Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Mental Health and Astronomy

  • Please log in to reply
115 replies to this topic

#51 topomountain

topomountain

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: 11 Jan 2021
  • Loc: nc mountains

Posted 19 October 2021 - 10:20 AM

wow

 

this is a great thread, thanks!

 

The primary reason that I view the sky, is to feel both connected with the great mystery of life, and to feel humbled by how vast and beyond understanding it all is... it humbles me.

 

every one in a while, often after getting a much larger scope, i will see something that just floors me and gives me another of lifes rare moments of true awe.... i have spent thousands of dollars chasing these rare moments... rare and elusive but so special.... i have always wondered how much of this we all share...


  • dave253, Knasal and Mark F. like this

#52 RalphMeisterTigerMan

RalphMeisterTigerMan

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,985
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2016

Posted 20 October 2021 - 07:48 AM

I have a confession to make, I really need to talk about this because of the immense impact it has had on my life but I'm not sure how to start. Isn't that something...the RalphMeister is at a loss for words. Okay, here goes:

 

My following post is perfect for this thread and I maybe should have mentioned it before because my love for Astronomy and having an amazing audience, that is all of you CNer's, who happen to be an intelligent, compasionate and caring group of people, has helped to get me through a real rough patch. Unfortunately, there are still many more pot-holes, stumbling blocks and tank-traps in the road ahead.

 

It has been almost two months since I barely escaped with my life, the clothes on my back and cell-phone (of vourse) from a devastating house fire (Please read my thread, It's A Fire-Sale) which was started by an arsonist. I was extremely fortunate to find immediate housing and thanks to donations from Family, Friends and extremely generous CNer's have most of the necessities for reasonably comfortable living.

 

Just recently, I have been made aware of some very disturbing information regarding the Fire. It wasn't just some random pyrotechnic thrill that fire-bugs enjoy. This was a carefully planned and targeted attack against one of the tennants by an individual bearing a grudge and had a score to settle. The rest of us (there were 4 tenenats including myself) would have been "collateral damage" with the mis-fortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

From what I now understand, there were two "Gas-Bombs". One placed in the back of the house, these were the flames I saw which prompted me to grab what I could and get going. The second bomb was in the living-room close to were I was standing at the top of the stairs when I was yelling to the 3 tennants to "get out". For some reason I hesitated at the top of the stairs, perhaps frozen with fear. When neighbours came busting through the front door to alert us to "flee for our lives". Everyone was out excpet me, I was the last one. Now I know why fell not more than 10 feet, or 3 metres, from the front door. The second bomb detonated just as I was making my hasty exit through the front. 

 

I don't remember much except coming to, flat on my face and completly disoriented and not being able to move. I finally all makes sense now. The blast from the seciond bomb through me to the ground causing my nastly concussion and recently severe whiplash. That's also why I didn't remember anything from the second blast and why I could get up or crawl. If it hadn't been for the my roomate who back to drag me to safety, I may not be here to write this.

 

This next part is kind-of surreal and yet funny in a morbid kind of way. As he's dragging me to safety, I'm using my left hand to keep my shorts from falling down and hence causing a premature and not so appealing "full-moon" and using my right hand to dial 9-1-1 on my cell phone, which took a few times. When the operator asked for "what city" I was able to blurt out Abbotsford. And when she asked Police, Fire or Ambulance? All I could do was yell "Everybody, Send Everybody!!!" several times. I was lucky that I was able to confirm the address.

 

Looking back at what happened, it now makes sense why the living room was engulfed in flames to quickly. It's a very strange and weird sight watching your home engulfed in flames and being consumed by an enraging infernal.

 

I appologize if this is too disturbing for any of you. But this was real, it happened and if I may say so I thank God that I am alive to write this post. It turns out that I have a lot of people who love and care about me. My family, my two sons, my Family doctor and many of you. I actuallly got this Laptop, a nice 32" flat screen TV a week after moving into my new residence. All donated by oldest son and his girl-friend, my youngest son and nefiews and nieces. Many other neccesities, such as clothing, shoes were also donated by family. Even many CNer's graciously offered to donate Astronomy gear such as Telescopes and Binoculars. You'll have to excuse me as that last part has made me quite emotional right now and my eyes are tearing up!

