I feel like shit even if there's no reason to

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I feel like shit even if there's no reason to

Post by Izmuth on Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:48 pm

I've got quite a few friends (Too much even, to the extent I'm glad I'm moving abroad so my friend pool will be reset). I've got no financial worries (I can leech off my parents all I want). Sure, there's the issue of my sexuality, but me and my right hand have a loving relationship and they've yet to find a way to look inside people's heads, so I'm quite comfy in my closet and no one's going to even look at it, let alone peek inside of it, even thought my anxiety tries to tell me otherwise.

I've finally got a job, a cool one even, so starting in the new year I'm going to be a productive member of society. I've tried dating, and it wasn't to my liking having to adapt to have to regularly communicate with another person. When living together with friends even for a week they're already driving me crazy.

I'm forced to conclude I don't want a girlfriend, I only wanted one to seem normal. So, you know, virgin-in-his-late-twenties doesn't bother me anymore.

And yet having all that, I feel like I'm merely... existing? Not really living in any case. I sometimes think about not waking up in the morning, and I find that I don't really care either way. I'm not sure whether I'm sad, or just not happy. It's just plain boring.

I would go to a psychiatrist, but "patient confidentiality" is more like a nice suggestion than something that really exists in my country, as a friend of mine found out the hard way. In his case it "just" destroyed his faith in mental health service, in my case it might destroy my life (at least I still care about that!).

Anyone here lost that drive that other people seem to have to strive for shit, and have any tips to get it back?
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Re: I feel like shit even if there's no reason to

Post by Prajnaparamita on Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:42 pm

Hugs Izmuth, I'm really sorry to hear that's the case for you right now. I heard someone describe depression once like "the emotion of watching paint dry". I'm not sure that makes much sense to anyone else, but to me it really rang true, that's my depression when, well, I'm just meh-ing my way through the day. No dramatic suicidal ideation, no sobbing fits or panic attacks, just a constant emotion that feels like the experience of chewing on cardboard--bland, tough and utterly uninteresting.

For me, I'm still struggling to get it back--you have some pluses that I don't yet have, i.e. the structure inherent in having a real job and adulting, which means that the part of your jerkbrain that calls out to you to give up on the stuff you're doing or care about and just lie in bed and stare at the ceiling because it all feels the same way anyway can't win out as often, as you have things you just need to do and places you have to be.

(By the way, if the voice starts convincing you that yes, bed-based ceiling staring is just as rewarding as working at the cool job you're really interested in, and you end up starting to do as it says, things have gotten serious and you really need to seek professional help at that point. I know you're not there yet, but the Jerkbrain is wily and works in subtle ways, and sometimes it can drag us down without us realizing we've gone anywhere)

As for what to do about where you are now, I respect your decision to want to not engage with the mental health system at the moment, and I think you have valid and real reasons for feeling like it isn't a great option for you. So if you feel like you couldn't go to a professional, what about teaching yourself the methods that professionals use to help people? Soundstrue and Audible both have a really great selection of courses on topics like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness, self-compassion and other scientifically verified forms of treatment that can prove very helpful with depression and the anhedonia you're describing. I know it might sound like a lot of woo-woo New Age bullshit from a distance, but I've found DBT to be HUGELY helpful for me in learning to regulate my emotions, and right now I'm working through a lecture series by Kristin Neff on self-compassion that I'm finding interesting. I hope this doesn't sound dismissive, I realize that listening in on one six hour session on mindfulness isn't going to solve all your problems or make the paint drying cardboard chewing emotions suddenly disappear, but it sounds to me like you could really use some help, and given that you don't feel comfortable sitting down in person with a therapist, I want to see if there is ways you could access those tools without seeing a clinician.

As for what has personally given me back my drive when depression has sucked it out of me, for me it's been discovering my caretaker urge, and realizing the joy and feelings of accomplishment and meaning that providing for and caring for those that I love. Even when my brain has convinced me that there's absolutely nothing worth caring about, if a friend is in need I'll climb mountains (literally once actually) in order to be there for them. I've discovered this extends to more general things as well, like convincing myself to exercise every day because I know it helps my anxiety, and if my anxiety is lower I can be better prepared to help one of my friends should they have something they need. Additionally, this has given me a new hobby in cooking and entertaining, as hosting a major event (like I did with Thanksgiving this year) fulfills that caretaker urge without anyone needing to be in crisis, and everyone gets to have fun! Unfortunately, I'm afraid that's not really hugely applicable advice, as it basically boils down to "have a personality exactly like mine, and the stuff that works for me will work for you too!" but that's what helped me at least.

One final thing I'm wondering though is how long do you think you've been experiencing your bout of anhedonia? Because I'm wondering if it might be a little bit situational perhaps, and might pass soon. From what you've described in your post it sounds like you're in a bit of an in-between place--you're going to be totally uprooting your life soon and moving to another country with a cool job that you're excited about soon, (which I super duper hope goes well for you!) so there's not really much reason to be invested in where you are now, because you're just going to be leaving soon. What's the point in doing something totally cool and awesome where you are now, if you're just going to be packing up and leaving it so soon? It sounds almost like a case of senioritis, where you're in your last semester of high school and you've already been accepted into your dream school, so there's really no point in keeping your grades up. If that's the case like I hope it is, the meh feeling you're experiencing will hopefully pass once you finish your move, and your life becomes filled with your new job and getting to know your new home.

Once again hugs Izmuth, and I hope things feel better soon.

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Re: I feel like shit even if there's no reason to

Post by Werel on Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:19 pm

Yeah, gotta second anhedonia/paint-drying-feeling being a major feature of depression for me.

However: a less extreme version of it also lines up with my experience of getting older. If you're seeking the sense of urgency and fascination with life you had in your teens/early 20s, I suspect you're setting yourself up for failure by measuring different life stages with the same yardstick. I have rarely met a person who claims that they have retained that pressing drive to strive/explore/Feel Things with exactly the same force throughout the decades. Most people just chill the hell out as they age.

I'd give it till your transition to a new country is settled and then re-assess. If you find the whole process of moving abroad and starting a new life terribly boring, then you may want to take a hard look at the kinds of self-therapy Prajna's suggesting, because few things are less boring than that (stressful? sure! boring? tough sell).

Sorry stuff's a big flat grey horizon right now.
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Re: I feel like shit even if there's no reason to

Post by eselle28 on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:01 pm

I agree with others that I think you may want to wait until you're resettled. I'm also curious whether there's any possibility of you being able to treat this as a brain problem rather than a mind problem. In my country, a general practitioner can prescribe anti-depressants, and many will. It sounds like your grey period can be described without reference to your sexuality, and I think any questions about your personal life could be waived off with, "I'm new in town," or, "I'm not very interested in dating right now." They may or may not end up being a solution for you (my depression isn't responsive to medication), but it might be an additional way to tackle this without opening yourself up to a potentially untrustworthy medical professional.
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Re: I feel like shit even if there's no reason to

Post by Izmuth on Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:29 pm

Thanks for the support guys! And belated best wishes for 2016.

@Prajnaparamita, the sensation of not feeling anything was new-ish (two months I think?). Feelings seem now to have reverted back to the way they were before that, mostly okay but... unbalanced I guess?

I get intense stress/sadness/frustration bouts all of the sudden, quite hard to control. Feelings are weird.

@Eselle, tried medication two years ago, when I started having those emotion bursts, in the hope they'd at least soften them up. Sadly didn't take :/

I think I'll take you guys's advice and just wait until I moved and reasses.
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