violet and 3 tracks coincided with a major moment of clarity and I mean major and that was Vanderlye Crybaby Geeks, England & Runaway with the latter being the moment as I walked across the car park at work to a major meeting with my headphones on listening to Runaway and life made sense again.  Some might think how can The National be uplifting but to me its inspiring and when I ever hit a low these tracks get played and that moment of clarity comes flooding back and we go again!!!

One  other thing I wanted to mention is how Glastonbury effects my depression because it’s the only part of the year when it doesn’t feature and I know everyone is different and suffers in different ways but for me it’s my salvation.  I can drink what I want, I hardly sleep but I just feel amazing!

I don’t want to go back to that place (depression) and will do everything I can to avoid it as I’ve learnt a lot on how to recognise the signs so to anyone out there who is suffering please talk about it as you are not alone!

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Got to say, I've got massive respect for anyone who's gone to Glasto for the first time when they were already having these issues. I began noticing anxiety symptoms in 2012, but I'd been a couple of times already, so I knew what I was letting myself in for going again.

Already some good advice on this thread, but thought I'd add a few tips.

1. If you don't know your way around, especially if it's your first time, get your tent set up, have a breather, and then do a tour of the site before you start drinking! Get to know where the quieter places are (greenfields, peace garden, hill above tipis, the wood etc) in relation to the stages and your tent. Also make sure you know where the welfare tents, Samaritans, medical centre are. Just knowing where help or a quiet place is will reduce the chances of needing it.

2. Find a spot a bit further back at the main stages. More space to dance, less chance of feeling uncomfortably hemmed in, and easier to get away if you do feel panicky.

3. If you're going with a group, make sure they know what to look out for in your behaviour, and that you trust them to be supportive.

4. Don't feel guilty if you have a low moment. There's no law that says everyone has to be euphorically happy 24/7 at Glasto, you're allowed to feel however you feel. Let it pass, accept it, and move on.

5. Easier said than done, but try to let go a little, and enjoy it!

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9 minutes ago, lazzareo said:

Some might think how can The National be uplifting but to me its inspiring and when I ever hit a low these tracks get played and that moment of clarity comes flooding back and we go again!!!

Thanks so much for sharing.

And I can totally agree re: The National. So much of Matt's writing - especially on High Violet - just really resonates with me. Even some of his characteristically nonsensical stuff weirdly rings true. Often find comfort in the likes of Sorrow, Afraid of Everyone, Little Faith. I'm so happy for you that you'll get to see them at Glastonbury! (providing you have a ticket) :)

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10 minutes ago, mr gumby said:

4. Don't feel guilty if you have a low moment. There's no law that says everyone has to be euphorically happy 24/7 at Glasto, you're allowed to feel however you feel. Let it pass, accept it, and move on.

All really sound advice, thanks for sharing mate. This one in particularly cuts to. So much of this is about acknowledging how you feel at any given moment, responding to what you need to do to feel more comfortable.

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My biggest problem mentally which is Glasto related is adjusting back to normal life after the festival, it may only be 5 days but Glastonbury is like stepping into another world at times. 2014 and 2015, 2015 especially, I had a hard time adjusting back to my normal routine. So that being said if you do suffer from depression/anxiety and have never been to Glastonbury, but also like to party,  just take it easy on the Sunday, Glastonbury comedown is real and could hit you like a tonne of bricks, this is coming from experience as the aftermath of the 2015 festival nearly ruined my life and its something that is now constantly with me, always reminding me of my limits physically and mentally.

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50 minutes ago, liamium said:

the SEC is the tricky one for me too. Lack of space and quick exits, the most visually stimulating part of the site and a tendency for a small portion of its clientele to be a little hostile can make me a bit uncomfortable down there sometimes

Hoping that the more varied programme down in Shangri-La and moving Lovebullets frees up a little space and relieves some of it this year :)

I must admit, I've not even tried the SE corner at night for years, it's too dizzying.  (That time, I found a gap in a fence and hid in the hedgerow for a bit.  Couldn't work out how security saw me til I remembered I had glowsticks on my hat. :D Security man was very nice, didn't even ask what the hell I was doing, just smiled and told me to close the gap in the fence when I left.)

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I feel there's a greater understanding of mental health problems within the patrons of Glastonbury. I have witnessed quite a few people having anxiety attacks and as Mr Gumby mentions, it's always in the tight spots. Last year my friend and I roped a few more people in to stand in a circle around a lady who was struggling with the crowds moving away from adele. She was getting pushed around and we found her crouched down in a ball on the path. We stood there for a good 20 minutes until she felt calm again and she went on her way a happier calmer woman. Look after yourselves and don't be pushed into doing something you don't want to do. Stand on the outskirts and know your limits. Be good to yourselves. And enjoy ;)

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Like @slash's hat I get anxious about the packing and the travel and the arrival and where is the tent going etc etc and working relieves a lot of that so I know where I am camping and where within that crew field I will be and I know the structure of the days and that allows me to be more spontaneous outside of work time.

We dont drink either. 

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Aye, I've seen exactly what Curlygirl describes several times.  I saw a girl strugging in a crowd while barely holding on myself.  Another woman grabbed her and began talking to her.  As I was crowded past I asked if she was ok. She gave *vigourous nods* and managed to spit out "panic.....attack!" Another woman being swept past in the crowd produced a paper bag from nowhere with a cheery "There you go, darlin" which she grabbed with such relief.  Where else does that happen?! 

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