 

Yes, my fellow CNer's. Amateur Astronomy, as well as other important things to me, is really helping me to get through this. The physical trauma from the concussion I received when I hit my head on the ground is bad enough, but the emotional and mental trauma is far more difficult to quantify. The depression, anxiety and symptoms of the P.T.S.D. that I am experiencing are "invisible injuries". Even though they are very real and very painful to me, others cannot "see" them. So for many people that have no understanding of Mental illness, it can't be real so therefore I am somehow "faking" it. How do you quanity something that you can't see, feel, hear or otherwise have any way of knowing that it exists and how terrifyingly real it is to us victims of something many can't or won't try to understand.

 

So, to any and all of you out there who know what it's like to feel the way I do. I can truthfully say, I understand and I feel your pain also. Please, I am in no way trying to be patronizing or minimize what you are going through. Especially every combat Veteran who had seen and been through the Hell which we call "War". Your's is a horror and nightmare that I cannot know since I have not experienced it. But please believe me that all of us are hurting and bearing a terrible pain.

 

I want to thank all of you who have given me suppport and shown me your kindness and generosity. You cannot know how much it has and is helping me. So let's help each other. Through this horrible ordeal I have found out how many other's there out there just like me.

 

Remember, just as I found out, I am not alone and neither are you. Knowing that someone was actually trying to kill one of my roomates and that I was just in the way and didn't matter to them is extremely troubling and disturbing to me. Having all of these symptoms that manifest thenmselves after the "event" is incredibly frustrating to me. But knowing that there are people out there who care and share the same passion as me for Astronomy is incredibly uplifting and helping me to get through this,

 

Please, do not suffer in silence. Reach out and ask for help. Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  I will gladly respond to anyone who sends me a PM. Sure, what we are goling through is extremely painful and frustrating but it is amazing what looking up at the sky on a clear night can be wonderful therapy!

 

I am thankful that I survived and that I am here so that I can keep on enjoying the night sky and that I can keep writing posts and creathing threads. Thank-you all for taking the time to read this and for your support. And thanks to the person who stared this threrad, I'm sorry that I forgot your name.

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


  • esd726, George N, Phil Cowell and 19 others like this

#53 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 99
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Georgia, U.S.

Posted 20 October 2021 - 02:27 PM

I have a confession to make, I really need to talk about this because of the immense impact it has had on my life but I'm not sure how to start. Isn't that something...the RalphMeister is at a loss for words. Okay, here goes:

 

My following post is perfect for this thread and I maybe should have mentioned it before because my love for Astronomy and having an amazing audience, that is all of you CNer's, who happen to be an intelligent, compasionate and caring group of people, has helped to get me through a real rough patch. Unfortunately, there are still many more pot-holes, stumbling blocks and tank-traps in the road ahead.

 

It has been almost two months since I barely escaped with my life, the clothes on my back and cell-phone (of vourse) from a devastating house fire (Please read my thread, It's A Fire-Sale) which was started by an arsonist. I was extremely fortunate to find immediate housing and thanks to donations from Family, Friends and extremely generous CNer's have most of the necessities for reasonably comfortable living.

 

Just recently, I have been made aware of some very disturbing information regarding the Fire. It wasn't just some random pyrotechnic thrill that fire-bugs enjoy. This was a carefully planned and targeted attack against one of the tennants by an individual bearing a grudge and had a score to settle. The rest of us (there were 4 tenenats including myself) would have been "collateral damage" with the mis-fortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

From what I now understand, there were two "Gas-Bombs". One placed in the back of the house, these were the flames I saw which prompted me to grab what I could and get going. The second bomb was in the living-room close to were I was standing at the top of the stairs when I was yelling to the 3 tennants to "get out". For some reason I hesitated at the top of the stairs, perhaps frozen with fear. When neighbours came busting through the front door to alert us to "flee for our lives". Everyone was out excpet me, I was the last one. Now I know why fell not more than 10 feet, or 3 metres, from the front door. The second bomb detonated just as I was making my hasty exit through the front. 

 

I don't remember much except coming to, flat on my face and completly disoriented and not being able to move. I finally all makes sense now. The blast from the seciond bomb through me to the ground causing my nastly concussion and recently severe whiplash. That's also why I didn't remember anything from the second blast and why I could get up or crawl. If it hadn't been for the my roomate who back to drag me to safety, I may not be here to write this.

 

This next part is kind-of surreal and yet funny in a morbid kind of way. As he's dragging me to safety, I'm using my left hand to keep my shorts from falling down and hence causing a premature and not so appealing "full-moon" and using my right hand to dial 9-1-1 on my cell phone, which took a few times. When the operator asked for "what city" I was able to blurt out Abbotsford. And when she asked Police, Fire or Ambulance? All I could do was yell "Everybody, Send Everybody!!!" several times. I was lucky that I was able to confirm the address.

 

Looking back at what happened, it now makes sense why the living room was engulfed in flames to quickly. It's a very strange and weird sight watching your home engulfed in flames and being consumed by an enraging infernal.

 

I appologize if this is too disturbing for any of you. But this was real, it happened and if I may say so I thank God that I am alive to write this post. It turns out that I have a lot of people who love and care about me. My family, my two sons, my Family doctor and many of you. I actuallly got this Laptop, a nice 32" flat screen TV a week after moving into my new residence. All donated by oldest son and his girl-friend, my youngest son and nefiews and nieces. Many other neccesities, such as clothing, shoes were also donated by family. Even many CNer's graciously offered to donate Astronomy gear such as Telescopes and Binoculars. You'll have to excuse me as that last part has made me quite emotional right now and my eyes are tearing up!

 

Yes, my fellow CNer's. Amateur Astronomy, as well as other important things to me, is really helping me to get through this. The physical trauma from the concussion I received when I hit my head on the ground is bad enough, but the emotional and mental trauma is far more difficult to quantify. The depression, anxiety and symptoms of the P.T.S.D. that I am experiencing are "invisible injuries". Even though they are very real and very painful to me, others cannot "see" them. So for many people that have no understanding of Mental illness, it can't be real so therefore I am somehow "faking" it. How do you quanity something that you can't see, feel, hear or otherwise have any way of knowing that it exists and how terrifyingly real it is to us victims of something many can't or won't try to understand.

 

So, to any and all of you out there who know what it's like to feel the way I do. I can truthfully say, I understand and I feel your pain also. Please, I am in no way trying to be patronizing or minimize what you are going through. Especially every combat Veteran who had seen and been through the Hell which we call "War". Your's is a horror and nightmare that I cannot know since I have not experienced it. But please believe me that all of us are hurting and bearing a terrible pain.

 

I want to thank all of you who have given me suppport and shown me your kindness and generosity. You cannot know how much it has and is helping me. So let's help each other. Through this horrible ordeal I have found out how many other's there out there just like me.

 

Remember, just as I found out, I am not alone and neither are you. Knowing that someone was actually trying to kill one of my roomates and that I was just in the way and didn't matter to them is extremely troubling and disturbing to me. Having all of these symptoms that manifest thenmselves after the "event" is incredibly frustrating to me. But knowing that there are people out there who care and share the same passion as me for Astronomy is incredibly uplifting and helping me to get through this,

 

Please, do not suffer in silence. Reach out and ask for help. Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  I will gladly respond to anyone who sends me a PM. Sure, what we are goling through is extremely painful and frustrating but it is amazing what looking up at the sky on a clear night can be wonderful therapy!

 

I am thankful that I survived and that I am here so that I can keep on enjoying the night sky and that I can keep writing posts and creathing threads. Thank-you all for taking the time to read this and for your support. And thanks to the person who stared this threrad, I'm sorry that I forgot your name.

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan

That was an incredibly written post Ralphmeister, I am so sorry that something like that happened to you. That is an incredible amount of stress for one person to experience. I hope that you make a full recovery on ALL of your wounds; mental, emotional, and physical. 


Edited by Henry Decker, 20 October 2021 - 03:26 PM.

  • CharLakeAstro and neoclassicalguy like this

#54 Dobs O Fun

Dobs O Fun

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,244
  • Joined: 24 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Louisville, KY

Posted 20 October 2021 - 03:18 PM

Ralph, you have been through an incredible amount of trauma.

Stay strong and know we are all pulling for you. I'm sorry you had to experience this event.
  • CharLakeAstro likes this

#55 Daniel Guzas

Daniel Guzas

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,004
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Bethlehem NH/ Boston MA

Posted 22 October 2021 - 11:11 PM

Astro therapy!  YES!!! That’s exactly what it is to me.

 

Its encouraging to hear others share the same experience as myself with anxiety from childhood. Makes me feel I’m not alone in this struggle….

 

My experience… there is something inherent in the natural world that just promotes healing. Sitting by yourself outside, whether on a deck, in the woods, or by the scope in silence just lets the mind relax. I always feel better as soon as I step outside the house.  Even if it’s just for 10 mins or so. No electronics or distractions. Just sitting there and taking in what is “there” no matter what it is. Call it meditation, call it mindfulness, it doesn’t matter. The key is just observe what’s happening around you without judgment.

 

Specifically on stargazing I find that elusive and rare inner peace I strive for while I sit in my zero gravity recliner and just gaze skyward with all my senses. When the heavens give me a gem like a shooting star, or a random space junk flash I just mutter to myself “wow” or “I wonder exactly what that was” never trying to analyze it too much. Just observe, acknowledge it and keep mind wide open.

 

However the icing on the cake is when the smells, sounds, and feel of our home planet permeate the senses. Looking skyward and hearing the distant cry of coyotes with the wonderful scent of balsam firs or fall leaf litter as a gentle breeze caresses the face completes the experience as a whole. When this happens while looking up I am reminded that I am part of this world, and this world is part of the universe. We are all connected. Simple as that. Nothing brings me more peace than this.

 

Pure zen. Even if just for a moment.


  • George N, dave253, CharLakeAstro and 3 others like this

#56 DeWayne

DeWayne

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 133
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2017

Posted 17 July 2022 - 03:08 PM

I was about to post this exact topic, so I'm glad I ran across this old thread!  We've had many weeks now of cloudy days and nights, and am starting to notice how much I miss getting my telescope out.  Whether it's for a little moon gazing, double star hunting, working an Astronomical League program, or looking at sunspots, it  is becoming apparent that I seem to rely on a few minutes (or hours) with the telescope a kind of mood-lifter and stress buster. Never thought of it much before now. 

 

I don’t know why stealing 20 minutes at lunch to project sunspots with a dinky 60mm refractor would be important,  but evidently it is.  Ditto looking at the moon or hunting doubles with binoculars from the back porch.  Maybe it's just a way to connect with "something bigger than ourselves" or maybe it's just a distraction from the daily cares of being human, but I seem to have developed a telescope "habit" that I'm now missing.   Good to read that others rely on astronomy in this way - i can see I'm not alone (even when I'm alone!) 


  • CharLakeAstro and VeraZwicky like this

#57 CharLakeAstro

CharLakeAstro

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,333
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2015

Posted 17 July 2022 - 03:18 PM

Point (a) To me; stress reduction is to not concern myself or worry about things which I cannot control.

 

Point (b) When I am out under the night sky, I am reminded of how much I do not control, and how little I actually do control. Observing is then a recalibration of awareness, that I then can use to circle back to point (a), which reduces stress.

 

Observing is healthy.


  • zoso916 and Stardust Dave like this

#58 elzopilote

elzopilote

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 155
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada

Posted 17 July 2022 - 03:31 PM

This is a great topic.

 

To me, observing, especially at a dark sky, is a profound and moving experience that I need to come back to over and over. I feel connected to something so vast and beautiful, connected to our ancestors, and at the same time overwhelmed with a sort of spiritual vertigo that comes when trying to comprehend the scale of space and time, something so beautiful yet so indifferent.

 

At the same time, observing has made me something of a misanthrope because it reveals the psychosis of modern society. I always think of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot, and think of the psychosis of our society that becomes so evident when driving home after a camping weekend at a dark site.


  • CharLakeAstro, VeraZwicky and Mark F. like this

#59 KEEN 1@

KEEN 1@

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 129
  • Joined: 13 Jul 2012
  • Loc: West Central NH

Posted 17 July 2022 - 07:06 PM

 Been a psychotherapist for 40 plus years. Not sure to what extent the wonders of the night sky have helped my patients, but certainly it has helped me. Comforting to know that when the life of our planet ends or we destroy life, the pulse of life will carry on somewhere in our universe.

  Webb has humbled us with the vast scale of our universe. Perhaps this can make us better understand that the concerns of ego & ambitions are no big deal. Our existence only a very brief eddy in the space of time


  • Phil Cowell, GilATM, BoldAxis1967 and 7 others like this

#60 zoso916

zoso916

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 322
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Las Cruces NM

Posted 17 July 2022 - 08:31 PM

Great thread and many awesome posts, too many to quote. I have suffered with anxiety/depression since I was about 12 or so. I have found astronomy to be a great stress reliever. In my experience anything that focuses my mind on something other than it's own destructive thought patterns is a blessing. Just about any hobby can do the same, but there is something to be said about being in touch with nature and our own personal role in it. What is more important is that we can be open and honest with each other about mental health issues. So many people are suffering in silence and think that they are the only ones who feel that way. This thread is proof positive otherwise. I made a decision quite a few years ago that that I would not be ashamed of my condition and when the situation seemed appropriate I would talk openly about my own struggles. I know for a fact my candidness has helped quite a few people overcome their societal enforced  embarrassment and seek help. We can in any a small number of ways make a difference. Bravo Vera for starting this thread.


  • BFaucett, CharLakeAstro and VeraZwicky like this

#61 eric_zeiner

eric_zeiner

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,400
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Perry, GA USA

Posted 18 July 2022 - 09:07 AM

Without going into great detail, I suffer from a number of psychological issues.  My therapy is definitely getting out under the night sky by myself.  I usually set up about two hours before I start observing and in that time I watch the gathering darkness, I listen to the world around me and I marvel at this place we call home.  Sometimes I just slip into oblivion and I clear my mind of all that bothers me.  In short, I can really feel it when I haven't been out for a while as is what I am dealing with now.  It will get better and I know that the universe will be the same as it has been all these years.


  • VeraZwicky and LucasK336 like this

#62 VeraZwicky

VeraZwicky

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 278
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2018
  • Loc: Nashville, Tennessee

Posted 19 July 2022 - 08:10 AM

Depression and anxiety disorders are on the rise in the United States. I wonder if this could be mitigated by solving our light pollution problem. 


  • zoso916 likes this

#63 briansalomon1

briansalomon1

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 2,258
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Oxnard CA

Posted 19 July 2022 - 08:59 AM

For my part, getting into wide open places where there are no people gives me a very strong sense of peace. When there are no people within a 40 or 50 mile radius of me, I completely relax. I like remote places.

 

That said, mental resilience, being willing to accept that your personal experience does not have to be at all pleasant in order to be a worthwhile person is worth more than any medication, and when I'm not in a remote place, God and mental resilience are my solution.


  • Rickycardo, FajitaJoe, VeraZwicky and 1 other like this

#64 Neanderthal

Neanderthal

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,132
  • Joined: 03 Dec 2021
  • Loc: SW Missouri

Posted 19 July 2022 - 09:24 AM

Two things....

 

First - It connects me with outer space, most likely the only way possible in my lifetime. I don't think a human can look into an eyepiece at something like M42, M13 or Jupiter/Saturn and not be in awe of such wonders. Finally getting a real telescope has been a thrill for me, I wish I would have done it many years ago. Fortunately, if my eyes hold up, it'll be a hobby that I can enjoy for many more years. Sitting out under the stars has always been very tranquil and good for the mind. Looking up into the vastness can make a person question everything, in a constructive way. What a wonderful way to relax!

 

Second - I don't typically have much patience, but I think this hobby has helped with that, lol. Part of my job is checking engineering drawings for accuracy and I feel that looking for details in the dark has really helped me with this part of my job. I really think it's helped me do a better job at work. Hmm.... I wonder if I can deduct telescope-related purchases from my taxes as a work-related expense, lol. hmm.gif


  • VeraZwicky likes this

#65 FajitaJoe

FajitaJoe

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 563
  • Joined: 06 Dec 2009
  • Loc: United States

Posted 20 July 2022 - 06:27 PM

The aspect of being in nature in the middle of the night, while observing the night sky is very underappreciated from a psychological standpoint IMO.  Almost none of us are making scientific breakthroughs with our C8s or dobs but the feeling of going to the spot, setting up your gear, watching as the sun sets, and then observing the stars as they appear out from the progressively darker blue night sky is incredible peaceful.

 

And for the thrill, maybe, just maybe, we'll see a UFO or Bigfoot.  lol.gif


  • zoso916, VeraZwicky and rjacks like this

#66 zoso916

zoso916

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 322
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Las Cruces NM

Posted 20 July 2022 - 07:21 PM

Depression and anxiety disorders are on the rise in the United States. I wonder if this could be mitigated by solving our light pollution problem. 

It's well known that light/lack of light has an effect on mood. 

 

https://www.bing.com...lc3Npb24v&ntb=1

 

Maybe we can use these types of studies to petition our local communities about the health benefits of less light pollution.


  • VeraZwicky and Henry Decker like this

#67 Kenny1291

Kenny1291

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 124
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Lubbock, TX

Posted 20 July 2022 - 10:18 PM

I wanted to create a thread to explore this general topic of Mental Health and Astronomy. If you suffer from anxiety, does Astronomy help relieve it? Has your interest in Astronomy made you feel more content/more satisfied with life? Does it make you feel more connected to others? Or have you spent countless nights, alone and isolated, being slowly driven mad by that vast, impersonal cold abyss of titanic destructive forces you can barely comprehend? Are you both a mental health professional and Astronomy enthusiast? Personally, I feel Astronomy has made me a more calm person. 

 

*If you aren't psychologically sound, please don't go too deeply into your issues here, rather seek professional help....

I've had social anxiety since I was in high school. Astronomy has honestly changed my life for the better. I got me out of the house more and going to star parties made it much easier to meet new people. Joined a club with some of the best folks I've ever met. Its changed me in such a way I prefer to go out and observe with others now rather than by myself so I can share the views. Its not just a hobby for me anymore, its something I can say for the first time that I'm passionate about and I will always be thankful of that.


Edited by Kenny1291, 20 July 2022 - 10:18 PM.

  • csa/montana, George N, psandelle and 4 others like this

#68 Phil Cowell

Phil Cowell

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,281
  • Joined: 24 May 2007
  • Loc: Southern Tier NY

Posted 22 July 2022 - 06:09 AM

Point (a) To me; stress reduction is to not concern myself or worry about things which I cannot control.

 

Point (b) When I am out under the night sky, I am reminded of how much I do not control, and how little I actually do control. Observing is then a recalibration of awareness, that I then can use to circle back to point (a), which reduces stress.

 

Observing is healthy.

Getting out under a night sky no matter how folks use it, removes the triggers for a lot of life’s challenges.


  • airbleeder and rjacks like this

#69 deepspacecase

deepspacecase

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 46
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2021

Posted 22 July 2022 - 10:53 AM

I wanted to create a thread to explore this general topic of Mental Health and Astronomy. If you suffer from anxiety, does Astronomy help relieve it? Has your interest in Astronomy made you feel more content/more satisfied with life? Does it make you feel more connected to others? Or have you spent countless nights, alone and isolated, being slowly driven mad by that vast, impersonal cold abyss of titanic destructive forces you can barely comprehend? Are you both a mental health professional and Astronomy enthusiast? Personally, I feel Astronomy has made me a more calm person. 

 

*If you aren't psychologically sound, please don't go too deeply into your issues here, rather seek professional help....

Not to be confrontational or adversarial but you thread is kinda hypocritical. I saw it and thought it was a great idea for a threat but then you said we had to be psychologically sound. I'm really not and I got into astronomy to get my mind off stuff. When you open the door to mental illness you have to be prepared for the whole thing. Im not going to say much more than that.  



#70 zoso916

zoso916

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 322
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Las Cruces NM

Posted 22 July 2022 - 06:53 PM

Not to be confrontational or adversarial but you thread is kinda hypocritical. I saw it and thought it was a great idea for a threat but then you said we had to be psychologically sound. I'm really not and I got into astronomy to get my mind off stuff. When you open the door to mental illness you have to be prepared for the whole thing. Im not going to say much more than that.  

I think you may have misread the OP's intent in regards to the last sentence. I took it to mean that if you are having immediate psychological problems you should seek the advice of a professional. Although talking about our general issues here, and in life can be of great benefit sometimes there is just no substitute for a qualified professional, especially if you are experiencing overwhelming negative feelings. I for one don't believe I'll ever be able to describe myself as "psychologically sound". I have my good days and my bad. The challenge for me is recognizing when I need that extra help, but I am getting better at it. Just remember that you are not alone.


Edited by zoso916, 22 July 2022 - 06:57 PM.

  • VeraZwicky likes this

#71 Rickycardo

Rickycardo

    Desdenova

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,575
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2009
  • Loc: 3rd Rock

Posted 24 July 2022 - 09:12 AM

I think you may have misread the OP's intent in regards to the last sentence. I took it to mean that if you are having immediate psychological problems you should seek the advice of a professional. Although talking about our general issues here, and in life can be of great benefit sometimes there is just no substitute for a qualified professional, especially if you are experiencing overwhelming negative feelings. I for one don't believe I'll ever be able to describe myself as "psychologically sound". I have my good days and my bad. The challenge for me is recognizing when I need that extra help, but I am getting better at it. Just remember that you are not alone.

I agree. I think the OPs intent was to casually discuss among astronomy enthusiasts how getting out under the stars can be rewarding for our psyches. I think his precautionary statement was that this thread was not a substitute for 911 or that any advise given was not professional advice.


  • airbleeder likes this

#72 Takuan

Takuan

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 338
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2020
  • Loc: Barcelona/ Universe

Posted 25 July 2022 - 09:48 AM

Sometimes I think that looking at the night sky, I who do it mostly alone, is an excuse not to have contact with other people.
And often I don't care at all.
  • Rickycardo and Venter like this

#73 Mossonarock

Mossonarock

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 366
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2021

Posted 26 July 2022 - 09:49 AM

I was born with anxiety because of how my nerves function. It won't ever go away but an Rx for gabapentin helps as it is a treatment for nerve damage.

 

Observing with telescopes would be more therapeutic for me- only if we got more cloudless nights here. I'm lucky to get in 1 or 2 good observing sessions each month. that's not enough for any sort of therapy. 



#74 csrlice12

csrlice12

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 34,063
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 26 July 2022 - 12:55 PM

Start yelling at clouds.  It's very therapeutic, and sometimes they listen.shakecane.gif



#75 VeraZwicky

VeraZwicky

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 278
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2018
  • Loc: Nashville, Tennessee

Posted 26 July 2022 - 02:58 PM

I think you may have misread the OP's intent in regards to the last sentence. I took it to mean that if you are having immediate psychological problems you should seek the advice of a professional. Although talking about our general issues here, and in life can be of great benefit sometimes there is just no substitute for a qualified professional, especially if you are experiencing overwhelming negative feelings. I for one don't believe I'll ever be able to describe myself as "psychologically sound". I have my good days and my bad. The challenge for me is recognizing when I need that extra help, but I am getting better at it. Just remember that you are not alone.

Yes, this is precisely what I was getting at. Thanks for clarifying and sorry for any confusion. I love all the thoughtful responses.  




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics